Barney Eaton

Reatta conv with hard top

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I may have posted this car before but recently got a friend to take off glare etc.

This was discovered on a 35mm slide, there was also a red convertible with red HT and it appears to be a '88-89 prototype convertible.

This car is a 1991 based on the flame red interior and note the ASC license plate.

American Sunroof designed and supplied the Reatta convertible top.  So they had access to the early convertibles. They apparently attempted

to sell Buick this hard top idea but obviously it went nowhere......since the top(s) have not surfaced, do we assume they were scrapped?

91 Hardtop JH.jpg

Those are Dayton wire wheels.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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What wheels are those? The main drawback for "hardtops" is always going to be the lack of convenience of storage and the need to rush back to where it is in the rain, or if parking somewhere, and having to leave your car open. Birds, unscrupulous people, etc. can ruin the interior quickly. Flick a lit cigarette- goodbye leather seat. Some places- you don't leave a nice car open like that.

 

Is a top of that size a 1-person deal to remove and install? Hardly.

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5 hours ago, 89RedDarkGrey said:

What wheels are those? The main drawback for "hardtops" is always going to be the lack of convenience of storage and the need to rush back to where it is in the rain, or if parking somewhere, and having to leave your car open. Birds, unscrupulous people, etc. can ruin the interior quickly. Flick a lit cigarette- goodbye leather seat. Some places- you don't leave a nice car open like that.

 

Is a top of that size a 1-person deal to remove and install? Hardly.

i would have loved to have that for my camaro during the cold months.

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When they put a hardtop on a convertible it usually has a ragtop also. The only problem would be storage for the hardtop.

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I had several convertibles with factory removable hardtops.  As others have said, the issue is storage but if you have a system in your garage with a hoist, etc. it makes removal and storage much easier.  The hardtop is convenient in the winter but otherwise it can be more trouble than it's worth.  My wife and I both currently have Mercedes roadsters with the retractable hardtop - it is the best of both worlds - weather tight when needed, open air when wanted and easy storage at the push of a button.

 

This Reatta looks nice but if I want a hardtop Reatta, I would just but the coupe (assuming the hardtop convertible was an option)

 

Bob

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Like Bob I owned a few Mercedes SL convertibles with the removable hardtop.  This would be a smart option, and wish they existed.  Allante's also had hardtops.  Basically, you store the hardtop on a rolling cart during fair weather months, then for winter driving, you put the hardtop on for 4-5 months and it creates a warmer, quieter experience that also saves the cloth top from extreme weather conditions.   

 

I think the reason this was not made was the short window of opportunity to make it closed in a hurry.  The Allente and the TC by Maserati were made for several years and Cadillac could justify a run of these tops.  For Mercedes, the hardtop was part of their SL line from the 60's Pagodas to the last generation before Mercedes went to folding hardtops.

 

But for Reatta, and Barney may need to help me, but for Reatta, the hardtop decision was probably considered "during" 1990 production for 1991 and retroactive purchase. Then ASC heard that Reatta production would end in a short 1991 year so they said "screw it" we are not going to make any now.  That's just my guess, but most Cadillac Allante tops were "pre purchased" already as part of the car's sale, and not necessarily an option, so to speak.  Same with the TC by Maserati's.  Having that "insurance" meant ASC or whoever supplied those hard tops - could make a profitable run of them and not be stuck with a bunch of tops. 

 

If ASC still exists - then there might be one or two collecting dust somewhere.    I would definitely buy one for my convertible.  I like how the shape is different than the coupe shape. 

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Here is another, not quite as good photo of a Reatta with a hardtop.....look closely and you can see by the shape of the dash......this car is a 1988-89.

We know Buick made some early convertibles using 1988 coupes, we also know that ASC did the convertible engineering/design and supplied the assembled tops to Lansing.

Since the Red convertible is early, does that mean that ASC might have made the hard top sample during the time they were doing the engineering for the production convertible.

Until we find someone from Buick or ASC that was involved in the convertible we don't have the answers.

red hardtop 2.JPG

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One additional note on Reatta convertibles.

Between the end of the doors and the front of the boot, production Reattas have a piece of black satin tape.  This is believed to protect the paint where the top sits on the paint.

All Buick promotional photos that have convertibles, this tape is missing.  Note that both the white '91 and this red car above do not have this tape.

tape.jpg

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10 hours ago, Bob Hill said:

 My wife and I both currently have Mercedes roadsters with the retractable hardtop - it is the best of both worlds - weather tight when needed, open air when wanted and easy storage at the push of a button.

 

 

thats what my pontiac is.

Bob

 

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