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FROM THE MISSOULA AUTO MUSEUM COLLECTION: Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder January 19th – 22nd, 2017 at Russo and Steele’s 17th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Please contact us for more information.
Produced from 1988 through 1991, the Buick Reatta was a highly hand-built luxury sports coupe, first offered as a hardtop coupe and joined from 1990 by a convertible version. Upon launch, the Reatta placed GM’s normally conservative Buick Division in the company of Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Pontiac with a two-seat model of its own. Production of the Reatta was accomplished at the Reatta Craft Centre in Lansing, Michigan, where specialized teams of workers assembled it, rather than the customary assembly line. As each team completed their part in the production of each Reatta, robots would move the car on to the work station of the next production team. Paint was applied to each Reatta onsite by PPG Industries under a subcontract arrangement.
Powering the Reatta was Buick’s excellent 3800 V-6 engine which displaced 3.8 litres produced 165 to 170 horsepower. Fuel injection and electronic ignition delivered excellent response and reliability. The only transmission available was a GM four-speed overdrive automatic unit. Braking was via discs with ABS all around and underpinnings were fully independent. Handling and road holding were excellent with front-wheel drive. The Reatta was an excellent road car, with an electronically limited 125-mph top speed. Very well equipped, the Reatta was equipped with a full suite of luxurious passenger amenties including air conditioning, power bucket seats, intermittent windshield wipers, a high-end stereo system, and other desirable items. Vital functions were monitored with an advanced touch-screen computer interface known as the “Electronic Control Center” or ECC, which also controlled the climate control functions and radio and provided diagnostics to the Reatta’s various sensors and electronic systems. Other features included a speed-warning alarm, trip computer, tire gauge, flashlight, and leather-bound owners manual. Keyless entry was available in 1989; in 1990, a driver’s side airbag was added. While Buick anticipated selling 20,000 of these flagship vehicles, the painful late-1980s/early-1990s economic recession brought disappointing sales. Just 4,708 examples were produced for 1988, followed by 7,009 for 1989, 8,515 for 1990 (2,132 convertibles and 6,383 coupes), and 1,519 for 1991 (305 convertibles and 1,214 coupes). Total production numbered just 21,751 in all. Offered without reserve, this 1990 Buick Reatta is an exceptionally original survivor car that is reported to run and drive well.