Topless Again

My first car had a foldable top, a 1959 XK150S Jaguar (I really wanted a TR3 but the Jag was affordable. Then I found out why.)

The 1955 RHD MGA was mine also, have always believed in spares. Boy howdy those tires look skinny. Had one radio for the two cars and used to switch. Ate 13 cent Hamburgers at MickyDs for a month when I had to replace the clutch. Picture is a scan of a Kodak from 1963 that did not age well

Forty six years later, I had sold the '66 Corvair convertible that I had really bought to share with my (now-ex) wife for quite a bit of money (was a nice car to begin with and I had put a lot into it - was pretty and needed nothing, always the best way to sell) and even buying the Fiero GT had not used much.

Also the economy was seriously tanking and despite relatively low gas prices, people were still panicing so cars were just not selling at any price, just too many fears of a repeat of summer 2008. Manufacturers were flooded with new cars and drastic discounting was pushing all prices down.

It is strange how some things in your life are taken away while others are like a cat around your legs (mine always seems to be within sight but at least two feet away unless something is expected like a tithe of ice cream). I have always appreciated things that last. It may be a byproduct of forty years (and still going) on the bleeding edge of technology. It may be having something that just money cannot buy. My cars are all GM partly because I know how to fix them and partly because I have not run out of interesting ones yet. I generally avoid new ones (though have bought several) because of too many years of rentals and just a lack of interest.

Late in 2008 a friend told me about a low milage triple blue Reatta convertible. It was a very nice car but had some potentially serious ABS issues. Have always been a bit back and forth about the Reatta convertible mainly because nice ones were over $10,000 and partly because the convertible was only produced in 90-91 while only the 88-89 had the touchscreen dash. However since there was no longer a family car to worry about there was room in the front garage and not having a convertible is like an itch.

So I had been watching Craigslist off and on when a white (I have a weakness for white) with black trim 90 Reatta convertible appeared over on the west coast (of Florida). Here I should mention that Florida does not officially have an "import tax" but "tax, title, and tag" always seems to be cheaper if in-state. Also is much easier to go look at than if in California.

This example had less than 100k miles, needed little (that is always off because I an a bit of a perfectionist about things working - as it turned out I did have to replace the driver's window because of a delamination problem I did not recognise. Then.) and the price was quite negotiable.

Did a thorough exam of the car and though there was some surface rust underneath, it was nothing that a few days with steel wool, a wire brush, and rustolium could not handle. Were some other issues like the drooping headlights (same motors with disintegrating rollers as the Fiero), a convertible top that would not latch (vinyl needed stretching), and a CD that did not play. Nothing serious but enough to provide leverage on the price. Turned out that what was left from the Corvair sale was just enough.

So now have a pair of Reattas, both with the same 3800 powertrain that I think is the best GM produced). Did need some 16x7 snowflakes from a 95 Bonne and air horns. All of my cars have air horns. It is amazing what people in a SUV do not see.