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History of Mid Sixties Muscle:

"Muscle cars", those high horse-powered American made cars

of the mid 1960s and early '70s are exciting, often intoxicating, to millions of people. Their combination of brute power and stunning great looks make them unbelievably desirable. Of the hundreds of thousands of fantastic muscle cars built, a very small percentage were the rarest of rare, limited production, high-horse powered, exotic, cars that most people never knew about. Consider the 1963 Corvette Grand Sport of which 5 were ever produced. If one ever comes up for sale, the price is typically above $1M.

Owning a muscle car, being the person that open driver's door, gets inside, fires up the monster V8 and hauls ass down the road with the roaring, thumping, exhaust, (and likely a couple

of stripes of rubber on the pavement), is an unbelievable feeling.

Of the hundreds of thousands of fantastic muscle cars built back in the mid-sixties era, a very small percentage were limited production exotics, some of which were built specifically for NASCAR homologation rules. Few people know about these cars, and fewer still how to validate one for sale 'today' is authentic.

These rare Mid-Sixties Muscle cars have intrigued me for decades and I know a lot about them and how to locate them today; (and prove that they are "the real deal").

"Mid Sixties Muscle" started about 25 years ago when I set out to get my first "muscle" car. My first purchase was a '77 Chevy Camaro. This was not a muscle car, nor was the '73 Chevelle SS I bought next; much as I thought they were. I then set my sights on a '67 Pontiac GTO. However, the entry price for even a rough original was higher than I was prepared to spend. Ironically, while watching the movie "Roadhouse", (don't laugh, please), I saw what initially looked like a '65 GTO; but it wasn't. When Patrick Swayze asked the used car dealer, while looking at the headlights, "Do they work?", and the clamshell headlight covers opened, I found out it was a 1965 Buick Riviera. I loved it!

So, now the learning process got underway and the search was on. I found what I thought was a good deal on a ’65 Riv in my home state of Massachusetts. It also came with a parts car. Splendid. As I began to restore the care, I soon realized that most cars in the Northeast RUST impeccably well, and this car was no different. Bolts that should have come out in 17 seconds took hours, if at all. After only a month, I gave up and started to part-out all usable items and began again my search for a solid, rust-free, example. One interesting point that came up during my parting out process: I noticed on one of the front fenders, under the “Riviera” script, was the outline of missing emblem. I did some research and found that Buick made a small number of Riviera “Gran Sport” models and my parts car was one of them.

The Gran Sport option on the ’65 Riviera essentially came down to: a dual-quad 425 cubic inch engine with considerable more horse power and torque, large chrome air cleaner, finned aluminum valve covers with raised letters “BUICK” on the side, “Gran Sport” emblems on the front fenders and rear trunk area, larger diameter exhaust, positraction rear-end, and lower/stiffer suspension. THIS was the car for me, MY ideal muscle car. I searched, locally. I joined Riviera Owners clubs. I searched regionally to no avail. Finally, in Bozeman, Montana, I found a low mileage, matching numbers, rust free 1965 Riviera Gran Sport. After some negotiation, I flew out from Boston, MA, and drove my new Riv GS home. A year and a half later, with a frame off restoration, I owned the …muscle car of my dreams!

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