Digestible Collectible: 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 2009 pontiac solstice coupe

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.

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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  • Sbindley Sbindley on Feb 27, 2016

    They are far from perfect, but the GXP coupes are terrific little cars for the money. We buy them, fix them up and donate them to charity. The current coupe for sale now is a super fast, fun and well equipped sports car. BTW, the shifting is amazing with the short throw setup we added and the interior is much improved with the added leather and carbon fiber look accents. Check out some of the cars we have done at Www.facebook.com/wheelsforwheels

  • Pecci Pecci on Feb 28, 2016

    If I'm not mistaken the 'Targa' tops, when removed would not even fit in the trunk. They either had to be worn, take up the passenger seat, or left behind. How's that for GMs forward thinking? ... Idiots!

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.