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The Lost Reatta

allcarsrcoolallcarsrcool Posts: 113
edited October 2014 in Buick
does anyone actually remember the reatta. I saw one this morning and realized it is one of the cars that i hardly see. Actually that is the fist one i have ever seen. I think it is the coolest car! it has power seats, power mirrors, digital speedometer, for 1990 this is like the coolest car... why arent there more of them???


  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I owned a 1991, the last year of production. That year they built 2000 or so. I think that there were only 5 years of production (1987-1991). They made more than 10,000 total, perhaps around 50,000?
  • how did u like it and what made you buy it?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    It was a fun car while I owned it. I bought it partly because there was a good incentive on it, and partly because I had owned a Corvette before. The Reatta was no Corvette, but was a nice car, better than the Corvette for day to day use. I have gotten to the point where I think that a station wagon would be a nice sort of vehicle now.

    I think both the Reatta and Allante were only partly successful because of the price tags that they had. The Reatta was an experiment in a new building concept, where the parts came to the car, rather than using an assembly line.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    was a nice, smooth looking car, but I guess it was overpriced for what you got, and a 2-seater is only going to have limited appeal. I think the convertible version is pretty cool though.

    I heard that touch screen in the center of the dash, which was shared with the Riviera, could be troublesome. Did all Reattas have it, or did they phase it out after a few years?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    My 1991 model did not have the touch screen. The touch screen was introduced on the 1986 Riviera and the Reatta also had it. I think that Buick dropped the touch screen for the 1989 model year, and maybe the Toronado picked it up?

    My 1991 model had a list priced over $30,000. My 1995 Riviera, with more stuff, was priced about the same.
  • I have got a 1990 black convertible I LOVE it sooooo much... :)
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    The Reatta was another good idea by GM that they failed to execute. Just like the Pontiac Fiero. Remember that one? At that time, GM did not have the engines available for a sporty convertible. I believed the 3.8 V6 was the only engine available. This engine is good for a sedan but it's not high-revving and certainly did not belong in the Reatta. Just my opinion.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yep, another example of the ol' GM "well, that's good enough...let's do lunch" routine.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Shifty, has that attitude changed since Bob Lutz came on board, or is it the the same old, same old GM, in you opinion?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    a supercharged Reatta? I know many consider the supercharger to be a bandaid approach to power, but it could have made the Reatta pretty quick. Also, I guess if the Reatta had held on long enough, maybe the later 3.8's, with 200-205 hp might have made for a pretty lively car? Unfortunately, I think the 3.8 only had around 165-170 hp during the Reatta's run.

    As for GM's attitude since Lutz came on board, well I do think the products are better. Better fit and finish, body gaps, nicer looking materials (even if they're still just using hard plastics) and some improvement in engines. But I think the "it's good enough" attitude is about the same as before. Sure, the products themselves might be better, but they HAD to be! I remember when my Dad bought his used 2003 Regal. It was September of '03, and the '04 Malibu had only been out for a bit. We went back to the dealer the day after he bought it, because they had an '02 Intrepid R/T I wanted to look at. I remember an '04 Malibu parking next to my Dad's Regal, and at the time it just seemed a world apart. Even from a distance you could see the tighter gaps and better fit and finish. And on the inside, the difference was even more astounding.

    But I don't think it's enough to make people switch from their Hondas and Toyotas. It's good enough, but it has to be better, if people are going to switch.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I don't recall that a supercharger was offered, either as part of a model upgrade, or as an option. It would have been a good idea, though; so good, in fact, that one has to wonder why Buick didn't offer this choice. Was it yet another example of the "good enough" attitude, or was there a technical or marketing reason why the supercharged 3.8 wasn't offered in the Reatta?
  • Well the Reatta was deal by the time the Series II 3800 engines came out and those were the first Supercharged 3800s. They never did a series 1 Supercharged 3800.

    You can't even put a supercharger from a supercharged 3800 onto a NA 3800. Everything about the engine is different. THe SC 3800 motors used completly different heads.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    (forehead smack) Yeah, of course!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    but what was the last year for the Reatta? Maybe 1993? I know that was the last year for the Riviera upon which it was based. There was no 1994 Riviera, then I think the next Riviera, one of the first G-body cars, came out as an early 1995.

    Was 1995 when they finally got the 3.8 up to ~200 hp, or was that 1996?
  • How old were you when your dad bought the car? Because my dad and I go test-driving just for fun, not actually to buy cars :P You mentioning going back to the dealer to look at another car reminds me of that.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    How old were you when your dad bought the car?

    Oh, this was just a few years ago, September of 2003. I would've been 33. My Dad was 57 at the time, and I remember joking with him that he was just barely old enough to buy a Buick!

    Dad hadn't had a car since roughly 1984. He had been relying on public transportation for much of that time, but finally got tired of it. Especially since he could drive to work in about 15 minutes, but public transportation took about an hour!

    We went out one Saturday, looking at cars. My Dad wanted me to go with him because I'm a bit more knowledgeable about modern cars, and I guess I have a bit more experience dealing with the buying process...since he had been out of the loop almost 20 years!

    I initially wanted to go down to the same Dodge dealer where I bought my 2000 Intrepid, but he wanted to check out a couple other places first. But we ended up down at my dealer, anyway. When we saw this 2003 Regal LS on the lot, it just seemed too good of a deal to pass up. $10,995, for a car that probably stickered for about $26K new, and was still in the tail end of its model year. It did have about 19,500 miles on it, and had been a rental, but we couldn't find anything wrong with it. Heck, I told him that if he didn't buy the car, I would!

    While we were down there though, I saw a black 2002 Intrepid R/T on the lot that I was interested in. It only had about 35,000 miles on it and was well equipped, whereas my base model 2000 was pushing 86,000 miles by then. I thought about upgrading, but we ended up running late buying the Regal that night, so we went back the next day to check out the Intrepid.

    In the end, I passed on it and held on to my own. They offered to give me what I owed on my 2000, which at the time was about $4800, and they wanted $15,995 for the 2002. I wasn't that impressed with it once I drove it, and they couldn't give me a straight answer as to whether it had the 3/36 warranty on the powertrain or the 7/70. Chrysler offered both in 2002, depending on what time of the year the car was originally sold. They also said the previous owner was a mechanic who did all his own maintenance, but they couldn't produce any service records. And right around 30-40,000 miles is when a car can start needing stuff. New tires, transmission service, brake pads, etc. Plus, I liked the idea of knowing that in 14 months, my current car would be paid off.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    " My dad and I go test-driving just for fun, not actually to buy cars"

    Oh joy...we just love people who waste our time like you!
  • I am sorry that we waste your time, but sometimes after owning 2 SUV's, we need to drive a s2000 :P and how much time do we actually waste? And usually we try to give you a hint by saying "we really arent going to buy for another 8 months" we just get annoyed when you call back after we tell you that. Sorry, but an easy solution to not wasting your own time is not calling back unless they are planning on buying withing the next 2 months. ;)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    Can I suggest another hobby? Golf?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    Or go-karts, maybe? That way you can get your fill of thrills and spills behind the wheel, without doing any real damage.

    Besides, I'd imagine that no salesman in his right mind is going to let a father and his kid take an S2000 out by themselves, unsupervised! :surprise:
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,019
    I'll admit, I've done the same. I'm always honest, though and say I'm not buying a car right away. Sometimes, they'll give me a green salesperson who doesn't have much else to do. (I usually go on a weekday morning) I don't mind the callbacks, though, and it's a good way to determine how a dealership is run, how their sales staff treat you, and if I would buy a vehicle from them.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,601
    I have a friend who test srives cars for a hobby as well. I am too respectful to do that...but I do stop at lots just to look now and then, with no intention of buying. Of course, I did that last week and bought a car!

    I like to go to certain lots and laugh at their second stickers.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    I'm the same way...I'll go to the sales lot to look, but the only way I'll actually test drive something or really use the salesman's time is if it's a car that I might be interested in buying.
  • what damage? Has anyone crashed one of your sports cars before? Why the hard feelings? After all it is just fun.
  • i'll start a new forum for sales people vs customers
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Fun for you, allcarscool, but to the salesman and the dealership time is money, and putting mileage on a car, especially hard miles on a brand new car, decreases its value. In short, what you are doing is unethical.
  • The new discussion is titled "Salesmen Vs. Enthusiests" and it is located in the AUTOMOTIVE NEWS & VIEWS. We can take the discussion there. ;)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    Why? It'll turn into an ugly topic that will get quickly killed.

    How would you like to be a salesperson who waited two hours for a customer only to get a non-serious joyrider whose idea of entertainment is test driving cars he has no intension of buying?

    You should have entitled your new topic.."Salesmen vs. Strokes"
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "...It'll turn into an ugly topic..." Maybe, if enough readers care to comment on this matter, but, at a minimum the topic is unlikely to be balanced. It's likely to be skewed in favor of those who justify the practice, because the number of contributors who work for dealerships will be greatly exceeded by those of us who don't, and never have worked for dealerships.
  • its been killed

    and put into a topic on test driving in general which is similar but different.

    can you actually do nothing for the hour long test drives people go on. Dont you have customers to call, cars to sell? Why cant you do somethin other than just sit and wait for us to return? You are wasting your own time, we are not wasting yours. You could be more preductive and stop complaining.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    interesting subject but if we can, let's meander back to Reattas or join in that other topic in Automotive News.
  • So how much did the Reatta cost? Was it advertised on TV ever?
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    the Reatta was introduced in 1988, with a base price of $25,000 exactly. 4,708 were produced. That's actually not too bad of a showing considering the Riviera, which it was based on and was supposed to be a much higher-volume car, only sold about 86,000 units that year.

    In 1989, the Reatta's base price went to $26,700, and 7009 were produced. For 1990, a convertible was also offered. 2132 were built, with a base price of $34,995, while the fixed-roof model was $28,335 and sold 6,383 units.

    1991 was the Reatta's last year, and I'm guessing it was an abbreviated year as only 1,214 coupes and 305 convertibles were built. Prices wre up to $29,300 for the coupe, and a whopping $35,965 for the convertible.
  • that seems expensive for back in the late 80's early 90's! How much is 26,000 dollars of the 80's now? like $1 back then would be 5 dollars now.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,601
    Maybe not 1:5, but probably a good 1:2 in many areas anyway. Imagine a Buick starting at 50K today!
  • no wonder not many are out there
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482 was very expensive for what you got. Most shoppers looked at other cars in that exact price range and said "No way". I suppose BMW or Benz could get away with those high prices back then, but not Buick. Like you said, would you even buy a $50,000 Buick today?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,601
    I wonder how they depreciated back in the day. Today, a 50K Buick would be lucky to be worth 25K in a year, and 15K in 2 years...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    They dropped pretty hard initially. Today you'd be lucky to get $4,000 for a clean coupe, so do the math. With an MSRP of $29,000 you now have about 1/5th the value after 15 years. A BMW 3 series did only marginally better with an MSRP of $25,000 or so and worth about $4,000 today, tops.

    Of course, measuring depreciation after 15 years isn't a very good indicator of the rate of drop during the first 5 years. You reach a point where just about any old car today that is clean and driving well is worth at least $2,500.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    and a whopping $35,965 for the convertible.

    That's about what a Lexus LS400 went for at the time.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    If you could buy that coupe for $9K, or less, perhaps, it might be more appealing than, say, a stripped Aveo or Accent, assuming you can get by with a two seater. It would be more interesting and luxurious, to be sure, but also offer better performance. Quick, somebody make an offer on it before Shifty grabs it!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Oh you can have it for $9K, believe me. I won't fight you--LOL!

    Sounds like a nice car though, if you can find that rare person who wants one that bad. If it were an Allante ragtop for that, it would sell.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    What's a fair dealer transaction price for an example that fits the description given?
  • Maybe 6,000-7,000.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    That's on the money....I'd say $6K top dollar, if you ever want to get out alive again on the car. That's really "fair market".

    And it will never appreciate any more either.
  • i saw a purple one today, 2nd one in arlington, last time i saw one was back in october. that one was green
  • My uncle has a bunch and I am looking for a reliable and fun car to get around town. The 3800 is pretty good on gas and from what I understand, the cars are pretty reliable, for their age. We shall see...
  • Yes, I remember the Reatta, and I know some who also have one.

    Buick Engines - Original engine in Buick Performance Parts Catalog by TA Performance
  • Looks like nobody has posted for a while. I would like to say that there is a Reatta discussion board available @ Antique Automobile Club of America if anyone has or would like to learn more about Reattas. I have had my white 1988 with Burgundy suede leather interior since late 2000. :shades: I love this car!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    What a coincidence! Just today a pristine '89 original owner Reatta parked a couple of spaces down from my car. How do I know these details? I asked the woman who got out of this car, with her teen age daughter. She said it has 80,000 miles on it, and she loves it. It had been weeks, or maybe months, since I last saw a Reatta.

    Some cars, such as the Reatta and the Allante, interest me more when they're old than when they were new.
This discussion has been closed.