Junkyard Find: 2008 Pontiac Solstice

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2008 pontiac solstice

Quick, what was the final new Pontiac model introduced before the marque’s demise in 2010? The G3, a Pontiac-badged Chevy Aveo (itself a rebadged Daewoo Kalos, which makes The Final Pontiac first cousin to the Ravon Nexia R3). We remember a Pontiac model from slightly earlier in the chaos of mid-to-late-2000s GM much better: the Solstice, a mean-looking sports car that showed great promise but went down with the Pontiac ship in 2010.

I saw my first discarded Solstice last year in Colorado Springs, and now I’ve found this much cleaner one in Denver.

For a brief time, it appeared that the Solstice would become something like the Plymouth Prowler or 2002-2005 Ford Thunderbird, stubbornly worshiped by devoted, patriotic owners and changing hands at high prices, and that happened… for a while. Today, I’d say the Solstice (and its Saturn sibling, the Sky) is following the same path as the Chrysler Crossfire, with the initial passion of ownership wearing off and banged-up examples selling for G3 prices. When a car like that breaks something expensive, it ends up in the cold steel jaws of The Crusher, even as nice Solstices command decent money. You’ll see the same process at work with BMW Z3s and Audi TTs today, though at a slower pace.

The Solstice looked great, and even the naturally aspirated base model got decent power: 173 horsepower out of this 2.4-liter Ecotec (the turbocharged GXP had 260 horsepower, but I don’t expect to see any of those in U-Wrench yards for a few more years, if I ever do).

Solstice buyers could choose between a five-speed manual transmission (a member of the same Aisin family that went into lots of XJ Cherokees) and a five-speed automatic. The initial purchaser of this car opted for the commute-friendly automatic, for the same reason that plenty of Miata buyers get the slushbox: you can’t work a phone and drink a drive-thru coffee while operating a manual transmission in traffic.

GM might have sorted out the Solstice’s bugs, but the car died with Pontiac in 2010.

The good news in the Solstice saga is that you can get ugly ones for ’92 LeMans prices now, and then you can make cheap race cars out of them.

For links to thousands more of these Junkyard Finds, head to the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.






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  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.
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