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Bless my 88' Reatta


Guest Greg Ross
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Guest Greg Ross

My Reatta went to the Paint Shop a week ago Monday and in the meantime I'm driving a rental-a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE. When I picked it up the clock showed 7100 klm (about 4400 miles) I realize direct comparison is not reasonable-an apples and oranges circumstance but I'm so looking forward to the 88' coming back out. <BR>I've done several road trips with the Pontiac and am noting several traits that are most likely typical of new generation GM Product. The chassis feels weak, this is strictly a sensation thing, but I notice what feels like flex in the structure. Certainly no where near as robust a unibody structure as the Reatta Coupe. I suppose it could perhaps be in how the suspension is hung. Aerodynamically this rig is a leaf in the wind, the most unpleasant response is when coming up on the rear of a tractor trailer. As you break into the trailers' wind envelope the Pontiac wobbles and shudders.<BR>Two only redeeming qualities-good sound system (ditto Padgett) and powerful V-6. Unfortunately the tramsmission of that additional HP is nowhere near as smoothe and directional as the Reatta. Somewhat irrigular shifts, noticeably different gear to gear ratios, again no comparison to the Reatta ECM function.<BR>I've through this experience become a lot more appreciative of the quality of design and build of my now 14 year old Buick.<BR>Gawd Bless Betsy Blue" smile.gif" border="0

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Hmmm, didn't we hear in the Pontiac commercials a 5-year-old girl mouthing the word "SOLID" in a Barry White voice? These cars have "solid-formed construction".<P>I've driven rental Olds Intrigues, and this is a cut above the Grand Am.<P>The soon to be a memory Aurora has structural rigidity numbers that are actually worth noting. To some extent, the more you pay for a car, the more rigid the chassis is. Grand Am is a car for the masses. How solid is a Cavalier/Sunfire?<P>Grand Am has been around long enough that is should be a better car by now. If it was Japanese, perhaps the car would be improved at each revision to reattract the increasingly affluent buyer. <P>In some fantasy world in which the General is wise, GM would recognize that the Aurora is a flagship with growth potential. The Olds motor has recent but real racing history in the IRL. They'd make the Aurora the Saturn flagship...

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Olds Intrigue is my favorite rental (have a Maliblue at the moment). It seems amazing to me that they are dropping Olds rather than a certain other division that has only uninspired four door sedans, maybe too much competition for Pontiac.<P>As to the Grand Am, I really dislike the sun visors, cruise control placement, and the antics the gauges go through on start up.<P>However really like the Reatta since it is a nice sized 2-seat car. The difficulties (ABS, BCM) are not a problem for me but am amazed that there have not been more Analogue gauged, ABS retrofitted, Series II SC 3800 cars. <P>That is what the Fiero guys are doing, maybe because those cars are four years older but few are anywhere near stock - Ferrari bodies, 3800s, SBCs, custom dashes all are common for the P-car.<P>Must admit I get a certain pleasure from having a complex car that works as it came from the factory but am surprised that there seem to be so many others similar. Or is it just that there are not many people specializing in such things (V-8Archie, Rodney Dickman, IRM) making bolt-ons for the Reatta.<P>Would think that a "conventional" brake retrofit for under $500 would be popular but apparently not.<P>Just a different culture here I guess.

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Padgett,<BR>I just looked at your home page and I realize I've been there before while searching for something else... (check your email!).<P>I've owned my Reatta for only a few weeks. I'm repairing all the little things that were broken when I bought it. The major repair, the mechanical brake parts, is behind me. I'm interested in some upgrades to bring the performance up to where I want it. Have you done some upgrades?

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I must be in the minority because I find the performance "sufficient". There does seem to be some odd geometry in the gas pedal linkage since it seems to require more travel than either the Bonneville or TranSport to achieve the same result.<P>OTOH performance seems to be a common complaint here. Have a feeling that the real answer is a SIISC transplant with a 3.33 transaxle.<P>That being right out, it looks as if close attention to detail and opening up the intake and exhaust would be most beneficial.<P>I have not done the instrumentation/analysis necessary to determine just what would be of the most benefit at WOT. Could probably gain 5 hp just with a TPI manifold.<P>Keep in mind that for performance on pump gas, there is no substitute for cubic inches.<BR>The next best alternative is boost but now you are talking higher octane than regular.<P>However for a fast improvement, try opening up the intake and exhaust (understand there is an obstruction in the rear exhaust manifold that is pretty bad - need to dig a spare manifold out of the garage and see.<P>Soon Olando will be cooling off and I hope to be able to spend more time in garage. Is difficult when on travel though (in Atlanta today).

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