1956 Buick Special (2-door Riviera Hardtop)

Buick aimed the Special at the ‘budget minded buyer‘ and sat at the start of the Buick lineup. However, don’t let the budget label fool you. Buicks were more of a mid-price car. This 1956 Special 2-door Riviera Hardtop was priced nearly $300 more than the 2-door Sports Coupe which sat in Chevrolet’s top-of-the-line Bel Air Series.

The Special is easy to spot as it was the only series to have three ventiports on each of the front fenders – all other Series had four.

The minor facelift for 1956 included a new forward thrusting grille, oval ventiports oval (instead of round) and a revised taillight design.

Rear view of a 1956 Buick Special
rear view

Inside, the red and white interior compliments the Seminole Red and Dover White exterior of this beautiful Special.


1956 saw Buick drop the smaller 264 cubic inch engine with all models now enjoying the 322 cubic inch V8 as standard. When paired with a Dynaflow Drive automatic transmission, as this car is, a further $204 was added to the price.

Other options on this car include; power steering ($108), power brakes ($37), push-button AM radio ($96) and factory air conditioning ($403).

Buick sold 113,861 Special 2-door Riviera hardtops during the 1956 model year at a base price of $2,457. Of the 2-door cars in the Special series, the Riveria version sold nearly three times as many as the 2-door sedan despite the additional $100 cost.

This ’56 Buick Special is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for even more photos)

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