Riviera Motors, Inc. v. Higbee
609 P.2d 369 (1980)
45 Or.App. 545
RIVIERA MOTORS, INC., an Oregon Corporation, Appellant, v. Bruce L. HIGBEE, Respondent.
No. A7709-13605; CA 14036.
Court of Appeals of Oregon.
Argued and Submitted January 30, 1980.
Decided March 31, 1980.
*370 Carlton W. Hodges, Portland, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs was Bernard, Hurley, Crawford, Hodges & Kneeland, Portland.
Thomas A. Caruso, Portland, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Douglas S. Green, and Welch, Bruun & Green, Portland.
James A. Redden, Atty. Gen., Walter L. Barrie, Sol. Gen., Salem, and Erik G. Sten, Asst. Atty. Gen., Consumer Protection Div., Portland, filed a brief amicus curiae on behalf of the Consumer Protection Div. of the Dept. of Justice, State of Or.
Before SCHWAB, C.J., and THORNTON and CAMPBELL, JJ.
SCHWAB, Chief Judge.
Plaintiff Riviera Motors, Inc., alleged two causes of action, both of which arose from a dishonored check in the amount of $583.76 which defendant gave to plaintiff to pay for automobile repairs. The check was dishonored because defendant stopped payment on it. Plaintiff's first cause of action was on the check, to recover the amount thereof and attorney fees. Defendant answered with a general denial, and as counterclaims alleged violations of Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act, ORS 646.608(1)(j) and (m), for which he sought to recover $200, punitive damages and attorney fees under ORS 646.638(1) and (3).
*371 The case was tried to a jury, and judgment was entered on the verdict for plaintiff for $368.56 on his first cause of action, and for defendant on his counterclaim under ORS 646.608(1)(m) for $200 plus punitive damages assessed at $10,000. Pursuant to a pre-trial stipulation that any application for attorney fees and costs could be consolidated in the cost bill and both awarded by the court without a hearing, the trial court also entered judgment for the defendant for $1,121.70 as costs and attorney fees. Plaintiff objected to the award of attorney fees and costs, and the trial court amended the judgment to delete the award for attorney fees and costs. Plaintiff appeals from the judgment entered on its first cause of action and on defendant's counterclaim. We affirm.
Plaintiff's numerous assignments of error raise two questions: whether plaintiff was entitled to a directed verdict for $583.76 in its action on the check, and whether defendant pleaded and proved he had suffered "any ascertainable loss of money or property," ORS 646.638(1), n. 3, supra, which is required to sustain recovery under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
Plaintiff is a retail Volkswagen dealer which sells and services Volkswagen automobiles. In March and April of 1977, Riviera advertised a "VW Engine Overhaul" special at a price of $368.56. In response to the advertised special, defendant took his Volkswagen to Riviera on Tuesday, April 5, and executed a repair order authorizing plaintiff to overhaul the engine as advertised and check the brakes. At that time defendant was told by plaintiff's service advisor that the car would be ready by 5 p.m. on the following Friday, April 8.
On April 8, plaintiff's service advisor placed a telephone call to defendant, and as defendant testified:"A * * * I was told my car wouldn't be done that evening; that they were waiting for the heads to come back *372 to the shop and they had ended up having to do some extra work. He started telling me they had to do this and that and my car was now going to be approximately $200 or $300 or more. I got mad on the phone. I argued with him. I told him I was getting ripped off and hung up. I told him I'd be in Monday to pick up my car and hung up. "Q Did they tell you that the work had already been done? "A Yeah, he said they had had to do this and that and it was going to be 200 to $300 more, so I took it as them implying that they'd already did it."
Following the phone conversation, defendant obtained an interest-bearing loan through his credit union to cover the additional charges.
Defendant was finally able to pick up his car on the evening of April 12. The total charges came to $583.76, which defendant paid by check. Later that evening, however, after talking over the transaction with his wife and some friends, defendant resolved to stop payment on the check and to tender instead a check for $368.56, the amount of the advertised special, together with a letter to plaintiff explaining his action. He did both the following day. Plaintiff refused the tender, and this action ensued.
ORS 73.8020(1)(b) provides:"(1) Unless otherwise agreed where an instrument is taken for an underlying obligation: "* * * "(b) * * * the obligation is suspended pro tanto until the instrument is due or if it is payable on demand until its presentment. If the instrument is dishonored action may be maintained on either the instrument or the obligation * * *."
Plaintiff elected to bring its action on the instrument, the dishonored check in the amount of $583.76. Under ORS 73.3070(1) and (2):"(1) Unless specifically denied in the pleadings each signature on an instrument is admitted * * *. "* * * "(2) When signatures are admitted or established, production of the instrument entitles a holder to recover on it unless the defendant establishes a defense."
Defendant did not deny his signature was on the check, and plaintiff argues that as defendant did not plead any affirmative defense, it was entitled to a directed verdict on its first cause of action upon producing the check.
Defenses available to defendant against plaintiff as the holder of the instrument are set out in ORS 73.3060. Of particular relevance here is ORS 73.3060(2):"Unless he has the rights of a holder in due course any person takes the instrument subject to: "* * * "(2) All defenses of any party which would be available in an action on a simple contract * * *."
Thus, by bringing its action on the check, plaintiff cannot avoid defenses available to defendant had the action been brought on the contract implied by the check. See Cauffiel Machinery Co. v. Eastern Steel & Metal Co., 59 Ohio App.2d 1, 391 N.E.2d 743, 745 (1978).
It was held in Hanna v. Hope, 86 Or. 303, 308-09, 168 P. 618, 619 (1917), that "[a] party is entitled to the relief arising under the law from the facts alleged and proved by him, even though he claims for them a value which they do not possess." A corollary of that principle is that facts alleged as part of a counterclaim may also raise a defense, and that in the absence of a timely objection the allegations comprising a defense need not be stated separately from the counterclaim to be effective as such. Rogue River Management Co. v. Shaw, 243 Or. 54, 60-61, 411 P.2d 440 (1966); and see Widner Electric v. Lee, 272 Or. 445, 451, 537 P.2d 527 (1975). Here, the defendant alleged as a "FURTHER AND SEPARATE ANSWER AND COUNTERCLAIM" that plaintiff advertised the engine overhaul "special" described earlier; that defendant delivered his automobile to plaintiff to have *373 the engine overhaul performed as advertised; that plaintiff "* * * did extra machine work on the engine without getting prior authorization from [defendant]"; and that plaintiff required defendant to pay for the extra work in order to regain possession of the automobile. Though not a model pleading, the answer's allegations raise the defense that part of defendant's indebtedness alleged on the contract implied by the check is for unauthorized work performed by plaintiff on defendant's automobile, for which defendant has no "underlying obligation" to pay. ORS 73.8020(1). As the Supreme Court noted in Richmond v. Fields Chevrolet Co., 261 Or. 186, 194-95, n. 1, 493 P.2d 154, 158 (1972):"`In cases where there has been a deviation from the terms of the contract, by doing any extraordinary work * * * not contemplated by the contract, the undertaker will not be entitled to any compensation therefor, even if such extraordinary work * * * [has] greatly enhanced the value of the thing, and [is] for the benefit of the employer, unless [it has] been so done * * * with his consent, or by his approval or acquiescence * * *.' Story on Bailments, Hire of Labor and Services, 403-04, § 441c (9th ed.)."
There was sufficient evidence on which the jury could (and did) find that defendant did not authorize the additional repairs. The trial court properly denied plaintiff's motion for a directed verdict on its first cause of action, and plaintiff's recovery was properly limited to the advertised charge for the authorized repairs.
The second issue raised by plaintiff is whether defendant pleaded and proved he had suffered "any ascertainable loss of money or property as a result of" plaintiff's conduct, as required by ORS 646.638(1). Defendant alleged in his counterclaim that "[a]s a result of Riviera Motors' conduct, [defendant] suffered an ascertainable loss of $1.50 when he stopped payment on his check." It was shown at trial that the alleged loss of $1.50 is the amount defendant was charged by his bank for stopping payment on the check, and plaintiff contends that the charge was not made "as a result of" any conduct on its part.
In Scott v. Western Int. Sales, Inc., 267 Or. 512, 515, 517 P.2d 661, 662 (1973), the court held that in an action under ORS 646.638 to recover the $200 penalty, "* * * there is no need to allege or prove the amount of the `ascertainable loss' * * *," and that for the plaintiff in that action to recover the penalty, "[h]e merely had to prove he suffered some loss." 267 Or. at 516, 517 P.2d at 663. Here, the defendant alleged an "ascertainable loss," and without objection introduced evidence that in addition to incurring the $1.50 bank charge, he incurred expenses in obtaining the interest-bearing loan to pay plaintiff's charges for the unauthorized repairs. Whatever may be the status of the stop payment charge under the statute, the loan expenses did constitute an "ascertainable loss" and were incurred by defendant "as a result of" plaintiff's unlawful trade practice. It would have been better practice if defendant had moved under former ORS 16.630 (now ORCP Rule 23B) to amend his pleadings to conform to the proof but plaintiff makes no claim to have been misled to its prejudice and the issue of "ascertainable loss" was properly submitted to the jury under the facts as proved. Stool v. Southern Pac. Co., 88 Or. 350, 374-75, 172 P. 101 (1918).
The original judgment, including the award of attorneys fees and costs to defendant, is affirmed.NOTES
 Plaintiff alleged as a second cause of action that in making and then stopping payment of the check, defendant fraudulently obtained possession of his automobile which plaintiff apparently claimed an entitlement to hold under a possessory lien. This cause of action went to the jury under plaintiff's requested instructions, and no issue concerning it is raised on appeal by either party.
 ORS 646.608(1)(j) and (m) provide:
"(1) A person engages in an unlawful practice when in the course of his business, vocation or occupation he:
"* * *
"(j) Makes false or misleading representations of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions;
"* * *
"(m) Performs service on or dismantles any goods or real estate when not authorized by the owner or apparent owner thereof."
 ORS 646.638(1) and (3) provide:
"(1) Any person who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of wilful use or employment by another person of a method, act or practice declared unlawful by ORS 646.608, may bring an individual action in an appropriate court to recover actual damages or $200, whichever is greater. The court or the jury, as the case may be, may award punitive damages and the court may provide such equitable relief as it deems necessary or proper.
"(3) In any action brought by a person under this section, the court may award, in addition to the relief provided in this section, reasonable attorney fees and costs. If the defendant prevails, the court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs if it finds the action to be frivolous."
 Defendant filed a notice of cross-appeal, seeking review of the trial court's deletion of attorney fees and costs in the amended judgment. Although the notice of cross-appeal was not timely filed and the cross-appeal was dismissed, ORS 19.026, we hold infra that the amended judgment is void, and we are satisfied that defendant is entitled to attorney fees and costs as awarded in the initial judgment.
In Caveny v. Asheim et al., 202 Or. 195, 210, 274 P.2d 281, 289 (1954), the Supreme Court stated the extent of a trial court's authority to amend a judgment that has been appealed:
"* * * this court has not yet recognized a right in the circuit court to change any part of its record after this court has acquired appellate jurisdiction in a given matter, except for the express purpose of making its record speak the truth as to matters and things transpiring prior to the entry of its original judgment or decree * * *."
This court acquired appellate jurisdiction of this case under ORS 19.033(1), "[w]hen the notice of appeal [was] served [on the defendant] and filed [together with proof of service with the trial court clerk] as provided in ORS 19.023 to 19.029 * * *." Plaintiff's notice of appeal from the initial judgment was served and filed on March 28, 1979. The amended judgment was filed on March 30, 1979. Under ORS 3.070:
"* * * If signed other than in open court, all * * * judgments and decrees issued, granted or rendered * * * shall be transmitted by the judge to the clerk of the court within the county where the matters are pending. They shall be filed and entered upon receipt thereof and shall become effective from the date of filing."
The amended judgment could have had no effect until after this court had acquired appellate jurisdiction. It is clear that the amendment was not to correct the court's record to conform to the truth but to amend the judgment beyond the court's right to do so as a matter of law. The amended judgment is therefore a nullity, Caveny v. Asheim, supra. As plaintiff served and filed notices of appeal from the initial judgment and the amended judgment, which are identical but for the deletion of attorney fees and costs in the latter, we will regard the issues raised by plaintiff as presented by an appeal from the initial judgment.
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For the film, see Buick Riviera (film).
The Buick Riviera is a personal luxury car that was marketed by Buick from 1963 to 1999, with the exception of the 1994 model year.
As General Motors' first entry into the personal luxury car market segment, the Riviera was highly praised by automotive journalists upon its high-profile debut. It was a ground-up design on a new GM E platform debuting for the 1963 model year and was also Buick's first unique Riviera model.
Unlike its subsequent GM E platform stablemates, the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado, the Riviera was initially a front engine/rear-wheel drive platform, switching to front-wheel drive starting with the 1979 model year.
While the early models stayed close to their original form, eight subsequent generations varied substantially in size and styling. A total of 1,127,261 Rivieras were produced.
The Riviera name was resurrected for two concept cars that were displayed at auto shows in 2007 and in 2013.
The Riviera name
- The name Riviera, Latin for coastline, was chosen to evoke the allure and affluence of the French Riviera. It first entered the Buick line in 1949, as the designation for the new two-door pillarless hardtop, described in advertising as "stunningly smart". The Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe (along with the Cadillac Coupe de Ville and Oldsmobile 98 Holiday coupe) constituted the first mass production use of this body style, which was to become popular over the next 30 years. Buick added a two-door Riviera hardtop to the Super the following year, the Special in 1951 and the Century upon its return, after a 12-year absence, in 1954.
From 1951 to 1953 the Riviera designation was given to the existing long-wheelbase versions of the four-door Buick Roadmaster and Super sedans. The 1951–53 Buick Roadmaster and Super four-door Riviera sedans feature more standard features, more plush interior trim, and a wheelbase (and overall length) that is 4 inches (102 mm) longer than a regular Buick Roadmaster or Super four-door sedan. The 1951–52 Buick Super four-door Riviera sedan is still 0.75 inches (19 mm) shorter in wheelbase and length than the regular Buick Roadmaster and 4.75 inches (121 mm) shorter than the Roadmaster four-door Riviera sedan. In 1953, with the move from the Fireballstraight-eight to the more compact NailheadV8 engine, the Roadmaster and Super four-door Riviera sedans became the same length.
In the middle of the 1955 model year, Buick and Oldsmobile introduced the world's first mass-produced four-door hardtops, with Buick offering it only on the Century and Special models, and the Riviera designation was also applied to these body styles. Four-door Riviera hardtops were added to the Roadmaster and Super lines at the beginning of the following model year. However, since it was a body style designation and not a model, the Riviera name does not usually appear on the car.
In 1959, Buick became much more selective in applying the Riviera name. From then until 1962 it only was used to denote a premium trimmed six-window hardtop style which it initially shared exclusively with Cadillac (the Oldsmobile 98 would receive it in 1961) and was available only on the Electra 225. The last usage of the term Riviera to describe a luxury trim level was 1963, as the formal designation of the #4829 Electra 225 Riviera four-door hardtop, the same year the E-body model two-door hardtop coupe Riviera made its debut.
Debut as a personal luxury car
In the late 1950s, GM lacked a personal luxury car to compete with the highly successful Ford Thunderbird—a uniquely styled, two-door that had dramatically increased in popularity when expanded from a two-seater to a four-passenger car. To fill this gap, an experimental Cadillac design, the XP-715, was created, dubbed the "LaSalle" after a former GM luxury marque. Its angular look was reportedly inspired by GM styling chief Bill Mitchell's visit to London during the period, when he was struck by the sight of a custom-bodied Rolls Royce. He later said that "knife-edged" styling was what he wanted for the new model, but with a lower profile. The design itself was penned by stylist Ned Nickles.
When Cadillac passed on the venture in 1960 the project was thrown open for competition by the other GM Divisions. Buick, desperate to revive its flagging sales, won the competition by enlisting the aid of the McCann-Erickson advertising agency to create its presentation. Initially referred to as the "Buick LaSalle" and later "Buick Riviera" concept cars, the finished design was adapted to a shortened version of Buick's existing cruciform frame. It was again introduced as a concept car in 1963 called the Buick Riviera Silver Arrow.
First generation (1963–1965)
The production Riviera was introduced on October 4, 1962, as a 1963 model, its distinctive bodyshell was unique to the marque, unusual for a GM product. The design was substantially the same as the original, less expensively hidden headlights concealed in the fender grilles. The elegant ground-up styling sported the new "Coke bottle look" introduced the year before on the arresting Studebaker Avanti, with a tapered midsection surrounded by flaring fenders. There was no trace of the "Sweepspear" used on beltlines of earlier Buicks with the Riviera package,
It rode a cruciform frame similar to the standard Buick frame, but shorter and narrower, with a 2.0 in (51 mm) narrower track. Its wheelbase of 117 in (3,000 mm) and overall length of 208 in (5,300 mm) were 6.0 inches (150 mm) and 7.7 in (200 mm) shorter, respectively, than a Buick LeSabre, but slightly longer than a contemporary Thunderbird. At 3,998 lb (1,813 kg),: 210 it was about 390 pounds (180 kg) lighter than either. It shared the standard Buick V8 engines, with a displacement of either 401 cu in (6.57 L) or 425 cu in (6.96 l), and the unique continuously variable design twin turbineautomatic transmission. Power brakes were standard, using Buick's massive "Al-Fin" (aluminum finned) drums of 12 in (300 mm) diameter. Power steering was standard equipment, with an overall steering ratio of 20.5:1, giving 3.5 turns lock-to-lock.
The Riviera's suspension used Buick's standard design, with double wishbones in the front and a live axle located by trailing arms and a lateral track bar in the rear, but the roll centers were lowered to reduce body lean. Although its coil springs were actually slightly softer than other Buicks, the Riviera's lighter weight made its ride somewhat firmer. While still biased towards understeer, contemporary testers considered it one of the most driveable American cars, with an excellent balance of comfort and agility.
Buick's 325 hp (242 kW) 401 cu in (6.6 l) "Nailhead" V-8 was initially the only available engine,: 204 fitted with dual exhaust as standard equipment, and the turbine drive the only transmission.: 206 Base price was $4,333,: 210 running upwards of $5,000 delivered with typical options. Buick announced an optional 340 hp (254 kW) 425 cu in (7.0 l) version of the Nailhead in December 1962. Total production was deliberately limited to 40,000 vehicles (in a year that Buick sold 440,000 units overall) to emphasize the Riviera's exclusivity and to increase demand; only 2,601 were delivered with the delayed availability larger engine in the 1963 model year.
With the same power as the bigger Buicks and less weight, the Riviera had improved all-around performance: Motor Trend recorded 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 8 seconds or less, the standing quarter mile in about 16 seconds, and an observed top speed of 115 miles per hour (185 km/h). Fuel economy was a 13.2 miles per US gallon (17.8 L/100 km; 15.9 mpg‑imp). Front leg room was 40.1 inches.
Inside, the Riviera featured a luxurious four-place cabin with front bucket seats and bucket-style seats in the rear. A center console with floor shifter and storage compartment built into the instrument panel divided the front. Upholstery choices included all-vinyl, cloth and vinyl, or optional leather. A deluxe interior option included real walnut inserts on the doors and below the rear side windows. Extra-cost options included a tilt steering wheel, power windows, power driver's seat, air conditioning, a remote-controlled side-view mirror, and white sidewall tires.
Minimal trim and mechanical changes were made for 1964, with the most identifiable distinguishing features being a raised stylized "R" hood emblem and "R" emblems replacing the Buick crests in the taillight lenses. The interior is distinguished by moving the heater controls from controls under the dashboard eyebrow to slide controls in the forward fairing of the center console. Leather was dropped as an option, and the Dynaflow-based twin-turbine transmission was replaced by a new three-speed Super Turbine 400. This was a GM Turbo Hydra-Matic with a variable pitch torque converter like the Dynaflow's. It used a two-speed "D" and 'L" selector, but could automatically downshift from third to second until the car reached a suitable speed to downshift to first. This was the first year of the stylized "R" emblem, a trademark that would continue throughout the remainder of Riviera's 36-year production run. The engine was upgraded to the previously optional 340 hp (254 kW) 425 cu in (7.0 l) V8. A 360 hp (268 kW) 'Super Wildcat' version was available, with dual Carter AFB four-barrel carburetors.
In 1965 the 401 cu in (6.6 l) V8 returned as the standard engine, and the "Gran Sport" version made its debut, powered by the Super Wildcat V8 and outfitted with a more aggressive 3.42 axle ratio and stiffer, heavy-duty suspension. The Super Turbine 400 transmission retained its variable pitch torque converter, but was fitted with a three-speed gear selector. The stock dual exhaust pipes were increased from 2.0 inches (51 mm) to 2.25 inches (57 mm) inside diameter and had fewer turns to reduce backpressure. Externally, the headlamps, now vertically arranged, were hidden behind clamshell doors in the leading edges of each fender, as had been in the original design. The non-functional side scoops between the doors and rear wheel arches were removed, and the taillights moved from the body into the rear bumper. A vinyl roof became available as an option, initially offered only in black, and the tilt steering wheel optional in previous years was now standard equipment.
Total sales for the 1963–1965 model years was a respectable 112,244. The Riviera was extremely well received from all quarters and considered a great success, giving the Thunderbird its first real competition as America's preeminent personal luxury car.
It has since earned Milestone status from the Milestone Car Society. Jaguar founder and designer Sir William Lyons remarked that Mitchell had done "a very wonderful job," and Sergio Pininfarina declared it "one of the most beautiful American cars ever built; it has marked a very impressive return to simplicity of American car design." At its debut at the Paris Auto Show, Raymond Loewy said the Riviera was the most handsome American production car—apart from his own Studebaker Avanti, in his view the Riviera's only real competition for 1963. The first-generation Riviera is considered a styling landmark and has become a collectible car.
Second generation (1966–1970)
1969 model (headlights deployed)
Linden, New Jersey (Linden Assembly) United States
|Body style||2-door hardtop|
|Engine||425 cu in (7.0 L) NailheadV8|
430 cu in (7.0 L) Buick V8
455 cu in (7.5 L) Buick V8
|Transmission||3-speed ST-400 automatic|
|Wheelbase||119.0 in (3,023 mm)|
|Length||211.2 in (5,364 mm) (1966–67)|
215.2 in (5,466 mm) (1968–1970)
|Width||78.8 in (2,002 mm) |
79.3 in (2,014 mm) (1970)
|Height||53.2 in (1,351 mm)–53.6 in (1,361 mm)|
The Riviera was redesigned for the 1966 model year. It retained its cruciform X-frame, powertrain, and brakes, but its curvaceous new body was longer, wider, and 200 pounds (91 kg) heavier. Vent windows, a feature GM had introduced in the 1930s, were absent. Headlamps remained concealed, but now pivoted behind the grille when not in use, and they were once again horizontally arranged. The car's added bulk slowed acceleration with the unchanged 425 engine. The Gran Sport package remained available as an option. Rear seat belts and AM/FM radio were optional.
The new front-wheel drive Oldsmobile Toronado shared the Riviera platform, and, a year later, the also front-wheel drive Cadillac Eldorado; however, the Riviera itself retained the rear-wheel drive layout.
Inside, the four-place cabin with front and rear bucket seats and center console were replaced by a choice of bucket seats or conventional bench seats as standard equipment, making the Riviera a full six-passenger car for the first time. Optionally available was a Strato-bench seat with armrest or Strato bucket seats with either a short consolette or a full-length operating console with a "horseshoe" shaped floor shifter and storage compartment. Both the buckets and Strato-bench seat were available with a reclining seat option for the passenger's side. Sales for 1966 rebounded to 45,308, a new record.
The most significant change for 1967 was Buick's replacement of its venerable 425 "Nailhead" with an entirely new 430 cu in (7.0 L) V8. Its 360 horsepower (270 kW) and 475 lb⋅ft (644 N⋅m) of torque were a performance improvement. Gasoline mileage improved slightly, but remained low. Powerful disc brakes with Bendix four-piston calipers became optional for the front wheels but most Riviera continued to be ordered with Buick's highly capable ribbed aluminum brake drums. Cosmetically, changes were few and were limited to the addition of a wide, full-width, center-mounted horizontal chrome grille bar that stretched over the headlight doors and outboard parking lights. Sales eased to 42,799 for the 1967 model year. The Riviera had full instrumentation.
1967 saw the introduction of U.S. mandated safety equipment to improve occupant protection during a crash, including an energy-absorbing steering column, non-protruding control knobs, 4-way hazard flasher, soft interior surfaces, locking seat backs (on 2-door models), a dual-circuit hydraulic braking system (with warning light), and shoulder belt anchors. The Rivieras complied on all counts and featured the full range of safety features.
1968 models had reshaped loop-type bumpers that surrounded both the vehicle's recessed crosshatch front grille and tail lamps. Hidden wiper arms made their debut. Federally mandated side marker lights appeared, as inverted trapezoids on the lower leading edges of the front fenders, and circular in the rear. The interior was restyled and for the first time shared its instrument panel with the other full-size Buick models. Shoulder belts for front outboard occupants were made standard on all cars built from January 1, 1968. Mechanically, the transmission lost its variable pitch torque converter. A tilt steering wheel was standard. Sales set another new record in 1968, as 49,284 units were sold.
Minor styling changes took place again in 1969, with grilles gaining a pattern of finely spaced, slim vertical bars overlaid by two wider horizontal bars, which jutted forward at their inboard edges. Front marker lights became far shorter and square. Inside, front outboard passengers received new headrests. The ignition switch was moved from the instrument panel to the steering column and locked the steering wheel and selector lever when the key was removed (a security feature that became mandatory for the 1970 model year). Chrome side trim was revised, as well. At the rear, the reverse lights moved from the rear bumper to new three-section tail-light lenses. Sales for 1969 improved again, to 52,872.
The 1970 Riviera was restyled, incorporating design cues from Bill Mitchell's 1968 "Silver Arrow II" concept car. Exposed quad headlamps were nearly flush-mounted, while the new front bumper wrapped around and over the new vertical bar grille, set between the headlamp pods. A newly optional side trim feature accented the large coupe's flowing lines. Skirted rear wheels became standard, with exposed wheels an option. At the rear, a new rear bumper/taillight motif was seen. The engine was upgraded to 455 cu in (7.46 L), the largest engine Buick offered to date, rated at 370 horsepower (280 kW) gross, 245 hp (183 kW) net, and over 500 lb⋅ft (680 N⋅m) of torque. Despite the fact that 1970 sales dropped to 37,366, the second-generation Riviera proved more successful than the first, with 227,669 units sold over five the years.
Third generation (1971–1973)
1972 Buick Riviera
Linden, New Jersey (Linden Assembly) United States
|Designer||Jerry Hirshberg under Bill Mitchell|
|Body style||2-door hardtop|
|Engine||455 cu in (7.5 L) BuickV8|
|Transmission||3-speed TH-400 automatic|
|Wheelbase||122.0 in (3,099 mm)|
|Length||217.4 in (5,522 mm) (1971)|
218.3 in (5,545 mm) (1972)
223.4 in (5,674 mm) (1973)
|Width||79.9 in (2,029 mm)|
|Height||54.0 in (1,372 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,247 lb (1,926 kg)|
The Riviera was radically redesigned for the 1971 model year with flowing and dramatic "boat-tail" styling. Designed under Bill Mitchell's direction, it was penned by Jerry Hirshberg, future head of design for Nissan, mating the two-piece vee-butted: 792 fastback rear window, inspired by the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray coupe, to the Riviera's platform.
The design was originally intended for the smaller A-body or its related G-body, as shown by a full scale clay model of an A-body based boat-tail Riviera recently revealed. Given the late stage of the 1968-72 A/G platform evolution and accretive cost to add another version to it, GM Management decreed that the next Riviera use the full sized GM B platform body—expanded for 1971 by 3 in (76 mm) in wheelbase and more than 120 lb (54 kg) heavier— which produced controversial looks, making for a sharp departure from those of the Toronado and Eldorado. (Collectible Automobile ran an article about 1971–76 full-sized Buicks in which one sketch design for their 2-door coupes which was rejected resembled the 1971–73 Riviera).
This generation introduced a much more visual representation of the "sweepspear", with a more faithful representation to the version that appeared on 1950s Buicks in both the side molding and beltline. Large, round wheel openings were intended to convery more of a sporty air. The only engine available was Buick's own 455 ci V8 engine producing 315 hp (235 kW), with 330 hp (246 kW) with the Gran Sport (GS) package.
The 455 engine had a lower compression ratio to meet EPA emissions requirements, together with the shift from SAE gross to SAE net ratings this reduced claimed power to 255 hp (190 kW), with 265 hp (198 kW) in the Gran Sport. Performance remained reasonably brisk, with a 0–60 time of 8.1 seconds for the GS, but the Riviera's sporty image was rapidly fading. One noteworthy advance was Buick's Max Traclimited-slip differential. The 1971 Riviera also features GM's "Full-Flo" ventilation system and two large deck lid louvers are prominent on the trunk lid.
Despite these features, Riviera sales for 1971 dropped to 33,810,: 798 the lowest to date. The 1972 Riviera received a new, egg-crate grille and more substantial front bumpers to prepare for the new 5-mph impact legislation. The boat-tail was less pronounced at the rear and the louvers were removed from the trunk lid. The 1972 Riviera also featured a redesigned ventilation system, and the 455 engine switched to net power ratings, 225 hp (168 kW) or 250 hp (186 kW) in the Gran Sport, although the actual drop in net power was only 5 hp (4 kW). Sales remained moribund at 33,728.: 876
For 1973, the front end was even more upright and heavier in appearance than before. The sizable bumper with its overdimensioned bumper guards was fully capable of meeting 1974's impact-bumper standards, while the front lamps wrapped around the corners. Sluggish sales of the third generation Riviera led GM to believe that the boattail deck lid was too radical for most customers' tastes, so in 1973 it was blunted and made slightly shorter. The taillights, meanwhile, were moved down from the sheet metal and into the bumper. The 250 hp (186 kW) engine became standard, with 260 hp (194 kW) with the Stage One package. This also included a limited-slip differential and a chrome-plated air cleaner. The "Gran Sport" package was still available as a separate option package consisting of a ride-and-handling package that included a rear stabilizer bar, JR78-15 whitewall steel-belted radial tires, a specially tuned "radial roadability" suspension, additional sound insulation and special "Gran Sport" badging. The design changes however only led to a marginal increase in sales, with 34,080 being produced for the model year.
Fourth generation (1974–1976)
Although carrying over the same platform, mechanicals, and some body panels seen on the "Third Generation" Riviera, Buick replaced its distinctive 'boat tail' roofline with a more conventional-looking "Colonnade" treatment which was more in line with its LeSabre and Electra brethren than its front-wheel drive cousins. This turned the car from a hardtop coupe into a pillared coupe, as it featured wide B pillars and fixed quarter opera windows. A landau half-vinyl roof option was available. The car did retain its forward-jutting grille, albeit in slightly modified form. Thus modified, the car looked far less distinctive than its predecessors, and even its platform mates, the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado. The tamer-looking Riviera was no lighter, and its standard 455 V8 lost more power, dropping to 230 hp (172 kW) and 245 hp (183 kW) for standard and Stage One models respectively. Max Trac was dropped from the option list after 1974 due to a lack of buyer interest. The revised styling did not improve sales, which fell to 20,129 in 1974, although it is impossible to determine how much this was a result of the energy crisis and how much was due to the tame appearance. This generation introduced a novelty that later became federally mandated in a modified form, two high-mounted taillights above the trunk and below the rear window, which was shared on its platform twin the Toronado.
For 1975, the Riviera received an updated front fascia, which lost its forward-jutting theme through the redesign of the fiberglass front end cap. Quad rectangular headlights were mounted horizontally. The new vertical-bar grille echoed the "stand-up" theme that many GM cars of the day incorporated. Parking lights wrapped around the fender sides. The Stage One performance package was dropped for 1975, though the Gran Sport handling package would continue to be offered. The standard engine's output dipped to 205 hp (153 kW). Sales for 1975 were 17,306.
Minor changes greeted 1976 models, the most notable of which was a new crosshatch grille insert. The Gran Sport handling package was replaced by an 'S/R' package that had similar sporting pretensions. Sales rallied slightly to 20,082 for 1976.
Fifth generation (1977–1978)
Buick downsized the Riviera for 1977 onto the new smaller GM B platform. While the other E-bodies were front wheel drive since 1966 (1967 for Cadillac's Eldorado), the Buick E platform used a rear-wheel-drive B-body undercarriage (along with the cruciform frame of pre-1965 GMs for the 1966–70 generation). All B-bodies (including C and D platform GM RWDs) were downsized for the 1977 model year which prompted the short-lived 1977/78 generation.
It was, in most respects, a Buick LeSabre coupe with unique styling (with quarter windows mimicking the 1975–78 Cadillac Eldorado). Unlike its LeSabre counterpart, the front fascia is vertical as opposed to slanted. It was reduced to a wheelbase of 115.9 in (2,940 mm), down 6.1 in (150 mm), and an overall length of 218.2 in (5,540 mm), down 4.8 in (120 mm). Weight was reduced by appoximately 660 pounds (300 kg). The 455 engine was replaced by a 350 cu in (5.7 L) Buick V8 engine with 155 hp (116 kW) or an Oldsmobile-built 403 cu in (6.60 L) with 185 hp (138 kW). California models had a 170 hp (127 kW) Oldsmobile 350.
Sales were up modestly to 26,138 for 1977 and then fell to 20,535 for 1978, although this was a stopgap model until the all-new E-body cars would be ready for 1979. The 1977 and 1978 Rivieras were produced on the downsized GM B platform before the 1979 redesign on the FWD E-platform.
75th Anniversary Package
For 1978, a special "LXXV" edition was released to commemorate Buick's 75th anniversary on the market. Production total was 2,889 and included special silver & black paint with gray leather seats with black trim, four-wheel disc brakes, brushed chrome trim, deep pile carpeting, and special LXXV name plates.
Sixth generation (1979–1985)
The 1979 model year was the debut of the first front wheel drive Riviera, which was also the first front-drive production model in Buick history. Built on a 114 in (2,900 mm) wheelbase, it once again shared its mechanical design and platform with the Cadillac Eldorado and Oldsmobile Toronado. The Olds 403 and Buick 350 were dropped, but the Olds 350 remained, as did a new turbochargedBuickV6 of 231 cu in (3.8 L) displacement with 185 hp (138 kW). The Riviera became Motor Trend'sCar of the Year. Sales more than doubled, to 52,181 for 1979 and 48,621 for the similar 1980 models.
1981 saw the Turbo renamed T-Type and the demise of the 350 engine in favor of the Oldsmobile-built 307 cu in (5.0 L) with 140 hp (104 kW) (phased in during the 1980 MY). The standard engine was now Buick's 125 hp (93 kW) 252 cu in (4.1 L) V6, and a new option was an Oldsmobile diesel engine with a mere 105 hp (78 kW) offered through 1985. 1982 also saw the first-ever Riviera convertible, although relatively few were built, owing to a high price - US$23,944. The Riviera convertible was available in only two color choices-white or red firemist with the only interior color of red leather. A twin-turbocharged Riviera convertible was chosen to be the pace car at the 1983 Indianapolis 500, tuned to produce 410 hp (306 kW). Most convertible Rivieras had the V8 engine, which saw an increase in rated SAE net HP to 150 for both convertibles and coupes fitted with it from 1982 through the 1985 model year.
In 1983 a special edition of 500 "Riviera XX" were offered, celebrating twenty years since the introduction of the first Riviera (502 were built in the end). These have a special two-tone exterior paint, real wire wheels, a leather and walnut interior as well as 24-karat gold plated "Riviera XX" badging. The Riviera XX also received a special grille, which then became part of the 1984 model year facelift model. Overall sales made the 1980s Riviera a great success, reaching 65,305 for the 1985 model year.
Seventh generation (1986–1993)
|Assembly||Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly, Michigan, United States|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Engine||1986: 3.8L 140 hp (100 kW) V6|
1987: 3.8L 150 hp (110 kW) V6
1988–1990: 3.8L 165 hp (123 kW) V6
1991–93: 3.8L 170 hp (130 kW) V6
|Wheelbase||108.0 in (2,743 mm)|
|Length||1986–88: 187.8 in (4,770 mm)|
|Width||1986–1990: 71.7 in (1,821 mm)|
1991–93: 73.1 in (1,857 mm)
|Height||1986–88: 53.5 in (1,359 mm)|
1989–1990: 53.6 in (1,361 mm)
1991–93: 52.9 in (1,344 mm)
|Curb weight||3,309 lb (1,501 kg)|
The E-body coupes were converted to unibody construction and further downsized for 1986 to a 108 in (2,700 mm) wheelbase. The V6 was now the only engine, rated initially at 142 hp (106 kW) SAE and 200 lb⋅ft (270 N⋅m) of torque. It used the Turbo-Hydramatic 440-T4 automatic with a 2.84:1 final drive ratio.
This generation featured an advanced electronic instrumentation display on a dash-mounted 9-inch (230 mm) CRT. The CRT controlled the vehicle's climate control system and stereo, and also supplied advanced instrumentation such as a trip computer and maintenance reminder feature. Four-wheel disc brakes were standard. With a choice of three suspension packages available, up to the performance-oriented FE3 setting, handling was notably improved. The Riviera placed fourth for Motor Trend's 1986 Car of the Year contest. This generation saw the installation of Dynaride, which was an air compressor that would pressurize the rear Chapman Struts to maintain a level overall ride height. A badge was installed on the dashboard to the left of the steering column on all vehicles equipped. It was not available on vehicles equipped with Gran Touring Suspension.
Fuel economy was also notably improved for the 1986 Riviera but the investment in the downsized, transverse engine front wheel drive platform resulted in a substantial price increase to $19,831 for the base model and $21,577 for the T-Type. The smaller exterior dimensions and lack of a V8 led to sales plummeting to 22,138 for 1986, 15,223 for 1987, and only 8,625 for 1988. 1988 also saw the introduction of Buick's new Reatta coupe, a two-seat personal luxury car.
The Riviera was restyled for 1989, adding 11 inches (280 mm) to the overall length (on an unchanged wheelbase). Sales improved to 21,189 for 1989, but dropped to a low of 4,555 for 1993, the abbreviated final model year of this generation. The last 1993 Riviera rolled off the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant line on December 10, 1992.
Eighth generation (1995–1999)
|Production||May 23, 1994 – November 25, 1998|
|Assembly||Lake Orion, Michigan, U.S.|
|Designer||William L. Porter|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
Buick Park Avenue
|Engine||3.8L 205 hp (153 kW) L36 BuickV6|
3.8L 225 hp (168 kW) SCL67 BuickV6
3.8L 240 hp (180 kW) SCL67 BuickV6
|Transmission||4-sp auto 4T60E (1995–96 N/A)|
4-sp auto 4T60E-HD (1996 Supercharged)
4-sp auto 4T65E-HD (1997–99)
|Wheelbase||113.8 in (2,891 mm)|
|Length||207.0 in (5,258 mm)|
|Width||75.0 in (1,905 mm)|
|Height||55.2 in (1,402 mm)|
|Curb weight||3,788 lb (1,718 kg)|
After a hiatus in 1994, the Riviera returned in 1995 with radical styling that departed from the previous generations' traditional image. A 205 hp (153 kW) naturally aspirated 3800 V6 was standard, with a supercharged version rated at 225 hp (168 kW) and 275 lb⋅ft (373 N⋅m) available as an option. Rivieras were now built in Lake Orion, Michigan, riding the same Cadillac-derived G platform as the 4-door Oldsmobile Aurora. The first of 41,422 Rivieras made in 1995 rolled off the assembly line on May 23, 1994.
In 1996, supercharged versions saw an increase in power to 240 hp (179 kW) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m), as well as the 4T60E-HD transmission. 18,036 Rivieras were manufactured in 1996.
1997 saw suspension revisions, removing excess weight. An upgraded 4T65E-HD transmission featuring a larger 258 mm (10.2 in) torque converter and heavy-duty gearbox were added. 18,827 were made in 1997.
For 1998, the 240 hp (180 kW) supercharged V6 became standard. GM's OnStar service was added as an option, along with minor interior design changes. A total 10,953 units were produced for 1998.
With sales of all coupes declining in the North American market, GM decided to discontinue the Riviera. 1999 was the car's last model year with production of 1,956 cars ceasing on November 25, 1998. The final 200 cars had special silver paint and trim, and were denoted "Silver Arrow" models, a designation which hearkened back to several Silver Arrow show cars that had been built off Riviera bodies by Bill Mitchell.
Eighth-generation Rivieras received the most powerful V6 Buick engine since the Grand Nationals of the 1980s. The supercharged OHV V6 provided high torque and acceleration allowing 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in under 7 seconds, and turning the 1⁄4 mile in 15.5 seconds. Supercharged Rivieras achieved a fuel efficiency figure of 18/27 (city/highway mpg).
|Riviera||1995||3.8 L L67 3800 Series I Supercharged V6||225 hp (168 kW) @ 5000 rpm||275 lb⋅ft (373 N⋅m) @ 3200 rpm|
|Riviera||1995–1997||3.8 L L36 3800 Series II V6||205 hp (153 kW) @ 5200 rpm||230 lb⋅ft (312 N⋅m) @ 4000 rpm|
|Riviera||1996–1999||3.8 L L67 3800 Series II Supercharged V6||240 hp (179 kW) @ 5200 rpm||280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m) @ 3600 rpm|
At the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show, Buick debuted a concept coupe named Riviera, based on the GM Epsilon II platform. The concept was later shown at the 2008 North American International Auto Show.
It was designed by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC). The design was inspired by classic Buicks, ancient Chinese artifacts, and modern electronic icons. It includes "icy green" backlighting, Shell Blue body, gull-wing doors, a 2+2 seating configuration, and 21-inch 10-spoke forged aluminum wheels.
Another concept Riviera was shown at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, again developed by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive CenterPATAC. It has gull-wing doors and a plug-in electric driveline as well as four wheel steering, electromagnetically controlled suspension with air springs, built in 4G LTE connection, transparent A pillar and wireless charging.
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- ^"1963 Buick Riviera Show Car Poster". GMPhotoStore. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- ^ ab"1963 Buick La Salle Concept Poster (front view)". GMPhotoStore. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- ^Vaughan, Daniel (September 2007). "1963 Buick Riviera Silver Arrow I". Conceptcarz. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
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- ^ abcdefgFlory, J. "Kelly" Jr. (2004), American Cars 1960–1972, McFarland
- ^"1965 Buick Full Line Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. p. 44. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- ^"Image of Riviera hood ornament". Riviera Owners Association. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
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- ^Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (15 October 2007). "1963-1965 Buick Riviera". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- ^"Riviera History 1963-1975". Muscle Car Club. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- ^Ristic-Petrovic, Dusan. "Buick Riviera". Oldcarbrochures.com. pp. 14–15. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- ^"1966 Buick Riviera brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. p. 12. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- ^"1966 Buick Riviera brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com.
- ^"1966 Buick Riviera brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. p. 11. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- ^"1967 Buick Riviera Owners Manual". Oldcarbrochures.com. p. 18. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
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- ^"1968 Buick Riviera brochure". oldcarbrochures.com. p. 15. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- ^Savage, Jeff S. (1993). "Electra with a Centurion and a Le Sabre and a boat-tail Riviera". AutoPhyle. Watsonville, CA. 2 (Winter, #4): 51.
- ^"1971 Buick Riviera Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. p. 3. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- ^"Muscle Car Club". Archived from the original on 2003-01-24.
- ^Brooks, Bruce (2020-06-09). "1971 Boat-Tail Riviera A-body". Dean's Garage. Performance Design. Archived from the original on 2020-11-30.
- ^ abSavage (1993), p. 54
- ^Savage (1993), p. 63
- ^"1971 Buick Riviera Brochure". Oldcarbrochures.com. p. 5. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- ^ abSavage (1993), p. 60
- ^Savage (1993), p. 61
- ^ abcd"Riviera Production Numbers". Riviera Owners Association. Archived from the original on 2007-03-07.
- ^ ab"Evolution of the Riviera". Riviera Owners Association. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
- ^ ab"1984 Buick Riviera brochure (Canadian)". Archived from the original on 2016-09-17. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
- ^ abcTraver Adolphus, David (September 2012). "Special Edition Coupes – 1983 Buick Riviera, 1985 Ford Thunderbird". Hemmings. American City Business Journals.
- ^"Special Report". Riviera Owners Association. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- ^Nunez, Alex (2007-04-14). "Shanghai Motor Show Preview: Buick Riviera Concept". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- ^"The Buick Riviera Concept : Car Makes And Models". News.carjunky.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13.
- ^Kable, Greg (May 13, 2013). "Best in Show: Buick Riviera". Autoweek. 63 (10): 8.
- ^"Buick unveils new Riviera concept in Shanghai". Road & Track. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
- Gunnell, John, ed.: Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1946–1975, 4th ed., Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, ISBN 978-0873494618
- Flammang, James M., ed.: Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1976–1999, 3rd ed., Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, ISBN 978-0873417556
Notable Places in the Area
Localities in the Area
SuburbAltamira is a neighborhood located in the Chacao municipality of Caracas, Venezuela. Altamira is situated 3 km northeast of Riviera Motors.Photo: Kinori, Public domain.
CaracasCaracas is the capital and largest city of Venezuela, in northern Venezuela, near the Caribbean. Photo: Gabriela Camaton, CC BY 2.0.
El HatilloEl Hatillo is a beautiful pueblo on the outskirts on Caracas. Photo: EL Guarito, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Latitude10.4872° or 10° 29' 13.9" north
Longitude-66.87° or 66° 52' 12.1" west
Open Location Code772MF4PH+VX
OpenStreetMap IDnode 2426968123
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