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Valve caps


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It seems like most of the GM cars of the period had grey valve stem covers on the spare tire.

On 30 year old cars the tires have probably been changed 4-5 time and usually the valve stem is replaced with the tires,  so trying to find

the caps on the road wheels is long gone.

Several year ago I started contacting suppliers of valve caps attempting to buy grey ones.   I finally found a source and purchased a box of 500

they were grey but not exactly the same shape and shade of grey.    The BCA judging manual only says grey on 1991 and the ones I had were accepted.

Until I ran out,  I gave packages of 5 caps to people at national meets that had the wrong valve cap.

Today there may be a source for grey valve caps but I am not going to do the exercise again.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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NOTE.....on 12/10 I made some changes to this post.......see my later post to explain

I know the grey valve cap is addressed somewhere but just looked at the 1999 and 2005 versions of the judging manual and have not found

the specifics .  

I joined the BCA in 1996 and at that time a car needed to be 25 years old to be judged under the 400 point system.

Because there were so many Reattas showing up at national meets (2003 in Flint there were 93 Reattas)

I need some help from other old members but the Reatta Div approached the BCA board about judging newer cars,  don't recall the details,

but Stan Leslie (an early Reatta Div director) wrote a set of Reatta judging criteria.   We started judging Reattas before they were 25 years old

with the approval of the BCA board and Stan's judging sheets were what created the "Modern Vehicle" judging sheets  these are used for all Buicks with

Front wheel drive and in my opinion should also be used on some other late Buicks like the last series of Roadmasters.


I don't see the grey valve cap as a major discussion item.......they are easy to change and probably only a 1 point deduction if they are wrong.

If you have white wall tires or raised white letter tires on a Reatta they are wrong and there will be a point deduction.  The object is to judge the car

to be like it was built.


I have been on a Reatta judging team at every meet that judged under the 400 point system.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)
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Barney, as I noted, if you pay attention to ultra low mileage 90 examples with original tires, you will see they had grey caps as well.  Even doing just a bit of searching on google now shows low mileage 90's with grey.  I personally have owned 3 low mileage cars and 2 of the 3 had original tires and grey caps, the 3rd had new tires but the spare wore grey. I think this needs revisited as I strongly believe that 90's had gray caps as well or maybe it was a running change during 90.  This should have been a rather easy detail to document and for it to not have been overlooked over the years as there have been enough low mileage examples.  I found these 4 in just a couple minutes of searching. 




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After a talk with Stan Leslie..........it appears I have the years flopped.    Stan says 1988 -1990 are grey and 1991 are black.

There is nothing in the BCA Judging manual about black or grey as the Modern judging form is for more than just Reattas.

The black/grey valve cap thing just appeared in Stan's original "Reatta" judging sheets.....they went away when the BCA adopted

the Modern judging form. 

I will go back to my earlier comments on this issue and either delete them or modify.   


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I bought grey on eBay yesterday just in case...they're wicked cheap!  Whenever I have the '91 Reatta BCA judged, I might just put 2 black on the rear tires and 2 grey on the fronts!  But, I will have to remember to remove the "Buick" mud flaps before judging.

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There is some knowledge there but a lot of newer type owners using their Reatta's as drivers and beaters, rally racers, snowmobiles, bulldozers, and skid loaders.  Even the nicer Reatta's on the site seem to be fairly new purchases.  Does not seem to be many that are serious collectors or know a lot of the detail stuff.  Marck is probably the most knowledgeable and he is here as well.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read this thread and have found the judging manual that was written by Stan Leslie in summer 1999 first edition and revised May 2002 which is the last update that I know of

At the time that the judging manual was written the following was written about Tire Valves/Stems/Caps


Points should be deducted for painted stems and weights

the 1988-1990 valve stems are 1.25" in length, black rubber with gray plastic ribbed caps

the 1991 valve stems are 1.25" in length black rubber with black plastic ribbed caps

although not visible for judging the valve stem cap on the compact spare is a grey plastic ribbed cap for all years (88-91)

that was the standards that were used for the first judging in Flint in 2003





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