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ChrisWhewell

Who drives a Reatta ?

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Reatta, Reatta, who drives a Reatta ?   When you see one of those go by, you know its someone with some mechanical skill.   Most likely not a "millenial"generation person, rather, a skilled mechanic who also knows a bit about computers.  Knowledge has its rewards, in a world where a pretty vehicle costs at least 20,000 "dollars", yet a Reatta can be had sometimes for $2500, needing but a little know how and a few hundred $$ of parts.   The reward is worth it, a timeless classic with a short turn radius and hwy fuel economy easily over 25.   To all the Reatta owners, I salute you, my old-school brothers, definitely True Americans.

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I drive my '89 coupe daily, but I'm far from being a mechanic.  Know just enough about fixing cars to be

dangerous.  However, I also know a couple great mechanics who I trust and don't gouge me when I need some work performed.  They take good care of me and my pride and joy.

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:)  I guess I left one "class" of people out of my alleged description , and that is, people who simply have good taste in Automobiles :)   Probably a reflection on those folk's character, they have good taste in most other things as well. :)

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I use my Reatta as one of my daily drivers (not that I go somewhere every day).  As a retired EE, the electronics side have never scared me and as the kid of a mechanical engineer who loved cars, I grew up learning everything imaginable about the mechanical side.  When I initially decided to get the Reatta, I was a bit leery of the all the computerization as I knew that such as a big leap for GM and its longevity could be problematic.  As such I decided to initially lease it as well as get the extended GM warranty.  At the end of my 3 year lease, the car had proven to be so reliable and had been such a pleasure to drive, that I just bought it outright.  It is only in the past few years that I really have had to do much other than routine maintenance on the car and so far everything that has popped up as been well within my comfort zone.  Having this forum has made life with a 25+ year old Reatta a LOT easier as virtually everything that CAN do wrong with the car has been encountered, diagnosed, fixed, and documented here or on Ronnie's site.   

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I am probably not the prototypical Reatta owner. At 42 I am neither a young guy who was looking for a good deal on a unique car or senior set who wanted a nice cruiser that doubles as a golf outing car. I am a very technically minded troubleshooter who likes doing things his own way. Bought my first in 2008, now have 5 (for the moment, car 5 will be parted come spring as that was it's intended purpose).

 

I would agree that one needs to be capable of doing much of their own work for these cars to make any sense from an economic standpoint. Paying a mechanic (especially a dealer) to keep one going at this point is going to be painfully expensive. Of course, if you can afford it that's great. For those of modest means as myself, DIY is the only way to stay in these cars. Besides, I glean immense satisfaction from looking at my fleet and saying "I did that". Self sufficiency will be even more important going forward as parts become difficult to source and solutions will have to be invented by one's own resourcefulness.

 

The reward is in owning a rare car that turns heads and gets respect from others who recognize the effort involved. Yesterday I was looking at a job and the two daughters of the customer (approximately 3 and 5) were quite enamored of my 88 coupe.  Even had to sit in it and check it out before I left. Funny to see such young kids (especially girls who are typically less attuned to car related stuff) so interested in it. The 5 year old observed "there's no place to put a drink!" which I thought was rather surprising of her to notice. Just shows that little ones are more tuned in to details than we often think they are.

 

 

 

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I have a 1990 every day driver that is pristine due to a three-pronged maintenance strategy.  1. I do the general maintenance stuff plus fix what I can based on my skill-set and the 1990 Service Manual Buick Rivera Reatta > 2. When I am stumped I reach out to the helpful collective knowledge of this website; that resource has been outstanding over the years > 3. If after 1 & 2 the problem still persists I take it to an excellent mechanic near my home that was trained in Detroit on the Reatta back in the beginning. His diagnostic is free and the $85.00 per hour is on par or a little less than the average here. This system works well for me and my annual cost to operate and maintain my Reatta is a modest; especially compared to what the car payment would be on an equivalent new car [$40,000?]. 

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