1972 Buick Riviera GS: Improved Handling


When you think of cars like the Buick Riviera, throwing it around some cones on a road course is not the first image that jumps to mind. But if you slapped the GS package on a 1972 Buick Riviera like this example here on eBay, a car salesman might have told you of the big boat’s newfound road-holding prowess. I initially had my doubts that such a vehicle could actually possess anything resembling handling, but the editors at Car & Driver were impressed by its capabilities in this original road-test video. This particular car is a little rough around the edges and doesn’t have its numbers-matching engine, but the bidding is so low right now (albeit with the reserve unmet) that I’d consider it for a cheap summer cruiser. The Riviera always catches my eye because while every car of the era was a bit of a barge, the Riv dared to be different with the distinctive snout and hindquarters. It’ll need some bodywork and mechanical freshening for sure – how much would you be willing to pay for this boat-tail project?


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  1. cory

    I’ve always liked these. Such a unique rear. 8 doubt I would want to own one, but I do appreciate the style

  2. Booya

    The guy who designed it (and then all but disowned it) intended for it to be built on the A-body platform. Might not have been so ludicrous if that had happened.

  3. Greg S

    The “handling” video made me spill my coffee. I was laughing so loud the other half came in to see what was so funny!

  4. Pete

    For a two ton barge on skinny tires it was getting around there pretty good. That is a remarkable test video considering the era.

  5. krash

    the video is a classic….

    … missing: the cutting room floor footage of the right front tire exploding due to the immense pressure of the U.S.S. Riviera’s massive weight wallowing through the “S” turn…

    the way that thing handles, the test driver should be wearing a Rear Admiral’s uniform..

  6. JimmyinTEXAS

    All that driver needed was a mullet and he would have been good to go…

  7. don

    these are great old riv’s I had two of them and now wish I had them, a true GS? not so sure, anyone can throw on a chrome air cleaner cover and add a stage 1 sticker on it and put GS emblems on the fenders. :\

  8. MikeG

    I watched the vintage test video, this thing handles like a parade float.

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