Scrapper

Looking for any history of a Buick Reatta

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Scrapper    1

There is a a 90 reatta conv. in Arizona vin. # 1g4ec33c0lb907890. The exterior color is garnet and the interior is also garnet, it has a white top.  It has approx 32,000 miles, does anyone have any history on this car and was the top always white?  Thanks for any information you can supply.

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DAVES89    344

Barney the technical advisor for the Reattas has a data base. He is at the Buick Nationals and won't be home until next week. When he gets back I am sure he will see yout post and respond with what information he has.

 Am I correct in assuming you are interested in buying the car? Any pictures to share?

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Scrapper    1

Thanks for your reply, I was hoping Barney had some information.  I don't have pictures and yes I am interested in buying it.  The person that owns it does not know if the white top is original and I was hoping to find out about that.  I am not crazy about the color but I was wondering how many were made in that color combination.  If I purchase it I will post pictures.

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ol' yeller    59

While things are never cut and dried when it comes to Reattas, it is most likely that that car came with a white top. I'll defer to Barney's opinion when he is able to answer.

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I went and looked at the data sheet that Barney has at the website reatta.net. I looked through the cars that are listed and found that the VIN number supplied here by the OP is listed as Burgundy exterior/ red interior with a white top. I looked through the whole listing for 1990 (didn't have much else to do right now - LOL) I found 15 cars listed with that color combination and one more listed as burgundy / burgundy. I think it's really burgundy / red. Three of those sixteen are known to be junked / scrapped. One is listed as donated. Don't know the final outcome of that one.

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Ronnie    369

If  you are able to look at the car you can determine the original color of the top.

 

There is a label in the trunk near the spare tire. It is located at about the 3 o'clock position. It is called the Service Parts Identification Label. You may need to pull back the carpet to expose the label.

 

Three digit codes identify the paint used on your Reatta as well as the other features and options your Reatta had when it was built.

 

CONVERTIBLE TOP COLOR CODES
19T - BLACK CLOTH
28T - BLUE CLOTH
11T - WHITE
40T - WHITE
41T - BLACK VINYL
58T - SADDLE

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Scrapper    1

thank you for all the detailed replies,  I cannot believe all the support.  Just as a point of information the interior color is burgundy the same color as the exterior, I have seen a red interior and this is much darker but they may call all of them red . I think I will have a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection on the car,  I am told that the belt and hoses have been replaced and also the water pump.  Can you guys recommend anything else to tell the mechanic to look for?  I have already discovered one horn button glued on and one missing knob on the dash but the antenna works fine,  thanks again for all the information  

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DAVES89    344

While we all think "Burgandy" when we see that color I believe the correct name for it is called "Claret" which would be what one would expect for a color name for the most expensive car Buick made that year...

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)

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89RedDarkGrey    252
24 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

While we all think "Burgandy" when we see that color I believe the correct name for it is called "Claret"

 

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrBT9jaK2FZ3LYAmSpXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=claret+color&fr=sfp

 

and

 

https://www.winefrog.com/definition/77/claret

 

This is a strange website- as it lists "Buick colors" then to the right look at "Buick Reatta colors" and check how squirrelly that gets:blink:

What a lack of information, and disinformation.  http://gtcarlot.com/colors/Buick/All/

 

The provided VIN (I had to correct it with capital letters) decodes to=  http://gtcarlot.com/VIN/1G4EC33C_LB

 

What you guys think?

 

 

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KDirk    230

I don't get the confusion on the interior colors that so often occurs. 88-90 Reattas had no "red" interior (excepting the select 60's whuch had white and flame red interiors) but rather Claret. Outside of marketing speak, this color is clearly what would be called burgundy (or maroon if you like) and not "red". I'll concede it is in the red color family but to call it red is a gross oversimplification. 1991 offered flame red which is a color that can properly be referred to as just "red".

 

I would suspect the white top is original given the mileage, especially if it has pin stripes and they are white. The only other likely top color from the factory would have been tan, but that generally would've been fitted to complement a tan interior.  Burgundy tops were supposed to be an option, but there seem not to have been any produced outside perhaps a couple of test units. A black top might have been done, but would have been unusual for this color combo I think. At only 32,000 miles this sounds like it would be a very nice car. If it spent its whole life in AZ it should be rust and corrosion  free.

 

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Barney Eaton    491

Good to see there was some activity on this site while the Buick National meet was in full swing.  We had over 30 Reattas registered at the meet, and maybe more were there and not registered.

Back to this car...... I have actually seen the car. It belonged to a Mr. Fowler in Flagstaff AZ, he was an insurance man but passed 2-3 years ago so I have no history where it went after him.

The interior in 1988-1990 was listed as RED in all Reatta sales information.  Since there was only one red available in Reattas during those years, we refer to it as RED.....we also all know it is burgundy if you want to get technical.

If you look in parts listings you will probably find interior parts listed with a color name other than red, but there should be little confusion since there was only one red interior during those years.

If you want to get the straight story on the top........look at the Service parts label in the trunk (under the carpet, on the right side of the spare tire, raise the insulation and there it is) why Buick hid the label there we will probably never know.

They did put the SPL on the underside of the trunk for about the first 800 cars in 1988 then moved it to the spare tire area.

Ronnie listed the top color codes in post #6 above.  The SPL list the DNA of the car and is the equivalent of the "build sheet" that people look for on older cars.

I suggest that you take a good photo of the SPL on any Reatta you own, print it and put it with the documentation you keep with your cars, you will then only need to look at that sheet to find all the info on your car.

When looking at a car to purchase, ask the seller to send you a photo of that label and it will answer most of your questions.
For anyone looking for the label here is an example.........This is a Canadian convertible, note the French on the bottom of the label.  The cars vin number is at the top and each 3 digit code is for something on the car... CO5 = convertible

On the end of the 3 line is  11T = white top

I believe Ronnie has all the codes on his site and they are also at www.reatta.net

 

Canadian conv.jpg

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Scrapper    1

I thought I would update on my Reatta search , I passed on the Maroon ( Burgundy) 1990 convertible when I did the inspection needed a full brake job , a/c compressor, and replace rack & pinion.  I thought this was a little excessive for a car with 33K mileage.  It looked great inside & out , if was perfectly clean underneath but the mechanical issues cost approx 3,500 pushed me away.  I am still looking for a solid low mileage less than 35,000 miles 1990 convertible so keep me in mind.  Thanks again for all the information and suggestions.  

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Barney Eaton    491

I would be surprised also that a 33k car needed a FULL brake job.  The Teves system may need some attention but there should be no rusted brake parts on a AZ car.  The A/c could cost $1000 depending on where you got it done, I did a new compressor, accumulator/dryer, and condenser, purchased a new set of A/C gages all for less than $400.

Don't expect to find a 1990 car that does not need some work. 

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89RedDarkGrey    252
2 hours ago, Scrapper said:

I did the inspection needed a full brake job , a/c compressor, and replace rack & pinion.  I thought this was a little excessive for a car with 33K mileage.  It looked great inside & out , if was perfectly clean underneath but the mechanical issues cost approx 3,500 pushed me away.

 

These cars only had a 3yr/30k mile warranty AFAIK, just like any other American car of 1990. Who quoted you $3,500?

 

(Shopping at RockAuto) To do a "full brake job", FULL AC refresh, and an R&P comes to $691 + S&H ($60?) + AC recover/recharge R134a ($100 average Shop)= $850 total. So- someone is charging you $2,650 for labor?

 

The beauty of DIY.

 

5979138875637_COMPLETE1990.thumb.jpg.5b817c9df7021e06e4d29f5b9b73895e.jpg

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Scrapper    1

A shop in Chandler AZ they said the front brakes just needed pads and rotors turned but the back needed to have calipers replaced , mechanic said something about an issue with the parking brake causing excessive wear.  I am not a mechanic .  With the repair costs and the price it put the car price over 12k so I passed.  I want to own one and I told the owner if he would lower the price of the car I would have the work done.  We couldn't make a deal.  No harm no foul!  Maybe the shop saw me coming.

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Barney Eaton    491

One of the problems having someone else do your work is relying on their "assessment" of the problem or need.  I am 78 and have owned 60+ vehicles and have never had a rotor turned or replaced.  It is a common practice for shops to tell you that you need new rotors with pads. I get a trade magazine "Brake & Front end" and they are even on a campaign to snuff the myth of "warped rotors". 

One article gave some temp numbers that it would take to warp a rotor and unless the car was used in NASCAR the rotors would never see the temps it take to get close to warping a rotor.

The rear calipers on GM cars of our period did have some problems........the parking brake had an "automatic" adjustment built into the caliper piston. Bad brake fluid caused them to gum-up and no longer automatically adjust. 

They can be opened, cleaned and usually saved, but most shops would charge more for that than replacement calipers.

Depending on your involvement in the car hobby, one big way to get bargains on cars is to do the work yourself.  However if you only own one car and it must get you to work daily, it cannot be torn down waiting on parts.

Like the car here,  I did not see the asking price, but lets say it is $9,000, if you put another $3,500 in it, you now have $12,500 in the car.......and today you could not sell it for that.  But, you are buying it to keep, putting money into the car to make it drivable for a long period of time makes sense.  Even a new car cannot be resold for what you paid for it so why would you think a used car would be any different.
 

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Scrapper    1

I agree that doing your own work saves lots of money.  Over the years I have done this but I don't have the confidence to do most of work suggested by myself.  I have had friends that were a lot more experienced than me that would work along with me, I am great at taking directions but don't have the knowledge to do it all on my own.  Part of owning a Reatta is I do like to do the smaller less complicated things.  I have set some what of a budget of 10K to find one that is reasonable condition, maybe my budget is to low but I will continue my search in hopes of finding one that I can drive and enjoy.  Thanks again for all the feed back it is good to know there is a lot of advice, information, and support out there. 

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Bob H    35

Greetings: Thought I would put a little cap on this story. Last Tuesday, August 8, my bride and I flew to Phoenix, bought this car and drove it home north of Portland, Oregon, nearly 1500 miles. The one hitch that developed seems to be that the ignition switch isn't turning everything clear off. The radio stays on and the fuel pump keeps running after the switch is off and the key removed. Otherwise the car performed flawlessly. We stopped at an auto parts store, bought a battery post wrench and disconnected the battery at long stops. Our only tool the entire trip.

 

We sort of felt sympathy for Scrapper who obviously had time and money invested and passed on the car. We probably owe him a thank you since the owner had substantially lowered his asking price. Felt especially bad for the knocks he got on the car by a local automotive service shop, none of which have proven yet to be true. The temperature on the first leg of the trip westerly across Arizona, into the California desert averaged well over 100 degrees with a high of 113, the AC performed flawlessly. Steering is precise with no slop, tight spots or fluid loss from the rack. Miles of stop and go traffic in the urban areas gave the brakes a thorough workout. They performed well. Don't quite haul the car down like I expected from four wheel discs but well up to the task.

 

The faults pointed out by the pre-purchase inspection don't make any sense to me. The shop must have had a motive. We relied on our own examination, interview and test drive to reach our purchase decision. The biggest single plus being the really low miles (32K). When buying a used car the most important item is the unused miles and this car has lots of them. I will concede other flaws because the low mileage adds so much. The car also had a current oil change sticker.

 

We found a couple of cosmetic flaws. The bumper cover on the left front is pushed back about 2 inches from a slight bump. Not into the tire but it's really close. Without making a political statement, the owner had removed a TRUMP sticker which took the paint with it. At least a $500 fix.

 

I intend to make another post with questions about the car and sources of information, the first being a shop manual and  electrical diagrams.

Reatta Front (Medium).JPG

Reatta LF (Medium) (2).JPG

Reatta LR (Medium).JPG

Reatta LF Damage (Medium).JPG

Reatta Paint Damage (Medium).JPG

Reatta Nice Interior (Medium).JPG

Reatta RR (Medium).JPG

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Scrapper    1

Congratulations on your purchase . I am glad your drive home was uneventful ,  I am not sure why the shop would come to its conclusions .  I hope you enjoy the Reatta for many years.! I am still searching for the right one !

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89RedDarkGrey    252

That front bumper is easily recoverable. Get a small bottle jack, in between the shocks mounts, and slowly push it out, constantly checking the alignment gap.

 

THIS

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NCReatta    48
18 hours ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

That front bumper is easily recoverable. Get a small bottle jack, in between the shocks mounts, and slowly push it out, constantly checking the alignment gap.

 

THIS

That's a quick way to bend and break something. 

 

Just loosen all the bolts on that side and give the bumper a few good yanks from the end. It'll usually pop right out. I've done this several times on Reattas. Voice of experience, not just postulating about something that could solve the problem. 

 

That rear panel will cost $150-200 to prep and paint if you find a good place. $500 is pricey. 

 

Many times, shops that are paid for an "inspection" feel like they have to earn their $100 and tear the car apart. It's best to A) use your sound judgment and ask "why would a 30,000 mile car need a rack if it has no leaks?" Or "the a/c works well, why does it need a compressor?"

 

Or B ) take it to a reputable shop you can trust not to tack on a bunch of superfluous garbage. 

 

Congratulations on the purchase of a nice car. Looks like you got a great deal.

 

 

 

Edited by NCReatta (see edit history)
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89RedDarkGrey    252
1 hour ago, NCReatta said:

That's a quick way to bend and break something.

 

I used jack stands, up on blocks, at the bumper shock mount-to-front to hold the car up for transmission removal. They held nicely for several months while all the work was performed.

 

1 hour ago, NCReatta said:

Voice of experience, not just postulating about something that could solve the problem

 

I've straightened many bumpers using a small bottle jack, positioned in between it's mounting flanges. No postulation here, Sir.

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