Evolution of the Riviera - 1980


by Ed Gunyo #101, Regional Coordinator, "10,000 Lakes Chapter"

Originally published in The Riview Vol. 21, No. 2 Jan./Feb. 2005


1980 Riviera

The all-new Buick Riviera front wheel drive was the Motor Trend car of the year for 1979. It featured all-new styling, body and drive train; and moved closer to the original razor-sharp form of the original 1963 design. 1980 continued the proud tradition.

The 1980 had detail improvements that made the model more sleek. It was refined with match-mounted tires and wheels, retuned shock absorbers and suspension, and new body mounts for a firmer ride. New side mirrors, which were integrated into the pillar, were standard. The Riviera S-Type came with standard halogen headlights. The 1980 came with the very reliable 5.7-liter (350 cid) V-8 engine, which gave great performance and a solid 18-19 mpg on the road.

The Riviera S-Type came with the 3.8liter (231 cid) carbureted turbocharged V-6. The trim on the S-Type was blacked out, as well as the new integrated mirrors, to give a more sporty look. Along with that the grille was complemented by a new flat Black, which made the character of the S-Type different from the standard Riviera. Inside the dash, the S-Type was trimmed with Black dash front and stiffer, more contoured seats. The head rests were integrated into the seats, making the car more sporty and comfortable.

Optional Turbocharged 3.8L V-6 on S-Type

New integrated mirrors add to the sleek appearance

The factory designation numbers were:

1980 Riviera Z-57
1980 Riviera S-Type Y-57

Overall, the 1980 Riviera continued the new tradition of the 1979, and made some improvements on a car that has become a proud continuance of the original concept.

Ed.: Production numbers remained strong, at 48,621 for the model year. Though air conditioning was standard, as on the previous model year automatic air conditioning was now available as a $95 option. Also new was halogen headlamps, standard on the S-Type and optional on

the coupe. Cruise was optional on either model, with 94.2% receiving that convenience. Vinyl roofs were installed on 64.2% of the 1980 models, with sunroofs on 16.7%. Prices increased with the popularity, with the base coupe coming in at $11,492, and the S- Type a bargain at $11,823.


Year
Body
Total Production
 
 
Engine Size
HP
Carbs
Produced
1980
4EZ57
48,621 (S-Type 3,831)
Standard:
 
350 cu. in. V8
155
1x4bbl  
Option:   231 cu. in. V6 Turbo
185
1x4bbl
Option:   307 cu. in. V8 (5 Litre)
140
1x4bbl
Option:   350 cu. in. V8 Diesel   F.I.
Year
Curb Weight
Wheelbase
&nbsp
Track
Length
&nbsp
Width
&nbsp
Height
&nbsp
Tire
Front
Rear
Size
1980
3774
114.0
59.3
60.0
206.0
70.7
54.3
P205/75-15

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1981

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—