Offering unusual looks, surprising performance, and a very
enthusiastic owner's community, this 1990 Buick Reatta is a
refreshing change of pace from the industry's most conservative
brand. A wholly untouched survivor, it shows just 69,334 original
miles and represents one of the last times GM took a risk.
Built in the Lansing Craft Centre, formerly the home of the EV1 electric car, the Reatta was unlike anything else in GM showrooms in 1990. It was far more than just a shortened Riviera and offers surprisingly agile handling and impressive performance from the corporate 3.8 liter V6. The unique look has aged rather well, still looking contemporary and the years have made it seem familiar, so the wrap-around rear glass and short rear overhang look better today than when it was new. The color has the somewhat uninspiring name of "Driftwood," but it looks right on the upscale sportster and that's all-original paint still clinging to the bodywork. It has the typical GM orange peel, as well as a few bumps and bruises that come with being 25 years old, but there's nothing that we'd change because it looks all-of-a-piece and appropriate to the car's age. And with the growing popularity of unmolested original cars, it's always smarter to leave the nice ones alone.
Tan was the only choice when you specified the Driftwood paint, and the handsome bucket seat interior is in excellent condition. Still focused on luxury, the leather seats are comfortable and supportive, showing minimal wear. The carpets are good, too, showing only some light soiling that should be easy to address, and the door panels are almost new. An all-new instrument panel with electro-luminescent gauges was introduced in 1990, and combined with the wrap-around console feeling of the cockpit, it looks very high-tech. The trouble-prone touch-screen panel was gone in 1990, replaced by conventional HVAC controls and the usual GM/Delco AM/FM/cassette stereo system that sounds great in the hushed Buick interior. Airbags were also standard equipment in 1990, as were matching floor mats, power windows and locks, cruise control, and just about every other comfort and convenience option GM could devise. There's a good bit of storage space behind the seats and the trunk is quite spacious, making the Reatta a superior road trip vehicle that's a little out of the ordinary.
Buick's 3.8 liter OHV V6 engine is legendary for its durability and longevity, and you can expect years of service still to come from this one. It's great for low-end torque, so the Reatta feels quick around town, and fuel efficiency with the 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission is impressive even today. It's very nicely kept under the hood with signs of regular maintenance, which remains inexpensive and easy, even with the cutting-edge (for 1990) distributorless ignition system. The suspension is fully independent and perfectly straddles the ride/handling compromise and this car makes for a wonderful daily driver. The underside is a little grimy, but otherwise clean and showing the results of living in a warm climate away from inclement weather. Bold 5-spoke wheels are in excellent condition and wear 215/65/15 blackwalls for a very un-Buick look.
Complete with the original owner's manual (which was a big deal all by itself), this Reatta is an unusual footnote in GM history that still makes a big impact today. Call now!