Junkyard Find: 2001 Pontiac Sunfire
The GM J Platform, best known for being the basis of the Chevrolet Cavalier, was built for a full quarter-century before being axed in 2005. The last J-Body Pontiac of them all was the Sunfire, a Cavalier sibling. Here’s an ’01 with a racy-looking hood scoop I recently spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard.
The engine was gone, but I checked the VIN and learned that this car came from the factory with the 2.2-liter version of the “122” engine that powered J-bodies starting all the way back in 1982. 115 horses plus the added 50 generated by the hood scoop. Naturally, the car has an automatic transmission.
A U.C. Davis parking sticker plus several decals representing 1990s California pop-punk bands (e.g., Blink-182, Green Day) tells us something about this car’s final owner. This Sunfire made it to age 15, which is not bad for a J-Body. These cars tended to lead hard lives.
Just the car for escaping your boy-toy’s enraged mother. The remote door locks enable a quick getaway.
To you, it’s a traffic light. To the Sunfire driver, it’s a root canal.
The panic button seemed pretty futuristic back then.
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