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Image: 1969 Buick Riviera

1969 Buick Riviera: #1 personal luxury car for '69

For the first and only time ever in 1969, the Buick Riviera outsold its rival Ford Thunderbird. 52,872 Rivieras built made it the top-selling personal luxury car of the year. Riviera's strong sales helped to push Buick Division into fourth place in production with 665,422 units, its second best year after record 1955.

A new grille in front, and a new rear bumper that omitted the slots for the back-up lights gave it a fresh appearance. The back-up lights were incorporated into the inboard sections of the tail lamps. Wider polished stainless lower body moldings gave the profile a new look as well.

New for the year were Accu-Drive Suspension, an electric fuel pump, anti-theft ignition/steering lock, front seat head rests, and ventless side glass.

The Riviera GS was capable of 0-to-60 mph in 9.2 seconds, with a top speed of 132 mph. Motor Trend clocked a 1969 Thunderbird at 9 seconds flat, with a top speed of 140 mph, so performance wasn't the top consideration for personal luxury car buyers in 1969.

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1969 Buick Riviera

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Image: 1964 Rotunda NOS Compass
Above: 1964 Rotunda NOS Compass (C4AZ-19A548-B)

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