So here’s a little piece of Germany for you to chew on : a 1976 Buick Riviera. One of only five in Germany, the proud owner came out gushing to me (he is the guy in the vest and worker’s pants to the left of the car) about his rare auto. A self described “total Ami fan”, the guy just loved American cars and drove to what seems to me to be the middle of nowhere in Northern Germany to pick up the car. Seven and a half liters of Detroit iron sit at the front of this car, though the ongoing saga of emissions restrictions and gasoline shortages that started in 1971, then compounded in 73 and 74 in the gas crisis, left this car crippled by General Motors’ poor attempts at making its land yachts clean and fuel efficient, all while beginning to face the oncoming tide of foreign imports. None of the shortcomings of this heavy, slow, and shoddily built example of American engineering seemed to dull this German’s enthusiasm, as he is planning a full restoration for the imported Buick. I am just glad that it lives out on the street, is driven regularly, and gives me plenty of opportunity to strike up conversation with everyday Germans.
Posted by: Raphael Orlove | January 29, 2010
One of Five
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