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Reatta color combos data


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If you have not heard the story, in 2007 Larry Gustin (co-author of The Complete History of Buick) loaned me 443 pages of computer printout that he obtained when Buick departed Flint for Detroit. This 2 inch high stack of paper contained information on every Reatta made.

It was not usable the way it was received, it was divided by year but within each year the vin numbers were scrambled, so to find just one car you might need to scan 100 pages.

Roy Faries (North Texas BCA Chapter) works for a company that handles data, he offered to scan all the pages and convert them to Excel so the data could be sorted. that was an offer I could not refuse. Roy did the scan and then came the task of debugging.

The scanner would sometimes see a "B" and print it as an "8", some "1" became "L" etc

so Roy worked on his lunch hours and finally in the spring of 2009, he gave me the 1988 and 1990 data on a thumb drive. He is still looking for 1989 and he lost the 1991 pages and they apparantly never got scanned.

Since I received the data, I have been further debugging it. I would have gladly released the information long ago if it were not for some people that find fault with even the slightest error, so in my spare time I sort (this often highlights errors) and correct.

The way they get corrected is by referring back to the paper original and then changing the data entry.

Earlier this year Marck Barker assisted me in sorting and organizing the 1988 cars and that is very close to being perfect, but again I always want to look at it again before making it public.

I did hand-out the 1988 information at this years Reatta Div meeting.

The 1990 list is a real problem, Roy did not do as much clean-up on the 1990 as he did on the 1988 and as we all know, they made 4,708 Reattas in 1988 but 8,515 in 1990, meaning there are almost twice as many lines of data to verify for that year.

We have a exterior color breakdown that was supplied by GM to a former Reatta employee but it does not tie exterior color to interior color. Mark Houmard sent this to me at least 6 years back and I am pretty sure it was published in the Reatta newsletter..

1990 Reatta convertible exterior colors..........

White === 741 (65 were Select Sixtys leaving 676 others)

Red ===== 668

Black ==== 295

Blue ===== 154

Burgundy = 117

Silver ==== 60

Driftwood == 60

Gray ===== 37

That is the best I can do for now.

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Eventually, we will have the 1990 done and sorted, the 1988 is ok for 99.9% of the population, don't know what will happen with 1989, and I have a very complete record of 1991 convertibles, but the coupe information is not complete.

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Padgett, it helped but there are still corrections to be made, and the verification can only be done by someone with the original print-out........ so it is a one-man job.

Kingsley, I can identify all 65 of the Select Sixty convertibles by vin number.

I cannot tell you the location of all of them or if any have been destroyed.

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I found the 1988 data and I am pretty sure I sent it to the Newsletter editor but it was not published.

Marck Barker helped on sorting the Excel information and he generated this chart.

The only thing that could use correcting is the Black exterior numbers, for some reason part of the black cars were coded 61 and others were coded 41 which created 2 Black totals, which I totaled with the arrow.

If you have trouble reading the chart it starts with the exterior color, then the interior color, then 16 way seats or standard seats.

The first line is for black exterior cars with burgundy interior and 16 way seats and that = 60

but because there was another black exterior group for the code 61 black, there is one more with the same combination, making the total 61. Only the black exterior cars have this clitch. The only explination I have for the two different codes for Black exterior would be an internal code change.

You might notice that even in 1988 there were 11 Bright Red cars built with Red interior (burgundy on Marcks chart) that was not an approved color combination.

There was even 1 silver car built with tan interior.

With a little math....... 69% of white coupes had red interior, 13% had blue, 10% had tan, and 8% had grey.

Also note that at least in 1988 more than half of the cars had 16 way seats.


Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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Yes...... I have a document dated 9/2/91 (well after the end of Reatta production) that shows 23.8% in 1989, 17.2% in 1990, and 31.8% in 1991. Nothing available for 1988.

Backing into the actual number would look like this.........

Remember some numbers could be rounded so when working backward, the actual number of cars could be off 1-3 cars, depending on the total production.

23.8 in 1989 = 1668

17.2 in 1990 = 1098

31.8 in 1991 = 393 (this number is based on 1,236 coupes, if you used 1214 it would be 386)

Why would they show 1,236 coupes in 1991? Maybe because they show 283 convertibles which add to 1519, a number most Reatta owners believe to be correct. But take 1519 total and take away 305 convertibles and the number is 1214.

I have no idea where the 283 number of convertibles came from, but it is not unusual for funny numbers like this to appear in "official" GM documents.

This same GM document list the total of Z49 code options. This is the Canadian equipment.

It shows 1.4% in 1989, 1.3% in 1990, and 2.2% in 1991 all coupes (no convertibles listed) and we know there were convertibles sold in Canada.

However, they show code R1V for 1990 as 3.0% (65 cars) which is the accepted number.

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We know from Reatta information sent in for the database that Buick started putting sunroofs in the Reatta around vin 902500. Like yours I have seen several Service Labels that show CA1, but I have yet to find any "official" documentation saying there was a sunroof.

The document I used for the information in post above has no 1988 information.

I have another "official" document on only 1988 Reattas and there is no CA1 code listed.

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so then on my 89.. 23.8% with sunroofs, 5% produced in grey and 27% with grey interior that would make mine at least 1 in 375, maybe less being specific to color combo: grey/grey/grey with sunroof and no 16 ways

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I would calculate it differently....... in 1988 grey with grey standard interior was .8% of the production. Using that percent on 1989 production of 7009 there would be approximately 56 grey/grey standard made in 1989, and if 23% had sunroofs that is only 13 cars.

Of course that assumes 1989 percentages would be the same as 1988

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  • 6 years later...

In '88 & '89 the information has not been gathered to tell how many total sunroof were built.  When that is done, the next step would be to break them out by color.

In 1989 we do know there were 148 Grey/grey cars built with 16 way seat not enough data to tell the number with black or body color molding.

If you would supply your vin number then your car could be added and that gets us one step closer to having the numbers.

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