The production Riviera was introduced on 1962, as a 1963 model. Its distinctive bodyshell was unique to the marque, unusual for a GM product. The elegant styling sported new “Coke bottle styling”, with the middle of the body exhibiting a tapered tucked-in appearance. With the same power as the bigger Buicks and less weight, the Riviera had great all-around performance. Motor Trend found it capable of running 0–100 km/h in 8 seconds or less, with an observed top speed of 185 km/h.
In 1965 the 401 cu in (6.6 l) V8 returned as the standard engine, whilst the Super Turbine 400 transmission retained its variable pitch torque converter, but was fitted with a three-speed gear selector.
Total sales for the 1963–1965 model years was a respectable 112,244. The Riviera was extremely well received from all quarters and considered a great success, giving the Thunderbird its first real competition as America’s preeminent personal luxury car.