Vin Car Pic: 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Convertible

1949 was the first year for the “VentiPorts.” (GM PR archives)

The Buick Roadmaster received its first major postwar restyling in 1949, according to Wikipedia. Its wheelbase and overall length were reduced but its weight was actually marginally increased. The biggest change was a much larger two-piece, curved glass windshield that the sales brochure described as like an “observation car.”

It was also in 1949 that Buick introduced “VentiPorts.” Four were displayed on each of the Roadmaster’s front fenders, with three on the fenders of the Super, Century and Special.

The Riviera joined the body-style lineup in midyear, selling 4,314 units. Featuring power windows as standard equipment, the two-door Buick Roadmaster Riviera, along with the Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville and the Oldsmobile 98 Holiday, was among the first hardtop coupes ever produced.

The Riviera was also notable for its popular optional “Sweepspear” chrome body-side molding, which would soon become a Buick trademark.

The name Riviera, Latin for coastline, was chosen to evoke the allure and affluence of the French Riviera. Its new two-door pillarless hardtop styling was described in advertising as “stunningly smart.”

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