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Old 03-16-2015, 04:58 PM   #1
Clint Taurus OP
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1990 Buick Reatta

I found one for sale locally, original owner is selling it, the car is very clean 80k miles no rust or body damage evident. The Reatta was a supposedly hand built and during its production run was according to several sources I read, the most expensive Buick of it's time. The seller is asking $3800 which is high compared to what Edmunds says is true market value. If you look up used ones they seem to be $6k and up. All the reviews I've read are favorable.
Anybody reading this got any first hand knowledge of the Reatta or anecdotal insights. Hopefully get a test drive tomorrow
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:10 PM   #2
dmgiff
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Anecdotal insight: I was in high school when they came out and always thought they were a good looking car. I'm not sure if I could rock one in my current state, but if the price was right...
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:41 PM   #3
NICO
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Check the k-frame/engine cradle for rot. Known issue with that body style. Otherwise, check all the normal stuff. Should have a 3800 in it, which is notoriously durable.
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:34 AM   #4
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Was doing a GM internship at the time they came out....got to play with the prototype. Very cutting edge car. IIRC it was the first car with a touch screen that really ran all the stuff you want in a car....climate control, radio....

Now I seem to remember that not all cars got the touch screen....but again, that was another life and that part of my brain is in pretty bad shape.....but if your car does have the touch screen make sure it is in good working order....you can get repaired units but they are on the spendy side.
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:48 AM   #5
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A few years back you couldn't find parts for them. I have a customer that bought two "parts" cars to keep his going. At this time the "runner" is sitting dead next to the parts cars. Once the touch screen goes out you can not operate any of the HVAC controls. Under all the cool looks is regular old GM FWD tech with very expensive and hard to come by parts.
If you get one, I know where 3 are with all the good parts used up.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:11 AM   #6
chappy
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I have always wanted one, very good looking car, though I suspect everything that is not the 3800 itself is unreliable.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:41 AM   #7
FPGT72
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I thought there was an outfit that re-did the touch screen....even in color...I want to say it was the same outfit that did the old radio stuff....I will look after I get home...could be wrong, but man I sure was thinking so.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:54 AM   #8
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3800 will score an awesome Corolla or Civic.
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:31 AM   #9
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3800 will score an awesome Corolla or Civic.
Unpossible. There is no such thing as an awesome Corolla or Civic. Nice, yes. Clean, yes. Reliable, yes. Awesome? NFW.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:55 PM   #10
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So the test drive was good. Solid runner. It felt like big GM only smaller. This one does not have the touch screen. Turns out the car was an estate buy and the guy bought it "cause it was just to cool to ignore" he never registered it in the couple years he had it but in those couple years he repainted it, replaced all the ac parts and converted it to the new type freon, put new tires on it and some other stuff like electric window regulators , dashboard controller. What it needs right now was a fuel gauge sending unit, a working radio and the hvac controller.
I'm thinking I may offer $3k it would make a cool cruiser for the days when I don't feel like riding.
I remember My Grandad, a lifelong Buick guy pointing out the Reatta and saying
"I don't know who in their right mind would buy one of those most expensive Buicks and it's only got two seats".
Grandad you're not here to see it, but I may be that guy
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:23 PM   #11
RomaDakota
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Buy it. Re-read your sig line. Fuck the nay sayers.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:59 PM   #12
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I belong to the Buick Club of America. I owned two at one time. VERY few problem specific to that model. Very few parts are hard to find.

Drivetrain is a LeSabre. Basically bulletproof. The bad news is... it performs like a LeSabre. IIRC the '90 is post-touch-screen. But not because they were buggy. The damn thing was a Pain to use while driving! It took me quite a while to get the hang of changing temp/blower or even volume/station without wrecking. But it was just too cool. BTW the touch-screens are very robust and almost never fail. They were also used in the [baby] Riviera's of those years. Trivia: if you know the "secret code" [which two buttons to press simultaneously] you can read-out the diagnostics on the CRT.

Hardest-to-find part is the fixed vent-shape windows, NO new supply. First thing to go is the gear that moves the headlights, but there is a quick-fix by just rotating the gear as it is a full circle and only 90-degrees of rotation is used. Or just replace the plastic gear.

Great Grand Touring car. Heavy for it's size but handles... better than a Buick. Very comfortable, quiet, decent on fuel mileage.

Would have gone over better, but it was "too slow for the money". Hard to Warm It Up because it is an OBD-I car, and the later engines (w/ all the Good Stuff like superchargers & turbos) are OBD-II. They won't play together easily.

I loved both of mine. One was a Beater, one was a Cream Puff. Funny story about the Cream Puff:
I saw it on a BMW dealer's lot. A Father&Son combo were walking around it. The son said "WOW! What's this?" Dad says "Buick". Son instantly loses interest and walks away. I gave them a 1997 LHS, they gave me a 1988 Reatta and a check for $2000.

Big support network, Reatta Owners Assn., a division of the B.C.O.A.

Don't know what parts crampfan is talking about. Got most of my parts at Autozone. Body & Interior have some unique, but not THAT hard to find, pieces.

I would own one again, just sold them to Rotate The Stock. Bought a 1995 Riviera w/ the proceeds.

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Old 03-18-2015, 03:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Taurus View Post
Turns out the car was an estate buy and the guy bought it "cause it was just to cool to ignore" he never registered it in the couple years he had it but in those couple years he repainted it, replaced all the ac parts and converted it to the new type freon, put new tires on it and some other stuff like electric window regulators , dashboard controller.
One last few things.....here in MO take care on that car....you would be stuck for the back taxes on that car. Also the title itself might be an issue....if the guy you are buying it from has his name on it he would have to apply for a new title (and pay the back taxes and fines) before he could sell the car. I had this problem on a MGB once.

"Replaced all the parts for new freon"....I would bet that 99% of the people just pump the r134a into the system and say....see its converted. There are a few things you have to change, orifice tube being one of the biggies...it is a cheap part, but no one does it.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:49 AM   #14
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"Replaced all the parts for new freon"....I would bet that 99% of the people just pump the r134a into the system and say....see its converted. There are a few things you have to change, orifice tube being one of the biggies...it is a cheap part, but no one does it.
Another thing to replace is the rubber hoses. Not only will they not hold R134a, they have mineral oil soaked into them that will contaminate the new oil and make Black Death. Also, compressors used to be mounted high in the engine bay, but the new oils don't go uphill very well, so the oil pools in a low spot and starves the compressor for oil.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:06 AM   #15
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I looked at one and was told they have some cooling system issues. Anything on that?
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