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Here’s how the Buick Reatta tried to NOT be a sports car

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I always liked the Reatta.  It looked great in the metallic "Maui Blue," I believe.  I think the Reatta looked better than a lot of the other 2 seaters that were available in the '80s.

I instantly saw the resemblance to the Riv's dash.  And, you couldn't go wrong with a Series I 3800 V6.

It's one of those cars that I (and many others, probably) thought would be cool to have, but maybe not as a daily driver.  It would be a good second car for an affluent person who could use a two-seater for weekend getaways and special occasions.


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I was always confused of why this car existed.  It never seemed to make any sense to me and it still boggles my mind why Buick ever built this car. 

It wasnt a Mercedes SL type car.  The Allante was created to compete with that one.  No, the Allante wasnt RWD either but at least it looked the part. 

The Reatta wasnt even a BMW 8 Series competitor to say that it could have been a weekend getaway car. 

It wasnt even a convertible for new retirees just moving to Florida like thee Chrysler Lebaron convertible was.  I never disliked it. Just confused as to what it was supposed to be.

And I always thought it looked like a Fiero.  Not a bad thing, a Fiero is pure '80s sexy.  And the Reatta is just a tad less sexy than the Fiero.   Just that I thought that the Reatta didnt have enough elegance to be a Buick. Because it looked like a Fiero to me, I thought the Reatta would be better served as a Chevy or a Pontiac rather than a Buick.  

CarClub 18-30: Farewell to Pontiac's Fiery Fiero • MotorPunk

Coche del día: Buick Reatta - espíritu RACER



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@oldshurst442  You make some good points.  The thing with the Reatta was that it featured the same engine that powered the Riviera and the Park Avenue of that time.  The Fiero, I believe, ran with the Pontiac 2.5 4 cyl. "Iron Duke."  The Reatta may not seem very Buick because, to pull off a Buick, you need the expanses to dress up in Buick apparel, so to speak.  The Reatta did not have those expanses.  Once inside, the fit and finish was definitely more Buick-Olds than Chevy-Pontiac grade.  But, again, there wasn't much of a Buick-like cabin to begin with.

Probably 2 decades ago, I saw a Pontiac Fiero upside down and squashed on a mountain highway out West.  I don't know what happened.  I didn't see another vehicle, or maybe that vehicle had already been moved from the scene.  There were law enforcement and a tow truck on hand.  The traffic was being moved around it fairly expeditiously.  After seeing that, toward the end of a beautiful day sightseeing, I chucked even thinking about Pontiac Fieros.

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  yeah, convertible too. 

Like I said, had the Reatta been a more upscale version of a Chrysler Lebaron

1990-95 Chrysler LeBaron Coupe/Convertible | Consumer Guide Auto

then Id understand a Reatta. But it wasnt that. It was too small, too sporty looking   (and really not sporty at all) to BE a Florida retiree convertible.  Not enough interior space, no golf club space...  

Rare Rides: A 1990 Buick Reatta Convertible in Nearly New Condition

But you gotta admit, that pic above, the black convertible Reatta, its a stunner of a car!!!  


It could have been a GT car in the style of a BMW 8 Series in coupe form or in convertible form like the SL from Mercedes, but it wasnt much of a GT car.  It was a sexy, 2 door coupe that wasnt all that luxurious, nor was it fast.  It looked  like a more luxurious Fiero,  but it failed in being a sporty sports car worse than how the 8 Series failed. The 8 Series was to also be an SL competitor, albeit a sportier car at least the 8 Series was a great GT car regardless. 

The Reatta was somewhere  as how you described it 

9 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

just something to be different I guess.   They needed a halo car at the time, so...

but went nowhere as it was lost.  

It was created without having a precise role to fill. It was just created to see if it would stick...


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Speaking of Reattas, there was a house in a small NE Ohio town that had a yard full of dead GM 2 seaters--had two Allantes, a Reatta convertible, an XLR, a Fiero GT and a C5 Corvette...all had grass growing up around them a couple years ago...will have to look for them if I get out that way again this summer...

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