1970 Buick Riviera: the ugly duckling

Riviera 1970 appeared in the new style. Front square headlights wasn’t hidden, and the front bumper flowed around a new grille with vertical stripes on top and bottom. New optional side trim emphasized the flowing lines of the coupe. Bordered by the rear wheels became standard. The rear bumper with rear lights had changed too.

1970 buick riviera ad

The engine has been improved. Now under the hood beat the heart of 455-cubic (7.46 L) engine – the biggest engine of Buick at the time – with a gross power of 340 hp and with 245 hp of net power. The torque of the car was 500 pounds per foot. Despite the fact that sales of the 1970 model year, fell to 37.366 units, the “Riviera” of the second generation (1966-1969) was more successful – for 5 years 227.669 cars have been sold.

1970 buick riviera advertisment

1970 Buick Riviera review

As it was mentioned above, previous generation Riviera set a record of sales, highly declined by 1970. And it was not only because of overall sales shrinkage (all Buicks took a dip in sales), but also because 1970 Buick Riviera was a disappointment to many. Mainly because of its design.

General Motors vice-predisent Bill Mitchell, order Buick’s new chief designer Donald Lasky to restyle Riviera in a new way, making the car more luxurious looking, all those Rolls-Royce/Ferrari theme, charactirized for 1965 Buick Riviera, make the car more “French looking”.

1970 buick riviera review

As a result, 1970 Buick Riviera has got massive rear end with cut-off wheel arches, obtrusive side trimming, with mostly unified front end, looks like fat Buick GSX of the same model year. Riviera became fat and clumsy.

The interior of the car remains unchanged in comparison with 1969 Buick Riviera. 1970 model year Riviera was the last example of the second generation Buick Riviera, with 119 inch
wheelbase. Sales were continue dropping even after release of completely new 1971 Buick Riviera.

1970 buick riviera rear

1970 Buick Riviera engine

The new 1970 Riviera get a all-time biggest Buick’s 455 V8 with 7.46L displacement, rated 370 HP, with massive 510 ft lbs of torque. Unlike Pontiac and Oldsmobile versions of 455 big block, Buick variant was equipped by bigger valves, extended stroke and bore, domed combustion chamber, giving the Buicks bigger power and helps to meet emission standards.

1970 buick riviera engine

One of the interesting fact that car manufacturers, especially GM give its cars just approximate power rating, there was a certain rule that A-cars shouldn’t get more than 360 HP (for instance 1970 Buick GS 455), whle B-cars (like Riviera) should rated under 370 HP. Despite the fact both models sharing the same engine with Stage I high lift cam, 4-barrel Quadrejet carburator, dual exhaust with low restriction and cold air induction.

1970 Buick Riviera image gallery