Sunday, June 21, 2009

1957 Buick Super 4-door Riviera

"This beautiful Super Four-Door Riviera has king-size roominess. Styled and built in the fine car manner - inches lower than any Super you've known."

The 1957 Buicks followed the credo of many cars in this year: longer and lower (by 3,5 inches) than their predecessors, they are arguably the most harmonious Buicks of the whole decade. But "longer and lower" wasn't enough to regain the styling leadership that was lost to Virgil Exner's Chryslers, which sat incredibly low on the tarmac and whose styling hit the customer's sweet spot.

Buick still could afford the luxury of introducing almost identical bodystyles on two different wheelbases. The smaller Special and Century shared GM's "B-body" with Oldsmobile, while the massive Super and Roadmaster used Cadillac's newly developed "C-body", as a look at roofline and windows reveals.

Despite the elegant styling, Buick's 1957 models sold badly, partially because of quality problems and a change in the customer's buying habit which should come into full effect when a recession hit the U.S. in 1958 and paved the way for more economic "compact cars" from Studebaker or Rambler.

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