64.379 --> 66.62
It's the weekend and that means we're going to do another car comparison .
And I created a little bit of controversy when I last said that I thought that the 67 El Dorado was one of the best designed American cars ever .
I still think it is .
To me , this is my absolute favorite .
I think it's just perfection , but some people said , well , what about the Riviera ?
I love the Riviera .
Well , here you have it .
A 67 Buick Riviera Factory black , no vinyl roof , white seat bucket interior car which I've owned this car for about 10 years .
It has , I think around 45,000 miles now .
And this El Dorado is an 18,000 mile car , original paint black , no vinyl roof , red leather interior .
So two really rare cars from a time in general Motors styling when they were at the absolute pinnacle of design .
I don't think anybody can question that in the 1960 S , particularly the mid 1960 S .
General Motors design was hitting home run after home run after home run .
I challenge you to find an ugly 1965 66 General Motors car that it just really doesn't exist .
But this tree of the El Dorado Riviera and Tornado , all platform mates really was the zenith of General Motors design I think ever .
And in terms of the trio of the three vehicles , the El Dorado and the tornado were both front wheel drive .
Unfortunately , I don't have a tornado .
I don't yet own one .
I would love to have one .
I'm still waiting for it to come up .
This El Dorado was sent to me very recently by a youtube viewer .
So maybe youtube viewer has got a 66 tornado out there .
In any case , the Eldorado and the tornado were both front wheel drive .
The Riviera was rear wheel drive and had a full perimeter frame with coil springs .
The El Dorado and tornado have torsion bar , front suspension and single leaf spring , rear suspension and a frame that terminates just in front of the rear leaf shackle .
So kind of a three quarter length frame .
And you know , in general , this front wheel drive setup costs about $500 more per car to manufacture .
And I think as a result of that , Cadillac and Oldsmobile were trying to cheap out in some areas .
Maybe that rear suspension with the single leaf springs was one area .
Whereas Buick didn't have that incremental cost , could have that full perimeter frame with coil springs all around .
This car is definitely the better rider of the two of them , but they both are beautifully styled cars .
As I mentioned , the three vehicles are platform made .
So you can see they do share the same windshield glass with the same plan view to it and rake , they do have also the same a pillars too .
So there is some similarities in the cow but clearly most of the sheet metal is very different on them .
And the Cadillac has these really taught creases and the design philosophy for Cadillac at the time , in the words of General Motors styling , Vice president , Bill Mitchell was to emulate the crease in a man's pants , that center crease just giving that flare of elegance .
And you can see that all over this car , very sharp edges , very tight , all the way around the body in terms of how it's been designed .
And that was the Cadillac philosophy that was used for many years .
And was this car was also the inspiration for the art and science theme ?
That was the rebirth of Cadillac kind of in the early two thousands .
The second Gen Riviera here that we have is to my mind , it's so different than the first generation Riviera in many different ways , kind of lower longer , wider looking has just this beautiful w shaped front end to it .
And again , another car where there's not really a bad angle .
A lot of people like that first generation Riviera , which I do enjoy as well .
To me though .
I think the second generation is really the Zenith of Riviera design and in particular , the 66 7 , I like the seven a little bit more because it has the Riviera script on the hood as opposed to the block lettering spelling Riviera out in the front of the hood .
And you also get the first year of Buick's 430 cubic inch V eight under hood making 360 horsepower , which was an upgrade from the nail head , 425 cubic inch engine , which was offered in 1966 and it made 340 horsepower .
So this has , as I mentioned , the Buick 430 this has one cubic inch last , the Cadillac 429 cubic inch V eight making 340 horsepower .
It was the last year for the 429 .
In 1968 Cadillac would get an all new engine .
The 472 cubic inch engine that would go under hood .
And later in 1970 that 472 would be enlarged to 500 cubic inches .
So this El Dorado , you'll notice it has this really distinctive hood bulge to it also has a very long hood at one point .
Cadillac wanted to put a single overhead cam V 12 under hood and legend has it .
That that's part of the reason for the proportions of the car as well as you know , the hood and how it's shaped the way that it is .
Of course , the infamous bean counters got a hold of the cost figures for that and shut it down .
And they felt that with the new V eight that was coming out in 1968 that they could achieve the horsepower that they were really looking for .
And they gave the El Dorado the 500 cubic inch V eight as opposed to the rest of the Cadillac lineup , which kept the 472 for a number of years to kind of differentiate it .
And the 70 Eldorado also has a really cool badge on the side .
This is 8.2 liter spelled in the Canadian or British spelling , but that's kind of you can see very different styling themes to these vehicles .
It's also the year where you don't have the hidden wipers and the very next year on these vehicles and the El Dorado has a different kind of cut out here .
These wipers are hidden and you lose this beautiful trim plate in 68 .
A lot more would change on the Riviera .
It would get an all new front end with this big chrome loop bumper .
Really I appeasing Ralph Nader to make it appear much more safe , huge bumper still had the hidden headlights .
But I think that the 67 I said the 66 are kind of the best of the bunch .
So in terms of styling , I think they're both excellent .
It's pretty much a toss up there in terms of the ride comfort .
This one is better because of the full perimeter frame and the coils suspension as opposed to the rear leaf and front torsion bar set up and kind of three quarter length frame in terms of interior and creature comforts and things like that .
You know , I would say that the Riviera is even a bit nicer .
I think Cadillac had to use maybe a bit inferior materials compared to what they wanted because of the cost .
And even to the point where these rear windows in 67 only are not power operated .
They tried to call it a vent window and it's got a little crank on it in the back and this car does not have the optional power rear windows .
So it's pretty interesting that this expensive car that retailed for $6200 in 1967 has crank operated rear windows , but it does .
So let's talk a little bit about the price and the sales figures for these vehicles .
This Eldorado retailed for about $6200 .
Very expensive car .
At the time , this Riviera retailed for about $4500 .
And the Lincoln Continental coupe , which was a bit longer car bigger that retailed for about $5500 .
In between the pricing of these cars .
Riviera sold about 42 43,000 units in 1967 .
This Eldorado in 1967 sold only about 17 18,000 units .
So it really wasn't a great seller in its first year .
And in fact , the second generation El Dorado really picked up steam to the point where it was doubling the sales volumes almost of this 67 to 70 generation as the car got longer and wider and had a very different styling theme to it .
The Riviera after this generation in 1970 became the boat tail and the boat tail was never the sales success that this one was .
In fact , sales of the boat tail .
Rivieras were kind of in the 25 30,000 ish every year as compared to north of 40,000 for these .
So this Riviera was really a good , I would say I wouldn't call it a home run , but at least a good solid double in the sales show room .
And for that , you got some interesting equipment and features .
Let's take the camera off and walk around the cars and talk a bit more in detail about each of them .
All right .
So let's start with the 67 Riviera .
This car I acquired out of Indianapolis , Indiana back in 2012 .
And I bought it from a person who had listed it on ebay .
And interestingly , he listed it in no reserve .
It was January and the car didn't go for a very expensive price .
And as he was delivering it to me .
He was trying to extort me for more money because he was upset that the car didn't bring what he had thought .
And in any event , he still sold it to me .
But he was an interesting gentleman .
Shall we say ?
This car is a bucket seat , interior car .
Very rare option .
It also has the headrests which are extremely rare and this is a car that has the passenger side recliner .
So the seat actually reclines again , another rare option .
It does have AM radio , air conditioning , you can see its manual windows .
This is the non deluxe interior .
They also offered a deluxe interior that had two door handles and a more chrome centric theme and a bigger Riviera emblem on the door panels .
But this is a non deluxe interior did come standard with power steering and power brakes , beautiful hard top styling , no pillar here in the middle wish they could still do that .
There are some cars today that have that but it's very expensive with the rollover standards that exist to execute that .
So very very few cars aside from expensive German automobiles have them great as I mentioned , w front and rear end as well .
I love the way the light kind of breaks off of this feature line here on the roof just provides a really nice shadow .
It would look even more pronounced with a metallic , lighter color or a silver , but the car looks great in black .
I really can't complain .
Another nice thing about the GM CARS of this area is the quality is still pretty good .
You know , I wouldn't call it great .
One thing that really differentiates GM from the Ford products is not as great finishing quality during this time , especially versus the Lincolns that were built at Wixom .
If you step back here , it's hard to see on the camera , but you can detect a little bit of , a little bit of waviness on this side and even more so on the other side , which my 72 Continental just doesn't have that or exhibit it , but the doors do close and open nicely .
No door sag here .
And here we have the rolling drum speedometer for the Riviera , which actually works really well .
I find it to be a pleasant way to look at the readout and it's very legible , easy to read .
No issues in my mind .
A great idea .
You can see the car has got air conditioning , it's denoted by the vents and this car still has its original compressor and R 12 air conditioning and it is very , very frigid .
Even though this is a black car , you do give you a nice feature here for the light to turn on and off when the door is closed and the center console doesn't have anything in it .
It is flocked .
That's the correct term for that fuzzy mouse for stuff .
So it gives it a nice look .
Overall this car and later Buchs , you'd see a little disc brake logo there .
This car does not have disc brakes .
This has Buick's aluminum thin drum , which is an excellent set up really big aluminum drum with a cast iron liner to dissipate heat more quickly .
They were often used by hot rodders at the time and it was a Buick exclusive .
Even the seat belts in this car are handsome , I mean Fisher body logo in here , beautiful detailing .
Although I wouldn't want to leave this out on a hot summer day .
You know , one of the bad things about these is they look great , but you go to touch them on a 90 degree day and you burn yourself .
They've just been heat sinks the whole time .
Get this perforated vinyl like headliner and then really not much back seat room .
Now in fairness , this rear seat is all the way back .
GM also did provide you two positions for the seat to be in so that if you were shorter , you could put the seat on another fixed position and have it go further forward .
This is on the position .
That's all the way back .
There's some room back there , but it's cozy .
Shall we say ?
Let's look under hood .
Somebody is going to yell at me because it's an un detailed engine bay .
It's just original .
But , oh , well , that's how I like my cars .
Everybody's got their own preference .
And if I ever wanted to detail it , I could .
So again , first year , the buick 430 this year and I believe the next year they had solid push rods in them , which can create some oiling issues if the oil wasn't changed frequently enough in the car .
So just be aware of lifter ticks , if you're going to buy any of these vehicles .
Thankfully , whoever owned this car took really good care of it with lots of regular oil changes and the inside is super clean .
There's not even any oil residue under there .
This does have the turbo Hydrotic 400 switch pitch transmission .
You can see this is the switch for it here .
So there's two different stall speeds and this is a technology that some of the dina flows also used from General Motors and other transmissions where it gives you two stall speeds .
So if you floor it or you take off with a lot of heavy throttle , it increases the stall speed .
And if you're just , let's say doing economy driving it lowers the stall speed .
Great , great transmission loved by racers .
Unfortunately , it would get axed after the 1967 model year .
Really because of cost .
As I said , it's the original frigid air compressor charged on R 12 .
Holding on this car £4.25 of charge the Fords of this er about 2.5 , 2 and three quarter pounds .
These systems are huge on the General Motors cars .
I don't know what the BT are .
I know the Fords , which were smaller systems were about 1200 B I suspect this is 1500 maybe 600 something like that .
So you've got kind of a 1.5 ton air conditioner under hood cooling the cabin , which is crazy and it works great .
Well , I'll start it up now .
You can hear it , it is cold so the fast it will be on .
Do my famous reach in start purring away .
Very quiet .
This car does have dual exhaust with resonators on it from the factory .
Very , very quiet and it doesn't have the turbine vein wheel covers .
It has the standard wheel covers .
I do have a set of nos turbine veins that I could put on .
But I actually like the look of this wheel cover .
I think it's a good looking wheel cover , turn the wheel here and there .
We have it the 1967 Riviera .
We can take a quick look at the trunk kind of a humorously small trunk on this car .
It's probably about 14 cubic feet , I think .
And the spare tire sits underneath there pretty shallow .
It doesn't have a lot of vertical height to it .
It's got a lot of width and there's the jack over there in the corner overall .
Just a great original example of a high piece of General Motors design .
I love the Riviera interestingly has these square wheel arches , very similar to the Cadillac square wheel arches , but the Cadillacs are much bigger , interesting detail .
Let's take a look at the Eldorado now .
All right .
So here we have the 67 El Dorado .
This car was originally sold in Texas to a wealthy rancher who had his chauffeur drive him around in his rolls , Royce .
Hence the 18,000 miles on it , as I said , original paint , original interior , beautiful red leather , lots of one year only things on the 67 Eldorado on the interior .
This interior pattern was unique .
The dash is also unique to 67 68 .
This top pad would move in board of the vent .
They would add wood to get rid of this little pole area .
You stick your hand in that hole to close the door , which is interesting and awkward .
68 would have hidden windshield wipers but also move the parking light up here into this area where this plug was .
And contrary to popular belief , the way that the 67 came out was the original design of the car .
It wasn't meant to have the turn signal up there at the front of the fender end at the start of the run .
The problem was though they had issues fitting this cast piece to this stamped piece and it was such a problem , they couldn't get the fit right that they came up with a solution in the design team to put the parking light here as opposed to being in the bumper and that's all that .
This car also has a two piece hood .
It seemed down the middle metal finished here and that metal finishing cost about $9 per car .
And the 1971 Eldorado , despite having a bigger hood is actually one piece , they were able to do it in one piece and save some money .
The 67 68 Eldorado are also the only Cadillacs that I know of with hidden headlights just did it for two years .
And I believe the actuators are very similar in this to the Camaro of the era .
Out back in 68 the side marker light would come in with the Cadillac logo .
And in 1970 these tail lights would change and just become thin blades very similar to the 76 Regal coupe where it would later be copied .
Both cars had a member of the design team , the same member of the design team working on both when Wayne Kay was a member of the design team for the 67 Eldorado and he was Buick's chief designer when the 76 Regal coupe was being developed .
I love the back glass here .
That's got the plan view to it .
It's hard to see .
But in the side profile , the glass actually comes out and kinks in the middle , there's this center line that's etched into the glass and then that was etched in .
Then there was a hot wire that was put in the middle and the glass was bent over .
That another technique that would be later used in the 77 Caprice coop the tornado excess .
This area according to the chief designer , Stan Parker was also the hardest part to stamp this rear quarter panel .
With this fold over , it's one piece .
So as opposed to the late fifties , early sixties cars , you often see a piece of trim at the top of these fins because they're two pieces .
And that piece of trim disguises the fact that they are , that quarter panel is one piece and very hard to stamp .
Let's take a look inside .
So this car does have quite a few options .
In spite of having the crank rear window , you can see there does have vacuum operated door locks .
You get the rear passenger exit handle which would later get costed out when division manager Calvin Warner would enter .
The picture does have the dial of cruise where you rotate this to set the cruise control speed , automatic climate control .
This car has power seat as well .
And I would say , you know , it's an interesting interior theme , especially this carpet that extends all the way up .
It's not just part of the kick panel .
I think it's an elegant interior mark would say it's cheap materials similar to a Chevrolet .
I would say it's maybe not befitting a Cadillac , but it's better than a Chevrolet .
So we'll agree to disagree on that one .
I do think it's kind of funky .
They've got these air vents down here that blow on your legs as well as this upper one does have AM F M and a power antenna .
Pretty cool .
It's just operated by pushing and pulling , tuning knob on the radio .
Very interesting .
I love kind of the sunken Cadillac emblem in the center of the wheel here too and again , the same kind of perforated vinyl headliner .
Let's take a look under hood .
It's a heavy hood to lift up with one hand .
And here you have the Cadillac 4 29 cubic inch V eight .
And yes , this is correct .
This orange breather cap .
This is the auto level control for the rear suspension and the cruise control box .
They said this made 340 horsepower .
I think in terms of the part throttle acceleration , it feels pepper than the 472 that preceded it .
Now , when you really step on it , the 472 definitely has more , but this is a pleasant engine .
And I think really the only Achilles heel of these was the aluminum timing cover where the oil pump sits .
Sometimes if the oil wasn't changed often or just a part of general ware oil pump would wear in the timing cover and it would lose oil pressure .
With this being a low mileage car , the oil always changed , not an issue .
There can also take a look at the trunk .
This car has vacuum operated trunk release .
See if I have enough vacuum in here .
Big trunk in this car much bigger than the Riviera .
So is the original spare there with the box car ?
Won an ac award with the previous owner , some spare hub caps .
I got to sort through these different things on here , but a big trunk , thankfully , all the trim on this car is still in really nice shape .
Doesn't have the power pulled down .
My 69 does , which is vacuum operated in that year and let's start it up here .
Got to love the sound of a few big blocks in the afternoon .
But overall two super handsome vehicles , the 67 Riviera and the 67 El Dorado .
Hope you enjoyed this comparison between the cars .
Stay tuned for a drive .
Click the video link below to view part two .
The driving comparison between the 1967 Eldorado and 1967 Buick Riviera .