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Regalization

Black Metallic Factory Paint

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(Hey, the new Forum! Looks good – thank you!)

 

Well, I mentioned that I liked exterior paint color and interior color information. Allow me to bore you….

 

Buick records indicate that seven 1988 Reattas left Lansing with order code 14 Black Metallic paint (GM paint code WA8767).

Edited by Regalization (see edit history)

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Quite interesting. This is the first I ever heard of the black metallic color used on the Reatta, much less in that time frame (late 80's). The first I recall noticing black metallic paint on a production vehicle was maybe 15 years ago and pretty sure it was Lexus or Infiniti using it. Ford seems to have been using it a lot of late. GM seems to have been way ahead of the curve with that color choice in 88. Wonder why they killed it off.

Some form of white metallic has been an uplevel extra cost paint option (three-stage process) on Cadillacs since at least the early 90's. Current iteration is more blue-white than cream-white marketed as white lightening. I think I prefer the older pearl white, it is more tasetefully understated.

One thing I think regrettable is that there weren't more color choices offered both interior and exterior. Apparently 1992 woud have brought a new light neutral interior color (much like what Cadillac was doing from about 93 on) and would've looked outstanding with red, black, white and green paint. Burgundy as well, thinking about it now. But all we ever got in quasi-neutral saw was beechwood (dark butterscotch tan) and grey (which I personally don't much care for). While not a fan of black interiors, I think it should have been offered. For exterior, metallic white and metallic red should have been offered in the standard color selection for more "flash" by at least 1990.

In any case I'm looking forward to the finished dump of 91 production data detail. I hope the rest can eventually follow suit.

KDirk

Edited by KDirk (see edit history)

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I need to take the time to look over the DB to see how many cars had the Blue Interior. Most I see are another color. Also I have not seen a convertable with blue interior. I agree Black interior would have been great. All Great information. Thanks to all of you that take the time to complie this information.

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There was a white over blue convertible on ebay recently, cannot remember if it was a 90 or 91. Seems blue was less popular as an interior color after 89. Of course, most maui blue cars had blue interior, but not that many maui blue cars were made. I find it interesting there was one driftwood car made for 91, wonder if it was special order? Also, I now understand why I almost never see a silver, gunmetal grey or claret red car. Very few of each were made for 91, and presumably that holds true of 90 production as well. Odd how few red 91 coupes I seem to see around and for sale in light of the number built.

KDirk

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Thanks to Richards work,  I dug out the 1988 master looking for 904416 and any other possible tan cars in 1988.     Turns out the code 61 paint was in a flaw in the paper and under magnification, it is 81.

Sorry but the mystery tan car just turned red like my face.    

 

The line on the attached sheet  has 33465  then 81 which can look like 61post-76006-0-09799700-1431611874_thumb.j

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Eh, those 34 are the rarest color option of all - invisible. Had the experimental cloaking device that didn't make it to production. Seriously though, the 34 that were assigned but not built could be verified easily enough. Run carfax and registration searches on those numbers and see if any of them actually have a verifiable history. If not, then the explanation they were never built holds true. I see no reason to doubt that as we know sales were poor and the program was being cancelled somewhat abruptly so it makes sense. Than again, if one or more of those 34 vins show up with a history, we have a problem needing investigation.

One question: what is the primary sort value on those GM printouts that they aren't in VIN order? Seems quite odd they'd have chosen not to list them sequentially in VIN order.

KDirk

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Attached is page 13 from the 1991 Buick Production Manual.     It shows the white interior and in the lower left, indicates which exterior color could be ordered with the white seats.

 

Why were more white interior cars not built?    (Note at the top it says "Reatta convertible")   It may have been the lack of demand for Reattas at the time,   It might have been the convertibles were only built for roughly 2 months and that is a small order window.

 

Based on what this page indicates,   you could order white/blue on a silver, blue, white, or grey convertible.

white/red was available on silver, white, black, or red convertible.      Today we know that there were very few takers,  there is even a chance that no one "ordered" one,  they just were scheduled by production.

post-76006-0-03378300-1431697702_thumb.j

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Interesting read, Regalization!

 

For what it's worth, Barney, all you have to do is send me the build sheets and I can modify and use my excel formulas I used on the 1988 sheet to sort them all out. If you only have paper that's fine too. I can sort through and scan those. I just bought a new scanner. It's faster than a supercharged Reatta! 

 

It's rather silly to think those 34 VINs just "disappeared". I have many a lunch with people heavily involved with the Reatta project that says some, if not all of those cars may have been built. And that polo green convertibles were made.

 

I would like think these people would know better than us "lurkers" out in cyberspace years later. 

 

Given the unique build process for Reattas, special orders and strings getting pulled behind the curtains was not only easily feasible, but almost common.

 

in 1990 alone, there were 436 Reattas made with code D60 (color override). 326 of these were red/grey (not considered standard by GM order guides). That leaves 110 "special" cars.

 

These include (but not limited to) the Maui/Tan cars that were adamantly denied for many years here (yet several have surfaced). The driftwood/brugundy cars, Gunmetal/tan, etc. 

 

Yes, these cars are very few and far between. I've never seen photos of the driftwood/burgundy cars, but GM built them. Does that mean that just because a polo green convertible hasn't surfaced, they don't exist? Not trying to start an argument, just stating facts. We have 34 reasons there could be at least one. 

 

On the subject of white interiors. They had a TON of these parts left over. After the 65 S60s, and the few 1991s that have shown up, that totals maybe 100. And lets be honest. When is the last time GM ordered 100 of anything. Try squaring that number and you get closer to GM order quantities. 

 

I have no doubt that some cars got built with factory tan, Burgundy and grey two-tone. as well as the blue and flame red. Not to mention the standard seat white interior cars that have shown up that's another whole order of seats that had to be brought in!

 

P.S.

The one 1991 Gunmetal/blue coupe came through here two or three years ago. Sadly it was so rusty it was unbelievable. The car came from upstate NY and it showed. I still have the window sticker in my shop though. 

Edited by NCReatta (see edit history)

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Guest my3buicks

 

 

These include (but not limited to) the Maui/Tan cars that were adamantly denied for many years here (yet several have surfaced). The driftwood/brugundy cars, Gunmetal/tan, etc. 

 

 

I personally would have liked all these combinations, I had a burgundy dash cover on the Driftwood coupe and it looked fantastic. Gunmetal/Saddle is a common combination in the sports car kingdom.  Tan in Maui would have to be an improvement as the blue interior clashes with the Maui terribly. 

 

 

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Silly? Ok, I have to ask why it is any less plausible that some VINs were assigned and not ultimately built (due to the unique build process) than to presume those 34 VINs were in fact built and yet are all completely unaccounted for to this day. Even if they were all special order color/option overrides, there should be production data for them - even if it doesn't match what was actually put on the car. Heck, even if they were all made for internal sale to top brass (not any more likely a scenario than 34 being placed in the order queue and then scuttled before being built given the way the program was cancelled) they should still be on the books in some form.

For the record, I am not invested in any particular explanation for the missing 34. If it is discovered beyond any refutation that they were built, great. Even more so if they end up being ultra rare color combos not previously seen in the wild. Likewise, if it turns out they are just phantom VINS, well that's fine too. It doesn't affect me, except to finally clear one more Reatta mystery off the books.

The verbal recounting of recollections from a quarter century ago do not hold enough weight to be considered fact. Memories get fuzzy, and we have no reason to build a definitive production database from hearsay. That is why the current database takes criticism from some quarters, because so much of the data was provided by the honor system without independent verifcation. Typos and errors do occur depsite the best efforts of those supplying the data. There needn't be any malice involved, sometimes a digit gets transposed or misread and now ypur dataset can be called into question. The slippery slope of "if there is one error, then there must be more" ends up compromising the perceived value of the information.

What I see right now regarding this issue and some other hot button things like polo green 'verts comes off as "my speculation is better than his speculation" type of posturing, though I trust this isn't the intent. The problem is that this doesn't help the cause which is to determine - factually - how many were built, and with what options and colors. Talk is cheap, proof is all that matters. The 1988 with code 61 paint was just disproven here due to a missing line of pixels in one line of a bulk printout. Previously, it was believed (with reasonable plausibility) that one car was made in that color. Turns out there wasn't because the naked eye missed a printing defect. These things happen, and there is no shame in an honest mistake so long as it is admitted and corrected.

My only point here is not to get too heavily invested in an explanation or point of view concerning something for which the facts are still unknown. Until someone can come forth with absolutely solid documentation - or unretouched photos - of one or more of the missing 34 with the VIN plate visible, any talk of them is speculation no matter what theory is being promulgated or who is pushing it.

Nobody likes to eat crow, so we all need to be careful not to get hitched to an idea with such conviction that we begin to think, much less speak of it, as established fact. Many previous questions on what was done, when and why have been settled in the past few years. I'm sure in time we will have answers to more of the unknowns. In the meantime, some restraint is probaby advisable.

KDirk

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Kevin,

 

there is a lot more information about these "missing" VINs right now; I've just made the decision to now release it at this time.

 

why?

 

as many of you know, my questioning of information provided by "the keeper of the database" goes back well over twelve years. I said from Day 1 that there were indeed cloth convertible tops installed at the Craft Centre; our "expert" said no, "because it wasn't in the catalog". I was even called a "liar".

 

and there we were, all sitting at the GM Technical Center in Flint in 2003, waiting for some of the folks who worked on the Reatta project to share their recollections of working at the Craft Centre. the last guy to speak was a jug-eared guy with a southern drawl, who worked on the trim line. he even brought a scrapbook; inside were photos of a silver convertible with a red cloth top, one with a blue cloth top, tan cloth top, etc. did I get even the slightest apology from the person who called me a liar? of course not!

 

this has gone on for all the insuing years, including times I've had lunch with my source of information (all recorded), and I stupidly posted here what was passed down to me. and what was the result? the person who called me a liar now called my source a liar by telephone! of course, what does this source know? well, you be the judge: he helped open the Craft Centre in 1987, and worked there continously thru the Reatta, EV-1, Cavalier/Sunbird convertibles, Eldorado, and until the last Chevrolet SSR rolled out the door in 2006. but hey, what does he know?

 

a lot of information being revealed here by Regalization is new to me as well, and quite welcome, merely proving everything I've said for over 13 years. black metallic Reattas, HUNDREDS of off-standard/special colors? I shudder the thought of the ridicule I would have received here if I had released this information!

 

as far as the "missing" VINs go, I will tell you this. I have a customer here in Arizona with a white '91 convertible. he is a retired trial attorney from Youngstown, Ohio. back in 1991, he had heard the Reatta was being discontinued, and wanted a convertible. a friend of his worked at Packard Electric (then a GM division) in nearby Warren, Ohio, and said he would see what he could do. he called back later with a special phone number into the Craft Centre. my customer, Jim, was rather shocked when the first question the woman who answered the phone at the Craft Centre was, "how did you get this phone number?" this was weeks after the Craft Centre had closed.

 

they did indeed have an inventory of cars (any guesses how many? 34!!; and I've known this number for ten years, but not understanding its significance until now), and seven were not spoken for. he chose a white/saddle convertible, and it arrived by flatbed at Younstown Buick Company later that day.

 

my source is not in the best of health at this time. at the time of his passing, I will have all the documents on these 34 cars (and a lot more), and will release all the information at that time.

 

I think a lot of folks just don't understand how things work at car companies, especially GM. whatever an executive wants, they get, period. now just think about this: the Craft Centre is told to close; all the workers all still there, as well as the stuff to build the cars. executives are calling, wanting one of the last cars; there are (technically) assigned VINs. in exchange for getting a car, executives make sure proper paperwork is generated, although technically not thru official channels.

 

think about that.

 

Mike Rukavina

buickreattaparts.com

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For your enjoyment,  attached is a list of 1991 Reattas in Vin sequence.   It starts a few cars from the end of convertible build.   Note there was a steady pattern of 2 convertibles, then 1 coupe. 

The last convertible  900622 is followed by a Polo Green coupe,  then 2 convertibles that were not built, then a coupe,  etc.

This information was compiled by Stan Leslie around 2000 using Carfax.      Carfax could find no info on the missing cars.     In addition the missing convertibles add up to justify the difference in the number of cars Buick said were built (1519) and the last car built with vin 1554.

 

Stan put a lot of work into this discovery and this is not "made up" data.      The  1991 and other year Reatta information can be found at www.reatta.net

 

 

post-76006-0-74638700-1431786894_thumb.j

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Guest my3buicks

As stated earlier, It does not stand to reason with all of our eyes out there, that not one of these Reatta's in that serial # sequence has been shown to exist.  It's not like a car where thousands were built that one could slip through the cracks unseen for years - with so few 91 convertibles out there, every one is scrutinized or seen by someone in the Reatta community.  All those missing vin cars must be sitting untitled and unregistered in the original owners garages - yes, I'm sure that's it, sounds most likely.

Edited by my3buicks (see edit history)

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Wow, so I have a one of 114 made in 88, White with Blue. Since mine is a later run car I did not think there would ever be anything speical or limited about it other then the number left on the road for 88. Considering mine needs paint, I have thought about changing the color a couple of times and even having a lower cost paint job becuase of the mileage and figured it just as a driver. I guess I have to re-think it. Now that its a lower combination number not that it may affect its value any, But to preserve the combination since there may not be many left on the road. So looks like a good quality white paint job in in its future.

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