Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone — for $26,500

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

With deals out there for the taking, now may be the best time to snap up some of the last of the cool Pontiacs. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe wants to know if you'd shine-on a 2009 Solstice Coupe.

Last Friday's biblically traveled M3 stuck a chord in many of you, and it fact 56% of you would have gladly given up the asking for that three-box thoroughbred, seeing it as an investment and an up and coming classic. But what about modern potential classics? Now that real estate, the stock market, and stripper's g-strings are all about equal in their rate of return, cars might be a good place to venture your modest nest egg - at least before your parents start charging you rent. Well, today we have a possible future classic, and, in a NPOCP first, it comes with a factory warranty. And that's despite the fact that the factory has been shuttered.


When GM debuted the Pontiac Solstice at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show, there was little belief that the car would reach production as the expected niche sales wouldn't warrant a bespoke chassis, and a suitable donor did not exist. The naysayers were proved wrong three years later when GM announced the kappa platform-based production Solstice, and sister Saturn Sky. Both cars were tremendous hits, and while they each were an amalgamation of parts from other GM products (and friends- Fiat mirrors, WTF?), they did sit on their own front-engine, rear-wheel drive platform which had been championed by GM product guru, Maximum Bob Lutz.


Maximum Bob's cars handled pretty well, were reasonably quick and efficient, and looked like sex on wheels. Unfortunately, they were also heavy (2,879 lbs for the ragtop), lacked storage space, and when the top was raised, the wrinkly drape of canvas was like wrapping Megan Fox in a suffocating layer of David Spade.


Well, today's 2009 (it feels so weird to write that) Solstice GXP solves many of those problems, and, at around 1,100 built, is one of the rarest of the breed. The GXP package brings the turbo motor with it - good for 260-bhp. Not stopping there, this car has had its leash unhooked to the tune of 30 more ponies by way of GM's LNF turbo upgrade. The stock 2.0 turbo shoots the coupe to sixty in about five and a half seconds, so with 290 forced induction ponies, stop light and on-ramp heroics shouldn't be a problem, even in light of the car's 3,019-lb heft.


One way to mitigate some of that girth is to leave the targa roof at home - which you pretty much have to do as it won't fit anywhere in the car apart from over your head - and fit the fabric roof in its place. This will also give you the opportunity for a new pickup line as you can park the car at the beach with the fabric roof in place and offer women to take off your bikini top if they'll reciprocate in kind. Yep, due mainly to its looks, this car'll get you more leg than shoplifting a prosthetics convention. While the drop top is good looking, as noted, putting up the top kills the mood. The coupe brings the sexy back, top on or off, and the mini-240Z appearance looks like it would love you long time.


That aging well will be important if you plan to buy this as an investment. As Pontiac is going the way of the Dodo and civil political discourse, the old maxim - they ain't makin' ‘em any more" becomes particularly pertinent. While this Solstice has seen some modifications, they're all factory-approved, and wouldn't void either the warranty, nor any potential investment prospects. Originally stickering - a year ago - for a claimed $34,135, this silver automatic (yes I know, that word is like throwing red meat to non-vegan wolves, but the linkage for the manual in the Kappa cars was crap, and the 5-speed auto is the same smooth box used in the Caddy CTS) is now being offered for $26,500. It was taken in trade at the dealership for a new Camaro, and has only 150 miles on its ticker. That's $51 per mile and would represent a healthy discount over a new one- that is, if they were making new ones.


So, does the sun shine on a $26,500 investment in this Solstice coupe? Or, does that price leave you, and your cash, in the dark?

You decide!

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