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Regalization

Early 1988 Reattas to AGIP, New York?

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From the Reatta.net database, there were seven early 1988 Reattas that were shipped to AGIP, USA, New York. All of those seven 1988 cars had VINs below VIN 0092.

What was AGIP?

Thoughts?

Edited by Regalization (see edit history)

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Well, if that was the intent then it never went anywhere. The only place the Reatta was sold outside the US was Canada, and the minor changes needed for that market (DRL's, standard metric setting for gauges) were incorporated in regular production. Maybe there were plans to go to other markets, but if so then it appears they were scuttled early on.

As far as convertible conversion, ASC was the goto vendor for this at the time. Hess and Eisenhart was another outfit that did some convertible conversions (did some of the early 80's Riviera drop tops I believe) but they were more into building limos and hearses generally.

I know nothing of this AGIP outfit, so would very much like to see the backstory pursued so that we can find out what their involvement was.

KDirk

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I am presently working on the 1989 database and AGIP received some of those cars. I never thought much about it, any possibility that AGIP was an exporter? They could be subcontracting the cars going out of the US.

Maybe someone that worked for GM could answer.

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Interesting. There were the turbo Reatta prototypes, both FWD and RWD were built (by Buick, so it was an in-house project, not farmed out) but I wouldn't consider these high-performance cars in racing terms. They were souped up street cars that, under different circumstances, might have seen production. Buick's brand identity crisis at the time pretty well killed off the high performance ambitions of the division.

Unless there was a shadow program being tentatively developed by an outside vendor, and it got scrubbed before it saw daylight. Honestly, I can't see the Reatta as a race car. The weight distribution isn't suited for it even with vastly improved power and handling and as a RWD vehicle. I suppose with enough time and money almost anything is possible, but building Reattas for real (track) racing use seems like a stretch too far. There were many better candidates for that application.

The Reatta also lacked the name recognition as a new model, and something like the GNX was much more known and likely to get this kind of treatment if anything out of Buick would be considered for such a project. Even for Euro style road races, the Reatta would seem an unlikely choice.

Perhaps there was some marketing angle being worked on. There doesn't seem to have been a huge marketing push (yes there were print ads, magazine "articles" and even that painfully 80's TV spot) but maybe they were planning something bigger. Don't know why that would've required a comittment of several actual vehicles, two years in a row, however. Besides which, GM already had big marketing and ad firms to tap for promotion of new models.

The mystery goes on...

KDirk

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To the best of my recollection, and living in Europe, from 74-77, AGIP, was an oil company, and heavy racing sponsor. (AG Italy Petrolia, possibly), but I can shed no light on their use of Reattas.

There are several Italians of the Buick General Forum, so perhaps a question should be posted there.

John

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Not sure about those ground effects on the PPG car. They are clearly custom, I assumed they were a one-off for that car. Suppose they may have used them as well on the turbo cars. I don't know who did the PPG conversion (had a fuel cell and other track-required safety gear fitted) or if they were also involved in the Reatta Turbo builds. I've seen nothing to support that they were done by the same outfit, FWIW.

Regarding the turbo Reattas, one was wrecked (front end) when it was mis-maneuvered into the wall at the track. Apparently the added speed overcame the limitations of the steering (or perhaps the driver) and a bangeroo resulted.

It was interesting to me that they built both FWD and RWD variants. I really wonder how the rear drive handled, given the weight distribution inherent in the Reatta design. A rear diff would have added some weight in back so would've helped some, but also made the car heavier overall which is not a good thing generally.

There was a thread here last year in which someone had unearthed the special build turbo 3.8 used in one of these cars in a warehouse in Michigan IIRC, and tried to sell it. Don't think there were any takers, regrettably. A unique piece of history, but of limited use to anyone but a true artiste of vehicle customizing.

I suppose none of this is pertinent to the questions about AGIP though.

KDirk

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