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I met 2 people who worked on the Reatta and...


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Went to the shooting range this morning with my nephew. I took the Reatta because it was the last car in the driveway and didn't feel like playing 'musical cars' at 6AM.

Got to the range, pulled our gear from the trunk and decided to first go plinking. Not 10 minutes goes by when two guys (they were in their late 60s/early 70s) come to the table beside us and start up a conversation (they saw us getting our gear out of the car.) Their names are Dennis and Patrick. Dennis worked as an electrical engineer/technical adviser on the Reatta and Riviera from 1986 (yes, 1986) -1990 (mostly regarding the IP and CRT. Dennis was with GM for 31 years). Patrick did some time on the assembly line (and on the Riviera line) working doors and hoods but also worked in the paint dept (he was w/ GM for 26 yrs). Patrick retired when he took a pay package offer from GM as they were going through hard times.

Don't shoot me (pardon the pun), but it is difficult carrying a conversation in a shooting range. But to get to the point, after speaking (actually hollering) for a few minutes, some of our conversation involved the CRT (it was suppose to be multi-color like some Rivieras/Toronados but as he remembers, there was a falling out with the manufacturer and along w/ the peanut counter$, they decided against going multi-color). Dennis also said they were going to stay with the CRTs in the model refresh but as Buick was geographically targeting Florida and California, these 'sunshine' states created a bad combo between the CRT and convertibles. He didn't know much about the Teves system other then he thought back then it was a bad idea (why not go conventional). He also thought my vert had a power top as he recalled one of the first assignments he received for the Reatta was to provide some wiring diagrams for the top.

Patrick worked mostly assembly and he did say there were some dealers who "copo-ed" the car but the changes were mostly for the interior (i.e. burgundy interior on a red car). Now...(drum roll please), I asked him if he can recall ever painting a polo green Reatta convertible. Patrick worked paint from 1990-1993 (Reatta, Riviera and Toronado). His answer was no, but that doesn't mean it wasn't done. From 1991-1993, his station (he was one of three) saw every work order (for Reatta & Riviera) before a car got its coat. One of his station's responsibilities was also matching up side moldings with the paint and also identifying color corrections needed after painting. He's confident that on his watch, there were no polo green convertibles because he recalls there was one work order that had a brown color paint code for a car and he had to confirm that color code as it wasn't in his 'book' (I assume he meant catalog of paint colors he had on file) and wasn't stamped at a previous work station. Turned out it was an error on the work order.

As I said, we were not in a position to carry a conversation but now that we know each other (they both recently moved here from Michigan) and have become members of the shooting range, I'm sure I'll see one or the other again.

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