: Prototype Northstar powered '98 Riviera.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-28-09, 06:48 PM
Buick's engineers tried this in '98, got denied by upper management, and it hung in limbo until now, at which point it's up for grabs on eBay.

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/28/ebay-find-of-the-day-northstar-powered-1998-buick-riviera-proto/

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1998-BUICK-RIVIERA-PROTOTYPE-CONCEPT-CAR-CADILLAC-V8_W0QQitemZ140353887607QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Cars _Trucks?hash=item20adbe5d77#ht_1900wt_1167

I don't know if it's the LD8 or L37. Either way, it's cool as hell!

Rolex
10-28-09, 06:56 PM
Cool car. Bad color and bad wheels.

the recluse
10-28-09, 07:07 PM
Cool car. Bad color and bad wheels.

Agreed...

itschrome
10-28-09, 07:08 PM
i disagree i love the color and the wheels. super awesome 90's style there. man i'd love to own that... some one loan me 20k?

iowasevillests
10-28-09, 07:46 PM
I agree with the ugly wheels comment, I actually like the color though. Sweet car though, its good to see that not all the one of a kind concepts were destroyed, such a shame to crush such car.

orconn
10-28-09, 07:58 PM
Sorry, the color does nothing for the car and the wheels are pretty bad too. My guess is the engineering department did not consult the styling studio when they they decided to build it. Would be a very interesting bit of automotive history. With only 10K miles on it I can see $20,000. for it. Unfortunately given its' provenance I wouldn't change a thing about the car ..... wheels included!

sven914
10-28-09, 08:36 PM
When I was in automotive college, we had a 2005/06 Buick LeSabre, with a 4.6 Northstar. Several digits of the VIN were X; for eXperimental. It had slightly different body lines, than the 05 production models (almost a mix between LeSaber and Lucerne styling), and was coted with an awesome Black Chrome paint. It was designed for the new car, show circuit, I suppose before Buick decided to replace the LeSabre, in 2006, with the 4.6 Northstar equipped Lucerne. Instead of GM destroying it, they donated it to the college in winter of 2008.

itschrome
10-28-09, 09:27 PM
When I was in automotive college, we had a 2005/06 Buick LeSabre, with a 4.6 Northstar. Several digits of the VIN were X; for eXperimental. It had slightly different body lines, than the 05 production models (almost a mix between LeSaber and Lucerne styling), and was coted with an awesome Black Chrome paint. It was designed for the new car, show circuit, I suppose before Buick decided to replace the LeSabre, in 2006, with the 4.6 Northstar equipped Lucerne. Instead of GM destroying it, they donated it to the college in winter of 2008.

i always found it odd that they never followed through with a v8 lesaber or park ave since they let the bonneville have one for the 04 -06 years.

sven914
10-28-09, 10:45 PM
i always found it odd that they never followed through with a v8 lesaber or park ave since they let the bonneville have one for the 04 -06 years.

Well the one we had was like the missing link between the LeSabre and Lucerne lines. It has the Lesabre front end and a similar (but different; sportier) body shape, compared to the regular production models, but it has the Lucerne rims and the four fender vents, and a very upscale interior. But even with the face lifts and engine upgrade, the car still looked dated. They basically used the same body style since 2000, which was just a face lift from the styling of 1992. The Bonneville was completely redesigned between 99 and 2000, and Pontiac is more sporty, which is why they got the Northstar.

V-Eight
10-28-09, 10:53 PM
That's be a fun little car, gotta ditch those Lambo-esque wheels though

77CDV
10-28-09, 11:11 PM
Color, wheels, and esp. the trim around the wheelwells make it look like a ghetto ride. Interesting one-off variant of the last-gen Riv. Not worth 20K.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-28-09, 11:17 PM
Who gives two shits about the color and all that garbage? What's important is that Buick's engineers designed it and it had a chance of production until GM's head honchos killed it.

77CDV
10-28-09, 11:24 PM
Engineering is all well and good, but it's design that sells, and good design includes color choices and accessories. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell knew this. That's why they were gods.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-28-09, 11:28 PM
Design is crucial, but don't you think this car wouldn't have come out as goofy looking if GM OK'd it? Instead of it being a skunkworks special?

Besides, who's to say that the car originally was that color, and with those wheels? Maybe someone down the line changed the color? It does have 10k on it...

77CDV
10-28-09, 11:35 PM
I hope the color and wheels came afterwords. GM is usually much more particular about the appearance of its prototypes and dream cars. Think about the Buick Y-Job or LeSabre, or the Cadillac Orleans. Even for an internal presentation, color and accessories are crucial because they profoundly affect the psychological and emotional reaction to the car.

I will say that Buick should have offered an optional V8 in those years on its larger cars (Riv, LS, PA). After all, Olds got a N* variant, why not Buick?

orconn
10-28-09, 11:39 PM
Couldn't agree more with 77CDV without the sizzle of style all the engineering in the world doesn't get the job done in the marketplace. Citroen and Saab spring to mind .... but in the end not the right car for the US market .... particulary from a styling stanbdpoint. Let's face it the 1965 Mustang was not an engineerting break through (hardly) but from vgery mediocre bits and pieces came a big sales success. The 1966 Torobado would not ahve been the success it was, despite its' engineering brilliance, without it really atttractive styling, Same goes for the Eldorado of '67. However, for a car with only, 10K miles in apparently very nice condition, $20,000 grand does not seem unreasonable given its' provenance and utility value. I am not under the Riviera's styling spell but I'd considered it ..... not as an investment but just for the transportation and enjoyment of the ownership of a especially unique car.

hueterm
10-28-09, 11:40 PM
The question is -- would it be worth it at say $23-25K to get it, have it repainted a respectable color, and replace those dumb ass donk wheels...?

I say why not -- however, ask Destroyer....

Stingroo
10-28-09, 11:42 PM
Guys I can't help but notice you're ALL missing the point of the car. It wasn't designed (aesthetically speaking) by GM, it was designed FOR GM for the SEMA show. SEMA cars are supposed to be glitzy and trendy and all of that, because the purpose of SEMA is to show off aftermarket mods, not to show new vehicles like the regular auto show. I don't know about you, but seeing a Buick Riviera at SEMA in ANY form would be enough to make me go see what it was doing there, and that's what this car does. It makes you go, look at it, and possibly see a good idea or two (the Northstar), or if you're not performance minded, it shows you some things you also may like (rims, color, etc.)

Don't bash it because it's not stock, it was never intended to be. *steps off the soap box* :sbox:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-28-09, 11:52 PM
I will say that Buick should have offered an optional V8 in those years on its larger cars (Riv, LS, PA). After all, Olds got a N* variant, why not Buick?

My theory is that because GM was trying so hard (and making a good job of it) to make Oldsmobile the more svelte, European brand, that's why they got the peppy twin cam V8 and Buick didn't. Now looking back on it, Buick should have gotten it as well. It would have kept engineering costs down as well and refined the Northstar even quicker.


I am not under the Riviera's styling spell but I'd considered it ..... not as an investment but just for the transportation and enjoyment of the ownership of a especially unique car.

I myself love the way the Rivieras looked. They were edgy, unique and unlike anything else, but that color is not for me at all. I would have gone with a nice burgundy, navy blue or black.

I do like that carbon fiber dash trim though too.


The question is -- would it be worth it at say $23-25K to get it, have it repainted a respectable color, and replace those dumb ass donk wheels...?

I say why not -- however, ask Destroyer....

Speaking of Destroyer and his hatred of the Northstar, what if the skunkworks division went the extra mile and crammed an LS1 under the hood and made the rear axle the driving axle?? :drool:

Or on the other hand, what if Cadillac's skunkworks division did the opposite and crammed in a Supercharged 3.8 and ran 10 lbs of boost under the hood of a Eldorado?? :lildevil:

itschrome
10-28-09, 11:54 PM
Guys I can't help but notice you're ALL missing the point of the car. It wasn't designed (aesthetically speaking) by GM, it was designed FOR GM for the SEMA show. SEMA cars are supposed to be glitzy and trendy and all of that, because the purpose of SEMA is to show off aftermarket mods, not to show new vehicles like the regular auto show. I don't know about you, but seeing a Buick Riviera at SEMA in ANY form would be enough to make me go see what it was doing there, and that's what this car does. It makes you go, look at it, and possibly see a good idea or two (the Northstar), or if you're not performance minded, it shows you some things you also may like (rims, color, etc.)

Don't bash it because it's not stock, it was never intended to be. *steps off the soap box* :sbox:

well said. not to mention i think every one is forgetting this car is over 10 years old, style has changed a bit since then. do you guy remember the 90s? those wheels are hot shit if you think back to 98. haha, sad but true.

I would rock the hell out of this. if i had 20k i'd buy it for sure! just the chance to own a buick Riviera with A: a N* is kind of cool, but B: to own a buick build for sema by buick engineers with the hope to make it a production car is even sweeter. imagine showing up to a car show with this beauty. hell yeah..

orconn
10-28-09, 11:57 PM
^^^^ Your point is well taken. If it were me I keep the cars color and repalce the wheels for DD use while keeping the current wheels so the car can be put back in show form in case I wanted to sell it later on. DStingroo is right the value to a collector is in the fact that the Riviera was a factory prepared "show car." However, to me the value would be in the performance provided by the Northstar engine .... if in fact that performace was realized. The Riviera of that vintage was an attractive car in its' own right would it have been even more attractive with a V8, it would have been to me. If uniquesneess has a place in your reason for owning a particular car then a lot can be said for this Riv!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-28-09, 11:59 PM
As sweet as the Supercharged 3.8 is, a V8 is the ideal engine for a Riviera, whether it be a 455, 425 nailhead, 403 or 307. The Riviera came into existence with a V8, it should have gone out with it too.

Stingroo
10-29-09, 12:01 AM
I actually almost bought one of these Rivieras. They're nice looking cars with a fair bit of power for sure.

Didn't really mean to go on a rage-rant up there, but yeah. I would do the same as you orconn; store those wheels somewhere and find a stock set, or something less radical for DD/Weekend use, and only use those with the car if I went for a show. Imagine taking that thing to a show with all the documentation to prove its heritage. You'd be a smash hit any day.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-29-09, 12:04 AM
IF I could have found a nicely equipped & colored '98-'99 Riviera with low mileage, I would have bought that over the GS. No doubt. They just drive so much different....more quiet & more solid. Plus it didn't feel like any other car GM was making at the time...it was totally unique and different. And they have probably the best seats out of any '90s era GM car.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-29-09, 12:06 AM
Now on the original topic....offshoot concept prototype cars. Let's go back another 10 years to 1988 and take a look at this beast:

The LT-5 powered Z28

http://www.gmhightechperformance.com/features/0809gmhtp_1988_lt5_chevy_camaro/index.html

Ironically enough, it's another car that goes like stink while looking like shit.

Stingroo
10-29-09, 12:31 AM
It kind of reminds me of the Indy 500 C5 Pace car for 1998:

http://www.zorly.com/images_corvette/09-06-08/1998%20Corvette%20Indianapolis%20500%20Pace%20Car% 20Replica%20-%20wikipedia.jpg

Aron9000
10-29-09, 01:13 AM
I LOVE that Riveria, color and rims included:D

That being said, I'm glad Buick stuck to the supercharged six instead of the Northstar. From a reliability standpoint, the L67 is far superior and didn't give up a whole lot of power. You can always mod the L67 and blow the doors off of Northstar cars anyways.

Gristle Boy
10-29-09, 01:09 PM
They put the engine in sideways!!!! Fail! :D

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
10-29-09, 01:33 PM
Screw the Vette, I want that Lincoln behind it. :drool:

77CDV
10-29-09, 02:15 PM
It kind of reminds me of the Indy 500 C5 Pace car for 1998:

http://www.zorly.com/images_corvette/09-06-08/1998%20Corvette%20Indianapolis%20500%20Pace%20Car% 20Replica%20-%20wikipedia.jpg

Shame on you for torturing Chad with that Lincoln teaser!

Stingroo
10-29-09, 02:21 PM
Unintentional! I swear!

*hides*

LS1Mike
10-31-09, 11:34 PM
Interesting car. I love Rivera styling and in at time the look of this car has was hot. I like it!
I am sure GM, well mabye used too, has a bunch of stuff like that lying around.
The C5 was all orignally tested under Camaro skin. That thing got sold.
I read some of the comments on the Autoblog, one guy was talking about V6's He was talking about the 90 degree V6 being crap.
He thought he was talking about the 3800 but he was really talking 2.8 which, well to be quite frank, was poop. The 3.1 and the 3.4 which came later and were based off the 2.8 are pretty good once you get a good set of intake gakets in it.

ga_etc
11-01-09, 12:40 AM
I wouldn't say that the 2.8 was "poop". It was a good motor, just not really a workhorse. The 3.8 is one hell of a little motor though.

tman2093
11-02-09, 02:48 AM
You ever look in the engine bay of a 91-96 Buick Park Ave? Theres a lot of empty room in there. Something tells me they were wanting a V8 option somewhere down the road that never materialized. With the redesign in 97, the engine bay shrunk considerably, telling me they relegated the PA to a V6 only configuration.

Destroyer
11-03-09, 10:56 PM
Speaking of Destroyer and his hatred of the Northstar, what if the skunkworks division went the extra mile and crammed an LS1 under the hood and made the rear axle the driving axle?? :drool:

Funny you would call using an LS1 going the "extra mile", I would as well and I would approve...........big time! IMO Cadillac and Buick for that matter should all use Chevy power. I honestly can't find 1 reason why a N* would be a better choice in any respect. :suspect::D

Destroyer
11-03-09, 10:59 PM
The question is -- would it be worth it at say $23-25K to get it, have it repainted a respectable color, and replace those dumb ass donk wheels...?

I say why not -- however, ask Destroyer....
Yeah if you are into that kinda thing..........otherwise just get another N* '98 Caddy and wait for it to self implode. It would save money vs getting a unique car with a N* to self implode. :cookoo: