Empty Wednesday

I don’t really have anything about which to write today. So, why am I? Compulsion…I want the blog to reach a certain “milestone” for views for the year before the end of April. If I post every day, or almost every day, until the end of the month, then that “milestone” will probably be reached. If I skip two or three days, then it won’t.

I suspect many readers are already tired of my writing about the possibility of my buying a Saturn Sky Red Line. By the way, while the turbo version of the Pontiac Solstice (the GXP) was not available until its second model year of production, the Red Line was available from the beginning for the Sky. However, the Solstice was released one model year before the Sky.

About 30 percent of Skys were in Red Line spec for its first year, 2007, but from then through the end of production, more than 60 percent of Skys were Red Line models. Only about 44 percent of Solstices were GXPs during the same period. I found that factoid (OK, you can call it minutia) to be surprising. I doubt most “car people” would think more Saturn buyers would opt for a performance upgrade than Pontiac buyers. From Fortune, a picture of both cars:


Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky 2005-2009


This photo was shown as part of a piece called, “10 Tarnished Halo Cars.” Three of the other cars were also among my favorites: the Studebaker Avanti, Cadillac Allante and Buick Reatta. More trivia/minutia: almost exactly 100,000 Solstices/Skys were produced, 99,954, to be exact. If one counts the Opel GT and Daewoo G2X, both of which were just re-badged Sky Red Lines, then total production of Kappa platform convertibles was 107,658. From the Fortune article, which was published in 2012:


“These two roadsters were supposed to inject some much-needed Viagra into the flagging Pontiac and Saturn brands, and GM launched them with all the thunder that a failing automaker could muster. Yet even the imprimatur of design guru Bob Lutz couldn’t fend off harsh comments from car reviewers who found them dynamically inferior to the long-established Mazda Miata and incapable carrying any baggage than could fit in a number 10 envelope. Touted as instant classics, they are now little more than curiosities — poor relatives to the 60-year-old-and-still-going-strong Chevy Corvette.”


It’s hard to remember now that when the Solstice was first introduced, it was hugely popular. Pontiac received 7,000 orders, its planned first-year production, in just the first 10 days of availability. Dealers often sold the car for more than MSRP. More than 21,000 Solstices were actually produced for model year 2006.

Despite the introduction of the Sky for the 2007 model year, Solstice sales actually increased to about 24,000. I think the cars were a victim of the Financial Crisis and then, of course, rumors of the demise of Pontiac and Saturn became louder and those makes were, sadly, both discontinued. 30 Kappa platform cars (20 Solstices, 8 Skys and 2 Opel GTs) were built with 2010 VINs in late April/early May of 2009.

The Sky Red Line could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 5.2 seconds (with an automatic transmission, the manual was slower), pull nearly .9g on a skidpad and brake from 60 MPH to a stop in just 124 feet. (Do you sense that I am trying to talk myself into buying one sooner rather than later?) The “car reviewers” mentioned in the Fortune piece as being critical of the car somehow never mentioned those facts. Of course, those weren’t the performance specs of the base car, either.

OCD is no fun…







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C8 Z06 Day

I was thinking about waiting until after the actual reveal of the C8 Z06 today (Noon Eastern, 9 AM Pacific) to write. However, since I didn’t post yesterday and didn’t announce in advance that I wouldn’t be posting, I figured I better not wait.

You see, when I don’t notify readers in advance that I won’t be posting, when I don’t post it takes a couple of days for readership to get back to normal. That phenomenon becomes more pronounced if my first post back is later than usual in the day. Of course, this post is much earlier than usual as my sleep patterns and GI tract have become quite disturbed.

Most Internet users/readers have short attention spans, but people who are following the blog receive notifications when I post. It’s almost as if I skip a day, they assume I have stopped posting altogether and it takes a couple of days of notifications for them to realize I am still posting.

Back to the car…audio of the C8 Z06 has been “leaked” on the Internet, but most of those leaks are posted on a minion of the criminal organization I call Fack Fucebook so I cannot hear them. You may have heard that the criminals want to change the name of their company. A turd by any other name still stinks. Maybe not back to the car…

Internet reaction to the sound of the C8 Z06 has been mixed. Some think it sounds like a true race car, others think it sounds too much like a mid-engine Ferrari, which some people don’t like. It doesn’t sound like this:



By the way, that was the sound of my 2016 Z06 starting up, after exhaust mods and tuning, not of the car below.



Sadly for me and for many enthusiasts, the C8 version of the Z06 will probably be the next-to-last Corvette variant powered only by an internal combustion engine. The C8 ZR1 will be the last, supposedly being powered by a twin-turbo version of the 5.5 liter flat-plane crank engine that will power the Z06.


This piece from Why Evolution Is True is about a book and article from the book by Batya Unger-Sargon about the “decline and fall of The New York Times.”



Why this is surprising is, in itself, a surprise. It is now most certainly the news business. All “news” outlets cater to their perceived constituencies. From the piece, but a little bit out of order:


“There‚Äôs no doubt that the NYT caters to the mob…Its business model is deeply bound up with the mores of affluent white liberals.”


I don’t watch CNN or MSNBC and I don’t watch Fox News. I don’t read newspapers. I guess I would rather be uninformed than misinformed.


This recent Hagerty article is called, “According to you: 13 undervalued vehicles you can enjoy on the cheap.” Here are pictures of the first entry:


2006 Pontiac Solstice rear three-quarter

2007 Saturn Sky Red Line rear three-quarter


These are the “Kappa twins,” the Pontiac Solstice (top) and the Saturn Sky (bottom) with the Sky in Red Line spec. As I wrote in connection with Ultimate Garage 3.0 (posted three and a half months ago!), the Sky Red Line would have been included if it weren’t for the fact that my wonderful wife and I thought the interior was just too cheap, for lack of a better word, when we test drove one (not a Red Line, but a base Sky) years ago. They are great looking cars, in my opinion, and in Red Line spec (or GXP spec for the Solstice) certainly have more than enough performance.

As I have written ad infinitum, I think General Motors really missed the boat when they didn’t give an upgraded version of the Solstice/Sky to Buick as a halo car. All human endeavors are flawed (including this blog) because all human beings are flawed (including yours truly).








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