Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

I hadn’t planned on posting again today, but I also didn’t expect to receive the email I am about to share. I sent the URL for the post Congratulations! to Buick. An aside: I couldn’t send an email to General Motors per se, but had to pick one of the makes. Since you probably don’t have this blog memorized like I do, the majority of the post was about the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky and I wrote that I have long believed that the Solstice/Sky should be improved and revived and sold by Buick as a halo car. That’s why I sent the link to Buick because, of course, neither Pontiac nor Saturn exists.

Here is a portion of an email I received today from the Buick Customer Assistance Service Team:

“Thank you for contacting Buick Customer Assistance Center.  We appreciate you taking some of your time to write, and share with us this link, featuring two of our GM vehicles, a Pontiac Solstice GPX [sic], and a Saturn Sky Red Line.  We are very pleased with your enthusiasm for GM brands!

We are not ruling out the possibility of bringing these vehicles back to the market.  [emphasis mine] Please note that your suggestion is documented and made accessible to the appropriate department for proper review.  The Service Request Number that we have created for your feedback is…”

While I realize that replies like this are done to foster goodwill among the car-buying public, and I doubt I am the only person to send such an idea, I have to admit I was excited by “We are not ruling out the possibility of bringing these vehicles back to the market.”

I would be more excited if I were to receive one of these cars as a token of appreciation if/when they are revived. 🙂  What would they call it? Buick Wildcat, Buick Electra…Wouldn’t it be nice?

See the source image

From topcarrating.com a picture of a Pontiac Solstice.

See the source image

From conceptcarz.com a picture of a Saturn Sky.

Congratulations!

Kudos to Bob Baffert, Mike Smith and everyone else in the Justify crew! As Smith and Justify controlled the pace, when he ran the first half-mile in 48 seconds and change and the first six furlongs in a minute, 13 seconds and change I told my wonderful wife that Justify was probably going to win the race. My father’s gas station was across the street from Pimlico (a TERRIBLE neighborhood now) and I spent many days at the track. Believe it or not, my tremendous and growing aversion to newsprint—I can’t STAND the smell or the feel—makes it difficult for me to bet at the local track because I like to study the charts in the Daily Racing Form before I bet. Strange, you say? Well, if the shoe fits…

Oh, given the difference in times if Secretariat could be resurrected, he would have won yesterday’s race by more than 20 lengths over Justify. No offense intended to Justify, just an affirmation of the greatness of Secretariat.

******************

I have been reading The Pontiac Solstice Book, which chronicles the development of the car. The book is not really an objective history, but more of a promotional piece.

The Solstice (and Sky) had a very compressed time from concept to production. One of the key players in the program, Mark Hogan, made what has turned out to be a sadly ironic remark, “If the market keeps fragmenting into lower volume, more expressive vehicles, the ability of a manufacturer—GM, Toyota or anybody else—to do these low-cost, low-volume vehicles becomes the holy grail.” Of course, the lower volume, more expressive vehicles have become the sole domain of very expensive car makes and the large manufacturers just grind out as many SUVs, pickup trucks and cars that all look alike as they can. I have long believed and often written that General Motors should have kept producing the Solstice/Sky, with some refinements, as a Buick halo car.

The higher performance version of this model, the Solstice GXP/Sky Red Line, was a hell of a car. The turbocharged, 2-liter (122 cubic inches, to make Bill Stephens happy), 4-cylinder engine produced 260 HP and 260 LB-FT of torque, the highest specific output for any GM engine in history. Pontiac and Saturn even had a program for a dealer performance upgrade that boosted HP to 290. The car only weighed about 3,000 pounds. In homage:

See the source image

From pinthiscars.com a picture of a Pontiac Solstice, a GXP, in fact.

See the source image

From hiswheel.com a picture of a Saturn Sky.

In my opinion, these cars still stand out amidst the homogenized offerings of today’s large car companies. I know this plea falls on deaf ears, but GM, bring back this car!