Sunday, December 20, 2015

1957 Buick Century 4-door Riviera



"YOU WANT both hustle and muscle in the car you drive — right? Then the '57 Buick CENTURY is your car for sure. This most completely changed Buick in history gives you twinkle-toe nimbleness — plus the brilliant performance of a great V8 engine. This engine has a wonderful reserve that lets you handle all normal situations effortlessly as a sprinter taking a stroll. You — and the car and the engine — take it sweet and easy, climb tall hills in a breeze, practically laze along on the level. And you do it all smooth as sunrise — with response quick as light — thanks to today's instant new Dynaflow.* Want to learn why this glamorous '57 Buick is called the dream car to drive? See your Buick dealer first thing tomorrow."

Five Ventiports on this Buick Century from Matanzas are perhaps a bit over-ambitious: 1957 Buicks had four Ventiports each side of the bonnet, save for the entry level Special, which showed merely three.

For 1957, the designers under studio chief Ned Nickles trimmed the previously rather laid-back and graceful looking Buicks towards more sportiness. The cars retained their typical styling elements, but slightly altered proportions and design tweaks all-around made the cars look much more dazzling: the panoramic windshield had more inclined pillars, and the rear wheels featured a full-round cutout, just like contemporary European sports cars. The smaller Buicks, which shared GM's "B-body" with Oldsmobile, featured the "Strato Roof" with a three-piece rear glass. Their roof line was lowered by 1.1 inches (28mm), compared to the 1956 lineup.

These "sportier" Buick styling cues particularly suited the Century, which wasn't the biggest but certainly the quickest in Buick's lineup. Buick's most potent 300hp Roadmaster engine, mounted in the light, short-wheelbase body of the Buick Special, made for a pretty irresistible formula to any aspiring driver. Hence, 26,589 buyers took delivery of the Century Riviera 4-door hardtop in 1957. Presumably, the hot blooded Cubans were particularly sensitive to the temptation of a super fast luxury car, considering the number of Buick's "Businessman hotrod" still driving around on the island.

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