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Bushwack

Reatta on Motorweek

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Motorweek finally posted on YouTube their review of the '90 prototype convertible https://youtu.be/VZo3X-aLdck.  I know most have seen it but as a prototype, I noticed (for the first time) the convertible top left that half-moon mark on the tonneau cover. I'm surprised that Buick was aware of this and didn't find a way to eliminate the mark. And no mention of cowl shake (but praise for a sturdy frame).

 

I haven't see this video in 3-4 years so I'm surprised I picked up on some things in this video that I didn't notice before. Also re-iterated the softball reviews Motorweek is known for (today and long ago).

 

On a side note, was it a weight issue or cost issue why the power button for the tonneau cover was deleted from final production?  Or did Cadillac not like the idea and felt it would take away sales from them?

Edited by Bushwack (see edit history)

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thanks for posting that!

pretty cool!

and I didn't know they Cadillac Atlante came in a hard top.  That would've been a cool option for the reatta.

 

In the video, when they say the power steering on our cars are "over-boosted", what  exactly does that mean?

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That video has been on ROJ for several years. I think they say it is "over boosted" to mean the power assist is too strong preventing them from getting enough feedback from the steering on their road course tests.

 

On a slightly different topic... I wonder how many convertible prototypes were built? The Reatta Div put one in a museum that had no top as far as I know. Then there is the one in the photo below. It is supposed to be an '88 Reatta convertible..

post-95476-0-41931200-1455724864_thumb.j

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That video has been on ROJ for several years. I think they say it is "over boosted" to mean the power assist is too strong preventing them from getting enough feedback from the steering on their road course tests.

 

On a slightly different topic... I wonder how many convertible prototypes were built? The Reatta Div put one in a museum that had no top as far as I know. Then there is the one in the photo below. It is supposed to be an '88 Reatta convertible..

 

 

Ronnie - I understand that there was one other prototype of the '90 convertible that ended up in a Santa Barbara, CA salvage yard from which it was retrieved by Curtis L. Tomlinson, a North Carolina fellow now in Florida.   Subsequently sold by Curtis to a fellow in Maricopa, AZ, where it now lies fallow in the desert.

 

Do not have it close at hand but we do have the VIN of the prototype in the San Diego Museum and Barney may it as well as other info to confirm what I have outlined above.

 

Barney and others may some info that will confirm what I feel to be correct.

 

Kingsley

Reatta Specialty Parts

Edited by Kingsley (see edit history)

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If you take a close look at the interior of the car in the photo I posted it is different from anything I've seen. It appears to be the interior of a '88 Reatta but it has strange looking seats with square features and a dash that appears to have a color CRT. It also has a really weird looking steering wheel. Maybe it is some type of mock-up but it looks like a real car.

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The prototype that is in the Museum in San Diego carries a 1988 VIN and was the 30th Reatta to come off of the assembly line for the 1988 models.

 

I suspect that along the way in development of the convertible there were some momentary pauses for the marketing folks to work in a bit of show time ....and then back to the conversion process.

 

Back to my previous comment, I do know that Santa Barbara was one of the initial marketing pushes and there is probably an interesting story behind it eventually getting to a Santa Barbara salvage yard and then back into play.

 

Kingsley

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With the best information available, there were 2 "early" convertibles both made from 1988 coupes.  One was found in Santa Barbara salvage yard and the other is the one now in the auto museum in San Diego.

They retained their CRT dash for the years they were used as show cars.   It is possible that one could have started with cloth interior as we know several early 1988 preannouncement cars were made with cloth interior, but all were changed to leather before being sold.   Both of these cars were updated to 1990 instrument panels so they could be shown to dealers and early photos for production documents.

 

There would have been several 1990 preproduction convertibles made for road testing and possibly crash tests.   There is not enough documentation to determine which of the early convertible builds were crushed or sold.

 

One thing several people have noticed about convertibles pictured in Buick documents....none of them have the black plastic tape between the door and tonneau.   Take out your Reatta documents and take a look.   Even the 1991 convertibles are lacking the tape.    Because of this small "difference" Buick may have used the same "mule" convertible for all the pictures and just changed the wheels and interior (flame red) for the 1991 shots.   

 

I am attaching two photos for your enjoyment.  The red convertible could be a very early car, the seat tops almost look like velour, note no black tape.   The white 1991 .....whoever copied it (from the 45mm slide that buick put in the dealers books)  got the slide reversed, but it also has no black tape.

 

I also included a picture of a 1991 with a hard top (ASC apparently made them and tried to get Buick to make them an option)

post-76006-0-86950200-1455759029_thumb.j

post-76006-0-98349000-1455759107_thumb.j

post-76006-0-73227200-1455759129_thumb.j

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"The top's lines blend smoothly with the body just like they do in the coupe."    Wrong.   

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I'd love to have a vert with a removable hard top. I like alternate styling like that. The notch back aftermarket hatch for the IROC Camaro, the recessed glass aftermarket option for the gen2 Rx7, options like that interest me. I wonder if there are any of the removable hard tops for the Reatta hanging around a GM warehouse somewhere.

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AWESOME!!!!

 

I remember seeing that review when it 1st aired!!!!

 

 

Cort > www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

pigValve.paceMaker.cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (needs new owner)
"When you reach the bottom, it's now or never" __ O-Town __ 'All Or Nothing'

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Great review, I totally enjoyed watching! Thank you for posting. I couldn't help but noticing that the prototype Reatta engine in the video has a black oil dip stick and NOT grey....hum, just saying.

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