The 1988 Select Sixty was unknown until a Mrs. Ladd in Knoxville, TN contacted the Reatta group in 1998 and told us about her car (901116). She had purchased it new and it had the S60 hood emblem. Her story and pictures caused us to investigate what we did and didn't know about the "Select Sixty Dealer" hood emblem. We knew about the emblems and there was speculation that they went on the 1990 white S60's but the few 1990's that were known at the time did not have the emblem, including the one in the GM collection.
Ed Mertz was contacted and this is roughly what he said: the "new" 1988 Reatta build has just started, (the first of Jan 1988), and one of the perks they wanted to give to the 1987 Select Sixty Dealers was add a Reatta to their allotment. The Reatta was in demand at the beginning of production, so this was special. Buick wanted to do something special for the dealer cars but since the assembly line was just getting up to speed, and the dealer meeting was in March, management did not want to interrupt the assembly line with a special car. Not much thought had been put into what they could do "special", so the final decision was to make a Select Sixty hood emblem. The Select Sixty cars were built but the special emblem was not available to put on the cars as they were built.
By the time the Select Sixty Dealer hood emblems arrived, the cars were already being distributed to the dealers, so... the hood emblems were sent to the dealers for them to add to the car.Tom Payette, a former Buick dealer in Louisville says his car came with the emblem, so there is the possibility that a few of the last built may have been installed at the Craft Centre. Number 901111 went to Louisville but with no dealer name. If the Payette car arrived with a S60 emblem we might conclude that at least all cars between 901111 and 901120 were built at the Craft Centre with the S60 emblem attached. You would think these cars would be much easier to find/identify but of those last 20 cars, only 901115 and 901116 have been verified.
Over the years we have been able to piece together the story with what we have learned about the Select Sixty. Some people believe the emblems were intended for the 1990 Select Sixty and if you think about all we know, logic says no.
- 1988 have surfaced with the emblem confirmed by the original owner, meaning the emblems were made in 1988 for the 1988
- The 1990 argument says the reason only a few 1990's have the emblem is because they were not ready when the cars were built. This scenario does not work because we know the emblems were available in 1988, so all 1990's should have been built with the emblem as it was not a delivery problem.
- Combining (1) & (2) tells us that an S60 emblem would have been added to a car by someone with access to the emblems, a reasonable possibility would be a dealer that won both 1988 and 1990 Select Sixty cars could have had a 1988 emblem in his desk that was not installed on the 1988 car and when he won the 1990 S60, chose to put the emblem on that car.
- The first 1990 Select Sixty convertible that I saw was at the 1997 St. Louis National meet and GM displayed it with other Buicks it has provided. That car did not have a S60 emblem, it had a standard Reatta hood emblem.
As stated earlier, the 1988 cars are almost impossible to identify without some knowledge. Since most of the, up to 61 built, did not get the special hood emblem at the Craft Centre you must search further. My recommendations on verifying one.
- It would have been a Black coupe, with a tan interior, and 16 way seats.
- It would have been built with a VIN number between 901060 and 901120.
- If it fits the requirements of 1 & 2, the next step is to look at the Service Parts label in the trunk. The Service Parts label is located next to the spare tire.
If there is an X22 code on the Service Parts label, the car was built as one of the group for the Select Sixty recognition. This code is purely for internal GM tracking/audit but it should be in on the label on Select Sixty cars.