1966 Buick Riviera Coupe 412 cu in OHV from North America


Pure Classic Americana!


The 412 cubic inch motor had awesome power, but was worn out by time I bought the car. The mileage was only 45000 when it got it.

General Comments:

On the plus side, this big Buick had a pretty good transmission and road handling characteristics. The body was heavy and it sat on a real chassis (frame). No cheap unibody stuff. The 4-speaker AM/FM stereo radio was one of the first true multiplexed models put into a car. The chrome was classy and blended into the body lines well. In 1966, this was a hotrod for upscale, middle-aged folks -- with room for the kids. 0-90 mph in the blink on an eye. Sadly, like most V8 engines of its time, the 412 could not take much more than 50000 miles of city driving before showing its age. It only cost about $700 then for a pro engine rebuild, but that was a lot of money then. $700 could buy you another big, used, American land yacht.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd October, 2002

5th Mar 2005, 16:23

You don't have the right size of the engine for this car-the standard size engine for the Riviera (the only size offered, actually) for this year was a 425-it is likely the engine you purport to have rebuilt in the Rivi wasn't the original engine. Also, unless an engine gets VERY poor upkeep, or is abused, or has a particular design flaw, none should need rebuilding at 50,000 miles.

The 425 Nailhead engine from this Riviera would last forever if kept properly.

11th Dec 2011, 22:03

I agree with the previous comment... The 425 cu in was the only engine offered. It was a hot rod.. 150 mph speedo. I disconnected the secondaries in the carb. It breezed to 100 pretty quick on the small primaries; was just curious to see what she would do.

The worst hazard was using low test or too low an octane... pinging or even silent pinging on this dome pistoned, high comp. engine would damage pistons or the bottom end. Octane and timing is critical.

The running gear on this car was neat. Adjustable cavitation of the differential and other sway bars and control arms, always drew a crowd while on a hoist.


18th Nov 2012, 01:22

There was also a 401 V8 offered in this year of production; the reviewer might have accidentally written '412' instead.

+1 and +1 to the above comments though, neither the 401 nor 425 engines, if treated and serviced properly, would EVER need rebuilding after only 45,000 miles.

Hope the original reviewer is still enjoying his/her Buick!