1969 Buick Riviera is latest Hot Wheels Legends finalist

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The Hot Wheels Legends Tour traveled to Southern California, one of the bastions of car culture in the United States, to find the next custom-built car that it will add to its catalog of scale models. The winner of the latest stop is a 1969 Buick Riviera turned into a head-turning lowrider.

Owned by Mario and Nora Zamudio of Los Angeles, the big coupe is finished in a color called Pagan Gold and fitted with bright wire wheels. The husband-and-wife team spent four years working nights and weekends to build the Riviera. They removed the exterior trim pieces to achieve a cleaner look, spent a considerable amount of time detailing the engine bay and fitted a hydraulic suspension system.

The interior received the custom treatment as well. Pagan Gold accents on the dashboard complement the exterior, there's an aftermarket steering wheel with three bright spokes, and the beige and brown upholstery finishes to the look. Readers familiar with Riviera models from the 1960s will notice that some of the switches aren't original; they're used to control the hydraulic suspension.

Power for this Riviera comes from the original 430-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8, which was rated at 360 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque in 1969. It spins the rear wheels via a three-speed automatic transmission, and we bet it sounds excellent.


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This eye-catching Riviera will move on to the semifinal round this fall, where it will compete against previous winners for the chance to get scaled down into a Hot Wheels model. The list of past winners is stunningly diverse: it includes a Volvo-powered 1968 Volkswagen Beetle, a kei truck turned into a monster truck, and a 1973 Toyota Celica powered by a General Motors-sourced V8 and nicknamed Tokyo Trans Am.

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