Sign in to follow this  
Barney Eaton

Donated Reattas

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Below is a list of Reattas donated to tech schools .....some as early as 1989 and the 1991's probably after production was concluded. 

There were other cars that were used for road test, early testing,  etc that were probably scrapped,  but it would take a lot of research to compile that list.

This info has been shared with other Reatta owners,  mainly at BCA national meets.   I have pictures of some of these cars at the school.......and had a plan to make a scrapbook with info on each car,

that has not happened.     As time passes,  there is a chance some of these cars might come up for sale......the problem is GM may still technically own them. 

I was told by a GM/Buick insider that GM held a Michigan scrap title to all of these donated vehicles.

I have not updated the list for at least 15 years,  so some may have been scrapped or transferred to another location.

You will also note that we do not know the location of the school.....example 900559 Southeast Community College.....is you google that you get about 6 or more Southeast Community Colleges......

The list attached is one I generated from the information sent to me around 1997....by the lady that was in charge of tracking "donated" cars..... her list has only the vin number, school name (no address) and donation number. 

I was able to find the school, town, state  and in some cases the contact and phone number......what you see is 20 plus years old so if you were to try and contact most of the people listed they are probably retired.

 

If you count the 1991 convertible....pretty sure there are 45.........new convertible that were not sold to the public

#1 DONATED.jpg

#2 DONATED.jpg

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I can try to find out what happened to 1991 - 900385 because it was donated to my alma mater DMACC (college).   This is a well established community college and I am sure they would have kept records.  They were also (not sure if they still are) a GM tech training center. 

 

Question:  why were so many 1991's sent to tech schools?  Doing so with fully assembled functional vehicles means (to me) that 1991's were not selling and also the loss of revenue from these sales would have further tarnished Reatta profitability in 1991.  Do you suppose these 1991's were sitting there in Lansing unsold and GM just said "scrap em'" - so they were donated as a tax write off ?

Edited by B Jake Moran (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were some owners that complained about "cowl shake" on the 1990 convertibles.    Buick added 9 additional stampings to the 1991 convertible to address that issue.

All 1991 convertibles were shipped to Miami where they were road tested by Buick engineers.   The convertibles were divided into 3 categories..........sellable to the public...........sellable to employees .........unsellable.

The unsellable cars were donated to the schools.    The schools did not own the cars and could not be street driven.

donated.jpg

DSCN2170.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it is a shame.......as noted on the sheets,  some had already been destroyed by the school.......one school in Illinois said the students had a ball cutting every panel in half.

However we also know that at least one was semi-saved by the salvage company.....they lowered the top, removed the seats and carpet (maybe even the exhaust) with the doors open, cut the floor,  so almost all the parts were usable.

I think I have a picture of that front section being stored under a trailer.

I also know that at least 3 have been somehow titled and sold.........remember these still belong to GM and could be claimed, should GM become aggressive.

There are enough stories about these cars to fill a book.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating stuff.  I noticed the third from last 1991 was donated to Portland Community College (OR), then transferred out.

On 3/8/2019 at 2:45 PM, Barney Eaton said:

There are enough stories about these cars to fill a book.

Barney, a new project for your spare time.😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spare time?   When I retired I joked that I had 30 years of projects waiting on me............21 years later,  I probably still have 20 years of projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the schools may still have the cars.........if you recall we found the convertible prototype around 2014 in Lafayette Indiana and it was not on the list.

If anyone has a school near them,  you may want to contact them and if they have the car take some photos.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent an e-mail to the school in MN.  Will let you know if anything comes of it.  It would be interesting to know.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was then. I suspect the Chinese are willing to sell anything. Alternately the title not have been exercised in thutty yar, the title may have passed to the school through "adverse possession" (works for land and buildings...) Note: I am not licensed to chase ambulances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I have learned.........

* The schools want to follow the rules so they get future donations from GM (regardless of who owns GM)

* When GM donated the cars,  they wrote them off and got tax credit.  

If they let the cars be sold it muddies the tax waters and it is not worth it to them to get involved in that.....so they don't want the cars back and it is cleaner if the car is destroyed when the school no longer wants it.

* It is unlikely GM would spend the time and effort to verify where the cars are today.....not worth the effort,  but if they became aware that one of these cars was in private hands, on the road, with a title.

I suspect they would turn that over to their lawyers and someone would forfeit that car.

Some people believe that GM no longer owns the cars after the 2008 bankruptcy..... but I would not want to have $10,000 in a car that may or may not belong to someone else and risk it being taken away.

 

If you could get one and only use it for parts (assuming you paid scrap value) then it might be worth the risk.   I would not want to fight with the corporate lawyers from any big company. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barney

 

Interesting points.  I would not want one as a parts car because there are already hundreds of Reatta parts cars available, except the donated cars are likely very low mileage if they were not sold.

 

I doubt but do not know - that schools would generally scrap to avoid liability as well.  When I was in trade school in Linn, Missouri in 1997, we had several of these donated cars (all brands) , and I would NOT want one.  I pulled the transmission out of a Honda Civic to rebuild as my transmission project.  I get it back in and graduated, not sure if it ever ran again. 

 

To me, the only reason to pursue one of these cars would be rarity - rare options, color combinations, etc.  In reality, most of the rare Reattas that are running and driving have little interest now, so why bend over backwards to get a donated rare Reatta? 

 

 

Edited by B Jake Moran (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this