As soon as the Pontiac brand was killed you knew the Solstice coupe would someday be highly collectible. That’s because Pontiac had just started producing them. When Pontiac’s run was over only 1,200 Solstice coupes had been made. Have you ever seen one in the wild? It seems like few of them became transportation. Instead, they got parked to increase their value which is the case with this coupe for sale. It has only 23 miles on the ticker. For $63,000 it can be yours.
The price may seem high, but the circumstances surrounding these coupes make them unique in the annals of GM history. Most brands within corporations get phased out of existence. The last Packards, Desotos, Mercurys, Plymouths, and Oldsmobiles were all slowly starved to death in a planned death march. Not so for Pontiac.
Pontiac had future plans, many models, and new products including the Solstice coupe
Pontiac had future plans, many models, and new products including the Solstice coupe. Its demise came at the hands of the government in the turmoil of GM going bankrupt. It’s abrupt and unusual end meant the Solstice coupe would become an instant collectible.
Interestingly, the next-to-last Oldsmobile ever made is also for sale right now. But it is a typical end-of-production four-door sedan. It’s a nothing car as most cars are at the end of a brand’s life. What’s unique about it is it was the next-to-last Oldsmobile. But other than that it’s like probably 200,000 other four-door Olds sedans just like it.
It’s a sporty coupe with a manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive, and zoomy looks
The Solstice coupe is more aspirational. It’s a sporty coupe with a manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive, and zoomy looks. Sure, it’s a “parts-bin” car but that was the whole point and part of its legacy. When uber-product genius Bob Lutz saw the sketches by future Tesla design head Franz Von Holzhausen he saw an opportunity.
First, the roadster and coupe would juice up Pontiac’s lineup. And, he could use it as a way to get other GM products to market quicker by raiding different division’s parts bins. GM is a huge company making lots of components. Why reinvent the wheel when there are plenty of combinations available already? This was a way to spotlight the idea of internally sharing components to reduce development time and costs.
GM was on a collision course to bankruptcy
GM was on a collision course to bankruptcy. But the more unique cars you can squeak out the better your chances of increasing profits. And the less development costs the higher the margins. So, the Solstice is not a great car by average standards. But it’s a great car for what it represents, how it looks, and in this case how many were expected to be produced and actually were. That number being only 1,200.
On the plus side, this coupe is a GXP model. That means it got the 260 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, limited-slip diff, and other bits unique to the GXP. On the downside, this one is an automatic transmission model. The chances of it being a stick were low as only 287 GXP coupes were made.
There will always be rarer, better, and more interesting collectible cars than the Solstice coupe. But its back story and pluses outweigh most other cars from the first decade of the new millennium. What would you pay for one?