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!

  • MelanieRichardson GOOD
  • El scotto @jwee; Sir, a great many of us believe that Musk is somewhere (pretty high) on the spectrum and move on.I work on the fringes of IT. Most of my presentations get picked over extensively and intensely at meetings. I'm smart enough to know I'm not that smart and willingly take advice from the IT crew. I bring them Duck Doughnuts too. We also keep a box of Crayolas in the meeting room.At one meeting an IT guy got way into the details of my presentation, the meeting went long as we discussed my target audience. Same IT guy insisted it was a disaster and would fail miserable and that I was stupid. Yeah, F-boms get dropped at our meetings. I finally had enough and asked if he was such an expert, did he want to stand up in front of 30 senior executives and give the presentation? His response was a flat "NO". He got the box of Crayolas. For you non-military types that means shut up and color. Musk is the same as that IT guy, lots of gyrations but not much on follow-through. Someone just needs to hand him a box of Crayolas.
  • FreedMike The FJ Cruiser would be a better comeback candidate. The gang back at Toyota HQ must be looking at all those Broncos flying off Ford lots and kicking themselves.
  • Tassos 2015 was only 7 years ago. $58k is still a whole lot of $ to pay for a vehicle. FOrtunately one can buy a flagship vehicle with great active and passive safety for half this amount, if one does the SMART thing and buys a pre-owned luxury flagship vehicle. they have historically been SCREAMING BARGAINS. A breadvan on stilts SUV, wether the more compact Macan or the more bloated Cayenne will never pass as a Flagship Vehicle. No matter how well it drives or how reliable it suprisingly is. It still is a breadvan on stilts.
  • Sean Ohsee Bring back the 100 series and its I6 diesel.
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