Originally a trim level to denote Buick’s ultra-luxury cars stretching back to the 1940s, the Riviera broke off into a separate model in 1963. Debuting as a stylish personal luxury coupe, those early Rivieras had something almost unheard of in the halls of GM:
Their own totally unique body.
Yup, outside of the Corvette, there was usually some degree of platform sharing between the branches of the GM family tree. But not with the first-gen Rivi—it was its own thing, baby.
And that’s exactly what Greg Poe likes about them.
We caught up with Poe at this year’s Goodguys Summit Racing Nationals and asked what drew him to Rivieras.
With a smile, Poe simply responds, “the oddity.”
He continues by describing how he and his wife go to car shows all over Southern Ohio and Kentucky, and his is often the only Riviera at those events.
But after owning the Rivi for close to two decades, Poe also explains that driving such a unique car has its drawbacks—like when he recently needed to source an original power steering pump. “Took me four or five months to find one,” Poe jokes. “Junkyard in Arizona.”
Poe’s Riviera also carries the upgraded 425 Nailhead engine, the biggest Nailhead Buick ever offered, which disappeared from the options sheet soon thereafter. “They only made them for two more years,” Poe explains, before Buick’s more modern V8s took over.
When we asked him how it drove, Poe quickly replied with “Great, it drives great. Down the highway, 65, 70 miles per hour the whole way, engine sits right at 160 degrees.”
To that end, we asked him about his future plans for the car.
“Just driving it,” he grins.
…And there’s nothing odd about that.
That very nice car.
Design Analysis: First Generation Buick Riviera (1963-1965) – Hagerty Media
Beautiful. I have a 65 Riviera GS also with the 425 nailhead. Great driving car. Glad to see another Poe loving his Riv.
I like women, but I love cars!!!Yours is one of the best. First gen Rivera, right on.
Nice Riviera I have a 1963 Riviera black and white white body black interior and I love that car I’ve been having it for close to 40 years now and I’m going to keep it until the day I’m gone…
Would be much more appealing and worth more if “Stock”. Wheels and steering wheel to start. Engine dress-up kit delete.
David, I’m with you regarding personal taste. The personalization of the car appears to be very well done. Pride of ownership is 5 star.
I’m not a purist when restoring a vehicle, but I stay as close as humanly possible to original look. Owners are free to personalize or customize their car any way they wish. Pride of ownership is what I like to see. The quality of work that goes in to the vehicle impresses me most.
Turbinator Lutherville MD
Nice Riviera ! Had my 63 when I was in highschool burning posi. Rubber all over the school, for being two tons it got up and moved had that 135 mph speedometer pegged many times , made in Canada was the 123 Rd made everything electric even the wing windows were. Great car it should be re invented for 2023 ish
Have several buicks over the years such as 67
skylark 2 dr coupef1 2nd 72 skylark gs stage1 78regal
[…] Dig old Buicks? You may enjoy this feature on the first-gen Riviera too. […]
Hello I have a 1951 Buick woodie wagon it’s been restored by a professional out of Jacksonville it is still in great shape I’ve have owed for 25 years haven’t put 500 miles on it since I’ve owed it. The Buick has all modern running gear n dics brakes can u text me someone who might want to purchase this vechicle the wood was not restored but rest of car beautiful. Thanks