1971 Buick Riviera ‘Boat Tail’

By the late 60s, the Rivieras had become just another big car, with no distinctive styling or qualities. This is what the Buick designers set to counter when they introduced the 1971 Buick Riviera, which was affectionately (and accurately) known as ‘Boat tail‘. From the side, it literally seemed to pounce forward and exhibited a very muscular, powerful look, and from the rear… well, there was simply nothing like it. The flaring rear fenders give its hips a very distinctive look, while the wrap-around rear window was more reminiscent of earlier Corvettes and Stingrays than anything else. One thing was for sure, this was not a car to drive to stay discreet and anonymous!

1971 Buick Riviera 'Boat tail'
1971 Buick Riviera ‘Boat tail’

The 1971 Buick Riviera was powered by the famous ‘GS’ engine, also found on other Buick products (notably the Skylark). This enormously powerful 455 engine (7.4 liters) produced 330 horsepower and massive amounts of torque, pushing this behemoth to a top speed of 125 miles per hour (200 km/h) and accelerating to 60 in 8.5 seconds.

The 1971 Buick Riviera survived basically unchanged until 1973. In subsequent years, the car went back to being an anonymous car, which was too bad. At least there had been a few rare, wonderful years…

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