Evolution of the Riviera - 1975


by Sean Cahill #6613

Originally published in The Riview Vol. 20, No. 2 Jan./Feb. 2004

Little was changed for the 1975 Riviera. Most noticeable on the exterior is the redesigned grill treatment with rectangular headlights. Overall length was reduced by three and one-half inches, along with a 33-pound reduction in weight. Although the GS ride and handling package remained, lost was the Stage1 performance option. The only available engine for 1975 was the standard 205 horespower 455, equiped with a catalytic converter.

Production again dropped to a new low. Only 17,036 Rivieras were built, including 3101 GS models. Radial tires were now standard along with power windows. Also, for the first time, electronic ignition was installed in the Riviera. Luxury was on the rise, as the convenience options increased over the previous year. 92.8% of the 1975 Rivieras had power seats, up from 89.9% in 1974. Cruise control was installed in 72.8% of those cars, compared to 60.7% in 1974. Other popular upgrades included air conditioning, which now was installed in 99.5% of the cars; 49.1% had 8-track tape decks, and 75% of the new models had vinyl tops. The GS package was only a scant $73 option. Still, the car did not sell well, and this is evident in the lack of road test information for the 1975 model done by magazines. Though it did not draw buyers to the showroom, the 1975 Riviera was a magnificent automobile. It may have strayed from the original concept, but the ride and the handling of a car of its size was very impressive. Interior appointments were plush and spacious. It was a leader in its class.

"...the 1975 Riviera was a magnificent
automobile... It was a leader in its class."


Year
Body
Total Production
 
 
Engine Size
HP
Carbs
Produced
1975
4EZ87
17,306 (Includes 3,101 GS Handling Option)
Standard:
 
455 cu. in. V8

205

1x4bbl  
Year
Curb Weight
Wheelbase
 
Track
Length
 
Width
 
Height
 
Tire
Front
Rear
Size
1975
5002
122.0
63.6
64.0
226.4
80.0
54.0
JR78x15

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1976

Notice: BUICK and RIVIERA are trademarks of GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION used with permission. The Riviera Owners Association is independent and not affiliated with GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION or its BUICK MOTORS DIVISION    —Copyright 2007 Riviera Owners Association—