- Desirable first year of the Riviera Gran Sport
- Believed to be one of 3,354 Gran Sports built for 1965
- Sold new through Braley & Graham Buick in Sacramento, California
- Striking Bill Mitchell design; finished in Verde Green over Green
- Equipped with period accessory RAC tachometer and Moto Monitor vacuum gauge
Buick debuted the Riviera in 1963. A gorgeous Bill Mitchell design, the new Riviera featured Coke-bottle styling, concealed headlights, and sharp angular front fenders. It is said that Mitchell’s design was inspired by the coachbuilt cars seen while on a trip to Europe. The impressive new design was quite a departure from the more conservative Buick styling of the period.
The Riviera would prove to be a lucrative model, with sales totaling 112,244 from 1963 to 1965. The model would remain a mainstay in the Buick lineup through 1993, returning to the lineup after a short hiatus in 1995 until being officially discontinued after the 1999 model year—all the while holding the title as the two-door model in Buick’s luxury lineup.
The 1965 model year marked the final year of the first-generation Riviera, and with it came the debut of the Gran Sport—a moniker that would become synonymous with performance, and celebrated for years to come by Buick enthusiasts. The Riviera Gran Sport was powered by a 360-horsepower Super Wildcat V-8 engine backed by a Super Turbine 400 transmission, with larger-diameter dual exhaust, heavy-duty suspension, and an upgraded rear axle ratio of 3.42:1. Taking into account the beautiful Bill Mitchell styling and subtle performance upgrades, it is easy to see how Buick justified the factory price of $4,318. For the first year of the Riviera Gran Sport, it is believed that Buick produced just 3,354 examples.
This 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport is finished in Verde Green over a green interior with green carpet. It was sold new on 4 September 1965 through Braley & Graham Buick in Sacramento, California to Tony Semas of San Diego, California. It is presumed Mr. Semas had to go a little out of his way to find this Riviera Gran Sport finished in this rare color combination. Safe to say he had a very fun, fast ride back down to San Diego. The car is believed to have been registered in California from 1965 to 1998.
Today, the Riviera Gran Sport remains powered by its numbers-matching Super Wildcat V-8 engine, and is further equipped with an automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The interior features a wood-rimmed steering wheel, bucket seats, console, and Sonomatic radio. Additional driver amenities include air conditioning, power windows, as well as period accessories such as a RAC tachometer and Moto Monitor vacuum gauge. It rides on factory wheels wrapped in thin whitewall tires. This Riviera Gran Sport is accompanied by its original Riviera owner’s guide, owner protection plan book with Protect-O-Plate, and accessories book.