Buick Roadmaster Riviera 1957


Buick Roadmaster Riviera 1957


Buick Roadmaster Riviera 1957

  • Origin United States of America
  • Engine 5,965 cc, V8
  • Top speed 117 mph (188 km/h)

Buick's hardtop Riviera appeared in 1954. By 1957 it had ladles of chrome and big fins, but Buick's popularity was in decline despite 250/300 bhp engines. The 1957 Buick greeted customers with a whole new look. New wider and lower body styling was seen with the popular vertical grille bars returning for one last time this decade. Mounted low in the front, the traditional grille bar once again topped the grille, arching down to meet the round, blunt-ended bumper guards.

Parking lights took their place in a spot under the headlights, but more on the fender side, doubling as side marker lights. Around back, a vertical taillight in a large chrome housing capped the fender ends, with the fuel filler door centered in the bumper, which housed the outlets for the exhaust at each end. Down the body sides was the famed "Sweepspear," this year with a red-painted insert running the length of the trim. Front wheel openings were rounded and swept back exposing the inner fender, reminiscent of the 1954 Skylark rear wheel opening. All models gained a lower rear quarter panel chrome trim between the round rear wheel opening and the rear bumper. The various series could be identified by the following trim differences: Special series carried three oval portholes; Century models featured four portholes and a chrome "V" in the sweepspear dip, with "Century" script above the "V" on cars and "Caballero" on the Caballero wagon; Super 4-Doors wore the same "V" trim, with "Super" script above it; Super and Roadmaster 2-Doors carried three vertical hash marks in the same area, while Roadmaster 4-Doors had Roadmaster script and emblem in the dip area. Roadmaster 75s were labeled as such in the sweepspear dip area.

Greenhouse areas featured front and rear windows that wrapped around more than any previously seen. Two models came with a back window that caused some controversy. The Roadmaster Riviera 2- and 4-Door Hardtops came standard with a 3-piece rear window. They were designed that way as the roof of these cars had two feature lines that came off the back of the roof, divided the rear window, and then continued onto the trunk lid, ending at a point just above the rear bumper. Consumer resistance prompted Buick to offer a one-piece rear window; cars so equipped are technically identified by an "A" after the model or style number. Over the past several years, Buicks had put on a few pounds, so under the hood this year, an enlarged Fireball V8 engine could be found. The new engine had a greater bore and stroke, increasing displacement to 364 cubic inches and producing 250 to 300 horsepower, depending upon model. The dependable Variable Pitch Dynaflow still backed it up as standard equipment on all but the Special.

Station wagons had been gaining in popularity through the mid-'50s and were becoming more stylish and sporty, no longer limited by their workhorse duties. Many manufacturers began to take the family wagon into consideration as a stylish automobile, rather than a box on wheels. Buick and corporate cousin Oldsmobile chose to offer a 4-Door Hardtop wagon body style as their entry into this growing market. For Buick, two models were offered, the Special Riviera Estate Wagon and the Century Caballero Wagon. These stylish wagons would last only through the 1958 season, but were an ideal follow-up to the wonderful 1955-1957 Chevrolet Nomad and Pontiac Safari wagons.

A new Roadmaster 75 series was spun off of the Roadmaster series. Created as a prestige car, it was equipped with nearly every accessory Buick offered as standard equipment, except for air conditioning. Luxurious interior trim and special nameplates identified this top-line car.