Handbuilt Fanatic: Pair of Buick Reattas

This seller of a pair of Buick Reattas claims to have owned twelve of these cars at his collection’s peak, showing a clear affinity for the company’s halo car of the 90s. The Reatta featured handbuilt construction and a number of other high-end features that should have made it a sales homerun, but today it remains about as desirable to own as a Fiero. The seller has listed this pair of convertibles with a $5,000 opening bid here on eBay and no reserve.

The convertible came later, after the Reatta hardtop debuted. The Buick featured the right ingredients, with a healthy 3800 V6, independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, digital gauge cluster, and more. The seller says both cars are ready to be driven anywhere, but has a few nagging issues. The tan-roofed car has pop-up headlights stuck in the open position and the digital cluster will occasionally flicker off and back on again.

The interiors on both cars look quite presentable, but the tan roof model has the better cabin. This is the white-roofed car, which shows its age a bit more clearly – especially with that period old-school cell phone. The tops on both cars are said to be tired and the radio doesn’t work in the white-roof car. The seller also notes the Buicks suffer from clearcoat fade which was typical for the era.

The 3800 V6 is a respectable motor and isn’t difficult to find parts for. The Reatta may not have been the sales success GM had hope for, but there’s still plenty of them running around; I usually see a few each summer come out of the woodwork. If you could get the Reatta pair for $5K (assuming no other bidders show up), there’s a chance you could keep the better one and flip the other; however, any more than that and you better like Reattas as much as this seller does.


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  1. Dick Johnson

    To think that the Reatta cost more than the Vette of this vintage is puzzling. Well, GM marketeers (my term) had a handle on it. The 3800 is my favorite daily engine, and I will find an owner willing to let me cruise in one of these. Never drove one. The Reatta has a great support group, and lots of enthusiastic owners to help with questions.

    Buick was certainly not Plymouth when it came to producing concept cars. Too bad Chrysler didn’t produce the little concept roadster like GM did with Pontiac. Still miss our Riv.

  2. jdjonesdr

    The first time I saw a Riatta was at Disneyworld at a pre launch event as a new Buick model.

    I remember how cool it looked back then. Never saw one on the road after that. I guess price was the reason.

    Like 1
  3. Bobby

    I like these cars but the big down fall was the electrical gremlins on them. The instrument clusters for a loss of words is pure junk. New they cost more then a vette with half the performance. For 5000-6000 for both would be a great buy.

    • ACZ

      Apparently you don’t know much about Reattas. The electronics gremlins were easily fixed. The biggest wish most folks had was that it would get the 3800 Supercharged engine. If the plug hadn’t been pulled, it was destined for the 92 model year. Some of the experimental versions were pretty cool. Especially the one with the GN powertrain and RWD.

      Like 1
    • Solosolo ken TILLY Member

      I thought that Lucas was supposed to be the Prince of Darkness?

      Like 1
      • ACZ

        It is and always will be.

        Like 1
  4. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I bought an early 88 used for $9k w/90k miles, used as daily driver for years, great road car, and went to 270k with not much problems, good forum on AACA site. Have a convertible project that’s still waiting repair, hmmm.

    Like 4
  5. r s

    Looking back now over all the years, this is really a bland, non-descript car. To me there’s nothing interesting about it…

    Like 1
    • ACZ

      Where’s the thumbs down button?

      Like 3
      • Charles Victor

        ACZ, when a thumbs down button is required, it will be there. This site auto-senses quality comments and for them, there is no thumbs down option. These cars are junk. Note that there is no thumbs down option here.

        Like 1
  6. CaCarDude

    These were a pricey car when new, being a Halo car for GM they were designed to be a draw for the customer, once in the showroom they saw the price and decided to buy a lesser expensive model. The Reatta was built on the Rivi chassis and was heavier and stout with the boxed frame, they only sold a bit over 21,500 cars for the 4 year run. This pair of 90’s were the first year convertible.
    There was good and bad about these like all cars, the 3800 V6 was one good engine and still is today, can go 250,00 miles if maintained properly. If you are afraid of electrical issues then it is best to stay away from these, they are never the million dollar fix, just good to know how they work and be able to troubleshoot and do your own repair. I like the challenge and probably why I currently have 3 of these little grocery getters. You really need to drive one to appreciate the car. I like the ’91 best and am in the market for a clean lo mile rag top now.

    Like 2
  7. DRV

    I see them all over parked near a house and left to return to the earth. The drivetrain is strong and efficient.
    I remember most how weak the convertibles were with excessive cowl rattle and shake.
    Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?

    Like 1
  8. Little_Cars Little Cars Member

    I didn’t even know these were made out of steel. I thought they were similar to the Saturn in the use of ‘glass or plastic. Silly me. I’ve been a fan of these, the Fieros and the Cadillac Allante but in the end thought they were too much plastic, not enough quality materials from the General. May take a second look at these though,

  9. George

    One pair? Sorry I’ve got a Full House, so I have to fold.

    Like 1
  10. mallthus

    My father had one of these from new and kept it until he’d hit 200k. It was better than other GM front drivers of the day, but it was heavy and drove like it…nothing sporting about it besides the shape.

    To GM’s credit, it was incredibly solid, with lots of well beyond typical GM engineering tricks (the trunk lid hinges were a sight to behold) and custom car quality paint thickness.

    In the end, it was a superior car to the Allante, but inferior to just about every other car it could conceivably compete with from Europe.

    Like 1
  11. CJinSD

    In 1994, I had a customer who drove an M6. I was deeply into BMWs at the time, and I complimented it. He told me he was looking to dump it in favor of a Buick Reatta.

    Like 1
  12. ACZ

    These are both 1990 Converts. There were about 1600 made that year. Mine is a 1991. There are only about 200 of them built. The 91 was the one with the tuned port 3800 and the 4T60E trans. That combination made them a lot more fun. Nice and quiet so you could enjoy the sound system, too.

    Like 1
  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Auction indicates it has ended already and winning bid was $5100 with only 2 bidders.

    It looks like someone sniped themself a great deal.

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