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1979-85 Riviera Tribute

FOR SALE 1979 RIVIERA Needs to be restored. It has been in our family from day one and I don't want to send it to the junk yard. However, I don't have the time to do it and I need to move it. My contact info is: Joe Hooten 102 Spruce Lane Windsor, Mo. 65360 (660) 647-3590

A new Riviera debuted, using a redesigned GM E-Body and front-wheel drive the the first time in its history. With its elegant squared-off lines and full wheel cutouts, it looked more like the personal-luxury car it had been before 1974. The downsized body also made it a foot shorter and two inches shorter in wheelbase (114 inches) than the 1978 Riviera. The most collectible model was the S Type with a four-barrel turbocharged V-6 with 185 horsepower, bucket seats (leather optional), firm suspension, black trim around the windows, and sport wheel covers. The standard Riviera received a 350 cid, 160 horsepower V8.

Detail improvements were made to the Riviera this year. It was refined with match-mounted tires and wheels, retuned shock absorbers, and new body mounts. Halogen headlamps were standard on the Riviera S Type.

The Riviera received a facelift with a more prominent, finer mesh grille and gray rub strips on bumpers; there were also some useful suspension refinements. The Riviera to look for is the T Type, successor the the S Type.

New the the line at mid-year - at a cool $25,000 - was a Riviera destined to be a collectible: the Riviera convertible. Built by American Sun Roof in Lansing Michigan, these cars were converted from semi-finished Riviera coupes assembled in Linden, New Jersey, painted white or firemist red, and fitted with four-speed automatic, full independant suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, power everything, and red leather upholstery.

The second-year Riviera ragtop was virtually identical to the '82, id can only be made by the VIN #'s.

Only 500 ragtop Rivieras produced this year. The eggcrate grille was replaced by a fine vertical-bar grille that was beautiful.

In the final year for the convertible only 400 were built. The last of the first-generation front-drive Rivieras' went out with a bang with a total of 64,505 rolling off the line.