1986 Buick Riviera T-TypeBuick garnered a write-up with their all-new Riviera (kin to the previously discussed Toronado). In this case the writer focused on the car’s electronic gadgetry. Headline, “Two displays illuminate car’s status.”

Bolstering Buick’s sophistication appeal, they made the Graphic Control Center standard on the completely redesigned 1986 Riviera (Riviera T Type shown to the right).

Fairly common now but sophisticated for the time was the availability of information such as air temperature (inside and outside), and fuel range and average economy. There is also a diagnostics display that alerts the driver to potential issues with the electrical, powertrain, brake and lamp systems.

1989 Buick Riviera interior (with Graphic Control Center)The system utilizes two digital screens: the primary is called the Electronic Instrument Cluster and the secondary display is called the Graphic Control Center. Anyway, it’s certainly neat but I can’t imagine the cost when a CRT screen stops working.

The paper continues page after page. It talks (way too) briefly about the 1986 Cadillac Seville redesign. Suzuki got a small write up for their new, fun-inspiring but woefully underpowered, Samurai.

Another new-for-’86 item was from Chevrolet. Corvette had employed a security device called VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System). It works by requiring a specific key to start the car. That key is fitted with a “pellet” that has a unique electrical code. Without the pellet, the fuel injectors won’t activate and the starting circuit will not energize.

The device soon spread to many other vehicles made by GM. My Syclone’s ignition key has a pellet.

There are two more full-page ads that I thought might be interesting.

1986 LAAS Special Ad Supplement Ford and Toyota ads

The Ford ad proudly features Taurus front and center. Thunderbird is included and although it was starting to look a little dated, that generation still remains as one of my favorite designs. As with Taurus, I feel the ninth generation (1983) Thunderbird was an advanced design for the time.

Tempo is shown also but I’ve never had any fond memories of that car. Nor the Escort. No image of Mustang even though it looked quite handsome for 1986.

This Toyota ad caught my eye because of the FXV concept. Like the Nissan MID4, I don’t recall seeing anything about this at the time. The car’s flush design helped it achieve a 0.24 coefficient of drag in wind tunnel testing.

1986 Toyota FXVIts engine is located “mid-ship” to achieve an almost 50/50 (front/rear) weight distribution. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve, fuel-injected, turbocharged and supercharged engine. It was based off of the new engine in the 1986 Celica GT-S.

The FXV shifts automatically through five gears and employs “four-wheel drive” with claimed improvements in handling and stability. Handling is further augmented by electronically-controlled four-wheel steering. The suspension is also electronically controlled, dipping the nose at high speeds to maximize aerodynamics.

The FXV was a technological knock out in 1986 with things like solar panels on the roof that power ventilation and replenish the battery. The 10-inch touchscreen CRT monitor displays your typical array of operational information, including the navigation system and A/C controls.

Well, there is more but I dragged this post out. Let me just wrap it up by saying, there was a lot that took place in the automotive scene in 1986. More than I’d readily remembered prior to reading this advertisement.

Continue below to the photo gallery.

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