Tony’s 1966 Buick Riviera
|Engine:||425 ‘Nailhead’ V8|
|Rated Horsepower:||340bhp @ 4200rpm|
|Rated Torque:||465 lb-ft @ 2800rpm|
|“…Well I fell in love with these big monsters of cars and after visiting the Wintersun Festival on the Gold Coast (a Nostalgic Hot Rods and Rock n Roll Festival) wanted to get behind the wheel of my own large American Car. I went back and looked in Unique Cars magazine and found a 66 Riviera which I had never before seen in the flesh, advertised in Queensland.I started searching for information and pictures on the Internet and quickly grew to love the shape of this model. The 66 is the first of the shape and 69 is the last but the front fenders and hood of the 66 are something else. There are angles going everywhere which give it some really interesting reflections.
A friend of mine, Rick, who has had American Fords for years lives in Queensland so I asked him if he would go and check it out for me, which he did and he was happy. It was a sound car with no rust. He doesn’t really like anything but Fords so Rick’s word was good enough for me.
I negotiated a great price and decided not to waste money on air fare but just have it shipped down to Sydney. The transport company charged me double the going rate when I told them it was about 6m long! When it arrived on the truck it looked beautiful. The paint and the upholstery where good (upholstery was a bit bright but tinting the windows helped). The guy started it up to drive it off the truck and it sounded beautiful.
I took delivery of it in July 2001. It hadn’t been driven for about 18 months so consequently it needed a bit of attention to mechanicals. Cosmetically I’ve had the bonnet resprayed after removing the centre chrome strip and the front springs reset 3cm lower and the Billet wheels and fat tyres put on with drop pipes behind the rear wheels. There was a box in the boot with old magazines and lots of receipts for repairs and parts from the US, plus the name and phone number or the original owners who actually restored the car in the mid nineties, this retired Queensland couple completely restored the car at a total cost of A$30,000. (approx. US$15,500)
It’s extremely reliable now and ready to drive to Wintersun Festival 2002 on the June long weekend. I can’t wait to see how many Buicks we see there but I think mine will be the only 66 Riviera and that’s the nice thing about Buicks. They’ve got a heap of luxury appointments, a ton of grunt, good looks and they’re rare as proverbial rocking horse sh.. Now you can’t say that about Mustangs or Chevs can you?”
Tony, it’s cars and stories like yours that make BuickStreet.com worth all the effort. I’m glad that the photos tell it all because that glass-like paint job defies description. Thanks for sharing your car and your story with us. – Bill
More info - including a short video - can be found at http://www.mako.com.au/buick/. - Bill