Cars and their stories / On The Street

The Pontiac Solstice

pontiac solsticeThis is a car that belongs to a guy down the street from me. The Pontiac Solstice has it’s siblings, the Saturn Sky and the Opel GT. It’s sad that the recession in 2008 essentially killed this car and the Pontiac brand. Even more lamentable is the death of a European styled roadster that was making headway in the American car market.

Back in one of my earlier posts about the Ford GT, the same car collector had a special built Solstice. It had a special, NASCAR-designed purpose-built frame and a turbo powered engine reaping 1000 horses for the road. There was definitely an interest in a GM roadster. Who wants a rice-burner when you can have American muscle in the same coupe-sized scoop offered overseas? It was a risk by GM to offer something other than the Corvette as a roadster. Fortunately, it had roots that reached through the international ties of GM Europe all the way to Opel. But is it a farce to say the next best American roadster was German designed? That’s the trouble with today’s international market. With global brands that offer the same product over the traditional continental markets, the big players have changed how we view the branding our grandparents indoctrinated us with during the golden era of the automobile in the 1950s.

I have my predictions of how the automobile industry will change or if it will even last in the long term (recall that not more than a hundred years ago the main means of transportation was horse and buggy). The joys of personal car ownership and the necessary evil of commuting to work are actually killing each other. But today we mourn the loss of the brand that brought us excitement, and we mourn the loss of a potentially new American roadster.


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