Had a '71 Black on Black Gran Sport w/455 hi performance. Fastest I ever went in a car. Buried the speedo and it kept surging and going faster. They were notorious for running hot. Typical GM. Not enough radiator?
The trunk louvers were part of GM’s “Flow Through Ventilation” system in 1971. I believe that was also the year vents appeared in the door jambs of these vehicles. ‘71 Olds 88’s had them as well, but they disappeared in ‘72 just like on the Riv.
I always liked the 73 because they made the trunk and hood flow better and the front bumper it a story on it’s own with the government stepping in and requiring the cushions. It is a time when cars where made big.
Hello all, this is my magnificent numbers matching 1972 Buick Riviera GS. Has the very rare factory sunroof option and MaxTrac. Traction control system. My Riv is paint code #77 Burnished Bronze with a full white Vinyl top along with cornering lights. And floor shifter, white buckets and the 12 bolt 3.42 posi rear. I have all the documentation since day one and even the window sticker. This car was owned by a salesman and delivered to Polkowitz Buick/Cadillac in Perth Amboy , New Jersey. This is an early production 1972 which was built in July of 1971.
Big car, but a great driver. All style no innovation i.e. 65 dual quad with aluminum brakes. 71 had the pronounced boat tail. Buick (GM) had to soften it in 72 to meet crash specs. Still like the 70 better, skirts make it flow better.
Ever watch the TV show “Due South”? Chicago PD detective Ray Vecchio drove a 1972 Riviera. Here’s a link to its picture and note from the person who bought it and what he had to do for it:
Great TV show, by the way.
I’m glad I bought my 71 in 2006. I was lucky to find one with bucket seats and console. Restored it in 2008 and still enjoying it. The original color was Copper Mist but I decided on another 71 color, Lime Mist. Apparently, even though the sales brochure showed one in Lime Mist it had to be special ordered so there’s not too many of them around.
They are a beautiful looking car design and certainly turn heads.
Apart from looking cool, the louvers do serve a practical purpose of allowing air from the cabin to escape so it’s fresh all the time. The cabin air flows into the trunk via a vent on the LH parcel shelf and out the louvers. The water that gets into the vents escapes via rubber valves in the trunk lid above the tail light assemblies. If they get clogged with leaves and debri the truck lid could fill with water and overflow on to the trunk floor. I doubt the truck itself on a 71 would ever rust because when mine was stripped to bare metal we found all the trunk’s sheet metal was zinc plated. The 72 model had the louvers in the door jams.
It was called “flow thru ventilation” I believe…my 1971 Impala Custom had louvers in the trunk lid also…I think it was a 71 only thing from GM…
Didn’t look like anything else on the road back in the day either - thus love it or hate it tag.
All 71 GM full size ,plus Vega had the flow ventilation