Adobe Illustrator CS
I was looking through the Barrett Jackson auction site, and found this beauty. I instantly loved the image but thought it wouldn't make a good painting, so I made a vector of it.
The Buick Riviera had a tremendous impact on the American automotive scene. The Riviera represented one of the most sucessful American attempts at capturing European styling and performance in a large automobile. Positioned at the top of Buick's coupe line up, the Riviera always represented cutting edge styling and performance and deserves a place in American automotive history.
Initially introduced in 1963 with Ferrari-esque styling, it was a huge success. Horsepower would increase in the following years along with it's size, but it's looks had begun to fade by the end of the 60's as it evolved into a more pedestrian looking coupe.
Things changed in 1971 (although some would argue not for the better) when the third generation of Riviera's debuted. The 1971 Riviera featured one of the greatest styling excercises in automotive history. Dubbed "the boat-tail," the look was supposed to draw upon stylish cars of the 1930s, but putting the design on a 218 inch length, 122 inch wheelbase, 4,247 lb car resulted in a look that buyers either loved or hated. Sales dropped to 33,810, though this might have also been caused by a downgrade in the engine department. General Motors had decreed that all its engines had to run on unleaded gasoline to meet stricter emission standards and thus the 455 engine was detuned, down to 315 bhp. The 455 engine in GS models were rated at 330 bhp and included the usual performance equipment to go along with that power. Performance did suffer, with the top speed falling to 120 mph.
Sadly the unique styling didn't last long. In 1973 - likely due to complaints from some who thought the design to outlandish - the Riviera was redesigned with a more convential rear end, but still kept the boat-tail look. 1974 brought another redesign completely eliminating the boattail, and weight was increasing while engine output decreased. 1975 was the last year for third generation of Rivieras.