In the last issue of the Riview, we covered the 1965
Gran Sport option. This segment will continue with information on
the 1966-1969 GS. As mentioned earlier the GS is an option not a separate
model, therefore the vin # will not identify the car as being a GS
(except in 72-74 models). Once again we must repeat that the GS option
does not include interior trim, bucket seats, chrome wheels, etc.
These upgrades are separate and available on every model.
1966 G.S. (A-9 option)
As in all years the quickest way to identify a GS is the exterior
emblems.. 1966 was the first year that Buick use the GS abbreviation
on the Riviera rather than having Gran Sport spelled out as they
did in '65. The red GS emblems that were attached to the front
fenders were in large block form (unique to the '66 models). The
GS letters on all 66-69 models follow the Riviera script on both
sides as in "Riviera GS".
If you ever see "GS Riviera,"
it is incorrect. It's true regardless of what side it's on. There were no GS emblems used on the rear of the
66-69 models, unlike the '65 models. In 1966 the words "Riviera GS"
appeared on the wood trim attached to the glove box door. The letters
are in a block style like those used on the fenders. Despite what
some dealer brochures listed this was the last year that the GS marking
appeared in the interior.
|1966 GS air cleaner on 1-4bbl. carburettor
The only engine offered in '66 was the 425ci (code MW) with
a single Quadrajet carburetor. The engine code is located on the
top front lip of the engine block, as pictured on page 13 of Vol.
17-3. If the GS option was ordered the standard black air cleaner
was replaced with a large single snorkel chrome air cleaner, similar
to the one used in the '64 model. The valve covers were the finned
aluminum valve covers with "Buick" in raised letters.
Although they appear to be the same as the ones used in earlier
models, there is a "dent" at the front of the drivers side cover.
This indentation gave extra clearance for California emission- equipped
cars that had an AIR (smog) pump in that area.All 66 models had the
"dent" even if they were not California cars. If the buyer wanted
the dual 4 bbl option it could be ordered from the dealer, but the
engine would still have the "MW" code. Starting in March of '66 the
dual 4 bbl was available from the factory. If it was ordered from
the factory the engine was stamped with a "MZ" code. Only 179 Rivieras
were ordered with the "MZ" code. In 66 the "MX" code was used on a
340 ci V-
8.The air cleaner for the dual 4 bbl setup was the same large
chrome double snorkel as was used in '64 & '65. An engine dress up
kit consisting of chrome valve covers and air cleaner was available
but not part of the GS option.
The transmission was the same as the modified option offered in
1965, with a "BS" code on the I.D. plate. All 66-75 GS models had
a positive transaction differential and heavy-duty suspension. The
3.42:1 axle ratio was standard on the GS. Buyers of the '66 GS had
the choice of 8:45x15-2 ply tires with a 4-ply rating in either white
walls or red line. A faster steering option (C-5) with a 15:1 ratio
was not included, but available for extra cost.
|1967 "Star Wars" air cleaner
The exterior emblems were attached to the front fenders and
followed "Riviera" as they did in '66. The GS letters were red,
but unlike '66 they had a stylistic slant, and were not block
style. The '68 and 69 models changed the style of the "Riviera"
on the fenders from the script style to block letters (but the
GS emblem was the same used for 1967). There was no GS emblem
on the rear deck, and despite what dealer brochures list, there
were no interior emblems. Buick no longer used "Gran Sport" even
in their brochures, it was just GS. As stated above, the interior
was not part of the GS option. The new 430ci engine was introduced in 1967 and was standard
on all Riviera models for the next three years. This was the only
engine available and was used in the GS option as well. The engine
code on the 430 was located on the right side of the engine below
the spark plugs. In '67 the air cleaner was an unusual red double
snorkel fiberglass style, commonly known as the "Star Wars." The
only difference in the 68-69 GS engines was that the lid of the
standard air cleaner was chromed. This chromed lid was also available
on any model as a dealers option.
The GS option also included
a heavy-duty suspension and a 3:42:1 axle ratio positive traction
rear. Buyers of the 67-68 models had a choice of 8:45x 15 whitewalls
or H-70-15 wide oval red line or whitewalls. Beginning in January
of 1967 radial ply whitewall tires (225-R-15) became an extra
cost option for all full sized Buicks (radials were also available
for the smaller model Buicks) In 1969 a fiberglass belted whitewalls
(J-78-15) also became available. In '67-'68 the faster 15:1 ratio steering
was available, but not included in the GS package. The fast ratio
steering will turn lock to lock at 3.25 turns versus the standard
3.75. Beginning in '69 all Riviera models had variable ratio steering,
so there was no separate GS steering option.