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Ronnie

Hello and welcome to the best Reatta specific website on the internet!
Please introduce yourself to the community and make yourself at home. Post your introductions and welcome messages here. Tell us about yourself and your Reatta. We love to see pictures!

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  • 2 weeks later...
2seater

I have owned my 1990 since early 1994, or about 27 years now. I had looked at Reattas off and on for a couple of years, primarily private party offers but there always seemed to be something that put me off from the purchase. I knew almost nothing about the car other than I liked the style and it wasn't a cookie cutter model. About a year before I finally purchased, my wife and I had taken over a craft store that my wife would operate. She taught classes, sold wholesale and retail and I was the unpaid help for upkeep, maintenance and other sundry duties while still working full time. This didn't allow much time for other activities but the one thing I did need to do was drive, so I figured I may as well enjoy the drive. As luck would have it, I noticed a claret coupe in the front row at a Saturn dealership, a somewhat unexpected location. My wife and I visited the dealership that evening and went for a test drive. We both liked the car but ironically, the IPC failed on our drive. When we returned the car, I figured it was another dry run, but the salesman said they would investigate the glitch and call me with an update. He did call me the next day and said they had ordered a new IPC and lowered the price slightly. He also gave me the name of the prior owner who turned out to be a salesman whose territory took him from Lake Michigan to Minnesota accounting for the slightly high miles of 59k. He said he purchased it as a previous demo from the Detroit area?? Was never terribly clear on that but the price of $10,100 was acceptable and it became mine.

 

After I acquired the Reatta, it became a summer only car, which did duty from May through October each year, trading places with an Isuzu Trooper II for winter. This was uneventful for a few years, being very reliable and pleasurable to drive. We would take Sunday drives, quite literally, our two boys already out of the nest and on their own. It was two or three years later that we took the car for an extended loop, a road trip, of about ten days. We had no destination in mind or plan. The movie Fargo was current at the time so set that as our initial destination, Fargo North Dakota. The car was comfortable for long distances and I actually saw 30mpg a couple of times. As we travelled west, we noticed more and more motorcycles headed the same way. This being a snap judgement, no planning road trip, we stumbled into the wave headed for the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota. Due to our lack of plan, we found we had to stop by about 3pm each day to have any hope of finding a motel room. The bikers we encountered were from all walks of life but were almost always friendly and helpful. My wife asked one woman why she didn't wear a lighter color set of leathers and she replied she tried that at first, but chain oil didn't play well with white, so black is the practical color. At this time Montana didn't have a fixed speed limit, one of my other reasons for this route, so I set the cruise above 90mph, with forays into triple digits when traffic was sparse. From the border of Montana at ND to Billings, MT in 2hrs 26min, and 22mpg, which I thought was amazing. I was passed by one vehicle in that burst, a guy on a BMW motorcycle. He just motored slowly by, pulled ahead and gradually disappeared. I did think about following but my conscience in the passengers seat was awake and nixed that idea. I later found out from the locals when we stopped to eat that while technically there was no limit, anything above 85mph would get you the stink eye, especially for an out of state plate.  The gods were smiling I guess. Ultimately we looped through Yellowstone National Park as our western limit and headed back the southern route through South Dakota. Leaving Yellowstone through the eastern gate gave the Reatta a test for loose fasteners. We had to drive through a heavy equipment work zone with a guide car in a caravan of others. It was so rough I thought the wheels would fall off, but it is a tough little car. Maybe more in the future

 

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DAVES89

I have owned my first Reatta for almost 15 years [bought it for my 50th Birthday] and actually stumbled upon them by accident. I was driving in Door County Wisconsin on snowy roads running appointments when a guy in a little sports car pulled out on me from a side road. I swore at him for pulling out but then said "Hey what kind of a car is that"? So I pulled up close enough to read "BUICK" in the taillight and went home wanting to look it up. Figured out it was a Reatta and read up on them regarding their electrical advances and limited production. My brother worked as a salesman at a Buick dealership and I stopped in to ask him his opinion. He didn't think much of them and took me to one of the top mechanics they had who said I should "Run from them". But I liked the styling and had some real good mechanical friends and started looking. I also discovered the AACA and Buick Reatta Forums and started lurking. After about an 18 month search I found one that was dealer serviced, right miles and good price. Problem was is that it was in Fort Lauderdale so I called the guy we agreed on the price and I booked a flight. It was an adventure driving the car back, no break downs but a real learning curve.

Oh and the color of the Reatta that pulled out on me in Door County? Claret. Know anyone in Wisconsin who owns one?

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Ron Walker

My wife and I have owned the ‘89 Reatta since 1996. When purchased, it had 66K miles on the odometer. Seemed high to spring for a used car, but still lower than the average 15K per year. The purchase was primarily for my wife to drive full time to work and in all seasons. Front wheel drive in Western Pennsylvania winters is a must. I put on 4 winter tires from Nov/Dec through Mar/Apr. Purchased the tire/wheel package from Tire Rack which made the winter/summer swap easy enough. My wife drove the car daily until her early retirement in 1999. We still use the car for winter driving, but on a more limited basis.  Our purchase was influenced by style and color. I remember our road test prior to purchase and that I was mesmerized by the CRT. Paid $8K + tax, title and transfer. I considered it a good deal.

 

Historically, in 1988, my Pontiac/Buick dealer suggested we consider a new Reatta, but a new Reatta was not in the cards due to the need for more than 2 seats, and the price tag was, well, pricey. At the time, our second car was an ‘84 Buick Skyhawk Ltd. with 4 spd manual (had to wait 4 months for GM to build due to the manual).  Instead, I traded a Pontiac 6000 on an ‘88 Grand Prix and later traded the ‘88 in on a ‘92 Grand Prix Richard Petty Edition (a limited production model which I still own with 20K miles). The Reatta that was in the show room was long gone, and out of mind. There were no Reattas in the area so it was a model easy to put in the back of your mind. The one I bought showed up at a used car lot and its style and color piqued our interest, and eventual purchase. In 1996 there was no need for more than 2 seats. Prior to my wife’s retirement, we put on about 20K miles, until now at 131K, or an average of 2K +/- miles annually over the past 20 years. 

 

In the past, we owned a ‘68 and a ‘70 Barracuda, a ‘70 Dodge Challenger R/T, an ‘83 Caballero (GMC’s version of an El Camino) and during mortgage time and family rearing a bevy of Mopars and GM’s X body vehicles. In all, counting fingers and toes, we owned 20 vehicles since high school. Current ownership includes: ‘13 Avalanche; ‘10 Camaro SS; ‘04 SSR; ‘92 Grand Prix Richard Petty Ed.; and the ‘89 Reatta. Three of the five are purely “sunshine” cars. I keep regular plates on the Reatta since we would otherwise violate the Antique Auto rules. My wife’s favorite for her to drive remains the Reatta.  

 

I retired in 2016 after 50 years of employment by the same employer, a Property and Casualty Insurance Company. I rose through the ranks in the Claims Department to retiring as an AVP. Enjoyed my career and am enjoying retirement. Numerous people ask me “how do you like retirement?” and I respond by saying “I highly recommend it.”  Also, I enjoy reviewing the ROJ, too. Thanks to all who contribute. 

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ship

I've owned my '91 white Reatta since 2013...it's strictly a hobby/cruise-in/car-show car.  Bought it from a woman who owned/housed it on Cape Cod, MA.  I was fortunate enough to retire from State Street Corp (a Boston based financial institution) in 2003 after 20 years service at age 54. Took their severance package and never looked back!  My partner Diane and I drove '96 and '97 Riviera's as daily drivers while working, but eventually traded them in for '99 and '00 Caddy Eldorado's.

 

Wanting something to do car hobby-wise after retirement, I found a '92 Riviera to play around with, then an '85, another '92, and finally my '91 white Reatta. I owned another '91 polo green Reatta for a short spell for Diane to tool around in, but she eventually lost interest in it.  So it became a trade-in to purchase a '14 Caddy ATS.  I sold my last Riviera in 2018 and am now down to just the '91 white Reatta...I never plan to sell this one.

 

I do drive my Reatta to the yearly BCA Nationals as long as they are conducted east of the Mississippi River.  I'm a member of the ROA, BCA local Minuteman Chapter and Reatta Division, and the AACA.  I'm a daily "stocker" on the Reatta Forum as well as the AACA Forum.  I'm not a Facebook guy...don't see the need for it.  

Edited by ship
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Hello from Kansas! We are not new to Buicks but we are new to the Reatta family. We bought a 1989 coupe. It's a work in progress.  It doesn't have brakes and has some leaky gas lines. We are trying to find a part that is no longer available and wondered what any of you have done in this situation. It is AC Delco 25525844 the rear proportioning valve. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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Ronnie
34 minutes ago, Matt said:

Hello from Kansas! We are not new to Buicks but we are new to the Reatta family. We bought a 1989 coupe. It's a work in progress.  It doesn't have brakes and has some leaky gas lines. We are trying to find a part that is no longer available and wondered what any of you have done in this situation. It is AC Delco 25525844 the rear proportioning valve. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Welcome aboard Matt!  I recommend starting a new topic for each of your Reatta problems to avoid confusion and we will try to help. For the proportioning valve you need contact Jim Finn reattas60@gmail.com. He should have a good used one.

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Ronnie

The story of me and my Buick started in 2007. I had been looking for a replacement for a Fiero Formula I had sold a year or so earlier.   I liked the Fiero but it was too small for me.  I'm tall and the Fiero just didn't have enough leg room but I liked that it was a 2seater and a lot of fun to drive.

 

When cruising around one day I happened to see a bright red car sitting on one of those vehicle display ramps.  You know, the kind of ramp they drive a car up on it to make it sit about four feet off the ground.  I didn't recognize what kind of car it was but that bright red paint caught my eye.  I turned my truck around and went back just to get a better look.

 

When I pulled into the used car lot a salesman was right there to greet me.  It turned out that I knew the guy from school.  I told him that I wasn't interested in buying but I just wanted to get a look at it to see what it was. He told me it was a 1988 Buick Reatta.  He said that it was kind of rare because they didn't make very many of them.  Actually I had never seen a Buick Reatta before (and not many since) 🙂 .  I have always been a fan of unusual cars and I kinda liked the car when I saw it was a two seater.

 

He backed it off the ramp so I could get a good look at it.  I asked him some questions about it and he said he really didn't know much about it.  At least he was honest.   He told me if I was interested in it I could drive it home where I could look it over as much as I wanted.  I took him up on his offer.  I drove the hell out of it and then took it home and pulled it in the garage.  I jacked it up and checked everything.  I spent about three hours checking brakes, transmission fluid - you name it, I checked it.  Only thing I found wrong was the red brake warning light was on.  I thought it had a bad parking brake switch.  It turned out to be something more serious but that's another story about accumulators.

 

Driving back to the car lot I decided the Reatta was one of those oddball cars that I just had to have.  I made the guy an offer that I thought he would turn down and I bought myself a Buick Reatta.  Sometimes I regret it because, even though it is a Buick, it has turned out to be more of an oddball than I expected and the value of a Reatta is lower than I thought.  Although it is an oddball, and it's not near as fast as it looks like it should be, it brings a smile to my face every time I drive it. That's what owning an old car is all about. :)

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