Spotted: Street Parked Buick Collection
6th gen Rivieras are an odd thing to park en masse on a quiet residential street
While out for a long walk, I came across three project grade Buick Rivieras in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta.
If we go look at each of the three Buick Rivieras next to each other, we see someone has assembled a remarkably complete collection of 6th gens. In front, we have a convertible with a top in very rough condition (much like all the cars' interiors) patched with duct tape. Then we have a lowly regular roof coupe followed by a luxurious landau-roofed coupe, representing all the major variations complete with different grilles on each car.
The dark blue landau coupe is probably my favorite of the bunch. It's also got my favorite grille variation with the much cleaner looking thin vertical bars.
But like the rest of the cars parked here, it is in pretty rough condition. Much like every other 6th generation Riviera in existence. Running from 1979 to 1985, it was the very first front wheel drive Buick; this feature was a big deal at the time and the car was quite a big seller, but those same attributes that ensured its success doomed it on the later collector market. The earlier RWD Rivieras are more popular to restore and customize. Plus, the frumpy late 70s looks can't hold a candle to the beautiful third generation 'Boat tail' Riviera.
They could come with a 5.7 liter V8 but when you're trying to put that torque to the ground through the front wheels, the driving experience suffers. I can't tell which of the many engines these cars have so let me know if you can find out.
Moving on the rear end of the middle car, the regular roofed coupe, I think the looks hold up here the best. This smooth swept tail isn't that bad looking other than the chintzy fake chrome and fussy details in the taillight lenses.
But to the car's great detriment, these garish fussy details are just about everywhere on the car, inside and out. At the front of the red hardtop, we have a grille with alternating thick and thin vertical bars, making it a little less visually appealing to me than the dark blue car.
The red convertible suffers from missing bodywork around the rear bumpers. Was this like the old Cadillacs that had this part made out of cheap rubber that could literally fall off if it shrunk or expanded enough with the temperature? No idea. but it's the same parent company and same era.
The convertible is unfortunately cursed with the overly fussy eggcrate grille.
I have no idea why someone would want three 6th gen Rivieras but here we are with several rough ones street parked. I'm not personally a huge fan of this era of automotive design but clearly they have their appeal. I'm still not sure what three Rivieras do that one Riviera can't but it was still fun to see.
Having lived in Atlanta for a year now, it takes something pretty special to make me pull out my camera. Oh, another gold wrapped McLaren on giant aftermarket wheels? I'll listen to the noise but try to block out the tryhard bonehead at the wheel. In fact...
This was the same walk where I came across a mean sounding Lamborghini Diablo. It was a good day for car spotting.