|1966 Buick Riviera
Big cars are in style and they don't get much bigger than the mid-'60s Buick Riviera. While not considered a musclecar, the '66-67 Riviera made a huge impact when it hit the streets of America. This was one of Detroit's most successful attempts at grabbing some of the European automotive style and performance in a big car. It was cutting-edge then and it still looks very hip today. Retractable headlights, deleted vent windows and new body lines were just some of the changes introduced in 1966. The base price of $4,408 sounds cheap today, but in '66 it was top-of-the-line. Over 45,000 were sold in 1966 alone, so finding one is not too tough. Pricing for a starter car in good shape will set you back somewhere around $6,000. Not the cheapest car out there, but on a cost-per-pound basis, it is still a heck of a deal, especially since it came from the factory with a nice 425 V-8 that, in stock form, put out 340 hp and a whopping 465 lb-ft of torque.
This car was pretty slick when it came off the factory floor, so not a lot needs to be done to the body. Shaved or modern door handles keep the clean lines flowing while a dark-on-light two-tone paint job makes it look even lower and longer than it really is. You can build it to handle or just make it a very cool boulevard cruiser with 20-inch wheels and an Air Ride suspension. For the engine, how about rebuilding that torque monster factory 425 nailhead and tossing a paddle-shifted 4L80 transmission behind it? There have been enough.