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Buick is the latest brand to leave a breadcrumb trail for its future products by filing for a tradermark on May 3 to cover its Riviera moniker. While that doesn’t prove anything on its own, the company isn’t known for flippantly filing for trademarks on the off chance they might one day come true.
In 1966, Buick introduced its second generation Riviera, America’s take on the personal luxury car. Even though the Riviera died a silent death in 1999, early models of the vehicle were highly praised by automotive journalists and writers.
So we can’t even imagine what those same writers would say about this custom ’66 Buick Riviera today. The owner of this fully customized classic took the “personal” from personal luxury car to a whole new level. This cruiser would attract the attention from automotive enthusiasts spanning all generations despite being almost 50 years in age.
First off, gone is the factory engine. In its place is a 1971 Big Block Buick 455-cubic inch motor packing a four-barrel carburetor and 385-hp. The engine has been mated to a Turbo 400 automatic transmission. But classic builds like this are never all about what’s under the hood. It’s about the custom hot rodding to make it truly unique.
And unique it is, sporting a 4-inch chop top with a laid-back front window. No lexan here, as the owner commissioned a real glass windshield to be fitted onto the Riviera. The immaculate body has gotten some serious style and attitude thanks to a matte black finish with custom pin striping. The Riviera is bagged allowing it to sit on the ground while it rolls on bullet hubcaps and classic whitewall tires. Finishing off the ridiculously clean look on the exterior are custom body-molded front and rear bumpers.
Inside, the Riviera received a full fake leopard skin treatment with wrap-around rear seats to set off the design in the rest of the car. This Riviera is truly what car customizing is all about – tasteful, well thought out modifications that truly embodies the spirit of the car.
Check out a video of this one-of-a-kind machine below.
GALLERY: Custom 1966 Buick Riviera