The mid sixties saw the American auto industry reaching its peak, which GM leading the race to the top. Even then, Just as muscle cars were beginning their moment and solidifying the identity of the American car for decades, American manufacturers were still looking to Europe for inspiration. Still, European themes like “elegant” and “understated” aren’t often words you hear associated with this era, but one European inspired American car, often overlooked, came to embody these words as much as an American car could: the ’65 Buick Riviera GS.
Bill Mitchell, styling chief of GM, was in a tough position in the early sixties. Though American cars dominated the American market, domestic buyers were spoiled for choice, and ford had hit a home run with it’s new “Squarebird” Thunderbird. Mitchell needed to counter the T-Bird’s success, and where better to draw inspiration than the home of large, elegant sedans. Mitchell drew inspiration from the yet-as-named Riviera from Rolls Royce for the tail and Ferrari for the nose to create something unique, and by the time the Grand Sport debuted with Buick 425 Nailhead, Mitchell had created a sleek looking personal luxury car that flew under the radar but packed a punch.
In “Homage Edition” black, the car looks particularly menacing. Automodello’s example comes in a sleek black box with silver lettering. Peel open, and the car is immediately revealed. The car is fastened by 3 screws to a vinyl covered wooden whose simplicity matches the car well.
With no opening components, this is strictly display only, but with it’s deep black paint, set off by chrome strips, that’s all you really want. Although non opening, the interior is still faithfully detailed and although the wheels don’t really turn, they’ll still make you miss the days of attractive, smaller diameter wheels.
The Automodello Riviera GS is a great model, and we’re happy to have it as 1/24 Scale Car of the Year.