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Director's Message

Garage Gatherings
by Bob Wannall #3069, President, Board of Trustees

Bob Wannall

Some garages are showplaces, with pristine tile floors and gorgeous displays of Buick automobilia. Check out the three gorgeous garages in the Riview (Vol. 30, No. 2 & 4, and Vol. 32, No. 2). Some, like mine, are funky storage spaces with work benches, shelves of parts and cleaning supplies, oil stains on the floor, shop vacs, leaf blowers, and Rivieras carefully parked the middle.

Garages — and driveways — are the traditional meeting place of car junkies. I spent an inordinate amount of my teenage years gathered in driveways and garages with my buds, talking about dream cars we’d like to own, and peering into engine bays of what we actually drove. My Mom’s Falcon rocked 101 angry horsepower, but I loved it anyway because Dad wasn’t letting me anywhere near his Riviera.

That same hanging-out-in-the-garage spirit lives on within us when we gather around our Rivieras in a driveway or parking lot or a city park. We talk cars, but now we remember the ones we bought and now regret we ever sold. We swap ideas, seek advice, give advice, and together help each other enjoy our distinctive Rivieras.

Here’s an idea: call one or two nearby ROA members. Invite them over to your garage. Call it a Garage Gathering. Wear a mask, keep your social distance. Talk. Laugh. Keep it simple: bring in some subs. It’s just friends, bound together by our affinity for these old Rivieras. Leave smiling. Plan to do it again. Happy holidays and happy motoring.

Resurgence of Customs
By Ray Knott #1, Director/Editor
ray@rivowners.org

Ray Knott

Long before I was old enough to drive, I was fascinated by custom cars designed by Gene Winfield, George Barris and Darryl Starbird featured in Car Craft and other magazines. I’ve since learned that I was part of the First Golden Age of customs that ran from the late 40s through the mid 50s. I was so impressed that I painted flames on my first car, a 1949 Ford. This era faded when manufacturers introduced exciting sport cars with muscle. The second Golden Age occurred during the early 60s when many customs appeared in movies and on TV, such as the Bat Mobile and Green Hornet. I was very impressed with a custom ’63 Riviera that appeared in a 1964 film starring James Darren entitled “For Those Who Think Young.” This outstanding custom known as “Villa Riviera” was created by George Barris and is currently owned by an ROA member. The car was featured in a six-page article in the Jan./Feb. 2017 Riview, Vol. 33, No.1, available for viewing on our website.

Other than lowriders in southern California, customs faded from the national scene until the late 80s. That’s when designers like Kenny Youngblood and Steve Stanford came on the scene and car shows like Goodguys featured customs. Today on social media, we see many customs and appreciate the quality of workmanship and imagination. We had the opportunity to feature several customs in recent issues. Although many ROA members prefer originality, ROA has always welcomed modified and customs at our shows as well as in the Riview.

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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—