The Midwest is pulling itself out of winter, and I’m getting the itch to buy a convertible. I’ve had a hankering for a Saturn Sky or a Pontiac Solstice and have been searching for a cheap one. In doing so, I’ve stumbled across something special. This 2006 Pontiac Solstice Mallett is like no other, sporting 400 horses by way of a 6.0-liter LS2 V8. It’s a ridiculous hot rod, and I need it in my life
Pontiac put out some awesome vehicles in its twilight years, from the G8 to the funky Vibe. You could also get the Solstice, a roadster with the reverse lights of a GMC Envoy.
As Hagerty notes, the Solstice was the first concept produced by General Motors under the control of auto legend Bob Lutz. Lutz long had a dream of bringing an affordable roadster to market, but his previous attempts at Ford and Chrysler weren’t successful. This time, his dream would become a reality.
Lutz wanted his roadsters to ride on a compact sporty rear-wheel-drive platform, something GM didn’t have at the time. The General’s engineers came up with the Kappa platform. The platform got hydroformed frame rails and a double-walled driveshaft tunnel, not unlike a Corvette.
They also got distinctive bodies, but much of the rest of the vehicles featured parts yanked out from all over the GM parts bin. The 2.4-liter Ecotec that powers a Chevrolet Cobalt also powered a Pontiac Solstice. But GM had a compact RWD platform for the first time since the days of the Chevette.
Out of the Kappa platform came the Solstice and the Saturn Sky; the latter car getting rebadged into the Opel GT and Daewoo G2X.
The best engine that you could get in one of these is the 2.0-liter Ecotec LNF turbo four making 260 HP and 260 lb-ft torque, plenty for a small car. But what if you want more, like a stupid amount of power? Well, Mecum has something for you.
As a feature by Popular Hot Rodding noted, the Solstice Mallett started with a man being mocked for liking a “girly car” followed by disappointment over engine power. Of course, Miata owners know cars don’t need to be dripping with testosterone to be great. Anyway, the Mecum listing tells the story in a bite-sized form:
Michael Jonas of Stainless-Steel Brake Corporation was excited about the Solstice but disappointed in the 4-cylinder-only engine option. He learned that Chuck Mallett of Mallett Performance Cars had started developing LS2-swapped Solstices and decided he wanted to hear more. As it turned out, Mallett was looking for brakes for the Solstice package, and, of course, Jonas was looking for a much faster Solstice. Joining forces, the Solstice Mallett was born.
As Popular Hot Rodding explained, the engine fit in the engine bay without any structural modifications. Here are more highlights of the build:
In all, this sounds like one of the coolest Kappa platform cars that you could ever own. It’s equal parts cute and stupid and I love it for that.
This car is a fantastic example of modern day hot rods.
This 2006 Solstice Mallett goes up on March 18 in Glendale, Arizona. It’s expected to sell for between $60,000 and $75,000.
If you miss out on this one, don’t worry because it’s not the only Solstice Mallett out there. Mallett still lists the conversion on his website for $21,285.75 plus the price of the car. That’s still too much for me, but you could use a a dead donor car and come out on top!