The 1950s were a golden era in American automotive history. Cars from this period represent a simpler time of smooth V8 engines, flashy chrome, and Space Age styling. One of the most desirable models is the 1955 Buick Century Riviera two-door hardtop. This full-size Buick combines graceful design, abundant power, and luxurious appointments into an elegant cruiser. If you’re searching for a tasteful classic to make a strong impression at shows and cruises, read on to learn why the ‘55 Century Riviera should be at the top of your list.
Alluring Exterior Styling Sets the 1955 Century Apart
One look at the 1955 Buick Century reveals why these cars stand out from the crowd. The styling gracefully walks the line between 1950s flash and timeless elegance. Designers pulled out all the stops, starting with the wraparound windshield and rear window that were an emerging trend in the mid-50s. This gives the Century an open, airy greenhouse that maximizes visibility. Other unique exterior features include:
- Quadruple ventiports on the front fenders – a Buick trademark – accented in gleaming chrome
- Distinctive Dover White roof contrasting the Stafford Blue Metallic body
- Polished bumper overriders and two-tone paint lending a upscale appearance
- Subtle Century badging on the rear panels signalling the special model
Many collectors give Buicks from this period high marks for their restrained styling and premium details. The Century oozes class without going overboard. If you’re searching for the perfect 1950s automobile to draw attention at shows and cruises, the elegant Riviera hardtop nails the look.
Refurbished Blue Interior & Chrome Details for Comfort
Lift the door handle of the two-door Century Riviera to find a welcoming blue interior nicely refreshed by the previous owner. Buick designed these cars for driving luxury with thoughtful ergonomics and premium materials.
The two-row bench seats provide abundant room for six adults to ride in comfort. Thick foam cushions are wrapped in bright blue vinyl complementing the exterior paint. Refreshing the upholstery is one of the smartest ways to modernize an old Buick for enjoyable touring.
Two-tone door panels and carpeting continue the color coordination for a put-together cabin environment. As you settle into the driver’s seat, the engine-turned dash houses a 120 mph speedometer and gauges covering all vital systems. An analog clock and AM radio provide entertainment. Chrome accents on the dashboard and steering wheel add a touch of jewelry. The controls are straightforward and the seating position is upright with a great view out.
Smooth & Powerful Nailhead V8 Engine
Under the hood of the Century Riviera is Buick’s famous 322 cubic-inch Nailhead V8 engine. This motor generates a robust 236 horsepower to deliver effortless acceleration and top speeds above 100 mph. The Nailhead was a groundbreaking lightweight design utilizing aluminum heads and high compression. The engine purrs quietly at idle then roars when you press the accelerator.
Recent work included rebuilding the single carburetor, cleaning the fuel system, and installing a new fuel pump to optimize performance. This Nailhead delivers silken power through a two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission. Simply shift into gear, press the pedal, and enjoy the wave of torque. The car cruises beautifully at highway speeds and has ample reserves for mountain driving or passing slow traffic. With proper care, this V8 will provide tens of thousands more miles of relaxed motoring.
Refined Ride & Handling With Upgraded Brakes
In an era before power steering and handling aids, the Century Riviera is remarkably easy to maneuver at low and high speeds. The power steering reduces turning effort while allowing excellent road feedback through the steering wheel. Out back, the live rear axle suspension smoothly soaks up bumps and dips.
This Buick tracks confidently on the road with minimal body roll. Refurbished 15-inch chrome wire wheels wear a fresh set of wide whitewall tires for a period-correct appearance and smooth ride. Stopping power has been upgraded to front disc brakes for enhanced safety, while the drums in back provide excellent balance. Whether cruising the highway or navigating twisty back roads, this Century flatters any driver.
For long-distance touring, the comfortable suspension and quiet cabin make hours pass quickly behind the wheel. The balanced handling inspires driving confidence. When properly maintained, these Buicks deliver a wonderful driving experience.
Own a Piece of Automotive History
This 1955 Century Riviera is a superlative example of GM styling and engineering from the 1950s. The two-door hardtop configuration has timeless beauty with its flowing lines and period colors. The refreshed interior is both stylish and functional. Under the hood, the 322 Nailhead delivers silky V8 performance. Recent service addressed critical components to optimize drivability.
Very few cars capture the optimism and character of 1950s America like the Century Riviera. These Buicks were exceptionally well-built, and lovingly maintained survivors can provide many more years of enjoyment. For collectors and enthusiasts searching for a stand-out classic, this Buick deserves serious consideration.