Ad copy for the 1963 Riviera proclaimed it to be 'America's Bid for a Great New International Classic Car.' Authors Gustin and Dunham, in their definitive Buick book, state, 'It became a modern classic the day it was introduced.'
GM's answer to the 4-seat Thunderbird was originally intended to be named LaSalle and offered by Cadillac. Developed under the design leadership of Bill Mitchell, the 1963 Riviera was inspired by the classic lines of the Rolls-Royce.
The boldly understated styling featured a crisply-sculptured roofline, a low profile, and frameless side glass. At 117 inches, its wheelbase was a full nine inches shorter than that of the flagship Electra. A stiff base price of $4,333 included substantial standard equipment such as bucket seats, console, 401 cubic-inch 'nailhead' V8, power steering, and Buick's traditional Turbine Drive (Dynaflow) automatic transmission. Production was intentionally limited to exactly 40,000 units in order to ensure exclusivity.
The black Riviera seen here is completely original and unrestored, and has accumulated only forty thousand miles since new. It was first sold in London, Ontario in May, 1963. When the first owner passed away, the selling dealer reacquired the car and kept it in his showroom until 1990. The current owner purchased the car in 2006, after finding it a mere ten minutes from his home.