Big Block Boat-Tail: 1972 Buck Riviera GS

When you compare the cars of today with the classics of the past, one thing seems to be apparent. Designers, stylist, and manufacturers of today don’t seem to have quite the level of daring of those of yesteryear. One classic that makes a truly bold styling statement is the Buick Riviera “boat-tail,” and this nice example is a distinctive car that you could own today. It is a car that has obviously caught the eye of a few people because bidding on the classic Buick has been fairly strong up to this point. Located in Rogers, Arkansas, you will find the Riviera GS listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding now stands at $13,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

Finished in Arctic White, the Riviera is a striking looking car that seems to be in pretty reasonable condition. While there are no shot’s of the vehicle’s underside, the owner says that the floors are solid, while the frame only has a coating of surface corrosion. This is something that I would probably attend to because if I owned it, I would hate to see my pride and joy deteriorate too much. The car has undergone a repaint at some point in the past, and apart from some minor bubbling in the lower quarter panels, it all looks pretty clean. The external trim and chrome, including that distinctive “sweepspear,” look really good, while standing at the back of the car leaves you in no doubt what sort of car you are looking at. Love it or hate it, that rear end stands out a mile away.

The condition of the interior of the Riviera is even more impressive than the exterior. When the owner was inspecting the floors for rust, he removed the carpet to check them from inside, as well as from underneath. Once satisfied that all was well, he had Dynamat fitted right through, and a new carpet set was professionally installed. The rest of the interior trim looks to be in great shape, with no signs of any real problems. The dash features a new classic-look aftermarket sound system, but the original 8-track player is available to be included in the sale. As befits a car of luxury, the 8-track player was merely the tip of the iceberg when it came to luxury appointments. You can add air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and power seats to that list. This all makes for a pretty comfortable car.

While tougher emission laws were beginning to bite by 1972, the Riviera GS was still a pretty decent performer. This is especially true for a car that tipped the scales at 4,368lbs. The 455ci V8, which produces 260hp, still allowed the GS to accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds, and keep on going up to a top speed of 119mph. The 455 in this car is said to be original, as is the 3-speed TH-400 automatic transmission. Of course, a luxury car like this is also going to be equipped with power steering and power brakes. The Riviera has come in for some recent mechanical attention, with the front end receiving a full rebuild. In addition, the car has also received new shocks, a new radiator, electronic ignition, and new billet wheels fitted with new tires. The owner says that the Buick runs and drives really well, while the under-hood presentation is very impressive for an unrestored 47-year-old car.

This 1972 Riviera GS is a car that I find interesting, simply because it will be interesting to see how much higher the bidding will go. The styling of the boat-tail seems to be something that people either love or hate. The other thing that makes the ’72 Riviera GS interesting is its value trends. For years the boat-tail seems to have been a forgotten classic, but that has all changed in recent times. Values across the board have been climbing very noticeably, with values increasing by close to 50% in the past 3-years alone. This trend shows no sign of slowing, so if you would really like to own one of these, then it might pay to act sooner rather than later.


  1. canadainmarkseh

    Drooling right now and will have to wipe it up later. This is one of my all time favourite cars. A bucket list car, sadly I’ll never be able to afford one and that’s ok because every once in a while one shows up to look at. I don’t know of any cars from this period that are classier then this. When it come to styling boy did GM get it right. I hope this one goes to a good home.

    Like 21
  2. Keith

    Pimp mobile……Needs a fur interior and some chrome add ons…….LoL!

    Like 5
    • Roseland Pete

      That’s exactly what a young Pontiac car salesman said when I showed him my 72 Riv. “That’s a pimpin’ car.”

      Like 4
  3. Miguel

    Only recently have these cars become popular.

    That is good news for the owners that have kept their cars in nice condition.

    Like 10
  4. OhU8one2

    I have loved this design since they were brand new. And to top it all off, it’s a big block GS. My neighbor had a light metallic blue with white interior. I used to stare everytime the car went past my house. Wish I could get funds and space available. I’ll just have to wait.

    Like 7
  5. BuickLover

    When my “boat” comes in, this is the car I would love to have. Brother had a ’71. Loved that beast. Takes me down memory lane.

    Like 7
  6. Rube Goldberg Member

    Ex brother in law had one like this. He wanted the biggest, sportiest car he could get for his family. He sure found it with this. The downside, however, it got 7 mpg.

    Like 10
  7. reddog

    1972 sophmore year in high school, my good buddy’s dad was a leasing agent (almost unheard of back then) and each week had a different car in the driveway, usually something special. Terry (the buddy) every few weeks would quietly remove the car from the driveway after everyone fell asleep (12 kids in the family) pick me up in the dark and we would cruise around, ignorant of the idiocy but proud of our secret agentness. One night he showed up in a burgundy 72 riviera and i was stunned and even today remember the feeling of lookimg that car over, thinking i was standing next to an alien craft. i got in and the power overwhelmed all other feelings as we blasted up and down route 51 and through suburban streets, all others tucked under their blankets. just before we truned off the state route to go up my street and return the chariot, the only other car on the road slammed into the back, folding the riviera up like an inverted v. we never did that again!

    Like 5
  8. Barry Traylor

    I knew a guy back in the 1990’s that loved the Buick Riviera so much that he owned 3 of them. A 1965, 1966 and a 1972 Boat tail.

    Like 8
  9. Ike Onick

    Take a look at a 1965 and tell me how this is an improvement.

    Like 4
  10. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    The “In your face!” approach to design ala’ the schooling by Bill Mitchell and Harley Earl..undoubtedly one of the most distinct and unique models penned in the twilight years at Detroit design studios, it absolutely evokes a response of disgusting excess or, IMHO, recalls the previous sunset of cars in The (1st) Depression with flowing, original standards expected from the artists of the automotive industry.
    My wife would probably hate it, I’d own it in a heartbeat-but then the dilemma of “ok, how do I pay for it and where can I keep it?” 😆

    Like 8
  11. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    A looker for sure! Not sure why, but when I look at these from the back they are missing the split rear window.

    Like 6
    • Terry

      These do have a split window, it least the first half of the series does. The rear window is two pieces, then fused in the middle. I have a 72 like this one.

      Like 3
      • Steve

        Nope, that’s one-piece glass. I have a 1971. The “seam” down the center is an intentional styling cue. It follows the peak that runs from the nose to tail, including the roof.

        People sometimes think they didn’t have the technology to make that big, curved backglass in one piece in 1971. Phooey! Take a look at a ’64 Vette, ’65 Marlin, or early Barracuda.

        Like 1
  12. John Oliveri

    My all time favorite car, my buddy had a 72 w a sunroof, awesome vehicle, if I didn’t own my 73 GP I’d buy this one, throw that brown interior out for a white one, but it needs the 8 track,can’t play The Trammps w/o the 8 track, be sacrilegious

    Like 3
  13. chrlsful

    Riviera, Toranado 2 of my fav cars (not their later models, this 1 gettin close) & I’m a ‘ford guy’.
    I all ways think of the folks faces in Europe when 1 of these would drive by brand new just outta the box. Musta been a pleasant shock…

    Like 5
  14. TimM

    Very cool!!

    Like 2
  15. John Oliveri

    Oh, one more thing, this car needs white walls, nice 1.5 inch whitewalls

    Like 1
    • scottymac

      I’m a little behind the times, do they make 17″ whitewalls? Can’t tell for sure what size these are, but definitely not stock one piece face Riviera/Electra 15″ chrome wheels from the Seventies. Can anyone tell me who makes these bigger wheels with the 5″ bolt pattern? There’s nothing in the e-Bay ad to call out these larger wheels/tires, would love to have them on my ’73.

      Like 1
      • Wayne King

        The wheels are not the stock ones. They were added. They are 17 inch. More 17 tires available in better performance treads. I know because I just bought this exact car and it will be delivered this Saturday, March 7, 2020. So excited about her. This car is so beautiful. Still only 70,500 miles. Runs great.

        Welcome home

      • Steve

        Wheel are the Series 104 from Circle Racing.

  16. ACZ

    The designers of today are all named “Tommy”. Deaf, dumb, and blind. They have designed the most atrocious collection of crap ever, regardless of manufacturer. I drive older models, not because I can’t afford a new one, but because every one made today, with the exception of the new Stingray, is ugly as sin. There’s hardly a designer out there that could find his butt with both hands.

    Like 8
  17. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jul 28, 2019 , 1:10PM
    Current bid:US $13,100.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 30 bids ]

    Like 3
  18. Roseland Pete

    I worked for a janitorial service when I was in high school and one of the company owners bought a new 71 Riv. He let me drive the Riv around the block one time. I couldn’t believe how smooth the car drove. Right then and there, I told myself that I was going to get one someday. Well, it took me 30 years but I found a 72 with 9,600 miles on it. I wanted a bronze one but I couldn’t get past the low mileage so I settled for the Sea Mist.

    Like 9
    • Cattoo Cattoo Member

      That’s something i could overlook myself. Where was it stashed away? How’d did it become your Riviera?

  19. Del

    Old Riverias do not hang together well unless low mileage.

    Why do guys hide their plates ?

    Paranoya will destroya

    Like 1
  20. art

    Amen on the “design” observation. Most cars today look as though they began by gazing at a balloon filled with water, placed on its’ side, then add an obligatory “angry” grill and paint it dark gray. Ugh.
    Nothing from the soul, just computer CAD developed.

    Like 4
  21. Stevieg Member

    When I was a kid, my Dad bought a 1973 Riviera for my Mom to drive. I fell in love with the styling of that car!
    My Dad also had a friend who was a “retired” prostitute that had either a 1971 or 1972. I used to drool @ that car too as a kid. Later, as an adult, I bought myself a very nice 1971 Riviera. Kept it for a few months & absolutely loved it but the house needed a new roof & I was still married to my lazy skanks now ex-wife (who now lives on my couch lol) & I was supporting her spending issues along with having to fix the roof. The Riviera had to go. Ironically, the roof is leaking again. I can’t win, especially whenever the Ex wife lives in the house. Oh well….

    Like 2
    • Cattoo Cattoo Member

      That’s a trifecta of bummers right there.

  22. theo

    getting harder to find.

    Like 2

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