So, I took a drive across the Maple Grove Road bridge north of Bloomington and found, again, that 1971 Buick Riviera boat hull on the side of the road for sale.
No one was home, and no one answered the phone number on the driver’s window poster offering a custom shell for $4,500. I walked around, took a few more pictures, hesitated. And left without a story.
Back in 1971, $5,253 would have bought you a new Buick Riviera like this one. The cost equates to about $40,000 today, not out of line for a decent new car. The Riviera was redesigned that year with a longer-than-usual hood that moved forward and a sleek boat-tail design reminiscent of the luxury cars of the 1930s.
This Buick Riveria boat tail was not 1936 Auburn Speedster in any way, or a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette; both showed the back ends of boats. But the views from the back of the Riviera that revived the style were lovely. The Riviera only had a boat tail from 1971 to 1973, when the body style, sadly, changed.
The Riviera debuted in 1963 and was produced until 1999; for some reason they weren’t produced in 1994. Only 34,000 of those boattail beauties rolled off the General Motors assembly line.
Buick designers David Holls and Jerry Hirshberg introduced the Riviera boattail in the fall of 1970. Public reviews were reported to be mixed. I don’t understand anyone who doesn’t like the design of the car and I will continue to follow this story.
Got a story to tell about a car or truck? Contact my Favorite Travel reporter Laura Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-318-5967.