General Motors decided to craft a ride that rivaled the Ford Thunderbird in the muscle car wars of the 1960s. Tasked with a car to pit against the giant of the marketplace was GM's chief stylist Bill Mitchell who wanted the car to "look like a Rolls-Royce with the flavor of a Ferrari."
The Buick Riviera was born and was seen as a styling marvel of its time. The first car rolled off the line in 1963, but it only lasted for two years. The Riviera Gran Sport was unusual from the start and didn’t share its body shell with any other GM car, which was standard practice of the company.
The 1965 model received an update from previous years that included the offerings of the landmark dual-quad Super Wildcat 425 V8 engine and a heavier suspension. The dual exhaust of the Riviera was boosted from two inches to two and a quarter inches and had fewer turns to reduce back pressure. The later model also had a cassette player in the sound system, cruise control, power brakes, power steering and power windows.
The Buick Riviera is one of the most coveted cars of the 1960s. It sold for $4,316 when it rolled off the factory floor but now sells to collectors for between $27,000 and $53,000.