Is A Buick Riviera A Muscle Car?
By Mark Weisseg
Does a Buick Riviera make the fast muscle car list?
It’s an interesting question as these cars were certainly cool looking with the long, swooping rear end, the big V 8 engine, and a solid following. But, is it material to be included?
There is a hazy line out there what belongs and what doesn’t. We don’t have a governing body that decides these trivial matters, but we have public opinion. I like the looks of the car, I worked on the car, and I have driven the car.
But, I always thought of it as a luxury model. Kind of like a Lincoln Mark 8. Cool looking car, somewhat popular with good looks and a big V8. But that too never made me think it was a fast muscle car. But look, we cannot say only Chevelles, Nova, Camaro, Vettes, Mustang, Challengers, and a few others are the only fast muscle cars. We would be leaving out so many American cars it would not even be worth discussing it.
I think you understand my thought process now. If we start nick picking we could go back to the 1980’s and eliminate a ton of cars. 350 V8 Corvettes putting out a weak 195 hp. And that list is a long one thanks to the new federal laws. It was a bad time for engines. If you lived through the great engines of the 60’s and 70’s and then got yourself into the 80’s it was a bad, bad time. I bought a car in the late seventies that was a true California car and it had more emission crap on it to choke anything. It put out 150 hp and eventually I had to sell the slug.
Car companies really were under the gun to clean up there act and they had to comply. That is why the cars of the 50’s through the mid seventies are so well loved. They had for the most part style and power. This Riv. as we called them had styling, power as well as class. Not a fast muscle car but certainly a really cool car. I miss them.
But, we all know what happened to this car. It got smaller, uglier, and less power. The car died a slow, miserable death at the hands of GM. I am surprised actually that Buick did not go the way of Oldsmobile to tell you the truth. Even to this day the sales charts are weak. Stay tuned I guess.
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