1980: Buick Riviera is for the above-average fellow

Let’s hope they didn’t get the diesel.

Buick went to a front-wheel-drive Riviera for the 1979 model year, basing it on the Cadillac Eldorado/Oldsmobile Toronado platform. While smaller than its predecessor (sibling to the Chevy Impala), the 1979-1985 Riviera offered plenty of room in its plush interior and better fuel economy in a time of gas lines. It won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award for ’79, after the 1978 Dodge Omni and before the 1980 Chevrolet Citation. Here’s a magazine advertisement for the 1980 Riviera.

By any standard, both the car and the people who drive it are doing very well, thank you.

The 1979 Riviera offered many engine choices, including naturally-aspirated and turbocharged 3.8-liter Buick V6s, an Oldsmobile 5.7-liter V8, and the ill-fated Oldsmobile diesel V8. Because of anger and lawsuits over engines from “lesser” GM divisions going into prestigious cars, the last words in this advertisement are “Buicks are equipped with GM-built engines supplied by various divisions.”

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