A Modified 1972 Buick Riviera Boattail

General Motors was proud of it’s 1972 Buick Riviera for a variety of reasons, and the automobile’s innovative styling was certainly one of them. The 71 Rivieras were radically redesigned.These models were designed under the direction of GM’s Bill Mitchell who had worked previously under legendary auto designer Harley Earl.

1972 buick riviera

Modified 1972 Buick Riviera

The Riviera Boattail Design

The 72 Riviera’s styling stood out with it’s beautiful Boattail. On the Riviera this took the form of a huge, tapered, wrap-around rear window and protruding trunk. The boattail design on the Riviera’s was a bit controversial on a design standpoint at the time and may still be controversial with some collectors.

Auto collectors will usually associate the flowing boattail design with the Auburn Speedsters of the 1930′s. That same styling was also seen on the Chevy Corvettes from 63 to 67 and no doubt hung around the GM design rooms long enough to makes it’s reintroduction in 1971.

buick riviera boattail

72 Buick Riviera boattail designed rear with wrap around window

Buick Riviera’s MaxTrac

Buick offered it’s MaxTrac all-weather traction control system beginning with the 1971 Riviera. The system operated with a small computer two sensors. One of the sensors is located at the transmission output link and this measures rear wheel speed. The second sensor is located on the left front wheel hub and measures front wheel speed. MaxTrac kicks in when the computer detects the rear wheels going significantly faster.

What happens at this point is that the computer cuts the ignition ( the 12 volt coil wire passes through the computer) for only 10 milliseconds which doesn’t cause the car to stall out.. This process is repeated many times per second until the rear wheels recover their grip on the road and the difference between the front and rear wheel speeds are down to within eight percent of each other. MaxTrac also keeps the car on course by cutting torque.

1972 Buick Riviera Specifications

The 1972 Riviera had the same 455 cubic inch V-8 that the 71 model had however horsepower as re-rated going down to 250 from 315 and the torque also was decreased. The GS models were rated at 260 horsepower. This change all came about when General Motors ruled that all of their engines had to be rated in net SAE output. This same 1972 engine was also put in the 1973 Rivieras.

Transmission was a three speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic. The shift lever was put on the steering column but as an option the buyer could have it placed on the center console.

The front wheels received 12 inch ventilated disc brakes while the rear wheels had 11 inch drums.

buick riviera boattail

1972 Buick Riviera front view

The 1972 Buick Riviera Boattails had a different suspension than the previous Riviera models. Independent suspension with coil springs and upper and lower A-arms were found up front. In the rear was a four link suspension that consisted of coil springs and upper and lower control arms.

Total Buick Riviera production for the 71, 72 and 73 model years were 101,618 vehicles. For the 1972 model year the total was 33,728.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

A Sharp 1969 Pontiac GTO

A 1967 Buick Riviera Muscle Car

72 buick riviera photos

Modified 72 Riviera front view

 The Buick Riviera Boattail as a Collector Car

The 72 Buick Riviera is an affordable collector car and does generate good attention at local auto shows. The design as mentioned above is different but stylish and the boattail design of the rear is innovative, especially for an early 70′s vehicle. The 1973 models were the last of the collectible Rivieras.

An article on Edmunds.com lists the 71 Buick Riviera among the 100 cars that take their collective breath away. Automobilemag.com has an article that includes the Buick Riviera Boattail models as among the Eleven Best Buicks of the past 110 Years.

The rarest of the 71-73 Riviera’s are the Gran Sports versions. These had the Stage I version of the 455 cubic inch V-8.

buick riviera logo

Buick Riviera boattail automobiles can be found in a variety of conditions. You may see price ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on mileage and general condition. As of this writing we also see a 1973 Riviera, slightly modified and restored and with 97,000 miles with an asking price of $42,000.

For those with collectible Buicks, there are two major auto clubs for owners. These include the Buick Club of America located in Columbus, Ohio and the Riviera Owners Association in Altoona, Iowa.

(Article and photos copyright AutoMuseumOnline)

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer / A Classic on the Rise

The Jeep Wagoneer was Jeep’s first luxury go anywhere vehicle. The Jeep Wagoneer was introduced in 1962 by Willys Jeep prior to the American Motors years and was still produced well into the Chrysler ownership.Things were changing rapidly during the early 1960′s for Jeep and not soon after the first Wagoneers came out the company changed it’s name to Kaiser Jeep.

jeep grand wagoneer

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The Jeep Wagoneer Production Years

The first Jeep Wagoneer was named a 1963 model and the line lasted until 1991 and was succeeded by the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Production stopped about mid-year in 1991 on the Wagoneers. With production ending so soon in 1991, these models became quickly collectible because of the relatively low number built, some 1,560 units.

The Jeep Utility is the vehicle many think of when remembering the Jeep brand. Jeep Utility Wagons were brought out right after the end of World War Two. The Jeep Wagons stayed with the same design for years and was the basis for the first Wagoneer.

1986 grand wagoneer

86 Jeep Grand Wagoneer showing wood grain side panels

The 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The automobile featured in this article is the 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The “Grand” in Grand Wagoneer was added in 1984 when the Cherokee moved to the downsized XJ platform taking the regular Wagoneer name with it. The automobile as marketed and sold as a station wagon. The 1986 Grand Wagoneer was a luxurious vehicle with a leather interior, power everything, a comfortable ride and with 4 wheel drive.

Starting in the 1986 model year, the Grand Wagoneer received a new four part front grille and a stand-up hood ornament. The interior of these models were changed significantly. The instrument panel gauges were made square along with wood grain overlays. The vehicle was also given a stand-up hood ornament and the 1986 Grand Wagoneers offered a power sunroof as a factory option.

Fuel economy as we know it today was not the 1986 Wagoneer’s strong suit. According to fueleconomy.gov mileage was rated as 10 MPG city and 12 MPG highway. This was for an eight cylinder 5.9 liter engine with a three speed automatic transmission.

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Specifications

As mentioned above the 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer came out with a 5.9 liter 360 cubic inch V-8 that delivered 140 horsepower. Also mentioned above was the fact that fuel efficiency wasn’t terrific at 12 MPG highway. Nevertheless, the engine did produce good power.

Another 1986 engine was the 4.2 liter 260 cubic inch V-8 delivering 112 horsepower. Mileage ratings on this vehicle were 15 city and 17 highway.

Transmission was a Chrysler TorqueFlite A727 three speed automatic.

Wheelbase for the 1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer was 108.7 inches with an overall outside length of 186.4 inches. Width was 74.8 inches and height 66.4 inches. Curb weight was about 4,510 lbs.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

The 1950 Willys Station Wagon

A Great Looking 1936 Ford Woodie Wagon

The Willys Military MBPatrick Foster

Two good reads regarding Jeep and the Wagoneer include…Jeep Wagoneer 1963-91 Performance Portfolio by R.M. Clarke and The Story of Jeep by author Patrick Foster.

jeep grand wagoneer station wagon

1986 Jeep Grand Wagoneer station wagon

Jeep Grand Wagoneer / A Classic That May Have A Bright Future

It’s our belief that the Jeep Grand Wagoneer could have a good future as a collector automobile. As it stands today, the car is a collector automobile and it’s popularity could grow as time goes by. Remember, the Wagoneer was the precursor of the Jeep Cherokee.

Many people assume it’s a 1970′s vintage vehicle based on the wood panels and the styling. The fact of the matter is the model was launched in the early 1960s and was built into the 1990′s.

The common engines in the latter years were the Chrysler 340 and 360 cubic-inch engines. The 360 cubic inch was the last carbureted engine offered in North America.

Fortune Magazine in a 2012 article named the Jeep Grand Wagoneer among the ten classic cars worth reviving. Jeep’s owner, AMC, created a Grand Wagoneer by making the original Jeep design more car-like and adding luxury features like artificial wood trim and a new grille to the old body-on-frame platform. With the automobile’s primitive engineering, the Grand Wagoneer is a luxury sport utility vehicle for people who can’t afford — or don’t want to be seen in — a Cadillac Escalade.

jeep wagoneer

Jeep Grand Wagoneer, a classic automobile

Regarding current asking prices for Jeep Grand Wagoneers, the range is wide. As of this writing the range for a 1989 Grand Wagoneer can vary from $10,000 to $29,000 depending on condition and restoration. The higher figure represents a Grand Wagoneer with a rebuilt engine, brakes and suspension. The car has about 57,000 miles.

We also see a low mileage (48,000) 1988 Grand Wagoneer being offered for $49,000 and a 1988 Grand Wagoneer with 83,000 miles with a price tag of $27,900 as well as a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with 104,000 miles with an asking price of $12,750. This model has dual Exhaust with Hedman Hedders, Magnaflow performance exhaust, and an Edelbrock 4-bbl carburetor.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)