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Director's Message

Delightfully Obsolete?
by Bob Wannall #3069, President, Board of Trustees

Bob Wannall

I read an article about the hobby of collecting and restoring old computers. The article even compared it to the hobby of collecting, restoring, and maintaining old cars. Which brings us to our classic Buick Rivieras.

The article noted that most of these old computers are obsolete. Those time-worn mother boards face a challenge in firing up today’s operating systems or modern software—if they’ll run them at all. I refuse to call our Rivieras obsolete, although my ’64 lacks air bags and warning radars and only has seat belts because I added them. And not unlike running old operating systems, my Buick Nailhead is not happy with modern unleaded, ethanol-laced motor fuel. There’s a fine line between obsolete and vintage.

Sometimes parts on vintage computers can be replaced. Similarly, you can dig into your Riviera to replace bad parts, swap out the worn interior, and make mechanical upgrades. When you’ve finished playing Donkey Kong and put that classic computer back on display, you can step into the garage, fire up your classic Riv and go for a relaxing drive to the country, or the cruise-in, or the races, or simply stand in the presence of the most beautiful automotive styling ever.

My Tandy 1000A is long gone, but I have a stack of old laptops and I may see if any still fire up. But first, a Riviera calls like an angel from heaven, and I have the ignition keys right here. Join me and happy motoring.

What If I Didn’t Find that Riviera?
By Ray Knott #1, Director/Editor

Ray Knott

Other than your dependable, comfortable daily driver, what else would you like to have parked in your garage? Like many car enthusiasts, I have owned many different cars since I got my driver’s license at the age of 17 in New Jersey. My first car was a 1949 Ford Coupe, followed by a striking 1957 Ford Fairlane convertible.

While looking for a new car in 1965, I wandered into the Buick dealership and fell in love with the car that would change my life forever, the 1965 Riviera. Unfortunately, I was unable to afford the $5,000 Riviera, but I kept the dealer’s brochure and never lost the dream. It wasn’t until 1972 when I bought a solid white ’65 Rivera for $275, which become my daily driver. I became so addicted to the styling and power of the Riviera I purchased several more. In 1975, I moved to Colorado and sold the Rivieras. After all, I thought it would not be difficult to find another. Boy was I wrong!

Being unable to find another Riviera, I turned to other favorites. The 1962-63 Studebaker Avanti and the 1956-57 Continental Mark II. But I was unable to find either one in good condition that I could afford. I had all but given up when finally, in 1981 I found a beautiful white 1965 Gran Sport Riviera with a black interior in Denver. In the trunk were old newsletters from a Riviera club in New Jersey that had dissolved. The rest is history!

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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—