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Reatta Judgement Day


Bushwack

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As I understand, Reatta OEM tops were viny and had the rear glass glued into place.

Today, if a Reatta was being judged at an event (say the upcoming National) that had a cloth top of which the rear glass was held in place via stitching (see example below), would that knock off points in judging? If so, how many points would it cost? Thank you.

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It would be a mandatory 10 point deduction. Quoted from the Reatta judging manual:

TOP, SOFT

No points should be deducted unless car being judged is a convertible. Check that top is correct for model and year.

Down or Missing (Mandatory Deduction)

Owner must have top up or the mandatory 15 point deduction will be taken.

Condition

Points will be deducted for wear, wrinkles, and sags in the top. Remember that original factory tops had “some” wrinkles and sags.

Non-Authentic Material (Mandatory Deduction)

(This category is for authenticity only)

The mandatory 10 point deduction must be made for all cars that have the wrong material or top color for model, body color and year.

Convertibles for 1990 were offered with both vinyl (black, white, or saddle) and cloth (black) top material.

Convertibles for 1991 were offered with vinyl (black, white, or saddle) top material only.

Blue and red colors were listed in dealer order guides but none are known to have been built.

Edges / Seams

Check for correct type, finish, correct placement and condition.

The convertible top has two flush cross seams. The outside edge of the vinyl top has a vinyl stitched edging.

So if it were not what these judging professionals have deemed the car's original color/fabric, you would get a mandatory deduction.

Not sure about the sticking question though. Sometimes you simply have to replace the top, and the only replacement tops available have that stitching. If points got deducted for that, something is messed up with the judging system IMHO.

I believe this is rather unfair though. I personally wouldn't bother replacing the top unless I could put a cloth top on it. Cloth tops are more high-end, and last longer. Much better investment in my opinion.

I think that doing things to make the car BETTER than factory (cloth tops, dual 16-ways, or what have you) should have a separate judging category. Keeping the cars as original as possible isn't for everyone. I like to make them better than when they left the factory.

Just MHO.

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My car is mildly modified. All the changes are Buick; and I believe all made the car "better".

However, I would never expect to be judged as an "original" ( in my Queens neighborhood we called 'em "stock").

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The final decision is the team Captain or team Deputy at the meet. However those members are not supposed to be judging, they are there to make questionable judging decisions. If you have never judged, it is difficult to explain everything that happens but there is a system of checks. The team Captain logs the 4 judging areas on a master sheet after the cars is judged, and before moving on the the next vehicle.

The judge reads off the deductions, the Captain is chosen because of his experience in all areas and logs the deductions, if a judge logs something the Captain questions, the decision is made at that time.

While the judging book has not been modified, a meeting was held several years back and

it was the opinion of those experienced Reatta judges in attending that black, blue, and red (burgundy) cloth tops would be considered stock (the 1990 Product Manual shows those colors, but there is good evidence that only one blue and one red were factory produced) Tan cloth was never documented as an option.

Vinyl was available in white, black and tan.......the pattern must be correct. A convertible with incorrect vinyl pattern jumps out like a sore thumb.

The non-factory stitching around the back window should get a deduction, probably one point. In reality the judge doing the exterior has 10 minutes to look at the compelete exterior and might not catch it.

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The final decision is the team Captain or team Deputy at the meet. However those members are not supposed to be judging, they are there to make questionable judging decisions. If you have never judged, it is difficult to explain everything that happens but there is a system of checks. The team Captain logs the 4 judging areas on a master sheet after the cars is judged, and before moving on the the next vehicle.

The judge reads off the deductions, the Captain is chosen because of his experience in all areas and logs the deductions, if a judge logs something the Captain questions, the decision is made at that time.

While the judging book has not been modified, a meeting was held several years back and

it was the opinion of those experienced Reatta judges in attending that black, blue, and red (burgundy) cloth tops would be considered stock (the 1990 Product Manual shows those colors, but there is good evidence that only one blue and one red were factory produced) Tan cloth was never documented as an option.

Vinyl was available in white, black and tan.......the pattern must be correct. A convertible with incorrect vinyl pattern jumps out like a sore thumb.

The non-factory stitching around the back window should get a deduction, probably one point. In reality the judge doing the exterior has 10 minutes to look at the compelete exterior and might not catch it.

Thanks Barney....but you bring up another question which you may/may not have the answer.

As there seems to be some discretion regarding color tops when judging, why was the option of a tan cloth top not considered valid by the powers that be? With plenty of saddle interiors on convertibles, it would make sense. Otherwise, a black cloth top should be a no-no as there doesn't seem to be documentation that an OEM cloth top existed.

Just throwing it out there for discussion.

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Thanks Barney....but you bring up another question which you may/may not have the answer.

As there seems to be some discretion regarding color tops when judging, why was the option of a tan cloth top not considered valid by the powers that be? With plenty of saddle interiors on convertibles, it would make sense. Otherwise, a black cloth top should be a no-no as there doesn't seem to be documentation that an OEM cloth top existed.

Just throwing it out there for discussion.

Ditto that.

Edited by NCReatta (see edit history)
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For 400 point judging, as I understand it, as long as it was a factory option for that year it is ok. Since, as Barney says, black, blue, and red cloth tops were supposedly factory options, they would be ok. I would also assume the same is true for adding a factory style CD player, 16-way seats,etc.

However my car, as it currently sits in my garage, has a '91 Riviera console arm rest (w/cupholder) and a Cadillac shift knob. Am assuming I'd get dinged a point or two for each, so would want to swap them back to original for a 400 point judging. (Not sure I will ever do one. But maybe in Portland?)

...but there is good evidence that only one blue and one red were factory produced) Tan cloth was never documented as an option.

BTW, before the sad demise of the compnine site, I noted that there were actually two blue cloth topped cars and one with a red cloth top that were listed in it. All three were 1990s. No black cloth tops. And no 1991s.

Edited by wws944
Add cloth top info (see edit history)
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I'd think that originality should be easy enough to determine: if the SPID sticker shows an RPO code for a certain color top, then that is what should be on the car. Now, if it has been replaced and is still the original color/material per the SPID sticker, it should not be any points deducted. If the color is different, then it is no longer original and gets dinged. Surely the top color/material had to have RPO codes specified? This seems like the cleanest way to settle a disputed parameter on judging.

Now, if the color is correct, but material is cloth (as are all replacement tops) instead of vinyl, that is where I can see things getting sticky. Surely, some consideration has to be made for the fact that the vinyl (and even cloth) tops go bad eventually, thereby necessitating replacement. Likewise, batteries and tires and hoses go bad and need replacement to keep the car roadworthy. If it is a museum piece and not a driven car, then I guess it could be kept 100% original, but how many people have kept a Reatta in that condition for 21+ years? That would assume someone had the foresight to anticipate these becoming collector cars and the throw away money to mothball a $30,000+ purchase for a quarter century. While they seem to be trending that direction, they are not there just yet.

I know there are concourse level events that value absolute originality, but how many Reattas are likely to be judged (or are even capable of competing) at that level? Clearly, I am not the type to concern myself with that level of competition as I am running two "lightly" modified cars (non-stock wheels, radio, other minor things to improve my enjoyment of the cars, not to win trophies) and so would not bother to enter 400 point judging, as I know up front I'm getting dinged. Yet, I don't think I have changed enough to enter modified class judging either.

Of course, the judging standards are created by a consensus of people within the BCA. I guess if enough members find the judging manual too onerous on some points, pressure could be brought to bear to change it. I do not know the exact process by which judging standards are drafted, but presume it is done by a committee at BCA, or within each division. It also depends on what is being determined by 400 point judging. If originality/correctness is the overriding consideration, that's fine. I guess it could be weighted mostly on condition, but then that would allow lightly modified cars a potentially higher score than an all original in more worn condition.

All I know is that I do not envy the judges in having to do the job. Serious car collectors can be a touchy bunch and egos are bruised easily when points are deducted for the most minor detail. Makes me glad I am not focused on such things.

KDirk

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I would use a more open definition. If it was listed as available and could be changed by the dealer, then it need not be on the SPI sticker.

In general, replacement items (tires, batteries) are open. Since all are past two decades old, should the convertible top be considered a "replacable item".

My manual says there is a mandatory 4 point deduction for incorrect size, placement, material, or style.

Good to hear my blue top is ok and plan on a red one for the foundling.

BTW is it better to put a new top on before or after having the car painted (or doesn't it matter) ?

Now the real question: what constitutes a "slight variation" in shade. Code 10 white instead of code 40 white ?

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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Seems like one could bend the 400 point rules to include changing side moldings between black/body color, or adding/deleting pin stripes. (Given that if adding pin stripes, they would be the same style as the factory used.)

Code 10 vs code 40 paint? Or Mary Kay pink for that matter? Dunno. It sounds like the Craft Centre did do some customs, but I'd think a car that was custom painted would need to be documented that it was special ordered and came from the factory in that color. Kinda like iif someone was judging Sinatra Jrs car and noticed the chrome exhaust pipes.

In any event, one really has to ask oneself would it really bother you to have a 399 point car instead of a 400 point car? Especially if, for example, you really like the code 10 paint better than code 40? If so, my advice is to not enter the car for 400 Point judging in the first place. There are other events and venues where the rules are different.

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I wonder if anyone would notice, or really quibble about code 10 white vs code 40 white, given the paint is in nice condition. IMHO, the original Reatta "code 40 arctic white" is somewhere between anyway. And I suppose that, if questioned, you could always pull out a bottle of some Zaino product and claim it is "experimental with magic whiteners", given to you to try out by the Zaino Brothers themselves. :)

But don't take my word for it. I have never put a car in a judging before. (Never been real interested in cleaning engine compartments with Q-tips. Though as I get older, this seems to be changing...) Nor have I attended any BCA event where judging has taken place.

One thing I wonder is if you would get dinged for getting 400 Point judged with '91 wheels on a '90 convertible. Because as we all know, the '90 Select 60 had '91 wheels. So technically, it was available in '90. If you would get dinged, that would infer that the Select 60 is a separate model.

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Having reviewed some past threads I found on the subject of judging, sometimes I wonder if a car fresh out off the showroom floor (but having been in storage for 21+ years) could get a perfect score? There seems to be juuuuust enough discretion allowed in judging that voting could sway with the right in$entive. :eek:

Having my car judged isn't something I aspire for. I've always kept my cars as OEM as can be but during the past year, I find myself leaning towards minor mods that make driving easier or my life more efficient behind the wheel. But I do offer kudos to those who work darn hard to get their cars to that level (I think possibly an even higher level) of being straight off the assembly line.

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I am enroute to Tallahassee for the BDE tour, started in the '91 but the air refused to put out, so went home and unfortunately am in the Enclave.... and typing on a small keyboard so I hope don't miss a key and say something I didn't mean.

A little history.... before the Reatta division became involved, the BCA had one set of judging forms.......for older cars. What we needed was a form for newer cars, so the Modern car judging form was created. 99% of the credit goes to Stan Leslie, for anyone that has not met Stan, let me say he is well qualified. Stan was at the time working for GM Power Train and ownes two nice '91's, a coupe and convertible.

He used the old judging form as a starting point and made the required changes to specifically address Reatta judging (it is now used for many Buick judging classes)

Stan consulted many Reatta owners that had low mileage original cars to obtain their input on many of the judging areas.

Once it had been reviewed by several Reatta owners, it was submitted to the BCA head judge for his approval/changes, then finally it was approved by the BCA Board and became an official judging form.

If anyone has objections, corrections, or strong opinions they should be submitted to the head BCA judge (Alan Oldfield) and he will address your issues. The Reatta judging form is not controlled by the Reatta division.

On the tan cloth convertible tops....there is no factory documentation (that has been found) that indicates tan cloth was ever offered, so until someone comes forth with that information, tan cloth is not considered original.

On changing the side molding from black to body color or visa-versa. That would not be a point deduction unless it was done poorly. The judges do not look at the Service Parts Label to verify that a car was made with black or painted side molding, just as they would not know if a car came with a CD player or had it added.

On the judging form, there are line items like BATTERY and a point value is given...since I do not have a judging form with me lets say the battery and its hold down are worth a total of 5 points...... the battery and hold down would need to be completely missing for the judge to deduct all 5 points, so there is some discression on how they are assessed but not a great amount. As I recall, if it is not a Delco then most judges would deduct 1 point, if the terminals/connectors were missing/damaged that would probably be 1 point or 1 point each and the same with the hold down.

Finally.....it is obvious there are people on this forum that don't care about the 400 point judging and they seem obligated to tell all of us their opinion. I know lots of Reatta owners that will never enter their car to be judged but they still love their Reatta.

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