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Selling on Saturday

1968 Buick Riviera GS

  • Rare Gran Sport model
  • Highly optioned
  • Factory optional bucket seats and console
  • Factory air-conditioning

VIN: 494878H906735

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Taking on a name already associated with Buick, the Riviera had been a part of the company since the introduction of the hardtop in 1949. Unlike most other GM automotive models, the new 1963 Riviera's basic body shell and major components weren't shared with any other models. This could also be said for the 1968 Riviera seen here.

The 1968 Riviera received a major face-lift. Most noticeable was the huge one-piece front bumper, which incorporated hidden headlights and square parking lamps. The parking lights were located at the outer edge of the bumper to define the actual width of the car, since the headlights were located within the grille. The headlights flipped up as they did in 1966 and 1967; however, they were now vacuum-operated and were much more reliable, as opposed to being powered by the electric motor used in earlier years. The egg-crate designed grille was split into two sections by the bumper. The rear lip of the hood was extended upwards to hide the windshield wipers. Due to government regulations, side markers were installed for the first time in the front and rear. The rear side markers were circular with a Buick Tri-Shield logo.

The rear bumper was also enlarged with long narrow taillights. The backup lights were also in the bumper but located in lower positions. The gas filler door was moved from behind the license plate to a plain chrome door located in the top center of the rear bumper. A broad chrome rocker panel was optional. The 430-cubic-inch engine remained the only engine offered including the GS package, which for only $132, added a chrome lid to the air cleaner, 3:42 rear differential and a stiffer handling package. However, handling was improved in all the '68s by lowering the rear-trailing bar for a better center of gravity. An altitude compensator was added to the transmission to adjust for various altitudes and a controlled combustion system was added to the carburetor to assist with cold weather starting.

This 1968 Riviera was ordered new with the highly desirable Gran Sport option, 1 of just 5,337 GS optioned cars out of the 49,284 Riviera cars produced for the 1968 model year. Buick offered ten standard paint choices with five Exclusive Riviera colors; this car is finished in a seldom seen and desirable Riviera-exclusive color of Buckskin (code X) with a matching interior.

This is a very beautiful Gran Sport that has been properly maintained and exercised by its previous long-term owner. It has a smooth running 430-cubic-inch V-8 engine and automatic transmission, along with power steering and power brakes.

This Riviera GS is incredibly optioned with air-conditioning, power windows, Strato-Bucket seats with console, power driver's side seat, AM/FM radio with power antenna, tilt steering column and cruise control. Additionally, this car was specified with optional wide rocker moldings and chrome Buick Road Wheels that had been fitted with redline radial tires. The Riviera Club believes that this car as equipped is one of fewer than 500 built.

This Riviera is a terrific example of Buick's flagship luxury model. Well-maintained and toured, it was owned by an enthusiast for many years who garaged and took great care of it. It has a gorgeous paint finish and a beautifully preserved and original interior that is inviting and very comfortable. The car runs and drives very well and is accompanied by some extra parts. With great style and comfort, this rare Riviera Gran Sport is as enjoyable to drive as it is to gaze upon.

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