For 1968-1969 Buick Riviera has undergone facelift. 1969 Buick Riviera has updated look, features completely new front and rear, keeping the wheelbase the same. Headlamps were still hidden, equipped with GS option Riviera might reach 130 mph top speed, being equipped with the same 430 cubic inch (7.0L) V8.
The sales of 1968 and 1969 model year Buick Rivieras were set the new records, in 1969 almost 53,000 of cars were sold.
1969 Buick Riviera review
Because of new safety regulations introduced in 1968, Buick Riviera has got a lot of minor changes apart from body redesign. For instance, it has windscreen wipers, hidden by the hood edge, marker lamps, larger outside mirrors.
The front part features completely new grille with new types of headlights – they were still hidden, but became vacuum operated instead of the electric ones, used on the previous generation Rivieras. In profile the car seems to be changed only slightly, and in the rear, lights were moved higher, to match with restyled bumper with circular rear marker lights.
In 1969 grille pattern was slightly changed to 2 horizontal bars and slim vertical bars instead of crosshatch pattern in 1968 and marker lights get square shape and become smaller. Car feature new rear lights with integrated reverse lights.
Overall design of that generation Riviera was reminded Oldsmobile Toronado a lot, however being rear-wheel drive in comparison with front-wheel drive Toronado.
1969 Buick Riviera interior
The interior changed a little – chrome trimming was removed due to safety regulations, dashboard was unified with another full-size Buick models – as a square shaped instrument panel. For 1969 model year new headrests were introduced for the front row, ignition switch was moved to steering column, now providing steering and lever block without key.
Shoulder seat belts become mandatory in all trim levels, bucket seats were optional or available in higher trim levels.
The front panel was also slightly changed – the shape remains the same, but it became softer and radio placing was changed to the bottom of center conslole.
1969 Buick Riviera specs
There were only a few mechanical changes in 1968-69. First of all, the gearbox lost its variable pitch torque converter. Secondly, in 1969 new front suspension was introduced.
The engine was the same as used in 1967 Buick Riviera – 430 cubic inch (7-liter) V8 engine producing 360 HP and 475 ft lb of torque. Despite being heavy (over 4200 lbs), and increased in length, Riviera manage to reach the top speed of 130 mph equipped with 3-speed Super Turbine-400 automatic transmission.
Wheelbase: 119 in
Length: 215,2 in
Width: 78,8 in
Height: 53,6 in