1971-1973 Buick Riviera

The 1971-1973 Buick Riviera was the manufacturer’s most controversial piece of styling since the batwing job of 1959. Despite the success of the 1963 Riviera, sales had plummeted by 1970. A quick fix was badly needed, and Buick gambled that the 1971 ¡°boattail¡± was the answer.
It¡¯s true, too, that by 1971 the time had obviously come for a new and different Riviera. Consider 1,070 production figures, for example. While still comfortably ahead of Oldsmobile¡¯s Toronado — the Riveria’s intra-corporate rival — output skidded an alarming 29 percent from 52,872 units in 1969 to 37,336 units, the lowest since 1965.
Nor was this a reflection of market conditions, for overall Buick sales were holding steady, while Ford¡¯s Thunderbird made a modest gain that year.
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It had been Ford, of course, that had pioneered the ¡°luxury personal car¡± concept with the 1958 introduction of the first four-place T-Bird. And the Bird continued to lead the field in sales, despite stiff competition from its counterpart at Buick.
Even so, the Riviera, first introduced for the 1963 season, had been a resounding sales success from the start, and a style and performance leader as well.
¡°It was the Riviera,¡± authors Ian Norbye and lames Dunne declared, ¡°that put some class into this market segment.¡±
Even Car and Driver, a magazine not usually noted for unstinting praise of American luxury cars, admitted that ¡°the Riviera is different from the other big Buicks, and it stands alone among American cars in providing a combination of luxury

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, performance and general roadworthiness that approaches Bentley Continental standards at less than half the price.¡±
Learn about Buick Riviera styling changes on to the next page.
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Saguaro National Park

3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730-5601
520-733-5100
www.nps.gov/sagu
Just because it’s one of the newer national parks (established in 1994) doesn’t mean Saguaro National Park has less to offer

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One of the few major parks located in the suburbs of a sizable city — in this case, Tucson, Arizona — it is a veritable desert wonderland, with amazing saguaro cacti interspersed with other Sonoran desert flora such as hedgehog cacti, ocotillo, and prickly pear. While most visitors see the park from the luxury of their cars in order to beat the desert heat, the more adventurous will find more than 150 miles of hiking trails.
Entrance fees: $10/vehicle for 7 days or $5/individual for 7 days
Visitor centers: Rincon Mountain District and Tucson Mountain District visitor centers are open daily except December 25.
Accommodations: Backcountry camping is available. No lodging is available in the park.
Saguaro National Park takes its name from the saguaro cactus, the giant, many-armed symbol of southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Standing as high as 50 feet and weighing as much as ten tons, these silent, slow-growing sentinels are a vital link in the ecology of one of the richest and most varied deserts in the world.
The park is divided into two units on either side of the city of Tucson: Saguaro East sprawls across 67,293 acres, including much of the rocky Rincon Mountains, which peak at an elevation of 8,666 feet.
Saguaro West takes in 24,034 acres and is bordered on the south by the lower, gentler Tucson Mountains. Adjoining portions of Coronado National Forest and Tucson Mountain County Park extend the protected area to more than 200,000 acres.
Ready to explore the desert in all its glory? Take a look at the next page for some sightseeing tips.
Region: Southeastern Arizona
Established: 1994
Size: 91,000 acres
Terrain: Desert, mountains, and cactus and pine forests
Highlights: Valley View Overlook, Cactus Forest Drive, and Desert Ecology Trail
Wildlife: Desert birds, jackrabbits, coyotes, and bobcats
Activities: Self-driving tours, hiking, and camping

1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic

Here’s a funny thing: Many of Detroit’s “last convertibles” were more numerous than earlier models. Take Chevrolet’s last big ragtop, the 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, which saw 8349 copies versus 4670 for the similar ’74. Well

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, that’s what happens when people hear that something is endangered and rush to buy before it’s all gone

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Of course, there have been other ragtop Chevys since, but none as sumptuous as this Caprice. And sadly for convertible lovers, there probably won’t be again.
For more classic convertibles of the 1970s, see: