While Mother Nature’s winter weight is still sloughing off, the premiere show season is already getting a start with the 2014 Detroit Autorama and the crowning of the latest Ridler Award winner. In years past, this coveted award has gone to some pretty outstanding hot rods, and this year was no different, according to Classic Car News.
The Detroit Autorama brings together some of the most exquisite builds in the country, showcasing the prized projects of builders and owners alike who have spent hundreds of hours and many thousands of dollars preparing their rides for their Detroit debut.
Last year, the Ridler Award went to Checkered Past, a 1940 Ford Coupe owned by Ron and Deb Cizek. Since its debut, the custom Ford has toured the States, making stops at some of the country’s most prestigious shows, including the 2013 SEMA Show. It was then brought back to Detroit to be on display at this year’s Autorama while another Ridler Award winner was crowned.
Taking place March 7th and 8th this year, the Detroit Autorama offered many great contenders for this year’s top award, which you can browse through (and drool over) HERE. In the end, only one car could take the title of this year’s Ridler. That car ended up being Rivision, a 1964 Buick Riviera owned and built by Candian J.F. Launier.
Launier, owner of J.F. Kustoms in Osoyoos, British Columbia is the creator of three previous Detroit Autorama Great 8 picks, but this is the first year the top builder has built a car that went all the way to the top at the Detroit show; and it’s his own personal car. Launier’s ride also won the Builders Trophy at the event.
About The Car
Okay, okay…. enough background. Now let’s get to the car!
As we previously stated, the 1964 Buick Riviera named Rivision is the product of Launier’s handiwork, which can be summed up in the fact that over $300,000 and 20,000 hours of labor went into the car. This unique ride is more than money, material, and minutes. It’s a project of passion for Launier, who has had an affinity for Riviera’s all his life.
With a completely hand-formed body, Rivision is, what Launier told Classic Car News, a concept car of sorts. Rather than being a custom 1964 Riviera, it’s more of a unique design set forth by Launier had he been at the hands of Buick’s design decisions back in the day. The result is a 1964 Riviera widened by six inches, featuring custom hand-formed fenders, quarters, hood, and rear end atop a one-off chassis. It also incorporates a ’71 boat tail Riviera rear window.
With 6.2L of greatness at his disposal, Launier equipped Rivision with trunk-mounted twin turbochargers, giving the Buick beast nearly 850hp controlled by a 6-speed manual transmission.
Under the car, well, that’s still a bit of a mystery right now, but we can only assume its as reformed as the rest of the car. After all, Launier doesn’t plan on having Rivision be a designated show queen for long. Instead, he built the car to road race with. He even plans to take it to Goodguys events this coming season. Can anyone say autocross action, perhaps?
Rivision is certainly a force to be reckoned with and we can’t wait to see how she performs on the road racing circuit.
Congratulations goes out to Launier on his latest creation and 2014 Ridler Award!