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Double M

What is your Reatta story?

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So moving right along...

How did, why did you get into owning a Reatta in the first place?

Tell us your story! Dont be shy!

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My father owned a 1988 red coupe in 88.I always liked the shape and handling.My convertible(90) and coupe(90) are both red.I wanted cars with air bags because of an accident many years ago.

I love the cars and people always ask "what is it? and how old?

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I wanted a bigger Fiero.

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Mine's an 89. It was my brother's first car and i always liked helping him tinker with it and loved the interior setup. I hated the rear end. It always looked like GM had a beutiful body lined up and got to the back of the doors and just gave up. He sold the car, and the guy screwed him over in the deal and shorted him $400. after he did I always wanted another one for some odd reason. 2 years later I found it in the guys yard with bald tires, 15k more miles and it'd been torn to hell. The guy who owned it treated it was just a buick and not a reatta (only reatta guys know reattas arent your typical buick) The title was STILL in my bro's name so he went and repo'd it. It turned out to need more work than he wanted to put into it. He wanted to drive it til it blew up so i relieved him of it by rebuilding my honda's 4 banger engine and trading it for my 89 reatta and it's been a love hate relationship ever since

Edited by Rawja (see edit history)

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I was an area sales manager for Gm and drove a few 1990 Reatta convertibles for company cars. My favorite one was a 1990 black with a black top and tan trim. In 2006 I had been retired for five years from GM, I had just sold my boat and I needed a toy to putz with when I heard that an area service mgr with GM in Detroit was selling his black and tan 1990 convert. I was hooked at that point.

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I was researching ownership history of an Allante I owned and came across mention of the Reatta. I vaguely remember its introduction but have not given thought of the car. Looking for an '87 or '88 Fiero, I accidentally came across an eBay listing (located in L.A.) for a '90 coupe. Put my life in great danger by driving down to south Los Angeles to inspect the car......and hooked.

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I,ve always had a love for 2-seaters with noted interest in american models. From the first corvettes to the 55 to 57 t-birds I,ve had a curiosity about american made sports cars and why they all are simply short lived projects. In any case I felt that the corvette was a nice entry that eventually turned into a world class sports car the t-bird in my opinion was far more cooler and sexier. I,ve always felt there was a void since the demise of the 2 seater bird and the reatta filled that void for me. Forget about horsepower which is far too overrated in these times, can you name me a cooler sexier 2-seater above the reatta? I think it is the perfect 2-seat personal luxury car. The styling even now is timeless and more important the car was well-built. You can't say that about the early vettes. Don't get me wrong, I like vettes, especially 63 thru 67 but thats a car to impress your boys and your need for speed. The t-bird and reatta are to impress your date and show off your taste and class. Now that I got that off my chest I'd like to add that since most collectors still don't get the reatta, the price has remained affordable. The collector car enthusiast has priced most of the desirable cars out of the reach of the average car lover and even if I could afford to buy a 2-seat bird I would be afraid to drive it, Which in my mind defeats the purpose. Even a mint reatta is afordable and drivable. Within reason I hope it stays that way.

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Wow, our stories are as varied as our opinions and thats what makes the world go around.

Previously I owned a 2004 MINI & 1986 Dodge Diplomat. The Depression forced me to sell the MINI and I bought the 86 Dodge for $500 from my mechanic... It was costing me over $100 a week in gas to get to work, so I started looking for something more economical. Well, fate played a part one day when President Eisenhowers' Great Grandson called me up at work and I sold him TWO 540 Cubic Inch Big Block Chevy Engines for his Boat. I work for a High Performance Automotive Manufacturer, BTW. This resulted in my biggest Commision check to date - $1100. Determined to use this bonus to improve my life and gas mileage, I hit ebay once again. After about a week, a Reatta poped up on my radar. It was for sale at a Used Car Lot in Conneticut. I'm on Long Island in NY. I knew of the Reatta and it's story, so I was intrigued. I dont have Internet access at home and I noted that the Auction ended on a Sunday and I figured I would never see it again and I also figured many people would wait till the end to bid on this beauty. That Sunday, I was watching the Football game at a freinds house and as usual I was bored and had a few too many beers, so I used his Internet. I jumped on Ebay and it was still there, the bids where nly up to about $1100 bucks and it was ending in 20 minutes. I sobered up fast and I waited till 5 minutes until it ended. I placed ny bid of $1200 and 5 minutes later I won it! I took a Train up North to pick up this car that I now owned but never laid hands on. I drove it home for 3+ hours w/o incident. 14 months and $3000+ more dollars later, I have one hell of a Reatta...

The only fly in the ointment of my story is, the same day I paypaled the $1200 for the Reatta, they turned off my Electricity. I spent 10 days w/o power, but I had my car!

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What a great thread cause everyone has their own experience of buying their REATTA.

When I was a teenager I had already owned a 50 Buick Special - 2dr sedanette, 52 Plymouth 2dr station wagon, and a 54 Chevy Belair 2dr converted auto to 3 on the floor nose and decked.

Then I found a 60 Impala 2dr hdtp black w/black n white interior 283 2v auto. I was now in heaven, drove it for 3 months then went into the Air Force for 4 years.

My mother signed the title but my father would not allow me to drive it out of state. After I got out the Impala had 67,00 miles added to the speedo, my mother drove it for the 4 years and just loved the car. My father is a mechanic and he then bragged to me that he never opened the engine and it still ran smooth with 155,000 miles on it. I drove it for a year and sold it.

Many moons (4 decades later) and 12 family cars later, with the kids having their own families and looding at the R word (retirement) facing me I need something to occupy my time on nights and weekends.

So I started watching Ebay for a 60 Impala but I can't afford the $20,000 plus to obtain one.

Going back to my roots I started watching Buicks and there is a model that I really paid no attention to when they were new on the market. I read the reviews of owners and previous owners and the more I read about it the more drawn to this magnificently designed machine of an automobile called REATTA.

I must have watched at least 25 cross by Ebay then one popped up and it had my name written on it. It was an 89 blue/blue with 16 pos. I bypassed Ebay and offered the owner a number and he said OK. I then flew to Chicago and drove it back to Maryland. It was such a comfortable ride that I didn't even stop for a motel but drove straight through for 13 hours for 750 miles. Even my wife, who calls the REATTA " ANGEL " , tells her friends that this is not a 22 year old clunker. We have taken ANGEL on two weekend trips and my wife even enjoys watching people admire this car. We stopped at a toll booth and the sargeant in the main building intercommed the attendant and asked her to ask me what kind of car that is and when I said REATTA all I heard on the intercom was "WOW".

And that is how I feel aout the REATTA - "WOW" . And in response to some of the negative comments I have read on this forum - its called "maintenance" and the car will perform for you.

It has to be one of the most exciting things that I have owned. By the way before I received the title from Illinois I saw a reply on this forum looking for a MAUI blue/blue, so when I ordered my historic vanity plates I requested 89 MAUI and later found out it is not the MAUI blue but Sapphire Mist. I am sorry if that offends someone but only hindsite has 20/20 vision.

Woody

89 Maui

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I guess I can submit chapter 2 of my Reatta experience, since the last time a thread like this came up I owned only one (my 1991).

After getting the 91 just about where I wanted it condition wise (new paint, carpet, interior repairs, mechanical overhaul to get it 100% reliable) I, like so many other Reatta owners, found it desirous to own a second one. While I had initially bypassed all but the 1991 models for a number of reasons, I decided it was time to be initiated into the touchscreen club. So began my search for a decent 88 or 89, hopefully one that would not require the amount of work or funding to get "right" that the 91 had.

Had set myself a rather low target price for the 2nd car, and figured that I would go slightly highish mileage (say 80-95,000) to keep at or under the budgeted figure. Then I had to decide if I wanted to break out of the white car habit (both my 95 Deville and the 91 Reatta are "code 40" white) so decided not to limit my search strictly to white over burgundy - which remained my first choice of color combo.

To back up a little here, there was a low mileage 88 white over burgundy that had been posted for sale here last October or November by a seller in Colorado. At that time there was no way I could swing the purchase price. However, early this year I put together some extra funds and decided it was time to go for the prize. Contacted the seller of the aforementioned car, to find it was still available. The details were worked out and I agreed to buy.

The seller and I met halfway in a small one exit town in central Kansas (right off I-70) at a truck stop. He had trailered the car there (I had arranged rental and payment of the trailer for him in advance) and I drove it home from there. The ultimate bonus was he also had a 3" round lighted dealer sign that was part of the deal - I had that in the trunk - nervous the whole way home about being in a rear-end wreck.

After fixing some nagging engine electrical issues (bad ECM PROM and reversed spark plug wires apparently done in a prior tuneup) and some minor cosmetic refinements, I had a really nice 88 with under 40,000 miles on it for less than I paid for my 91 with more than double that mileage at the time of purchase. I may have overpaid for the 91, but the relative scarcity of them has since convinced me that was OK.

Most recently, I have had a cracked passenger front fender replaced, the body side moldings have all been repainted white (to match the body) and I had the pin-stripe re-applied. Entire remaining factory paint job (all but front right fender) was buffed out to a high shine and it looks great. I'm still working on getting the moldings put back on (doing it myself to save labor costs at the body shop) and expect to be done this weekend.

If time and weather permits, I hope to have some pictures to post. Really, I should get them both in a picture together as they are virtually twins now, being all white with red pin stripes and identical 16" chrome rims on both cars.

All in all, I have to echo what 89 Maui said above, I am really excited to own these these cars. Not only are they great cars in general, but they have a uniquely classy look and have been the source of much pride of ownership. While I am not an attention seeker by nature, I enjoy the compliments and inquisitive looks that these cars get. Even the crew at the body shop I had take care of the fender and moldings was quite impressed with the 88 (and previously by the 91, which they gave a full repaint). These guys see all kinds of cars day in ad day out, so I thought that was rather interesting.

KDirk

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I got my my first 1990 Buick Reatta from a older fella that I know who bought it brand new off the lot. He gave it to me after it sat in his garage for 5 years all I had to change was the fuel sending unit, and I must say this is the coolest car to own. I love being able to pull up to school in a really nice rare car. (I'm 16 by the way.)

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You know what seems to be a common point here? How the car itself lured the person to buy it. Seems like our Reattas called out to many of us and said "Buy me"! I know mine did. It was alot nicer looking than all those bland grey Hondas everyone seems to want to buy.

Value is a big factor. The Reatta is in what I call "The Zone" now. Not an Antique or Classic, their overall pricing now is probably at it's lowest point. Add to that that it sometimes requires more than just a trip to the corner mechanic to maintain one sometimes, the effort may turn alot of people off and the car either ends up for sale, cheap or is junked if something not easily repaired breaks.

It also says alot for the styling, which seems timeless. Also as previously noted, the much lamented electronic nature of the car, has really held up to the test ot time. I think Barneys records indicate 62% of them are still on the road. In all of my tinkering with the Reatta, I have always been impressed with the build quality and how after 20+ years, not a single rattle or squeak and the paint job, led my neighbor to proclaim my car "The shinyest car on the block".:)

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My introduction to Reatta came through the Kansas City Craigslist in 2009. A teenager who had a White/Burgandy '89 Coupe and a Red/Gray '88 Coupe, was selling the latter. He had let a friend drive the White '89, who, in the rain promptly wrapped it around a light pole:eek:. Adult leadership prevailed when his parents made him sell the remaining Red '88 Coupe. I answered his ad and after he stated he was wanting to put a "RICER" style wing on the trunk I had to rescue the '88. So, $900 later I had the car at home. It's currently in waiting for (project status) attention this Winter. Needs the relays replaced on firewall. (Brakes/Fuelpump). My Reatta love affair began there and has grown to three and headed to seven so I can drive a different one for everyday of the week! One for each production year and the balance in....CONVERTIBLES! I have had at least one Convertible since I began driving in 1966 so I'm already hooked on them and Reattas are the icing on the cake! Currently eyeing a '91 locally. Maybe Santa Clause will be understanding this Xmas....:D These Reatta Tales are great reading!:)

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ptt-

You've got it bad. Acute Chronic Reatta Addiction that is. Seven; one for each day of the week? Wow. I guess I will have to bow down in respect. Not that I wouldn't like to own more of these cars, but I am at my limit presently. If my Cadillac got wrecked or otherwise destroyed, I'd probably pick up another Reatta, but until one of my current cars is off the menu, I cannot even consider another.

Since both Reattas I presently own are long-term investments (meaning I expect to be buried in one) that leaves my Deville or my Ford E350 van (used for work, so really need to have this one) as the only two that could be displaced. Unless the worst happens (loss of one of my current Reattae) then of course it would be promptly replaced with same.

KDirk

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My story is posted on the previous threads on Daniels post. But here is an addendum.

Seems like only yesterday, but 5 years ago this week I flew down to Florida to buy my first Reatta. Bought it off an ad on Autotrader. Spoke to the guy several times after he sent me pictures, and we agreed on the price. He also promised that if the car wasn't as nice as promised he would pay return air fair to Wi.

It wasn't as nice as promised, [needed paint, carpet faded] but it was nicer then all the ones I had seen up here in Wi. [and no rust] so I bought it and drove it back. I found out later that he had replaced the entire A/C system [kept it R-12] , new radio, transmission, and rebuilt the CRT, and new headlight switch as the POD lights didn't work [photo cell]. Which is why he didn't want to negotiate too much. So overall I think I did well.

I have always enjoyed "small" cars. My first car '66 Mustang, 2nd car '70 Barracuda, 3rd car '72 el Camino all what I would call 2 seater vehicles, so all I did was go back to my "roots." So now with the kids married off, it is just as my lifelong date, my wife. I find the Reatta is a spacious car up front with easy access to "stuff" in the back. With the pass thru I can even go to the lumber yard and get 2x4s [but not with the Red]. Or the grocery car to get 16 turkeys at a time for our churches Thanksgiving Meal, or car parts for our car repair day.

So I really enjoy these cars [so much so I bought another one, thanks for your help Jim!] and how they look "smaller" but yet be big inside as well as being pretty functional....

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Reprinted/Edited from the Jan 2009 thread

Short Story: I bought a 96 Roadmaster Wagon, checked out some online forums about Buicks. Found out about BCA and Joined BCA. Saw Reatta Club ad in Buick Bugle, checked eBay to see what a Reatta was (because I had never seen nor heard of it). Liked what I saw and made decision a Riviera or Reatta would be my next Buick (mainly because the price for coupes wasn't outrageous) looked at a few and bought (the silver) one. Never bought a Rivera, got another big land barge (95 Caprice wagon) instead.

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I was impressed with the Reatta when the car first appeared. Since I'm a "gadget" guy, the CRT on the dash held the most appeal for me. When I first saw and sat in a new Reatta, I was employed at a Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership next door to the Buick store. The car was out of my pocketbook at the time, plus buying a car from a competitor would have not set well with my employer. Fast forward nine years. I was a comptroller for a trucking company in 1998, but I worked part time every other evening for a used car lot doing all their accounting work. One evening I drove up and there was a silver 89 Reatta. The car had just turned 80,000 miles. The owner of the used car lot had bought the car for himself to keep for a while. However, he told me if I wanted the car he would sell it to me for what he paid for it. I did the deed. Since I did the accounting at the lot, I know just what he paid for the car, so I know I was not being screwed. In looking at the title, I saw the car had not had an owner for over a year. The car was bounced around from used car lot to used car lot, five to be exact, in the last year. The reason I knew. Cars older than 5 years have had to get financed. The carry your own note places don't want to deal with a car they have over $6000 into. I owned the car for almost ten years. The engine developed some major issues and to add insult to injury, someone ran into the car while parked at the service place. The car was toast. I did have the car fully insured, and oddly, the insurance company did not total the car. I took the insurance money and then sold the car to fellow forum member. He said he had all the parts to fix it, plus a motor. I told him if he ever sold the car to give me right of first refusal. That was in 2008. I've never heard from him again, and I don't see him appear in the forum any longer. Out of the many cars I owned, the Reatta was my favorite. I thought someday I might get another one, or perhaps a Cadillac Allante. However, in these poor economic times, it would be prudent to hold on to my money. Will I own another one someday, who knows? I know the car is a memory I will always enjoy. Even though it cost me much money over the years of ownership. The dollar amount would have been much more if it had not been for the kind people of this forum helping solve my own problems and doing my own repairs. To this day, I think this best group of cars guys out in cyberland!:D

Edited by Howard (see edit history)

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Funny thing, even though it was an expensive car when new, I bought mine because it was so cheap $1200 on Ebay. Most things that go for $1200 nowadays need to be towed home.

It was the coolest looking thing I found in over a year of searching for cars under 1500 and within 200 miles of my location. I still look on ebay and to date havent found a deal yet to compare.

Times are very rough now (News Flash: we are in the biggest Depression since The Great Depression of the 1920s) and as a result I had to sell my 2004 MINI Cooper a few years ago. While the MINI was an awesome machine, The Reatta is a nice replacement. In fact I get more compliment about the Reatta than any other car I have ever owned.

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Angelo,

The Reatta is unique in that it is a newer car that is scarce enough to be seldom seen. Most cars that are this rare to see are true classics (from the 70's and back) and those types of cars always generate attention and compliments. The Reatta does too as it is uncommon to see one, most people don't know what it is, and it isn't just another "me too!" type of car.

The Mini, nice as it is, can be found everywhere these days. While they offer more aesthetic customization than most mass-production vehicles [roof,mirrors, etc.], they have reached the point of being ubiquitous, along with most BMW's, almost anything by Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Honda, and many other models that needn't be listed. Because of that, it is less likely someone - especially a stranger - will take note and make comments about a Mini (or any of the other aforementioned common cars).

The Reatta, by comparison, is not something most are accustomed to seeing, even if they have some knowledge of it. So, it turns heads and gets curious onlookers on a regular basis. What I enjoy most is when people find out my car is 20 or 23 years old (depending on whether I am driving the 91 or the 88) and are shocked by the condition as well as the technical appointments and styling. I've had several people incredulous that the cars are that old, and there is a particular satisfaction to be gleaned from that.

I would get more attention in a '59 Invicta or a '34 Ford coupe, but I really didn't buy a Reatta as an attention-getting device. I just bought it because I liked it, and it was within my budget and ability to maintain.

KDirk

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I became interested in the Reatta after seeing prototypes at GM's cold testing site, Kapuskasing Canada. I bought my 1990 coupe used in 1992 and still have it. I've owned a lot of vehicles over the years and this one is my favorite. Every time I think about selling it I take it for a short drive. Don't even get out of the driveway before I catch myself thinking; I will never sell this car.:)

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I've not had 'normal' cars. First car @ 18 was a '59 Cadillac hearse. Then a couple of Corvairs, a VW bug. Then some normal family cars. Recently my Corvair fell apart, well past it's design life is suppose. I was looking for a modern, but different car. And thought of the Reatta. Started searching craigslist. Found an '89 Red/Gray listed for $1200, 93,000 miles. Bought it for $1000 and a few repairs for an additional $500. Now I have a nice car to drive. I'm turning into a Reatta geek tho, Now want a convertible.

Have a question, tho. My car has gray interior and gold pinstripes. An odd combination? Haven't been able to find the build label to know if it was built this way or not.

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Hey Jimmy,

Welcome to the forum. The build label should be in the spare tire well in the trunk.

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