On the first full day of the 2019 International Meet of the Riviera Owners Association, the final event was a Guided Rallye through Gettysburg and the surrounding country. I do not currently own a Riviera, and, though other cars were explicitly welcomed on the tour, my preference was to be in a Riviera. However, I didn’t know anyone from the ROA either than virtually before attending the meet, so I didn’t think my odds were good of achieving my objective.
As it happened, I met one of my virtual acquaintances from the ROA section of the AACA forums as we were listening to the pre-road tour briefing. Mike offered me shotgun in his striking Aqua Mist 1968 Riviera, and I jumped at the chance. In a total coincidence, his car was on all the meet materials, including the t-shirt. I wonder how many t-shirts I would buy if my car was on them …
We left the hotel parking lot slowly, with a total of about 17 Rivieras. My number one observation is that the second generation Riviera is a very comfortable car. At no point in our approximately two-hour tour did I feel remotely cramped, despite my 6’2″ and a little over 200 pounds.
Another thing I noted was how much visibility these cars have. I managed to take some decent pictures during the tour, primarily because of the wide views I had available to me in almost all directions.
Finally, it cannot be ignored that Mike’s 1968 is quite spritely. Even with an all-in weight that was likely around 4,700 pounds, The Aqua Zephyr (probably only a week older than I am—another wild coincidence) got up and went when he asked it to.
So, thank you, Mike, for giving me the experience of being in a sixties Riviera driving through the Pennsylvania countryside. I’ll never forget it.