The summer solstice may have long passed, but could you pass on today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Pontiac Solstice with its LS3 engine? That will likely depend on whether you give its price the Sun's up or a Sun's down.
Do you remember last Friday's SC3800-rocking Fiero? Of course you do. That seemed to be one of those nearly pitch perfect cars, and while there were a few naysayers among you, most considered to be pretty awesome. If that was the case, what car do you think could be considered the Fiero's spiritual successor? Yes, you there in the front, teacher's pet? That's right, the Pontiac Solstice. Very good.
Pontiac is long dead, and it took down the Solstice with it. As a matter of fact, GM killed off the entire Kappa platform, taking out not just the Solstice but the Saturn Sky, Opel GT, Daewoo G2X, and any number of cool future production cars that would have shared the rear-drive platform.
Speaking of sharing, the only way the bean counters would even consider letting the Solstice out of the barn in the first place was if it wore as many hand-me-downs from its older siblings as was possible. That meant an IRS shared with the Sigma cars; backup lights from a GMC Envoy; fog lights from a Pontiac Grand Prix; instruments from the Vibe; transmissions from the Chevy Colorado; and four-pot mills shared with the Chevy Cobalt, Saturn Ion, and others.
You'll note that the Corvette doesn't feature prominently in that list. This 2006 Solstice seeks to rectify that oversight. Painted business meeting grey and sporting just a little over 18,000 miles, this car comes, not with an Ecotec under its clamshell hood, but an LS3 V8, late of a crate.
The LS3 is of course a derivative of the original SBC, rocking 6.2-litres and that engine's tried and true valley cam/pushrod design. It is however, vastly more efficient. This LS3 (there was another - a 402-cid big block back in the seventies) was introduced in 2008 as the entry-level engine for the C6 Corvette. There it managed a respectable 430-bhp and massive 424 lb-ft of twist. Seeing as this looks to be a pretty straight lift and drop, it's not untoward to expect similar numbers in the little Pontiac.
The seller spends more time discussing the why of the switch than its specifics, and it would be nice to know if everything - like the gauges and the cooling system - work the way they're supposed to. There's also the issue of weight, spring rates, and handling - the Ecotec clocking in at about 350-lbs, while the LS3 tips the scales at around 100 more, a big difference.
Aside from those unknowns, the car looks - and the limited description makes it sound - like a pretty sweet car. I especially like the V8 Solstice rear valance, which is a very nice touch. Of course, it also comes with all the other plusses and minuses of your standard Solstice - handsome styling, a convertible top, absolutely no trunk space, and that gawd-awful looking convertible top.
Pontiac may be pushing up daisies, but what more fitting way to do donuts on its grave (out of respect of course) than in a hopped-up edition of the last sports car the company ever made? Do you think that honor - and this car - is worth $29,990?
That's the determination which is now in your hands. What do you think about this clean, low-mile V8 Pontiac and its $29,990 price? Is this car worth that kind of scratch? Or, does that amount set the sun on your interest in this Solstice?
H/T to Andy Maxwell for the hookup!
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