I did work on the ’83 Riviera Indy Pace Car, but my contribution was minimal. They seemed to know what they wanted; I just helped execute someone else’s design. The “Great Gatsby” beige and cream Riviera didn’t do anything for me. On the other hand, there was nothing that could possibly be done to that car to make it suitable as a performance car no matter how it was painted. I remember going over to the GM Research Lab Wind Tunnel just south of Design Staff at the Tech Center to witness the tunnel testing of the Riviera. The convertible had the top down, four dummies in the car, and two yellow flags hanging from the rear. When they brought the air up to speed, that Riv was flying, the dummies were shaking, and the flags shredding. It was floating in the breeze like an airplane and that didn’t exactly give me warm feelings about it being stable at speed. I was glad I didn’t have to ride in it at the track. If memory serves me correctly, I think they told me that it registered the highest drag of any car tested to date.
1983 Riviera Indy Pace Car sketch
1983 Riviera Indy Pace Car. I wonder if Tom Sneva, the winner of the race, was disappointed. Considering the fact that the car faired so poorly in the wind tunnel, not having added a roll bar seems to be a major oversight.
Bustle-Back Seville Wind Tunnel Test
Speaking of the wind tunnel, rumor had it that they tested the Cadillac Bustle-Back Seville at the wind tunnel, and it had a very high drag coefficient. Just for the heck of it they turned the car around backwards and it did quite well. I can’t verify if that story is true.
1983 Cadillac Bustle-Back Seville