While I certainly love roadsters, there is something special about the coupes derived from those roadsters. The MGB GT was a stunning Pininfarina tiptop riff on the classic MGB Tourer, and the BMW M Coupe was a flared Z3 styled like a ‘roided Reebok Pump. Both of them were iconic in their own way.
Considering how few small convertibles are actually sold, it’s surprising that General Motors decided to enter the market a mere 15 years after the Miata, and ten after the BMW Z3.
Well, perhaps not that surprising, considering GM launched the Kappa platform on not one, but two dying brands.
Somehow, the Wilmington, Delaware plant churned out the Solstice and Saturn Sky twins for five years, including about 1,200 of these incredibly rare 2009 Pontiac Solstice coupes, even though they ended up losing nearly $10,000 per car sold toward the end in the bad-old days of Government Motors. It’s a shame, as these seem to be at least holding value, if not appreciating as a collector’s item.
I’d have loved to bring you the high-performance GXP model with its turbocharged, direct-injected LNF engine, but every one I could find for sale either was equipped with an automatic transmission or some truly tasteless modifications. This standard model, with 177 horsepower, is plenty quick for most drivers.
The coupe gives a bit of covered storage room — not as much as one might find in either the Miata nor the Power Wheels Jeep that share my garage — perhaps enough for a carry-on bag. The Skystice convertibles, on the other hand, can barely carry a sandwich with the top down, a baffling oversight from GM.
The styling of the coupes, however, forgives all. The big 18-inch wheels don’t look quite as clownish on the coupe when balanced with the low-slung roofline. The signature Pontiac grille, low and proud in honeycomb mesh, is flanked by combination turn signals and running lamps, which gives the tiny coupe a menacing mug.
$24,500 is a bunch of money for this car, even considering the nearly-untouched condition with 12,000 miles. But considering its low production numbers, and the always hot market for rare GM performance cars, this could be one of those cars to look back upon in about 10 years as “the one that got away.” I wish I had the cash to store one and appreciate later.