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Ronnie

Reatta from an outsiders perspective.

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I found this on a Mazda Miata forum and I thought it was an interesting view of how others see our Reattas.  I thought you might find it interesting too.

 

Quote

The reason I am bringing this car up is on the way to Christmas dinner at a relative's house I pass by this weird kind of combination used car lot/repair shop/something else that looks like a diner but isn't kinda place.

Out of the corner of my eye I spot this line of identical (except for paint color) cars......Buick Reattas! Must have been like 7 or 8 of them lined up.

I've always had a soft spot for orphaned, weirdo cars, I can't say I ever lusted or even remotely wanted a Reatta but the idea of a two seater Buick was kind of off beat for the brand back then. I guess they needed something after they killed off the Grand National biggrin.gif

Anyway lo and behold today I open my new digital edition of Automobile magazine and there is an article in there about them. Some nutjob guy wound up buying like 7 of them, all running and he just switches them around and drives all of them.

Interesting story about the guy, he looked at one back in 1988 but was 30 at the time and said a Corvette was only $5,000 more back then and the guys they showed in the brochure were in their mid to late 40's.

I guess something stuck and many years later the guy bought one, which led to another, then another. A lot of people wind up with offbeat cars this way.

One of his "finds" was he wanted to get a copy of the original owner's manual which of course all got thrown out over the years but was some nice leather bound thing that was all fancy and stuff.

He finds a guy with a manual for sale, negotiates the price to $500 eek.gif

But the guy insisted he take the car too....for another $200.

It was one of those "ran when parked" car deals.

Well a fresh battery and the thing started right up, the guy said he has put another 12,000 miles on that one since he bought it.

According to this guy the cars are quite reliable, they did have the Buick/GM 3.8 V6 and a four speed auto, he said many of their club members have 300,000 miles or more on theirs, many of the guy's own Reattas have well over 100,000 miles on them.

The story of these cars is fairly well known (built in small batches at a GM "Craft Center") but two things I never knew:

1. They planned a convertible at first, they were going for a cut rate M-B 380SL kinda vibe but then Cadillac stepped in and said "nope, that's our market segment" which they of course attempted to address with the Allante.

They made a convertible version at the end of production but it was a modified ASC built car and not very good at being a convertible

2. They hoped to sell 20,000 of these things a year (a tad less than typical Corvette production at the time) but didn't even make 22,000 of them over four years.

I mean I knew it was a low production car but I never knew they planned to sell 20,000 a year, that was a bit optimistic I suppose. wink.gif

Other bits (some possibly well known):

You think your modern car with your touchscreen is fancy and high tech? Reatta had one in 1988, yes way back when Reagan was still president.

Granted it was a CRT screen and it only lasted a couple of years of production but holy Casio Atomic watch, that was some high faluttin tech back in 1988.

Keyless entry - maybe other systems were on the market before hand but certainly not common back then.

I believe it was the first GM car to have ABS on all four wheels (they had crude rear brake only systems on trucks prior to this I believe) - not 100% sure about this but generally you had to buy a German luxury car to get standard ABS back then.

Needless to say this was never a sports car or even an enthusiast's car but you gotta hand it to Buick, they were at least TRYING to be relevant back then in the US market.

Analogeezer

 

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Interesting read Ronnie.

 I wish the guy would have said he went on to buy one and it has way more room then his Miata [my daughter owned one and I would much rather drive a Reatta] and a very solid car. But it sounds like it was just an opinion piece and not a conversion piece. 

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Yeah, the guy I quoted was just making small-talk with his Miata buddies like we often do here. Surprisingly most of them had nice things to say other than they thought it was an odd car that not many people know ever existed. And they thought it needed a bigger motor. That didn't bother me. I've always liked odd cars but I do agree that a bigger motor would have been nice.

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