Paul’s 1971 Buick Riviera

1971 Buick Riviera

1971 Buick Riviera


Year: 1971
Make: Buick
Model: Riviera
Body Type: Coupe
Engine: 455 V8
Location: Haren, Holland
Paul writes…
“Ever since I saw the movie “Thunderbold and Lightfoot” where Clint Eastwood drives a silver 73 so fast off road I wanted a boattail. But lots of things made me postpone the actual purchase. It stayed with dreames cause marriage, a house, kids etc came first. Then when I finally got over this all (financially) I started looking and found a 71 GS boattail.

The car had been in Germany (US army) for most of its life and changed hands with every G.I. that moved I guess. When the Russians where no longer the enemy the Americans bugged out and no-one wanted the car cause it was too expensive to bring back to the States, buying one over there was cheaper. Anyway, it ended up in Holland and the one who bought it was a short, skinny guy who couldn’t handle the car. He could hardly see the hood when driving. It was simply too big for him. The deal was made and then the misery began. It appeared to be a car with so many miles that I had to replace or rebuild every single part of the car that was not welded to the chassis, brakes + lines, engine, cooling, steering, you name it, I replaced it. It’s very reliable at present cause everthing is new.

It was “seafoam green” when I bought it with 50’s wheelcovers (yes, I was desperate, I know). Then when rust started to show badly at the quarter panels it had to be fixed. The body shop offered me a nice price to repaint it in another color (also inside doors, hood, thunk and everywhere) and then I choose the GM bright blue cause it came the closest to the blue on the 72 GS riv ad I found in the books. It took a few weeks to get used to new color I telll you!

The engine is running very good and when you kick it it does 0-60 in some 8 seconds. Not bad for allmost 2.5 tons. Recently got bigger tires cause even with the posi rear end traction is a major problem with this kind of power. It once showed 18 meters of (dual) stripes when accellerating on dry pavement idling, and then full throttle, really amazing. I think of it as a wild beast whenever I pull it out of the garage.”


My first memory of a Boat tail Buick was on the cover of an album by the band Girlschool. This incredibly bold design for the 1971 Riviera was an instant classic and Pauls’ is a stunning and obviously powerful example. Thanks for showing us your car Paul. – Bill

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