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VIDEO: A factory custom gets the custom treatment. And Leno!

Published in blog.hemmings.com

So, this week, we’ve been all about the Riviera: 1st-gen, 2nd-gen and all the rest. Well, there might’ve been a few years there in the ’80s we could probably forget about, but hey – Z Cavariccis and soccer-mullets aside, there’s much to forgive about that decade.

Look, this is Muscle Machines. And we like to talk about big cubes in a V-formation. There’s no doubt that the early Rivieras (and let’s stick to the dedicated nameplate Riv, folks–we know you’re just itching to go into sordid detail about the name’s use by Buick in the ’50s) ran some of the most iconic GM V8s under their stretched hoods. And we’ve seen some impressive modifications to them in the pursuit of go-fast.

In light of all that, we’d also submit that there’s something noble about having all that performance potential under the hood of a well-executed Riv restoration (or customization, as it were), without having awakened it just yet. And in that light, we present you with one of our favorite gentlemanly muscle cars featured on Jay Leno’s show. Make yourself an Arnold Palmer, kick it in the recliner and drink in the tangerine metalflaked glory of this ’66 Riviera.