Barney Eaton

Select Sixty Reattas

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I would like to gather enough information to establish what is factual and what is just here-say or old wives tales.

We have been beating the "Select Sixty Buick Dealers" hood emblem around for years and it would be nice to gather information to try and get the story correct.

I started gathering Reatta information around 1994 after I purchased my first Reatta.  Being a Corvair collector educated me about gathering information about a car before the details gets lost, or scrambled.

At the St Louis BCA meet in 1996 a group of Reatta owners were discussing  the cars in the parking lot and there were a lot of questions ask that no one had answers for. 

I offered to compile information that everyone would send to me and that was the start of the original Reatta database. 

That database is available at www.reatta.net  Tom Jenkins was a Reatta owner and offered to host the database and has done so ever since at no expense to anyone but himself.

When the original 1988 Select Sixty cars were discovered the special hood emblem was part of the discovery.  If you look at the database,  there is a note on each "confirmed" car, (1988) meaning someone has seen the car and the SPL and it has the X22 code.  Using that info along with later Reatta production information obtained from Larry Gustin and Buick,  I we know the 1988 serial range that those cars were built within.

Same goes with the 1990 Select Sixty convertibles......all of those can be identified by vin number again with info from several sources.

It may be fool hardy to think this will prove anything but if you have or see a 1990 Select Sixty, and it has a special hood emblem (and the owner did not install it) send me the vin number and I will note on the database that it has the hood emblem.

I will also do the same for the 1988 just to be consistent.....already knowing that few of the '88 have the emblem.

 

ss60 hood emblem.JPG

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Let me clarify the Select Sixty info as I know it ..........the 1988 cars will have the X22 code...just a marketing code to track the expenses when the car was built.  The 1988 cars are not easy to identify unless they have the hood emblem.

The 1988 cars were all black coupes with tan interior and 16 way seats.

 

The 1990 car was made to give the dealers a hint of 1991 cars to come......the 16" wheels would be standard in 1991, the Flame Red interior would replace the burgundy used in the first 3 years of production.  The white leather seats were not

available on any other 1990 coupe or convertible......but were a 1991 convertible option.  The 1990 marketing code for the Select Sixty convertibles was R1V (see SPL below for 904734 Select Sixty)  the label is the DNA of the car and there are several

things that tell us this is a S60 .....example code 116 below translates to 11 = white, 6 = leather.   73F code translates to 73 = flame red ,  F = floor mats.   Code N60 = the 16 inch white wheels.   YL6 code = pinstripe delete....all 1990 Select Sixty cars were built without a pinstripe.

I would say the car pictured is a 1990 Select Sixty but checking (take a photo) of the Service parts label will verify the cars authenticity.

The window sticker attached is for the same car so you can see the equipment and note there is a $45 credit for no pinstripe.

Finally.....I strongly believe that the 1990 Select Sixty had a standard hood emblem and any car that has the special S60 emblem had it installed after arriving at the dealer.

 

SS 904734.jpg

SS60 904734 small.jpg

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Barney, thanks for additional information regarding the PRO code for the 90 select 60. I ddndth think it was X22, I know that was on the 88's. What I'm still not clear on (and if you know, please post) is whether the special  hood emblems were made in 88 or only in 90.

 

It is easy enough to see almost all 1988 s60's that pictures had been posted of were not equipped with the special badge. As well,  it appears almost none of the 90 s60 convertibles were given the special hood emblem from the factory either as most I have seen pictures of had standard 1990 hood emblems. So, it seems most or all 1990's that have the select 60 emblem were changed sometime after initial assembly at Lansing, with the majority never actually having one installed and retaining the standard production emblem. 

 

It would be informative to know If the special emblems were only made for the 1990 cars, as ghat would explain why they werent ready in time for production and had to be sent separately later on. It also would mean that any 88 s60's with the emblem aren't technically correct as it wasn't something GM intended to put on those cars since the emblem didn't exist in the 88 model year. This is my suspicion,  and I figure any 88 that does have the special emblem was fitted so by an owner who found one for sale somewhere and chose to put it on, probably many years later. Some things to think about, and clarification would be nice.

 

 

 

 

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I talked directly with Ed Mertz...the Buick General Manager during the time the Reatta was built........he said......when they decided to award the 1988 Reatta to the Select Sixty dealers, the assembly line had just started and they were building cars as fast as they could so management did not want to or have time to make a special car for the dealers.  The solution was a special hood emblem........which was not ready when the cars were.  The cars were shipped and then the hood emblems were sent to the dealers when they were available.   Many of the 1988 cars were sold by the time the emblems reached the dealers, so the dealer probably just put the emblem in his desk and went about selling car.

1990 arrives and again they make a Reatta for the dealers.  The car was unique and no emblem was necessary, so they had the standard 1989-1991 emblem.   But we believe that some dealers that were both 1988 and 1990 recipients, remembered the emblem and put the 1988 emblem on the 1990 car when it arrived...it would take a lot of phone calls and finding the right person 28 years after the fact, but only 2 or 3 of the 65 convertibles built in 1990 have surfaced with the special hood emblem.

The fly in the ointment is a Reatta vendor that obtained a box of NOS Select Sixty hood emblems.   In an attempt to get top dollar, a story was fabricated to try and sell the emblems to owners of 1990 Select Sixty cars.  This was his best hope in making some big

buck on some unique parts.     The last piece of evidence is the 1990 Select Sixty that GM had in their collection.....if any car would have had the emblem then that car should but it did not.

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I moved the posts in the Buy/Sell about hood emblems to here so the owner of the Select 60 will have his best chance of selling the car. I hope that is OK.

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Here's the way I see it. 

 

1988 Select 60s never left the factory with the hood emblem. Neither did the 1990 Select 60s. 

 

They are, however, both Select 60s. I don't think that either a 1988 or 1990 S60 should be considered "incorrect" with the Select 60 badge on. 

 

The story I have from select 60 dealers at the time (3 different ones), is that the emblems were sent to the dealer as an award for both 1988 and 1990. Some of the Select 60 dealers didn't even take advantage of the option to buy their car. Sometimes it was rerouted to another dealer during a dealer trade. 

 

The point is, I have seen 1988 Select 60s with and without the badge. I have also seen 1990 Select 60s with and without the badge. It's likely none of them ever left the factory with it. But does that mean it's incorrect? 

 

I firmly believe that a Select 60 should not have points deducted in the BCA 400 point judging system for having a Select 60 hood emblem. This has happened several times to people having their cars judged by "Reatta Experts" whose information is no better than the next guys. I know one Select 60 owner in particular who told me he will never come back to a BCA meet becuase of how he was treated by the judges. They tore a 3,000 mile all original Select 60 to pieces. This isn't the way the BCA should look to new members. 

 

I'm not sure the point that is trying to be made here. Everyone has "I heard ____ from ____" stories and there is no piece of paper stating anything of this sort.

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22 minutes ago, NCReatta said:

They tore a 3,000 mile all original Select 60 to pieces. This isn't the way the BCA should look to new members. 

 

Marck, Do you know what they found wrong with the car?

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3 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

 

Marck, Do you know what they found wrong with the car?

Among other things, the color of the dip stick handle. Another Select 60 at the show was dinged for having a S60 emblem, and for the mirrors not being as shiny as the mirrors on the judge's Reatta. 

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8 minutes ago, NCReatta said:

Among other things, the color of the dip stick handle.

You know these cars much better than I do. Was there more than one color used on the dip stick handles during production that year? If only one color was used that year I can see it being a deduction but otherwise... Maybe I had better be quiet. I know nothing about judging. :)

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Now we're  [kind of] getting somewhere. For the record,  I'm not taking the position that a s60 badge on either an 88 or 90 s60 should be judged incorrect. As far as I'm concerned (not that anyone cares, admittedly), either the standard or s60 badge should be judged correct on these cars. Now, if an 88 has a larger 1989-91 standard hood emblem present, that might constitute a deduction in my mind as it is known that all 88's would have the smaller emblem from the factory and it would have to be assumed the larger badge was put on later as a replacement, given the small emblem was superseded by the larger one for service purposes.

 

Now, based on the past few posts here we seem to have established the following:

 

1. The special hood emblem was made for the 88 s60 cars, but was not ready for inclusion on those cars when built, so were sent on to the selling dealers after the fact. Only a certain number made their way to those cars respective owners, and only some portion of those in turn were ever installed.

 

That these emblems were made in 88 is further supported by the embossing detail in the sunburst portion (yellow part). If you look at it closely, it is virtually identical to the same portion of the standard 88 emblem. The 89 and up 3" standard emblem was simply a radiating line pattern starting from a center point behind the "R", where the 88 emblem was much more random and detailed.

 

2. By what I read here thus far, there were not any additional s60 emblems planned for or made for 1990 s60 cars, and thus such emblems were not factory installed at all, nor sent along to dealers later.

 

3. I have no way to verify this to my own satisfaction, but it has been asserted that a parts vendor managed to source a supply of NOS s60 emblems and was marketing them as being for the 1990 s60 cars. I have no issue with such an arrangement if one believes (and I do) that a s60 emblem should.be considered correct (for judging purposes) on a 1990 car.

 

4. Regarding the recollection of Ed Mertz, this at least makes sense to me inasmuch as the 88 s60's were supppsed to get these emblems but they simply weren't ready in time.

 

Now, this is supposition on my part, but if the 90 cars were truly intended to receive these emblems they would have  been factory installed as there is no reason for them to be delayed as in 1988. Either there would've been a supply left from 1988 (does anyone here believe GM ordered only 65 unique emblems?) ready to use, or they'd have had enough time to order another batch in advance of the production schedule given the tooling already existing for the special emblem.

 

In any case, I still think it is ridiculous that judges would dock a 90 car points for having the special emblem In lieu of the standard one, unless there is a definitive written statement from GM/Buick that those cars were not intended to have those emblems. No such document has been presented to my knowledge.

 

This would be akin to judging an 88 with the early silver and black horn button emblem as wrong if the judge thinks it shohld have the full color one because it is beyond a certain arbitrary VIN number. Unless there is an official document that says the change officially took place at a certain VIN breakpoint, a detail like this almost has to be given a pass since both versions were valid for the model year.

 

But, show judging tends to be a rather stuffy affair and so it routinely seems to cause ego clashes and hard feelings over the smallest thing, and the judges word is final even if they have nothing official but the judging guide - which itself may have details lost to history wrong - to support their position. As I like to say, the problem with a pissing contest is that eventually a race horse shows up and everyone else goes home mad.

 

As an aside on the oil/transmission dipstick handle color, this is another area where Judges are being too heavy handed if they are docking for black versus grey handles. The 3800 was a corporate engine that was mass produced at another plant and shipped to Lansing. Again, supposition on my part, but I've no doubt that there could've been either more than one vendor for the dip sticks, or that there was a running change. So too with the 88's where many (most? All?) had the oil dipstick that read "ENGINE OIL / 3800" and 89 and up omitted the "3800" imprint on the handle. I've also seen grey oil fill caps with black printing and black ones with white printing.

 

Anyway, I think I've typed more than enough already on the subject. I just had some unresolved questions on the history of the emblem,  and I now have a better idea  (though not definitive) of how that all played out. Naturally, if some new and verifiably factual information comes to light,  I'd like to see it.

Edited by KDirk (see edit history)

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I did not make this post to start a fist fight........I started it to put some facts together that 30 years after the fact, we might look at and come to a logical conclusion.

I also like this quote from Ben......."A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."- The wise words of Benjamin Franklin

So with that said, whatever is gathered will probably not convince everyone.

 

* I also never looked that closely to the starburst design pointed out by Kevin.   Good point in establishing a date

* Louisville Ky Select Sixty dealer Tom Payette told me his 1988 was deliver to him with the Select Sixty Dealer emblem installed.

* It makes sense that if ALL the 1990 (S60) cars were meant to have the emblem, it would have been mounted at the factory since they were designed and made 2 years earlier.  And had parts left over (since a vendor had a box of them)

 

Judging of Reattas is a little off the intent of this post, but I believe the Reattas should be judged under the same guidelines as all other Buicks at the BCA meets.

Reatta owners stepped up 15 years ago and created a revised set of judging rules for "Modern" cars......there were many judging items that did not fit the judging of newer cars and the BCA had not addressed the issue.

Stan Leslie (retired GM powertrain engineer and long time owner of 1991 Reattas)  did most of the work.   Just to give you some examples of items corrected or changed (from the only judging sheets used at that time) ......

Engine judging sheet......"Starter/crank" you cannot see the starter on modern cars and none have cranks.    Soft top... "top irons" again not an item on modern cars.

However new items were added.  The engine judging sheet had items like......Alternator,  cruise control, fuel injection, anti-lock brakes  added.   In other areas, Seat belts, console, sunroof, air dam, were added that were not on the original judging sheet.

Now as a judge for Reattas,  how picky should you be (but you also must be consistent)  If the wrong year hood emblem is incorrect on an old Buick, shouldn't it be judged the same on a newer Buick?

I do not know how many years I have been judging (mostly Reattas) but in all that time, I don't remember a judge, on the same team with me, that was out of line with his judging.   More often they overlooked questionable items and gave the owner the benefit

When I started judging Mac Blair (chief judge) always told us....."don't kill the car"     I suspect that the items mentioned above by owners would not change the award given to that car.

Please if you want to address judging........start a new post.    If you comment are directed at what I posted above..... copy that part of the post and we will continue with judging as a separate item.

 

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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Imperial62- it's funny, I hadn't taken time to look to closely at the s60 badge in detail until this thread came up. On examining the large picture posted upthread, it became apparent to me that the sunburst design was identical (or very nearly so) to the 1988 standard emblem.

 

The 1989 and up larger standard emblem is very clearly different in that the "rays" in the sunburst are of a simplified design. This lead me to conclude  the s60 emblem was directly derived from the 88 emblem and thus were made in 1988. Interestingly,  on the 90 and 91 convertibles, they used leftover 88 emblems on the center rear interior trim piece between the storage cubbies. For any convertible owners reading,  look at this emblem versus the standard hood emblem and you will clearly see the difference I'm speaking of.

 

A couple of final thoughts on judging details. One, when I refer to a corporate engine, I just mean a mass produced engine used across multiple brands and car models,  as with the 3800. This by comparison to say the Cadillac 4.9L PFI V8 made from 1991-95 which was exclusive to Cadillac. Given how many 3800's were made, it is likely there are some minor differences in ancillary parts to be found even within the same model year  These may be running changes, or simply parts sourced from more than one supplier. Either could account  for the example of the different dipstick handle colors.

 

Further, don't take my remarks as a sleight against the BCA or RDiv. I have no personal experience with judging as I've not entered my cars for 400 point judging and it's unlikely I ever will as all mine have minor mods and upgrades that would be automatic point deductions. So, I have no bone to pick, nor do I discourage anyone from joining based on my own experience. That level of judging is for those who want to establish the superior condition and originality of their cars to an official standard.

 

That said,  If an owner was docked for something like the color of the dipstick handle (unless there is supporting documentation to make such a deduction and not just because "I say so" then that is a matter that needs discussion and possibly clarification or revision of the judging manual in my opinion. I don't know the owner, the judge, or the backstory of the example given bt Marck, so I can only comment on what was posted and how I perceive it. If an owner of a truly premium car was alienated by the judging experience, that is a loss to the organization; especially over something so trivial and quite possibly not incorrect anyway. 

 

How many other parts both seen and unseen on the Reatta underwent running changes in 1988 alone? I posted quite a few in a thread some time back here. If you want to get so detailed in judging that you assess the correctness of a certain revision of a part on a particular car, you better have a book that gives VIN breakpoints for the start and end of each version of the part(s) in question. Problem is, we don't have such detailed information for running changes on the Reatta as most were slipped into the course of production unnoted. GM didn't feel it neccessary to do document these changes (other than a change in part number at most) and so we will never have that data. 

 

The notion of "don't kill the car" is a good guideline. Unless you are entering concourse level judging with multi million dollar cars, I can't see much point in getting hard nosed about something that hasn't been clearly determined as incorrect with absolute certainty.

Edited by KDirk (see edit history)

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Someone in the past posted a photo showing all three versions together.   If I copied it, I cannot find the picture.

Below is a picture of the Select Sixty hood emblem,  a 1991 hood emblem, and a hub cap center, which would have been designed early.

Not sure the picture is good enough to show the differences.

The 1991 hood emblem on the right does seem to have  more uniform lines radiating out from the center.

Anyone have an 1988 emblem with good detail? 

 

Chuck Kerls just supplied me with the photo of a 1988 hood emblem for comparison.

R sample 2.jpg

1988front.JPG

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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Barney 

If you want to update the data base  S/N 1G4EC33C9LB904440  90 SELECT SIXTY is now in Liberty, IN  I am the present owner 

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What is the mileage?  Give me your last name and I will add that unless you do not want y our name used.

That car was delivered to Wilkie Buick in Philadelphia PA when new.

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My best guess is a repaint on which  the mounting hole in the hood was welded shut prior to paint work. I'm not aware of any factory produced car with no hood emblem, and if one did exist it would likely have been a prototype or styling exercise, rather than a regular production car.

 

Of course in the  photo provided with the car being black and having a shadow across the front of the hood, maybe the mounting hole is there and I can't see it.

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Just added a 1988 emblem picture to post #17 for comparison........the picture comparison, at first glance doesn't look much different but when you look at the details of the starburst, it was done with a different technique after 1988.

This to me is a big clue in determining the origin of the Select Sixty emblem

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42 minutes ago, Barney Eaton said:

This to me is a big clue in determining the origin of the Select Sixty emblem

I agree because the change wasn't just a change to the gold that was applied to the front of the emblem. The design was actually cast into the emblem as can be seen on the back of the wheel cap emblem in the photo below that I ground down to install in the centers of my chrome wheels.

 

SAM_2244.JPG

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Barney with those parts books you had at Allentown is there any part numbers  The 88 might have 8 part numbers 

1990 would only have one part number

Just a thought

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