Junkyard Find: 1988 Buick Reatta Coupe

Just over 20,000 Buick Reattas were made during the model's production run for the 1988 through 1991 model years, and I had documented seven of them in car graveyards prior to today's Junkyard Find. All of those cars were in reasonably good condition, but today's '88 is an example of a Reatta that was loved to death by its final owner.

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Junkyard Find: 1990 Buick Reatta
The Buick Reatta is one of the more interesting attempts made by The General to steal back some North American buyers who had defected to European luxury brands. For a while, I’d photograph every junked Reatta I found, but more and more kept showing up in big self-service wrecking yards and I stopped paying attention for a while.Only about 20,000 Reattas were made, but the last 10 years have seen Full Depreciation for these cars. Still, I hadn’t done a Reatta Junkyard Find since 2012, and I spotted this shiny-looking ’90 in a San Francisco Bay Area yard a couple of weeks back, so here we go!
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TTAC Forum Crapwagon ReCrap: Get Shorty, Or Italian, But Not Both

If you haven’t noticed — and judging by the lack of comments, I’m guessing you haven’t — things have been picking up a bit over at the long-dormant TTAC Forum. I’ve been posting a near-daily “Find of the Day” in the Classic and Collector Car forum. I’m trying to highlight the interesting, cool, and weird stuff I find as I tread the crapwagon-infested waters of eBay, craigslist, classified sites, and other forums.

There is plenty to look at. Just this week: A rusty Bronco; an oddly-shortened Chevelle; a ’90s-vintage Alfa Romeo Spider; a Porsche 944S; and a Buick Reatta ragtop.

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Buick Reatta

The Buick Reatta is one of the many GM cars of its era that didn’t make a lot of marketing sense; the average age of Buick buyers in the late 1980s was about 113, and that’s not a demographic whose members tend to be comfortable with low-slung two-seaters full of intimidatingly futuristic electronic devices. You still see Reattas on the street now and then, and I found an ’89 in a Los Angeles junkyard last year. Here’s one that I spotted last week in a Denver self-serve yard.

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Buick Reatta

My trip to California to judge the Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500 24 Hours of LeMons started with a jaunt to Los Angeles, where I saw this extremely rare Hyundai Scoupe in a junkyard. Not so rare as the Scoupe, yet more interesting from an automotive-history standpoint, was this Buick a few rows away.

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  • Carson D You've got to admire the perversity of the administrative state that it is impossible for a manufacturer to offer a three-liter, port-injected gas engine with a manual transmission in a 3,200-pound sedan returning 24-34 miles per gallon for hundreds of thousands of trouble-free miles, but it is perfectly fine for people with 179 funds to burn to buy SUVs that get 6-9 miles per gallon. Deregulate now.
  • Ajla I could see going for a used one. Most reviews seem to say it's a reasonably fun experience.
  • Theflyersfan BMW. Because at this extreme point of brand dilution and loss of identity...why not?
  • Carson D Land Rover should market a pickup truck. Section 179 buyers don't need durability, as they buy a new one every year. They also don't expect trouble-free ownership during the 12 months they keep a vehicle, based on the number of my peers who get new Ford Raptors annually. A Land Rover truck's ephemerality would perfectly suit someone who is taking 100% depreciation while paying 60% of the price of the truck after taxes. The Land Rover truck would need to be as big as a Trail Boss or TRX though, and it would need every sophisticated parking aid yet conceived. I know a little about the customers who keep the UAW 3 in business, and the tax subsidies that created this behavior.
  • Kcflyer the heated seats are welcome. the rev hang and direct injection to satisfy epa goons not so much. no more gunky intake valves for me.