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Canadian 1964 Buick Riviera Custom Wins 2014 Ridler Award

Published on March 20, 2014 by in Blog, CATI

A 1964 Buick Rivera built by J.F. Launier, owner of a custom car business in Osoyoos, British Columbia, has won the coveted Ridler Award at this year’s Detroit Autorama custom car show, one of the biggest prizes in the car world. The vehicle, named Rivision, is a ‘64 Buick Riviera modified to resemble the 1970’s version of the model. Front fender vents, a deep chin spoiler, lowered suspension, bright yellow paint and tons of original chrome enhance the car’s sleek and unique style.

Under the vehicle’s vented hood sits a modern 6.2 liter V8 engine capable of an astonishing 850 horsepower, thanks to a six-speed manual gearbox and twin turbochargers mounted in the rear of the car, with dual exhausts between the tail lights.Though the engine is very powerful, it’s not particularly loud, which is surprising. Some say the car is so fast it might be able to reach a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour.

After being announced as the winner of the competition, Launier claimed that he spent more than 20,000 hours working on his car over the past five years. He refrained from revealing how much the vehicle cost to produce, but specialists have estimated the price tag to be at around $300,000.

First Canadian since 1987

Launier’s win is monumental, as Rivision is the first Canadian car to win the award since 1987. It was the second time Launier entered the annual competition held at the Detroit Autorama and hosted by the Michigan Hot Rod Association.

It’s Launier’s attention to detail, meticulous eye and auto mechanic training that helped him charm the judges and dazzle the crowd, an inspiration for the many who want to become a mechanic.

As the main attraction of the Detroit Autorama, the Ridler Award is one of the two most sought after honours in all of hot rodding. It requires contestants to spend endless hours, invest a considerable amount of money and, in some cases, sign up for an auto mechanic course, to develop a car that shows ingenuity, an ability to impress, and above all else creativity. Named after the late Don Ridler, the promotional genius behind Autorama in the mid-1950s, eligible hopefuls must bring an entirely new creation to the competition.

Inside the 2014 Ridler Award winner

Losing its four-seat capability, the award-winning Buick Riviera makes do with two. The waste gates and turbos are located in the trunk, with heat vents blended into the rear tail lamps. The front fenders feature additional venting, along with a hot-air exit in the hood. It doesn’t resemble at all the Buick Riviera it once was, but that’s what’s necessary to win the top prize!

Despite his big win, Launier doesn’t want his masterpiece to collect dust in a museum. Instead, he plans to drive it at some upcoming competitions, to fully test what the engine is capable of.

 
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