In 1966, production of second-generation Riviera was started. The machine was completely updated, making it shapes more fluid and curved. Then it had a common body with the Oldsmobile Toronado, but actually it was only the internal structure of the body, and the outer cladding panels and, correspondingly, a general view differed among themselves very much.
The car keeps hiding headlights, just like the previous generation car, this feature was very popular in cars produced in the late 60s. Just remember the famous Dodge Charger.
1966-1967 Buick Riviera review
Riviera was a great squat coupe with a sloping back (fastback type), without B-pillars and front fascia with a prominent front wings. The second generation got a longer wheelbase and much more massive two-door coupe body. Sales rose to 45 thousand pieces. In 1967 at the Riviera Buick stopped to put 425 engines and proposed new 430 cu in, which were flexible, more reliable, and were producing the same 360 ”horses”.
Despite sharing many stylistic elements with Oldsmobile Toronado, Buick Riviera had different market positioning and feels more exquisite overall. And of course, being a more expensive than Oldsmobile car. Smooth lines of the rear part remained, but the front part became less interesting, hidden lights were moved closer to the center of the car.
1966-1967 Buick Riviera interior
Interior of the car underwent changes, instead of sporty buckets seats on both front and second row, divided by console, Riviera was equipped with usual bench seats like in full-size sedans, which helps to accomodate six passengers. It was really unlikely for the cars of that class. Likely, bench seats were available only for the cheapest configuration. Buckets seats was available with optional full-length console with “aeroplane like” gear level.
In 1967 safety equipment requirements for the new cars were changed, and Riviera get safety steering column, updated hazard flasher, shoulder safety belts and other.Another engineering innovation was brand new air circulation system.
GS version of the 1966-1967 Buick Riviera cars has only one small difference on the interior – GS badges on glovebox. However, Gran Sport had better trim levels.
1966-1967 Buick Riviera specs
The engine lineup for 1966 model was the same as before, 425 cui engine producing around 360 HP. Then, in 1967 Buick introduced a brand new engine for Riviera model, with the silightly increased volume, but entirely new in terms of construction. It features V8 configuration, 430 cubic inches (7.0L) displacement, producing 360 HP and 475 ft lb of torque.
1966-1967 Rivieras were equipped with the same 3-speed Super Turbine 400 transmission. It was recalibrated to allow gear switches on higher rpm for Gran Sport version. Super Turbine 400 just like its clone Turbo Hydra Matic 400 has reputation of the most reliable and solid automatic transmission of that time.
The car has following suspension construction – independent suspension with coil springs and wishbones on front, trailing links with coil springs on rear. In 1966 coil springs were moved to the axle, to provide more control of the car while accelerating.
Actually, that kind of suspension providing susprising handling unachievable for the most American cars of that era.
The size of Riviera had grown after introduction of the new frame body chasis in 1966. It features 119 inch wheelbase, overall lenght increased to 211 inches. 1966 model year Riviera increased in weight only slightly, while 1967 car gained almost 400 lbs because of 430 cubic inch engine.