Automotive Mileposts  

1964 Buick Riviera
Production Numbers/Specifications

September 26, 1963
4747 Riviera 2-dr. Hardtop Coupe $4,385
Weight: 3,951 Built: 37,658
(Built: 35,536/94.4%)

(Built: 2,122/5.6%)
Wildcat 465
Displacement: 425 CID
Horsepower: 340 @ 4400 rpm
Torque: 465 @ 2800 rpm
Bore and stroke: 4.3125 x 3.54 inches
Compression ratio: 10.25 to 1
Carburetor: Carter AFB 4-bbl.
Exhaust system: Dual

Super Wildcat
Displacement: 425 CID
Horsepower: 360 @ 4400 rpm
Torque: 465 @ 2800 rpm
Carburetor: Carter AFB Dual 4-bbl.
Exhaust system: Dual
Super Turbine
Refill capacity: 23 pints
3.23 to 1
8.45 x 15

Disc-type wheels
15 x 6.00 "L"-type flange
Hydraulic, power assist

Total lining area: 197.32 sq. in.
Air cooled finned drums in front; finned drums in rear
Wheelbase: 117 inches
Front Tread: 60.15
Rear Tread: 59.0
Length: 208 inches
Width: 76.4 inches
Height: 53.2 inches
Leg room: 40.1
Head room: 38.0
Shoulder room: 56.2

Leg room: 34.7
Head room: 37.4
Shoulder room: 55.8
Passenger capacity: 4

Luggage capacity: N/A

Fuel Tank: 20 gallons

Cooling System: 18.5 quarts with heater
ENGINE 1964 would be the only year the 425 CID engine would be provided as standard equipment on the first generation Riviera

1964 Buick Riviera front detail and instrument panel

1964 Buick RivieraAfter its successful introductory year in 1963, the 1964 Buick Riviera saw a few minor changes. Most of them were in the details, such as the Buick Tri-Shield that had appeared in various places on the 1963 models was now replaced with a new stylized Riviera "R" emblem. The "R" emblem appeared as a new stand-up hood ornament, which is one of the easiest ways to differentiate the two years.

One of the best changes made to many was the reconfiguration of the Riv's heating and air conditioning controls. In 1963, a series of chrome push-pull levers was provided under the top edge of the instrument panel at its center. These levers controlled temperature, fan speed, ventilation ducts, etc. These were removed for 1964 and placed on the console, with one control for the standard heater/defroster and another for the optional air conditioning. This cleaned up the instrument panel dramatically, and allowed room for a radio speaker to be placed in its traditional location. Some 1963 Riviera owners complained about the lack of a front speaker, stating that the single rear-mounted speaker was difficult to hear with the windows down.

Inside, the 1964 Riviera still offered one of the best looking interiors available in standard form. Bucket seats were provided front and rear, and were covered in a soft vinyl material that had the look and feel of leather. An attractive center console rested between the front seats. Courtesy lights were thoughtfully placed in the console to light the floor areas. And the Riviera console was very functional, housing controls for heating and air conditioning, as well as ash trays, floor shifter, cigarette lighter, and the previously noted courtesy lights. Color-keyed carpeting ran door-to-door, and padded vinyl covered all interior trim panels. Instruments and controls were placed for driver ease of operation and sight, and were well lighted for night operation.

When the upgrade interior was specified, many of the basics still remained the same. Basically, the door and rear quarter trim panels were upgraded. Both received additional wood veneer trim, and the front door panels featured full-length armrests with controls for the optional power windows, power vent windows, and power seat integrated into the armrest. One could choose from soft all-vinyl seating surfaces, or a combination of fabric and vinyl in the upgrade interior.

The standard Riviera engine for 1964 was the 425 cubic inch "Wildcat 465" V-8, which produced 340 horsepower @ 4400 rpm and 465 lb. ft. torque @ 2800 rpm. Optionally, for just $139.75 more, a more powerful "Super Wildcat" engine was available, producing 360 horsepower @ 4400 rpm. Just 2,122 Rivieras left the factory with the more potent power plant, which included dual carburetors, chrome air cleaner, and finned aluminum valve covers. Some people mistakenly believe Rivieras equipped with the Super Wildcat engine at Gran Sport models. This is not true, as the first year for the Gran Sport option was 1965, and it was not available until a couple of months after production of the '65 models began.

Sales of the 1964 Riviera dropped to 37,658 (a loss of 2,342 cars) and the base price went up to $4,374, an increase of just $41.00. Buick ads for the Riviera ran with the theme of "Adventure is a car called Riviera," which featured attractive young couples having fun with their new Riviera. In one television commercial, a young woman is shown driving her white Riviera past a young man with a red Riviera. He's pulled off the road to consult a map, and immediately jumps in his car and takes off after her. Apparently, she knows the man as she keeps smiling as she glances over her shoulder to see if he's following her. At a "Y" in the road, she takes the right and he takes the left. Later, as the young lady pulls up the drive of a large house, she finds her gentleman friend already parked in the driveway, leaning on his Riviera waiting for her. Apparently it was a race between them to see who would arrive first. At the end of the ad the announcer says, "Riviera by Buick...A great and rare machine that a woman can admire and enjoy to the fullest, but only a man can really understand. Find a road yourself, and discover adventure is a car called Riviera."