Coral yacht: ownership experience Buick Riviera

Not always to create an outstanding design of the car pushes inspiration. Beautiful stories about aspiring inventors that are so fond of portraying in the literature or cinema do not happen so often. It is regrettable, but the magic kick in the loin part of the body is much greater motivator for avtoinzhenera than his own vocation. So many outstanding cars were born not for the sake of a bright future, but simply out of necessity. Either harsh rulers, or life itself has forced artists to uncover weapons and come up with something more outstanding than there competitors. The rest – business equipment, and talk about it is not accepted. Something like this was the case in the clan of General Motors in the early 60’s.

Lthough a number of serious technological research, to reflect on the concepts Firebird series, the new decade, the concern had nothing to surprise your customers. Yes, its affiliated companies confidently in the lead in terms of sales, but the production enthusiasm did not shine. Chrysler then was known as the initiator of experimentation and technical innovator, and FMC owned palm in the field of design. Models like the Thunderbird, Falcon and Mustang have become not just the icons of style – they have opened up new segments of the automotive market. Its “opener» GM was necessary as air, and when it came, it was hard to imagine a more beautiful car. It was called the device Buick Riviera.

The same kick

On the creation of the «personal luxury car» General Motors influenced President John Gordon, annoyed competitive success Ford Thunderbird. Machine “geeks blue oval” really was excellent, setting the hassle other participants of the Big Three. Infuriated Gordon and complete indifference to all that his subordinates – offices were ready to build something like a T-Bird, but no sensible ideas were not given. In the hands of the president remained the only trump card – experimental development department, although the aforesaid due to permanent loads and so resembled the smoking pot.

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Verkhovod there Ned Nichols, once served as chief designer of the company’s Buick (the reader could read his kryshesnosnym concept Wildcat II). It was a very active man with progressive views on the auto industry. When he realized that “dream car” a lot of money does not earn, he switched to commercial projects and his career quickly took off. To gain a foothold in the top-found, Ned, in general, is a gifted artist, not above bribery and flattery, so that when he was assigned to the development of a new «personal luxury car», the first thing he learned curator of the project name.

It turned out to Bill Mitchell, GM’s vice president of design – the figure of the influential and authoritative, especially among automotive stylists. People close to this person, know that onaya a soft spot for the pre-war models of La Salle – once a prestigious brand, which was part of General Motors. That promise was enough to send reflections Mitchell back on track: seeing the first sketches of a coupe with an oval grille contour, curator realized that it is on this element should be emphasized. Well, then followed by a series of amazing coincidences.

Sketches Nichols directly Mitchell liked, but it was not enough to send the car on the conveyor. The curator of the planned trip to London to spy on the best trends of European auto design. Trade Mitchell was not impressed, but the angular outline of the Rolls-Royce 25/30 with a body from the studio Hooper & Co, by chance seen them on the road to the hotel – very! After him the appearance of a new GM-ovsky “openers” was formed in the head curator if by itself.

Back in the States, Mitchell met with Nichols, and together they came up with a high quality body, it combines the elegance of La Salle with seasoned luxury Rolls-Royce. In the guise of the new model is almost no features, required Detroit fosterling: at least chromium and vyshtampovok and no fins – this understated European elegance, multiplied by the American «king size» size. President of General Motors was intrigued by the final version coupe – still like it in America has never been done, and therefore ordered the model to run on the conveyor.

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But before it had even choose any unit trust responsible production, because in 1961, none of them did not know about the XP-715 project – not for nothing that the institutions involved in them was called “experimental development department.” Management concern even announced a special competition for the best presentation, which would define the most suitable candidate. But agree with this was not all: Cadillac refused immediately, because orders were loaded to the eyeballs; later “fell off» Chevrolet. Instead, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Buick were happy to fight for a bread order.

Especially I needed it “schitonosny” brand, whose performance slipped after the war by as much as half a million units per year. The company’s management brought in their favor crushing arguments, refusing any alterations Project XP-715. As a result, future bestseller Riviera is registered in the Buick model range by as much as 36 years.

Here is the meeting!

This excursion into history, I painted, dear reader, at least briefly on the knee, but not just so, and on the occasion. Whether it is worth to recall vehicles overseas, if they have not planned any round date? The futility of such talk is comparable only to that of phone sex, because everyone knows that it is better to try once than hear a hundred times. Just to see the Riviera I still had the luck. Also, hear, feel and taste.

I will not ship the audience, and myself at the same time, calculating the probability of meeting with the car produces an annual circulation of just over 30 thousand copies, so far from home, but I will say that the probability of this is low. Even really, when you consider the year of his birth – 1973rd. Yes, this is not a “classic” Riviera with blind headlights from the Bill Mitchell, fine-mesh grille a la Ferrari and sporting dynamics. Our car belongs to the third generation model, and in a way surprising. Mainly in the form of a pointed keel letters “the V”, was referred to as the «boat-tail» (eng. “Feed boats”). At the time, the stylistic course made a great split in the camp of American motorists. Today, this type of body is perhaps the most beautiful example of auto fashion 70s.

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By the way, the new version of the Buick Riviera, descended from the conveyor in 1971, from a commercial point of view, was the most disastrous. Even the first generation of «luxury coupe» ran counter to traditional US notions about cars. Still, its overall sales has exceeded 112 thousand units. After boring the wings and the global chrome plating, the design of this car look fresh and original. In order to prevent the aging of its flagship models, Buick engineers every year subjected its restyling. The third generation of the Riviera stylist Jerry Hirshberg gave such happening and himself, probably was not ready until the end of … Direct elegantly elongated, like the camp of the aristocracy, the sidewalls line moves quickly to the stern, whose erotic dancer bends resemble thigh. Thin silver molding encircling the contour of the body, similar to the panty line, which is about to fall and open eyes what is always so eager to man. Perhaps that is why all motorists passing by wind down the course, but some parnyaga a Hummer, his tongue hanging out, welling circles next to the Riviera – apparently waited …

Whether it is the synergy of femininity and sexuality, as embodied in the automotive metal? Yeah, a lot of water has flowed since the days of rock ‘n’ roll ’70s, and people thoroughly forgotten how it should look real “cars” so sound engines. Yet the coupe in the “clothes» boat-tail will give odds to many of his contemporaries. These chiseled lines, these curved glass, this veil of charm first dates … Even could not imagine that the appearance of the machine will awaken in me such emotions! Once again, dear reader, I am damn lucky to meet for another Buick Riviera in the scale of the city tantamount to believe in the existence of unicorns.

Proms and inner peace

Time to explore the Riviera was chosen carefully and does not coincide with the hour of the metropolitan traffic jams, but still people vilos range considerably. With proper scenario manicured promenade Oldtimer always becomes like a signing session aged rock star, so the Coast, its current owner, I had at the same time to answer my questions, and shy away from passers-by. The best rescue plan prescribed climb inside and batten down all the windows, which we did.

Inside the Riviera was more than it seemed from the outside. Basically, probably due totally naked dash: all instruments and controls are compactly arranged in the driver’s side. The remaining space was not occupied by absolutely nothing, because of what car interior looked dimensionless. This compartment can easily accommodate up to six people, but the machine at the same time does not seem hippie commune. Both the driver and front passenger can be fenced off from the rest of the massive arms. Just for this front instead of the sofa, some chairs set – they have electric adjustment. The actuators are fitted and windows. All this is so one-zone air conditioning – perhaps all the amenities are standard Buick Riviera III.

The interior is decorated cars in full compliance with the exterior. Kostya long toiled choice: paint the car in black or restore the original color. As a result, the body returned to his true color, «burnt coral», or «burnt coral.” The said is good because it emphasizes the silhouette Riviera exactly where needed. To match him, compiled and upholstery. The final version is slightly different from the version of the sink, but the restorers managed to achieve harmony of external and internal worlds of the model.

The fact that the Riviera has a true female character, I had no doubt from the very first moments of our acquaintance, and she hurried to show it. As soon as his hands reached for the ignition in order to revive the engine – the car would not start. Services that was located under the hood of tin-plated 7.5-liter engine – the starter did not want to bring it into effect. “Shy, perhaps – and perhaps naughty?” – I thought. But my friend, the photographer is able to cause such vagaries to determine immediately, so armed with a hammer, he crawled under the bottom of the engine compartment – result in a feeling of a starter. The therapy, though not a shock, but it has helped – soon US 250 wild horses dashing bucked, and “engine” has earned.

To go to the American «full-size» cars – all the same that glide over the waves on a boat cruise: a large displacement forces to be very careful in all maneuvers, especially at speed. Yet here we need to get used to many things: and to the lack of lumbar support seats, inspiring false sense of relaxation; and the soft steering wheel, which is similar to the wheel of the ship and delayed “arrives” after the action of the steering; and excessively long nose, because of which any rotation should calculate in advance.

This Buick Riviera has excellent technical equipment for its release. The engine is paired with the legendary “automatic» Turbo Hydra-Matic 400, which did not avoid even in the Ferrari, not to mention the Bentley, Rolls-Royce and a Hummer military, to respect the unit of phenomenal reliability and the ability to digest high torque motor.

“Belt” molding (drain)
$ 500

Full double wishbones, which replaced the springs, has nothing against multiple defects of the roadway, slightly shaking his body and thereby increasing the similarity of the machine with a yacht. Disc brakes are fitted with vacuum booster, able to stop almost instantly is a two-ton “flotation device.”

By the way, Riviera – one of the first successful examples of the mass of the car with an embedded electronic control assistant. Traction control Max Track is actually working, reading performance with rear wheel and redistributing torque between them no worse than modern computer devices.

In short, this Buick calls for a long-term addiction, but does not make the driver for a second regret it. The guarantee of this is the girl’s dazzling smiles on both sides of the city streets.

purchase history of this beautiful Riviera is a bit like a detective story: it has drama, intrigue and even the villain, guilty of attempted murder and optimistic ending. It all started with the children’s enthusiasm overseas car through the journal article “America”. Growing up, Kostya seriously thinking about buying this oldtimer. Finding the right car accelerated due to the increase of customs duties in June of 2011 – after the acquisition of seven-liter dreadnought be equated to the purchase of a new car. After going through several options, the young man stopped at the best of them – Buick Riviera third generation is already half a year was in Germany, which moved from Colorado. Outside cars left much to be desired, but with the mind, it is complete and has been sold at an affordable price – $ 6000. Meditate for a long time was not necessary: ​​the documents for the sale were signed immediately and transport accomplished in the shortest possible time. That’s you, the reader, and the exposition of history.

When Rivera appeared in front of his new owner, it hardly looked like a dream machine: with burnt paint on the body was something to powder, salon was in a deplorable state. Car all kind screamed that needs a good restorer, and here the bones are not lucky – his Buick taken over textbook scam. Having played on the inexperience of the owner, the aforesaid “Crafts” pretended to be a professional, trained in Europe. He spoke beautifully, showed some certificates, but in the end promuryzhili car 3.5 years, so nothing really not doing …

After a series of long and tedious showdown Buick returned to its owner. Kostya was preparing for a wedding gift to yourself and the car brought to life in extreme mode. It is, of course, put on wheels, but not for long – in the midst of the celebration, it is no longer go because of a torn radiator pipe. This initiative Kostina dried up, and he began to look for skilled craftsmen to entrust their operation to save the life of your pet.

7.5 l / 250 hp

“When I met with professional restorers, they opened my eyes to many things”, – says the owner of the Riviera. “The list of the primary improvements took 12 pages, written in tiny handwriting. Body, frame, chassis, suspension – had to treat everyone. ”

Repeated disassembly revealed many age-related diseases cars, which would represent a risk in the future and for its owner. The most terrible of them was the poor state of a set of frame mounts to the body. Chassis Riviera is connected to the body through a special pillow; all of the nodes in the car 12, six of which are completely absent, and the rest rotted and held somehow. Because of this, the body strongly “tossed” in the corners and shaking over the potholes, and once he could and did move down to the pavement. Replacement parts are tired on set of brand-new “poliuretanok” from Energy Suspension Buick returned to its former integrity and make it safer for all.

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