In its time, the era of Super Fly excess, the larger-than-life “boattail” Riviera would seem a good fit with an aesthetic sensibility that celebrated elephant bells, mutton chops, ‘fros, and contrasting plaids. Its tapered rear and squat stance were the results of an effort to echo the sleek lines of a speedboat, the ’38 Buick Y-Job, the ’35 Auburn Speedster, and the 1963-67 Corvette. The radical design’s problem was one of scale, as it was originally slated to sit on a platform smaller than the 122-inch wheelbase mandated by General Motors marketers. They carried the day, and the speedboat became more like a tugboat. Relatively few found berths over the three-year run.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2003/09/04/collectible-classic-1971-73-buick-riviera