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Jim

Reatta in New Zealand

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I just got an email from Toni Hunt telling me that the '91 convertible he sold finally arrived in New Zealand. A quote from the new owners "We are really thrilled with the Reatta it was just as it was represented".

The new owners went on to say the car will be converted to right hand drive per government regulations and also the car had to be steam cleaned just to enter the country.

Another quote from them "Its been a pleasure to deal with totally honest people"

My thoughts----------

Toni has always done a first class job describing the conditon of his cars and has always been a credit to our little Reatta group.

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Gonna be interesting to see how the right hand drive is gonna come out. Were the ever any made that were RHD?

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I bought a 1991 Coupe for my wife from Toni, and we have been extremely happy with the Reatta. He was honest, fair and totally delightful person to deal with. I am not surprised that the people in New Zealand were completely happy with their purchase.

ROzzy

91 Red Coupe

90 Black Conv.

90 Red Coupe

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The secret to a right hand conversion is very easy. Understanding that the pas is a simple sight inspection, you pass if the steering wheel is on the right side. So the simplest and fastest way to convert is to have the car inspected in a mirror immage and everything will be reversed. It probably works better down under.

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Hello from New Zealand. We are Cliff and Doreen, the new Reatta owners.

Yes, it was a long process getting it to us - it took just under six months, but well worth the wait. No damage done to it on the way over. We have since washed the travel grime off it and it now looks great. We still stand by our comments re Toni Hunt.

Conversion will take six to eight weeks, and we have a very clever engineer that specialises in one-off conversions doing it. The finished cost to us on the road (in N.Z.) dollars will be just under $50,000. The dollar conversion rate at the moment is around .67 cents.

We are forty-five year long Buick lovers, having used 1937 Buicks for our every day transport for all that time (including using one as a builders shed on wheels). We have moved into condo living and now have only our 1937 Buick Coupe Model 46S, plus the Reatta when it is ready.

We are looking forward to driving our 1991 Reatta Convertible in a couple of month's time.

We do enjoy the forum, and look at it most days.

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Well welcome I have heard of your car from a friend of yours and mine

in NZ. Mike Hanning in your country is a good friend and a great friend of Buick

Mike told me you were waiting for your car to arrive and it must be great news

when a plan comes together. You will find this site very helpful as there are many knowledgeable people her. Good luck with your car, I wouldnt think that there are many Reattas in NZ. And If you see Mike say Hello. He is a super fellow

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>> ... car will be converted to right hand drive per government regulations ... <<

Didn't realize that cars HAD to be right-sided driver's seat in NZ.

Wonder. Does this apply also in the UK?

In the US, I could have sworn I have seen several right-sided cars (mostly like Rolls, Triumphs, and Jags); so, does the reverse rule apply here in the 'States' (as yous for-a-ners mites likes to calls uz)?

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Cliff....did they import Riviera during that period? As you know, the Reatta used the same dash, electronics, etc as the Reatta. If they did, a wrecked Riviera would make the job easier.

You probably know you have a fairly rare Reatta to begin with. Of the 305 Reatta convertibles made in 1991 there were but 13 done in burgundy.

10 had tan interior, 2 had grey interior, and one was built with flame red interior. 2 of the tan interior cars were donated to schools and one of the grey interior cars was also donated.

That means there were only 10 sold to the public.

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As best I recall, yes, Australia and NZ require conversion. Not certain about Asian countries that normally follow UK driving side. UK does not, I believe, require conversion. I know that temporary cars registered in other European contries can drive there and also the reverse in the rest of Europe. Likewise in US, conversion to our side not required but perhaps some states might require.

John

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Hello Barney John & other members. N.Z. regs. require imported cars like ours to have been owned and DRIVEN in the U.S. for a minimum of 90 days then it could be left LEFT HAND drive. We can only holiday in the U.S. for max of 90 days at one time. Its all worked out!! If the car is older than 20 yrs then no conversion required. We didnt want to just look at it for the next 4 yrs till we could put it on the road !! Besides we have spent all our lives driving on the other side We do have quite a few left hookers here for reasons given mostly 50s 60s and 70s. As far as I can find out our reatta will be the only one as a right hand drive . I even tried the U.K. and the continent. Barney dont know if any Rivs. ever came here. Will post more info. another time if any body is interested

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Hi Cliff. I for one would enjoy hearing how your Reatta is received there. As often as I hear from people "what kind of car is that?", I'll bet it takes a very sharp auto afficionado to know what you have over there in NZ. Enjoy!

cool.gif

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Hi Cliff and Doreen.

Its nice to hear of things from down under, Definitely keep us posted and show pictures of the left/right conversion? The most recent thing here in the states that was NZ was ?The Worlds fastest Indian? an excellent movie. cool.gif

Cheers, KennyV.

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Hi to all further update re right hand drive conversion in N.Z. The two biggest jobs are the steering rack, which will be replaced by a HOLDEN a G.M. co. in Australia very extensive there and N.Z. Second major of course the dash. When removed it is placed in a jig to keep its overall shape then cut horizontally then sections cut and changed over. All welded in and together then sent to the specialists to be re-vinyled sucked down then new matching paint. Will take photos of its progress Cliff .N.Z.

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Wiring I suspect will be a fair chore!

Just returned from a couple of weeks sailing in the British Virgin Islands. Being a former British Posession of course they drive on the Left hand side of the road. The complication is, the ready source of vehicles is North America, hence 99.9% of the vehicles are left hand drive. Imagine driving positioned next to the ditch. Even worse, imagine being the front seat passenger sitting on/ in the Center (colision) Line.

I had a GM Tracker 4wd for several days and you do get used to it, mostly!

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