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New for the 1992 Reatta by Buick


Cargirl
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Unfortunately for us all, there was no 1992 Reatta. If there had been, here are some of the improvements that would have been featured:

 

* New brake/Transmission interlock

* Larger brakes, front and rear

* Computer Command Ride (Like my 1991 Eldorado has)

* Three new exterior colors:

                       -Light Windsor Gray Metallic

                       -Teal Mist Metallic (would have loved to see this color)

                       -Ruby Red Metallic

* Three new interior colors:

                       -Medium Gray

                       -Graphite

                       -Medium Beige (nice)

* New brake/Transmission emblem interlock located on front of console

* Suspension emblem moved to Instrument Panel

* Improvements to solar glass

 

It makes you wonder when a Targa Top option would have been made as an available option. We may never know.

:wub:

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Know I've mentioned it before, but in the Pictorial History of the Reatta book published a few years ago, there was a prototype 92 shown in polo green over a light neutral color interior (assume this was the medium beige mentioned). Very sharp (even more so then polo green over saddle tan IMO).

I kind of doubt the targa top would have ever been offered. It was prototyped fairly early on and never made it to production (this is also shown in the book). With the exiting availability of the sunroof (which seemed not to be a popular option anyway) and the convertible, I can't see why they would have offerd it. Would've been neat, but superfluous. And, it would have suffered the same issues with body rigidity as the convertible, if to a lesser extent perhaps.

Did this data come from a brochure? Or was it a press release type sheet? I ask because I'm curious if there are any pictures.

KDirk

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The info is listed in a book written by Duncan Hunter, very interesting book for Reatta enthusiasts. "The Buick Reatta, The Complete History." Also, very interesting are the production numbers (how many were built) and the sale numbers (how many were sold). I am assuming if the production number was greater than the sales number, those Reatta's went to auction as the next model year was rolled out. Please note there were two thousand orders in 1991 that were not filled. I assume orders were made, deposits were placed, and people waited for a new car that would never be delivered. How disappointed they must have been. (How not to run a car company)

 

                                                          1988

 

                                 Production                                      Sales

 

1988 Coupe                4708                                              2759

 

1989 Coupe                7099                                              7911

 

1990 Coupe                6383                                              5790

         Vert                    2132                                              1232

                                    8515                                              7022

 

1991 Coupe                1209                                              2363

         Vert                     283                                               1056

                                     1492                                             3419

 

Grand Total: 21,724      Coupe-19309   Convertible-2415

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I don't know where Hunter got the information.    There are several questionable numbers.

 

1988 production started late....after the first of the year and the cars were on allotment to the dealers (more demand than cars available)

yet his numbers show almost 2000 vehicles produced that were not sold hard to believe.

 

1989 more cars sold than produced.....good trick.

 

1990 there was a surplus of cars......enough that 1991 production did not start until the last week of November 1989 (roughly 3 months later than normal)

 

1991 again more cars sold than produced.    I suspect some of his numbers are calendar year not model year.

1991 convertibles......the gold standard is 305 built.    The 283 number is the rough number that made it on the road.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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You definitely can sell more cars than you produce. With a low production car like Reatta, the dealers take orders, collect funds and wait for the order to be filled. If they can't or don't make the cars, the dealerships must call the customer and tell them the bad news, no car! Refund the money and call it a day.

 

Buick sold 2000 more Reatta's in '91 than built, I do not know why they just didn't finish the '91 run. A mid-year cancellation is not good business, particularly since this was just the second year they offered a convertible. In a perfect world they would have offered a targa top or convertible in '88. In my humble opinion, that's where they blew it.

Edited by Cargirl (see edit history)
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The offering of the convertible was controlled by the CRT instrument panel.   You could not read/see the CRT with the top down.   Reatta relied on Riviera for 70% of the parts and since Riviera was the volume car,  Reatta could not change the instrument panel until it was changed by Riviera.     The demand was just not there,  in 1990,  convertible production amounted to 25% of the total.

It would take some research to see how that compares with other cars,  what is the ratio for Corvettes, Mustangs?

 

The could have taken the route of Allante, and made everything a convertible,  and we know how that worked out.

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Somehow I don't believe thay there were 2000 91's ordered that weren't built. First, they were not selling well from at least 1990 (as evidenced by the late start of 91 production) and 91's sat unsold at dealers (by anecdotal accounts I've heard) well after the official cancellation. Now, I know GM was bleeding money on the Reatta by that point, but it seems that 2000 cars - more than the total 91 production of coupes and convertibles combined - not being built is a stretch.

Given the dismal sales at the time the project was cancelled, I can't see how there were 2000 open orders. They certainly had the capacity to have made that many more than were actually built within the first quarter of 91 and yet didn't. If there were that many more on order, that would have been a lot of disappointed customers. Has anyone here ever heard anyone speak of Reatta they ordered but didn't receive due to production being cancelled?

I can see some ordered convertibles being cancelled due to the cowl shake issue. Perhaps they chose to suspend convertible production pending a fix that never happened due to the cancellation. But I still simply cannot see that there were that many more (both coupe and roadster) already ordered that were not built. Seems like there would be some record of that having happened. I'D figure there was a company memo to a dealer or a customer stating their car would not be built. Surely something like that would have come to light by now.

KDirk

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Interesting about the CRT & convertible in 1988. That makes good sense and I like it when things make sense to me. Perhaps Buick could have made the convertible in 1988 and given everyone an, "As Seen On TV, Ronco's Ultra Vision Sunglasses" so they could look cool (questionable) and read the CRT when driving. Just a thought. If the buyer did not purchase a convertible Buick could have thrown in a pocket fisherman to make things fair.

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I know that officially that sunlight CRT visibility was cited as a problem for the convertible. I think that was a cop-out, as the VFD displays otherwise used in both the CRT and the non-CRT cars have the same contrast and display brightness as the CRT itself. I can attest that the IPC on my 91 convertible gets "washed out" in full sun, so the new IPC in 90 wasn't a fix for the visibility issue either.

Since there was added engineering being done for improved body rigidity after 1988 stated, it seems like the convertible would not have been available until 1989 at the earliest anyway. That being the case, and with customer complaints over the complexity of the CRT system the first two years, seems like the convertible was held for introduction until the 90's debuted along with their new instrumentation which was already in planned well in advance.

KDirk

Edited by KDirk (see edit history)
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Guest my3buicks

I know many don't like the CRT, but the lack of the CRT is the one thing I dislike about the 90 & 91.  I miss it.  The 90 "upgrade" wiped away character.

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Keith, I completely agree with that, and I bought a 91 first because I thought the instrumentation "looked better". After I got a CRT car, it really is better in functional terms although the 88/89 IPC could have conveyed a bit more information and the CRT could've used a few more hard buttons for critical functions (ala the VIC used in the Toronado and Trofeo).

KDirk

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You are reading the sales column wrong-this is NOT how many orders for that model year were placed, this is the number of cars sold that year.  If you look at 1988 you can see there were almost 2000 cars not sold in model year 88.  These were carried over into model year 89 (or even 90 and 91).  The 7911 cars sold in 89 include the left over 88s and the new 89s. The 7022 sold in 90 include any leftover 88 and 89 cars. The sold cars add up to 21,111. That leaves 703 not sold at the end of 91 model year.  As we know, some have never been sold and are still owned by dealers (or former dealers). Others were sold later. 

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Tom,

Thank you for that clarification, makes much more sense now. I am rather surprised that there was a surplus of 2000 built vs. sold for 88. I suppose this difference also includes test mules and other production cars that were not retailed, as they were for internal use by GM and most were probably destroyed by, or after, serving their purposes in testing.

We know most of the first 100 built in 88 never made it to the wild, so to speak. This included test cars (destructive testing or not), press event cars, units used in convertible prototyping (we know of a couple, but how many were actually used towards that effort in total?) and any other set asides GM had, irrespective of their use. Even then, 2000 more built than sold within the model year is a rather poor showing. Despite the apparent initial popularity, sales were nkt nearly at the level GM needed - or expected - right from the start it seems.

Of course, the projection was to sell some 20,000 units a year. They barely managed that in four years and that's a damn shame. No point in speculating now on why it fell so flat, that is part of the lore behind the car. Really, we may not be here today discussing it's merits and such if it had sold as well as GM had hoped. It certainly would've changed the used market for the car if they had built even 80,000 plus Reattae before cancellation. Besides that, if it sold that well it wouldn't have been cancelled so soon, resulting in a much larger pool of cars and thereby robbing it of the rarity and exclusivity we enjoy now.

KDirk

Edited by KDirk (see edit history)
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Guest my3buicks

I think it was simple, terribly poor advertising - It amazes me even today how many people that would have been car buyers and drivers at that time never heard of a Reatta.  That speaks volumes of how Buick/GM did in it's initial advertising and promotion of the car.  Of course price didn't help greatly either when a 90 convertible was the same basic price as a Cadillac Fleetwood.

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Anyone else think 2132 'verts built and 1232 sold in '90 sounds more like a typo ?

Heck, when the sun is right I cant read the dash in my '90 with the top down.

Do think that when all cars have crts in the dash (I have 2 now) the Reatta/Riv will be seen as a landmark.

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Guest my3buicks

LOL, I just heard someone bragging yesterday that all the controls in there car were handled through one screen - I laughed and said my 88 Reatta did that 27 years ago. 

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