If you purchase a Buick Reatta convertible, you`ll find religion.

Take, for example, the reaction when you first look at the $35,000 pricetag.

``Oh, my God.``

Then, comes the realization that you just paid $35,000 for a two seaterbut have to deal with a manually operated convertible top rather than a power unit.

``Dear, Lord.``

And when you try putting the top down by hand and bringing it back up and scrape fingers and knuckles, the reaction is to again call upon the divine-at least that`s what we told the kids after Dad`s first round with the top.

The wife suggested that if someone recorded what was said in grapplingwith the top at least a half dozen radio stations would be playing it as rapand MTV would make it into a video.

The Reatta convertible we test drove was a really nice car that wasreally overpriced-by $10,000 to $15,000.

Base price is $34,995. The test car added a 16-way power driver`s seatfor $680 and a compact disc player for $396. With $570 for freight, you`re at $36,641 before tax, title and plates.

OK, it has lots of standard equipment, from antilock brakes to driver`sside air bag; to AM stereo/FM stereo with cassette, power windows, brakes,steering, seats and door locks; cruise control; tilt wheel; rear windowdefogger; and steel-belted radial tires.

The 3.8-liter, fuel-injected V-6 had some punch while delivering 18 miles per gallon city/27 m.p.g. highway, and the gran touring suspension systemcushioned two occupants from road harshness.

The reality is that when you hand over 36 big ones, you don`t expect tohave to use those now empty hands to get the top folded and hidden under thetonneau.

When down, the convertible is a pleasure to drive on warm evenings. Whenthe top is up, the size of the canvas wrapping around to meet the two frontwindows creates a massive blind spot that makes backing out the drive, moving into or out of the passing lane or parking a chore if not a hazard.

One last gripe about the top; it doesn`t fit snuggly in back along thesheet metal. There`s a slight gap, just enough to ask:

``For $35,000, why can`t the darn thing fit, for godsake?``