We absolutely love vintage road tests, so when we found on for the Buick Riviera, we had to share. It was filmed back in 1972 when the ’72 Buick Riviera GS was new, and it’s an interesting watch. At many points in the video, it feels like we’re watching different footage than Bud Lindemann, but we’re watching it with 2016 eyes, and that’s what makes these retrospectives so entertaining.
To its credit, the Buick Riviera was a pretty cool vehicle. It was made as a luxury car with a bit of muscle, totally respectable. We also have to give it the car tested for having exceptional straight line acceleration, thanks to the 455 V8 under the hood.
The GS in the name denotes that it has the optional GS suspension package, an option that the famous commentator accredited for the tested Riviera’s great handling. It was also noted that the driver thought this was a much better handling Buick than any others he had driven, which was probably completely true at the time.
What we see is more like a drunk land yacht, even running off the course into the grass as a very simple maneuver.The body had some pretty nasty sway and roll, we’re surprised more cones weren’t injured in this video. This big ole’ lovable Riviera has a place in our hearts, but an exceptional track car it is not.
We’re not at all picking on the 1972 Buick Riviera, just highlighting the standard of the ‘70s cars versus what we’re used to today. Really, even a decade after this video was made, the cars being made were totally different beasts, especially when it came to agility. We’d like to see a side-by-side done with this two-ton mammoth and its 1980 counterpart to see how much suspension changed in the 8 years following the filming, we bet it’s a pretty stark contrast.
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!