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TTAC junkyard finds and other weird cars from the past

Discussion in 'Other Cars' started by cwerdna, Oct 30, 2011.

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  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    So, I've been browsing TTAC on occasion and recently I stumbled across their junkyard finds and this weird one: Junkyard Find: 1989 Buick Reatta | The Truth About Cars. I'd never heard of this car before. I was surprised that a 1989 GM car would actually have a touchscreen!

    I did some digging around and apparently, they used a CRT (!) rather than a LCD and I've seen claims that the touchscreens weren't very reliable and eventually ditched. I also found threads like 1988 & 1989 CRT touch screen Repair - AACA Forums where people had to do re-soldering to fix them.

    I even found this video w/a demo of the CRT and a bit of the dash:
    along w/this "light show"
    .

    I remember many automakers in the 80s including GM, Chrysler and Nissan were into putting in digital speedometers and instrument clusters. The hotness back in the mid to late 80s was speech synthesized alerts (e.g. right door is open, your door is ajar) as I'd been in an 86 Nissan Maxima w/such alerts and a Chrysler New Yorker around that vintage w/similar alerts. I actually wish we did have a return to speech synthesized alerts vs. all the different beeps our Priuses can emit.

    While digging for something else, I stumbled across this weird cyclops car: Junkyard Find: 1982 Subaru GL “Third Eye†| The Truth About Cars. I'd never known of Subarus with a cyclops light, only a Tucker.

    Anyway, discuss your favorite TTAC junkyard finds or other weird cars from the past.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad Active Member

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    The Reatta was actually a "hand built" cousin of the Pontiac Fiero. GM has never had success with a vehicle that didn't have the engine in the front.
  3. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Interesting. Apparently this is the dash. Looks like a little battery powered video game system I had back around the same time.
    [​IMG]
  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    NEVER happen in today's PC world as you'd surely be discriminating against everyone else who didn't speak that language. :rolleyes:

    Cool find. Thanks for sharing.
  5. Sabby

    Sabby Member

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    I had this dash in a 1989 Beretta. It worked well but required routine changes of the backlight bulbs

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv-8O2RAF4Q]1989 Chevy Beretta GT Digital Dash Guage Cluster - YouTube[/ame]
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Hahahha. The Fiero was a real winner. ;)

    For some reason, somewhere between 1999-2004, one of my coworkers at the time went out of his way to buy a used Fiero.


    Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen vertical bar graphs for a speedo and tach before. I'm also surprised about the digital (numerical) tach possible on the right..

    I find it interesting too that during that time, some cars had digital odometers but I'm sure most GM cars from that era had mechanical ones (well, at least there were dials that turned). It took the entire auto industry many years to transition completely from mechanical odometers to digital ones. I think you'd be hard pressed to find mechanical ones any currently sold new cars now.
  7. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Reatta was FWD and had more in common with the Toronado and FWD Eldorado.
  8. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad Active Member

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    I confess to being wrong on this one. I heard the tale and never really checked thoroughly. I do like the fact that supervisors all signed the glovebox.
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    I cheated. A neighbor used to have one.:D

    It had a lot in common with a Cadillac Alante, another FWD luxo personal car.
  10. sub3marathonman

    sub3marathonman Active Member

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    OK, completely off Prius topic, but back in about 1981 I found a 1957 Chevy 150 with fuel injection emblems on the rear quarter panels, and "The Kid" painted on it. If it was a true factory original 1957 fuelly 150 it would have been an incredibly rare car. It was on top of a three car stack, and when I was trying to climb up to it I could feel the cars shifting. So I was never able to get a good look at it. (And now the yard's lawyers would never let anybody out there to look, even though if anything had happened it would have been my fault.)

    And the other day, at a local car show, there was a Tucker. I nearly passed out, only 47 or so ever made. The owners were very nice and willing to talk. It was a very unusual car with an equally unusual interior. The engine in the back was spectacular.
  11. okiebutnotfrommuskogee

    okiebutnotfrommuskogee Senior Member

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    In the mid 1940's they were touring the Prototype Tuckers around the country. When they came to Tulsa, I had the opportunity to go to the showing. It was a really beautiful red car. I got a piece of literature at that showing that I think I still have somewhere. About 20 years ago, I had the chance to see and sit in another one, this time it was a blue one.

    There is also a movie about Preston Tucker and his car that is well worth watching if you have a chance. It is "Tucker The Man and His Dream".
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Ahhh, yes, the Allante was another weird foray that GM made.

    Chrysler did the TC that was jointly developed w/Maserati. Maybe that was the "in thing" for Detroit to do back then?
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Interesting, I wonder if that's actually from a Reatta (since it doesn't match the one in the YouTube videos in my 1st post) or from one after they ditched the CRT touchscreen.

    I was doing some digging and found DoubleYou Digital, which I guess where you got the above pic from. I'm not sure the labeling is right on everything but it is interesting to see how many automakers were into digital dashboards in the mid 80s.
  14. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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  15. mgb4tim

    mgb4tim Noob

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    I had an 88 Reatta, and it was a fantastic car. It was basically a Riviera chassis, with 11" cut from the rear seat area, and the rear seats removed. There were convertible models, as well. They came with the Buick 3.8 v6, and some got supercharged or turbo (can't remember which). They were laid out as well as Buick could do back then, The Riviera had the same touch screen.

    It controlled and displayed everything - heat, radio, engine gauges. The Dash portion was very similar to the Cadillac speedo, fuel, odometer, and trip.

    By 1990 they went to a more traditional, but digital, dash shown above.
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