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Reatta Vent Window Assembly


Alan Faircloth
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As part of our GM licensing, we are considering the possibility of reproducing the original Reatta Vent window assemblies where the outside mirrors attach. HOWEVER, before starting on this project, we need to find out if there is any REAL SERIOUS interest in such an item. If not, it would not be feasible to even consider it further.

Please let us know if you would be interested in such and if only one side, which side.

Thanks,

Alan

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As you know, you can buy plastic one from a Reatta owner in Michigan.

Two years ago, Phil Hertel at Speedway said he would have GLASS replacements by the following Febuary (2001) don't know what happened.

There was a glass company in Oregon that was going to make them also. PPG was athe original supplier and I am sure they would make a run for $$$.

Make some phone calls before you get in too deep.

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Barney,

Thanks for the heads up. We are definitely going to consider things carefully before proceeding.

I knew that there was someone making plastic ones, but I would think that since this is clearly not like the originals, it would not be as acceptable to owners. I'm familiar with Speedway, well, at least their prices. Last I heard, they reached orbit quicker than the Shuttle Atlantis.

I'll have to check with PPG as I have some contacts through an uncle there.

We have lots of parts we can do, just thought we might try and help out the Reatta owners as much as possible with stuff they need. Put that ol' GM licensing to work, you know....LOL

Alan

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Alan,

This assembly when available off the GM Inventory sold for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $200 ($340. Cdn.) That's what I was quoted 3 years ago when it was still on the system/ but inventory was exhausted. PPG as I understand produced the Glass and likely did the encapsulation but, would as well assume that they had a Vendor to produce the Steel Frame/ Window Track.

I was in distress just as Speedway were pricing these at $1200. ea. so until I secured a more reasonably priced one I fitted Plexi in the existing frame. Fine as a temporary fix but obviously not a long term solution.

As a repair vs restoration, it may be practical to fit new glass into an undamaged frame, as with Plexi but, the encapsulation is aging and deteroriating in appearance.

I would have to guess in small quantities the complete assembly would be an expensive proposition. I managed to secure a set from a car with only 500 miles on it, they're pristine/ and I'm lucky to have found them.

So I'm set for life!! wink.gif

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Alan-

I think there would be great demand for reproduction interior door panels.... as a plus, the panels are identical for all years, with the only difference being the armrest cut out.

You mentioned working on reproduction tail light lenses, will they be made of a non-haze prone material? I konw its possible as there are a number of cars out there that have clear outer lenses that don't appear to have this problem.

While the 88-89 power window switches are still available, the power mirror switch is not. Due to the method used to make these switches light up, I would imagine almost every owner of an 88 or 89 is unhappy with the illumination of the switches as crap tends to build up in the lettering because the glue that holds the layers together migrates into the letters area. I think you could easily produce a "re-build kit" that would consist of the translucent white plasic film with the black overlayment that provides the words that are supposed to glow when the lights are on. I have attempted to fix this on a number of switches, finally settling on a blunt needle to try to remove the schmutz from the lettering with limited success. It improves things a little, but delamination and the old glue causes breakage of the smaller projections within the lettering.

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Excellent suggestion RAWJA NYC,

When I replaced my Window Switch it was apparent the laminating process had been improved, That was about 5 years ago and it still looks fresh. The Mirror Switch otoh must not have been used on other models perhaps and never got the improvement.

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I would think there would be some demand for the vent windows. Requests seem to appear on this site each month. I recall reading somewhere that the vent windows, while carring the PPG logo, were actually fabracated in France by a GM supplier who made the frames and placed the PPG glass into them. Does anyone remember this? At this time do you have any idea about what they would sell for it you were able to make them? Cost would be a factor.

Speaking of other items needed. Windshields and their gaskets are getting hard to find as well. What other projects are in your "think tanks" right now? Howard

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Mike,

That's excellent news. But if you plan on continuing to do replacement Reatta parts, you really need to get licensed with GM. Otherwise, you could run into some legal problems with them and it could get expensive. That's why we did it......don't want to lose what I've spent years acquiring. I've heard others say that if the part is discontinued its fair game, but that's NOT TRUE. If that were true, then none of the Chevy parts makers would need licensing, but yet they have it.

On the mirror switch rebuild kit with new laminate, I will get my hands on one and start looking into that.

Thanks,

Alan

CAR Motorsports

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Alan-

I would suggest you get a used switch or two (Jim Finn should have some) as well as ordering a new power window switch. You'll see that the new switch has a different (and better) lamination process as well a different finish black vs. the metallic brushed finish. I think we'd all prefer the flat black finish as it would match the still available window switch. Of course if the fabrication of the kit is as easy as i think it will be, offering kits for both switches would be a viable option as the illumination levels would be more similar for two switches of the same age, and I'm sure you could offer the kit for significantly less than purchasing the entire switch from GM.

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