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Cargirl has the rare 1991 RPO N60

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I'm planning to refinish a spare set of 91 rims and caps in white for my 91 coupe. Granted, it will never be a genuine N60 car, but it will more distinctive than it already is by the addition of white wheels. I do like the look but am concerned about keeping them clean. Will probably be next year before I get those wheels done though.

I'll probably transfer the chrome wheels on the 91 coupe now to the good 88 and put my newly refinished silver 91's on the 'vert to keep it stock.

KDirk

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When I restored my 1991 white/flame red convertible a year and a half ago (second to last one built - 900621) I had the wheels painted white. They show the dirt, but it's worth it.

Brenda you may recognize this car show venue!

post-62980-143143106208_thumb.jpg

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You tricked me Marck, I thought that was my car at the BOP car show in March! Ha! The Pavilions at Scottsdale, a great venue to show off your car. I met Mike there and we had a great time, when was this photo taken? What a great photo if we could have a picture with both our cars, like bookends.

KD- Have you considered getting the wheels powder coated? If they could use that process they would hold up much better than paint.

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I considered powder coating. Problem is that the 91 style wheels are complicated to finish. First the wheel is stripped, repaired and smoothed. Then the entire face is painted to the edge. They follow this by using a lathe to restore the machined finish on the beauty ring portion of the wheel. Then a clear coat is applied and baked. Finally the black line has to be hand painted and new plastic rivets installed.

Given the order in which everything has to be done I'm not certain powder coating is feasible except maybe for the clear coat. I also question how it would look compared to the high gloss clear finish normally used.

Another consideration is stripping the finish if the wheels need to be repaired or refinished again in the future. A lot more difficult to rework a wheel that was previously powder coated, I expect. Some places may decline to touch them on that condition.

Besides, the finish on the original wheels lasted 20+ years with proper maintenance and cleaning so I'm not too worried about the durability. And if they get damaged from being curbed or a blowout not even powder coating will stand up to that abuse. None of my cars individually get heavy use or lots of miles so they should hold up just fine.

Ultimately, cost is a consideration as well. I sent out 6 rims and 7 centers to be refinished in silver. Ran almost $900 for that order, including welding a repair into the outer bead where there was a small chunk broken out on one rim. I also had to pay a pin striper seperately to put the black line back in the groove and bought new rivets and installed them myself. Powder coating would've upped the price more still and the place I sent the rims to doesn't offer powder coating anyway. Not many reputable places here that do wheel refinishing, so my options were limited. I wanted quality more than quick and cheap, and am quite happy with the results.

Since I'll be repeating that same process again for the white wheels, I need some time for my discretionary funds to recover. And I need to refinish a set of 5 spoke OEM wheels for one of my 88's to wear. This is getting to be an expensive hobby (as though I just realized that). So, the white wheels are off the menu til next year most likely barring an unexpected windfall. They can be a 25th anniversary gift for my 91 coupe. Right now my focus is on getting the covertible decent.

KDirk

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Bryan,

Your post didn't upset me at all. It might have seemed that way because I asked a straight forward question in response to you saying you would like Robert to "take over management" of Barney's database but I was not upset. I'm just not very eloquent in my approach to asking a question in a forum.

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I saw Marcks '91 in Portland, and those white wheels did look good...

... I need to refinish a set of 5 spoke OEM wheels for one of my 88's to wear. This is getting to be an expensive hobby (as though I just realized that)...

Kevin, maybe this should be a separate thread, but do you have thoughts on refinishing the 5-spoke wheels to maintain the original appearance? In particular, keeping the subtle machining marks - rather than making them smooth?

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The wheels are easy to machine on a lathe which is what puts the pattern in the wheel face. The machined part of my 91 wheels looks about the same as the pattern on the 88-90 stock wheels. A wheel refinishing shop should be able to replicate that pattern easily enough. The place I used for the 91 wheels stated they can tweak the coarseness of the pattern within a certain range. Apparently some new cars are using an ultra-fine pattern on factory wheels based upon my discussions with them.

The problem is the center caps. No one I've talked to so far wants to touch them. Machining is problematic as it is a very thin aluminum skin over plastic. If the aluminum has any bad nicks or dimples they will not be removable due to the minimal thickness of the aluminum skin, assuming they can be run on a lathe to begin with. Still kicking around solutions for this. Obviously this is a non-issue on the all plastic 91 caps which just get painted.

KDirk

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I met Manik at his place southwest of Milwaukee Wis. He had a nice place and I was there to look at an early black and tan suede bolster car he had picked up from an auction. Cancer has a tendency to refocus one's prioirities but hopefully he can come out of it and drive his convertible again.

I just spoke to Manilmakanik and he is recovered from his stage 4 cancer. I told him he should come back and visit us. He still has the Black/Flame Red.

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)

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All Y'all are such great guys! Hey Vinnie, Barney, Harry, Jim & DAVE! Thanks for all the kind posts! Cancer Treatment Center awarded me with many extra laps!:cool:

Dave called me today, said I was missed & should check in. Beauty is my last car, also have a 2005 Le Sabre for daily use, I down-sized my collection from 13 Reattae to ONE.

Yep, I got in big trouble that day at Michigan Int'l Speedway, at 115mph (where signature photo was shot), Where's the pix of the fire marshal chewin' me out???:o

I've always been known to be one who takes full advantage of "once in a lifetime" opportunities. Who has pix of Beauty in the GM 100th parade? I saw TV cameras up close that day.

...and I have a plaque indicating Beauty was built last, despite all the signatures on her last surviving sister, (in Bulgari's collection 2008), who ceremoniously rolled off last.

Congratulations, CarGirl! your Reatta is a beautiful hand-crafted automobile, built for two. Your Reatta is an extremely rare and unique vehicle, hold on tight!

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Randy,

Curious to hear the backstory on your speed record. I've read anecdotal accounts here in the past mentioning you doing 115 at the track in black beauty but never heard you took heat for it. Sounds like a story I'd like to hear.

KDirk

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This post has grown a few heads... let me make some comments.

(1) Powder coating the 91 wheels will work, but what do you do with the hub caps, they will not take the oven temperature, and would need to be painted and that leads to a possible color mismatch.

(2) Someone taking over the database may happen.... I will be 76 this June and like Randy, sometimes the Reatta stuff is not my highest priority. I have had a Corvair apart for 3 years and if I don't finish it, who will? My wife who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2000 requires more of my time. I have never considered the Reatta database something that needs immediate updates. The only people that seem to care are those that send in information on a car and expect it to appear within the hour. Last, the database resides on Tom Jenkins web site. He may choose not to support it if someone else takes over and sends daily updates, he also has a life. I think the Reatta production information should eventually be on the Reatta Div web site. It has a new webmaster that will keep it up (don't know if he will sign up for daily updates). This will get discussed at Springfield with Reatta div members.... maybe around a table with cold refreshments.

(3) As mentioned earlier, my 91 has wheels that I had refinished in white, the company did the hub caps at the same time. They looked great but there were some issues. I handled the problems myself as the refinish company was in San Antonio, 100 miles from me and it was easier to fix the problems than to make several trips. (A) the black rivets got painted white and also had clear coat over the white making it a problem to remove the white. My solution was to hand paint all the white rivets black. (B) The company did not repaint the black line that separates the paint from the machined area. I tried several artists brushes, pinstripe brushes and was not happy with the application. My final solution was using a hypodermic (from the farm supply store) with black paint. The needle needed to be large enough to pass the paint which also needed to be the right consistency to flow properly. I ground off the sharp tip of the needle and polished the end so it would slide easily in the groove on the wheel. After a few false starts the process that worked for me was to PUSH the needle forward... with a small wave in front of the tip, this wave went up the sides of the groove much better than a brush, it applys plenty of paint and several years later (they were done for Plano 2004) they still look great. The paint is probably not that important, I happened to have a quart of gloss black Rustolem that was my choice.

(4) The black/red Reatta that was in the Bulgari collection was a coupe that I now own. Anyone can look at the database and find all the black/red convertibles.

A side note on the last Reattas built and the Bulgari cars..... at one of the national meets, someone said the Bulgari owned the last Reatta coupe and convertible. I was able to contact Keith at the collection and he gave me the vin for Mr. Bulgari's Reattas and neither the coupe or convertible were the last built. GM had both of those cars, they retained the convertible (900622) until 2009 and Chuck Perry purchased (901554) from GM just before the Columbus (1999) meet and later sold it back to them.

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Welcome back Randy, I have heard so much about you. "Beauty" is an amazing color combo, nice. It sounds like she gets around and has some amazing stories, sounds like me :) I am very happy your health is improving. I have heard very good things about Cancer Treatment Centers of America it's good to know they are true. I will take your advise and hang onto my newest Reatta. I have had several others but this is my forever car. Really nice to meet you!

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As mentioned, I have a number of resources I have used to collect info on the cars. I am almost finished compiling the complete list of 91 Reattas. Here are 8 coupes with white wheels I just grabbed off my database:

[TABLE=width: 730]

<tbody>[TR]

[TD]ID#[/TD]

[TD] Serial[/TD]

[TD]Build Date[/TD]

[TD]Color[/TD]

[TD]Pinstripe[/TD]

[TD]Mold[/TD]

[TD]Top Clr[/TD]

[TD]Int[/TD]

[TD]16[/TD]

[TD]CD[/TD]

[TD]Sun[/TD]

[TD]Comments[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L6MB[/TD]

[TD]900030[/TD]

[TD]11/19/90[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD]DELETE[/TD]

[TD]WH[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]Y[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels, Calif Emission[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L3MB[/TD]

[TD]900082[/TD]

[TD]11/30/90[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD] DELETE[/TD]

[TD]WH[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]Y[/TD]

[TD]Y[/TD]

[TD]Y[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L0MB[/TD]

[TD]900119[/TD]

[TD]12/3/90[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD] DELETE[/TD]

[TD]BK[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]BLUE[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L1MB[/TD]

[TD]900212[/TD]

[TD]12/10/90[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]WH[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]Y[/TD]

[TD]Y[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L5MB[/TD]

[TD]900228[/TD]

[TD]12/11/90[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]WH[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L5MB[/TD]

[TD]900259[/TD]

[TD]12/11/90[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]WH[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L9MB[/TD]

[TD]901141[/TD]

[TD]4/15/91[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD]DELETE[/TD]

[TD]WH[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]BLUE[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1G4EC13L4MB[/TD]

[TD]901354[/TD]

[TD]4/30/91[/TD]

[TD]WHITE[/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]RD[/TD]

[TD][/TD]

[TD]RED[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]N[/TD]

[TD]White Wheels[/TD]

[/TR]

</tbody>[/TABLE]

Notice I also have the pinstripe color, the build date, Calif Emissions, Canadian cars, etc. Compnine is not reliable because it only lists the cars it identifies as a REATTA. Sometimes under "VEHICLE" it will state "NOT LISTED". You will get the car data, but the production numbers won't be there. COMPNINE shows only 1313 91 Reattas made because of this. By the end of the month I will have all 91s completed, plus I will have at least the complete VIN list of 88-90 cars. I have merged it with Barney's database. and when I am done I will send Barnet the complete project and let him go through it and publish it as he feels fit.

I also belong to the Lincoln Mark II forum. Nicely organized and very civil. One hard fast rule is nothing on the for sale section without a price.

Edited by tbenvie (see edit history)

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The database at www.reatta.net is complete for 1991 with all Vin numbers shown. This again is courtesy of Stan Leslie. With all the Vin numbers, Stan used CarFax to clarify a mystery. GM always published 1214 coupes and 305 convertibles for a total of 1519, why was the last coupe produced # 901554. Stan's research shows that GM had assigned numbers to convertibles that were never built. Starting with 900524 & 625 you will note the order was cancelled.

Stan's Vins were merged with any earlier information we had on 1991 cars and that added the colors and options (if known) to the Vin. Since '91 was the lowest production year, I then used my GM dealers parts department computer on Saturday mornings to print hundreds of pages of 1991 Reatta information (which I still have). Critics of the database say it has bad information. That is surely true because if bad info was sent, that was the info that was added to the DB. As a general rule, if all the columns are filled in, that info came from GM data, should be complete and correct, if there is partial info, that is what came from owners.

In an attempt to get complete data on convertibles first, I started with the lowest known volume colors. If we had 1 Grey convertible, with the GM computer, I went forward and backward from the known Vin number until I got a body color change. You will note that cars were painted in color batches, which helped. What also helped for '91 was the majority of convertibles were built in a continuous run. Starting at 900328 thru 900580 no coupes were made. After doing this on all convertibles, I started on '91 coupes using the same method. I ran out of time when my dealership started keeping the service department open on Saturdays and it was too busy in the parts department for me to continue. The uncompleted colors were red and white coupes.... however, based on historic info, all of the blanks colors will be red or white.

When Tom finishes his '91 list we will work thru some sort of merge.

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Barney, I have just about a thousand 91s completed, and hope to have the rest done within the week.  there are a few mistakes, but not as many as you would think. (One convert is a coupe, a couple of VINs with a wrong digit, a few colors wrong).  It will be as accurate as possible-I think-with the options, colors, pinstripes, white wheels, calif emissions, Canadian, an export, and a few other interesting cars. 

 

One thing i would like is some photos of the 91 id labels from the tire wells-hope to get a dozen or so to look at the codes and try an match them to the RPO codes. 

 

Stay tuned.

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post-82993-0-79679900-1431640130_thumb.j

Hey Barney!
 

Here's yer quote, not used to new format, and signature pix are gone!


(4) The black/red Reatta that was in the Bulgari collection was a coupe that I now own. Anyone can look at the database and find all the black/red convertibles.
A side note on the last Reattas built and the Bulgari cars..... at one of the national meets, someone said the Bulgari owned the last Reatta coupe and convertible. I was able to contact Keith at the collection and he gave me the vin for Mr. Bulgari's Reattas and neither the coupe or convertible were the last built. GM had both of those cars, they retained the convertible (900622) until 2009 and Chuck Perry purchased (901554) from GM just before the Columbus (1999) meet and later sold it back to them.

 

When we were at the 105th anniversary show, (aka GM 100th anniversary), I spoke with Bulgari's collection caretaker just after his presentation, (at the award-less banquet), and he assured me they had just acquired #622 from GM. I had contacted SteveGM@GM who said they could not locate the "last Reatta Convertible built" #622 weeks earlier, when I called to see if it would be at Sloan museum, or displayed for the Buick show.

 

I know I've been away for years now, but it seems none of the other 6 black/flame 'verts have surfaced, not even the elusive #622.

 

I'll stand by my claim ""Beauty is the last of the "seven sisters" (7 black/flame convertibles) on the road"" until another drives up.

 

As for the last built, I only have rumors from Craft centre folks, and the trophy made for the last Reatta 'vert I bought at the trunk swap at Reatta reunion, and it's plaque-which fell inside my center console that evening, when I opened the ashtray. Once I'm long gone, (and someone prys Beauty from my cold, dead hands!), some restorer with an easy resto job may find that plaque, under the tuner.

 

That very same weekend, you told me the black/flame in Florida was lost in a house fire. We were both under the impression, (at the time), no others were left on the road. I even chased after rumored ones in IL & WI, only to find a black/maroon '90 'vert with 91 wheels (IL) and a dead end in WI. Beauty was originally delivered to TX, one of the few outside GM employees' original ownership.

 

I condition my statements with "on the road" because #622 will never see the road, as a priceless collectible, and others may exist in boneyards, or disabled in backyards. Black Beauty is now permanently registered as a "Collector Vehicle" with the state of Wisconsin and is a preserved, driven, unmolested pleasure car, who only comes out when (the snow and salt are gone and) the sun is high. Maybe I'll roll in on a Buick show this year.

 

Mike, (the reattadude) said he knew of B/F twin sisters squirrled away (undriven) in Bowling green, but that was 8-10 years ago. Anyone seen them on the road lately?

 

~Randy

 

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