In July of 2005, I was going to Rehoboth Beach on Highway One. About six cars ahead of me was a car I'd never seen. Of course being as crazy about cars as I am, I pushed ahead of the other cars to get a closer look. I had not seen anything like it and I watch the magazines and website pretty closely. GOSH! I said to myself, it has to be an Italian exotic! I drew near and pulled right behind. IT SAID PONTIAC!!! I couldn't believe it.
I had my top down so I tooted and gave them the thumbs-up. Their top was up but the driver gave me a thumbs-up out his window. (Kinda a thing between great car fans.) The name was 'S...'. Ahead they were luckily painting the middle strip so the traffic was creeping. I had to see this car better. I turned into a turn around that I judged I could meet side-by-side. He stopped, I stopped. (BY THE TIME WE ENDED VISITING—5 MINUTES—THERE WERE MAYBE TEN SPACES CLEAR IN FRONT OF HIM, BUT NO-ONE HONKED!) I was estactic; he enjoying talking about it. He was a production engineer and he and his wife were taking this PRE-PRODUCTION CAR for a road test/drive. It was silver and had the most voluptuous lines—very Italian 60s. He allowed that they were only going to be made in the Wilmington plant and expected first deliveries in September as a 2006. We talked about it extensively. I was surprised to learn it was a four-cylinder and only would come in a 5-speed. But he said it was very strong and nimble. I said, "I'll bet it's still very expensive though." He responded, "NO, IT'S ONLY $20,000!—base." I finished the turn around and turned around again to complete my trip to Rehoboth Beach. When I drove by C. P. Diver Pontiac dealer however, I had to stop. With my heart beating, I asked to see J.B., the manager and asked breathlessly, "I want one of those new Pontiacs!" He said, "What Pontiac?" I rejoined, "You know, the new one. It begins with an 'S'." JB said with a smile, "Oh, the Solstice. We're getting only one for 2006. I'll call you when we get the OK to submit the paperwork. I'll give you 'The Apprentice' brochure from the show. (To the first 1000 people who called in and put down $1,000 electronically could have one of the first 1000. They sold in 21 minutes!!) "SIGN ME UP!" But I wanted one with more assurance. I called around: Hertrick Pontiac in Seaford (east-DE) was getting four on the first run after the '1000 Apprentice Solstices'. John Yi (YEE) said that already three of the four were sold! I called him back the next day (after spending a lot of time on the Internet deciding colors, accessories, options, etc.) I called John to put down the $500. He said it was a contract for a must buy! Gee, I'd never even sat in one. I asked for an out-option if I don't like it when I see it or I don't fit. He had to ask the manager. He OKed it but when I told him I wanted a red one. He said, "No, they wouldn't do it on a red one. It'd be too hard to sell if I didn't take it!" He acquiesced to a blue one even though he really wanted me to take a white, black or silver. (How boring.) The next day, I called and said I really want a red. He finally agreed. I waited and waited and waited. Finally on 11/11, I picked it up. What a WOWSER! The entire agency got out to look.
VIN #1G2MB33B86Y102901. Built 10/05. 2901 of 3500. Wilmington(Boxwood), DE.
2-dr AGGRESSIVE(red) convertible, 2.4L ECOTECH DOHC VVT 1-4(cly.) Aluminum Engine (Toyota designed-GM built), AISIN 5-speed (Toyota built),177 HP, speed-controlled Wipers w/automatic lights turn-on, SS Exhaust, heated rear Window, Tire Sealant & Inflator, etc.— with every Option available… (EXCEPT no "Smoker's Package")!
PREMIUM PACKAGE: Leather Seating, Leather Steering Wheel, Redundant Radio Controls.
CONVENIENCE PACKAGE: Cruise Control, Driver Info. Center (both Steering Wheel redundant), Fog Lamps.
POWER PACKAGE: Door Locks, Windows, Outside Rear-view Mirrors, Remote Keyless Entry. A/C, Polished Wheels, 6-CD Changer & iPod. Monsoon Surround Sound, XM Satellite, Ltd. Slip Differential, ABS brakes.
WOW! I love her. It is so different than the SSR. It IS great having a new car. Surprisingly fast—lays rubber, great styling, superb ride, easy driver, excellent lines, every option, not needing parts! - very Italian!!!
Next, the one before, the Chevrolet SSR.