1965 Buick Riviera
Buick designed its now classic Riviera to be a forward-looking, futuristic type of car that could compete with other luxury nameplates being made in the U.S. First created by GM’s chief stylist Bill Mitchell, the Riviera made its first appearance in 1963 and finally ended its run by 1999. The 1965 Buick Riviera is considered by many to be one of the best models with the finest styling features.
When the Riviera first came out in 1963, Buick carefully limited the number of units produced to create a feeling of luxury and sophistication that not everyone could have. The name Riviera also conjured images of vacations to exotic locations that only the rich could afford. Riviera first came up as a trim level for the Buick Roadmaster and Super.
What became the magnificently styled 1965 Buick Riviera originally was designed for a high-end Cadillac and was inspired by the Rolls Royce cars that Mitchell saw while in London. Cadillac rejected the design, and the loss was Buick’s gain. The first generation cars, which included the 1965 Buick Riviera, did not share a body with any other GM model. It competed with the Ford Thunderbird, but was lighter and powered by a large V8 engine. This combination, along with well-engineered suspension, brakes, transmission, and other parts, the 1965 Buick Riviera performed as well as any of the top American cars of the era.
New on the 1965 Buick Riviera model year was a Gran Sport option that gave buyers the Super Wildcat V8 engine, a stiffer suspension, and bigger exhaust. The styling changed little from the previous year, but Buick did conceal the headlights, which many considered to be the final detail in perfecting the design and appearance of the Riviera. Today, collectors look back on the 1965 Buick Riviera as one of the finest examples of both design and engineering in an American car and it is highly valuable now.