The 1986 Buick Riviera’s Graphics Control Center (GCC) was the first car that came standard with a touchscreen. (Take that, Tesla!) Of course, when you compare the aesthetics and abilities to today’s inner-car displays, the display that’s more than three decades old obviously looks dated. But back then, the cathode-ray tube monitor with green and black icons and text looked like the type of computer monitors you’d see hogging desk space in ’80s movies (think Wall Street or Trading Places).
Plus, the GCC tech placed a lot of functionality at the tips of your fingerless neon gloves, including climate control, stereo and volume controls, trip stats, mpg, date and time, and more.
The old-school infotainment system wasn’t without its drawbacks, though. For starters, an annoying high-pitch “beep” would sound whenever you touched a screen function. While that’s not so bad the first few times, imagine how aggravating it’d become when you’d toggle to find a specific category, surf through radio stations, or adjust the volume.
Another irritation: having to take your eyes off the road to find what you wanted to be displayed. (Sound familiar?)
Still, the feature was enough to help land the Riviera fourth on Motor Trend’s 1986 ‘Car of the Year.’
Even with the ahead-of-its-time GCC and the Motor Trend accolade, at the end of the day, it was still just an ’86 Buick.