Here we have yet another stop on my lifelong Pontiac journey. We worked ourselves into what I would call the perfect mix of cars, but it was simply too much. Too much payment, too much insurance, too much space, too much time spent renewing licenses. Too much. How to fix the predicament? One more time a car had to go, but which one? Should it be the Trans Am convertible I expended so much effort to find, or the Acura RSX that was taking me to work while posting 30 miles to the gallon? With the T/A gone my wife and I would miss the fun in the sun on our weekends. If the Acura left the stable we'd lose its practicality as a commuter. In the end I decided whichever car we could easily sell would be "it". One deal after another fell through, and a foray onto eBay was unsuccessful...|
In desperation I thought I'd give a new Solstice. I'd float a two for one trade and see what happened - up until then dealers did everything but laugh at what I wanted for the T/A (the Acura was no problem). To my surprise they offered what I needed against the SCCA Solstice you see here, and then agreed to another $1,000 on top of that. This was all over and above the GM employee discount in effect. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed they accepted my offer as it meant parting ways with what I consider to be the best looking Trans Am ever made, but it was a positive move for the family.
I think what made my negotiation successful was the fact that this was one of the few times I wasn't in a panic to buy a car. It seems I'm always looking for the last (insert whatever rare Pontiac here) in the country, and I'm at the dealer's mercy. Ironically this particular Solstice fits that same description, but I was ambivalent to it - until all the dealing was done and the realty of it hit me. First, it's a Solstice, which means head-turning style; second, it's a GXP, which means 260 hp with matching torque; and, finally, it's an SCCA T2 Championship Edition, which means virtually every option standard plus a factory-supplied unique appearance - not too different from a Judge some might say. Add combined 30 miles per gallon observed, and we now have a frugal commuter with exhilarating performance and top down fun.
After a month's worth of driving I can say that I am used to a two seater, and I'm becoming acclimated to the lack of storage. The most telling thing is that I look forward to my commute and appreciate the car more each day. I believe this car has timeless style, with a design reminiscent of so many classic cars while completely unique at the same time. It evokes an early 'Vette or Jaguar or AC Cobra or Austin Healey all at the same time. There's something about a clamshell hood and short overhangs with flowing curves that just says sports car. Since the design speaks to a simpler time it makes it a revelation to enjoy XM Radio and On Star and traction control and power everything - all with a 100,000 mile warranty. I truly think most people are missing out on one of the great enthusiast cars ever, and it is far more attainable than the closest examples I can think of (Viper, Prowler, SSR, etc.). Yes there are sacrifices in the car, but seemingly all for the sake of the purity of the design: a show car for the street.
OK, so today I'm all about this Solstice, but I know in time there will something interesting taking its place in the garage...I can hardly wait :)