• Nov 1st 2010 at 12:01PM
  • 70
2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe GXP – Click above for high-res image gallery

Pontiac has been dead for some time now, at least from a manufacturing point of view. The Vibe was the last vehicle to roll of a Pontiac assembly line, marking the end of new car production for the brand in August of 2009. However, the former automaker has been stuttering and mumbling to itself while lying in its death bed. After all, new cars still needed homes and buyers eventually ponied up dough for the keys to the ghostly souls of a marque that once built the king of muscle cars: the GTO. Now, though, the very last new Pontiacs have been sold and the brand is completely, officially, no-doubt-about-it dead.

In an act of lunacy mercy, retired police officer Ed Dieffenbach drove over 1,100 miles to trade in his Chevrolet Silverado on one of the last Pontiac Solstice Coupes left in the country. Driving from Miami to northern Florida, Mr. Dieffenbach helped put an end to the brand's suffering while also putting a somewhat stylish two-door in his driveway. We're sure he'll have years of fun with the Solstice, as long as he doesn't need to use the cup holder... or stow the roof... or look back.

Photos copyright ©2010 Sam Abuelsamid / AOL

[Source: The New York Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The sadness in passing, for me, is that most will have the memories of the last 20 years as a basis for judgement. As a child in the 50's, I can remember when a fellow dealer- completely baffled by the Hilborn fuel injection- GAVE my Father a 1957 Pontiac Bonneville convertible that was brand new asking that he share the proceeds when sold. The ride from Indiana to northern Idaho in that fast beautiful car is one of the highlights of my childhood. Black and silver with red plaid upholstery is the memory I have of this car, but the details fade with the decline of the little gray cells. I do know that it would only run properly at high speed, so that was the pace we traveled. My Mother loved the look, and consequently she was the arbiter of style in our household. To her everlasting credit, she subsequently had a '63 Grand Prix, then a white Barracuda we slept in with the seats folded and all that glass above. I would soon resort to pushing that car down the street for adventures at speed that had my fellow 14 year olds screaming for me to slow down. The heyday of Detroit spawned the middle class as we know it and the decline of both is a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare.
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM's killing Pontiac was an absolute outrage. They should have killed Buick instead. Pontiac was outselling Buick two-to-one, and Pontiac has a larger following. By killing Pontiac, GM ticked-off a lot more people than they would have had they killed Buick. I've owned nothing but Pontiacs all my life, and they've been good to me. I still have one now, an '84 Trans Am. GM makes the excuse that Buick sells in China, but we'll see how long that lasts with Chinese cars like Geely and Chery getting better and better. The fact of the matter is that here in the good ole USA, Buick couldn't hold a candle to Pontiac. GM counters that many Pontiacs were fleet sales. Yes, but those fleet cars get driven around, carrying the flag for GM. Here it's November 2010, and Pontiacs are STILL being raced at the NHRA Nationals, and many of them are WINNING! See any Buicks being raced at NHRA? Didn't think so. It was lame, crass, and ham-handed of GM to kill Pontiac. I suspect that a LOT of long-time Pontiac buyers--out of outrage-- have switched to Ford, Chrysler, or even some of the Japanese makes. Nice going, GM.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I Will miss Pontiac, especially the Firebird from Knight Rider.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe GXP is BUTT-ugly! I love most Pontiacs, but that short side window look is repulsive. I've even seen it on Cadillacs. I'm sorry, but if you must buy a car, make it a Honda!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought the title of this post was about my 2000 Grand Am GT.

      Imagine my surprise/disappointment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you were going to buy one of the last Pontiacs, that was the one to buy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Totally agree. Pretty slick looking ride.
        • 4 Years Ago

        The article harps on some of the Solstices problem areas, but it really was a remarkable car when it was released. Not to mention, I doubt some aftermarket company somewhere hasn't released an aftermarket cupholder of some sort.

        Besides, when you're driving around in the summer with your top down riding on some twisty roads, do you really have time to take a drink?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The G8 is also a great car - even moreso than the Solstice. It's also how many years newer, how many thousands more expensive, and the idea behind the car is totally different.

        My buddy's G8 GT with sport package is sweet, and I hate him for owning such a beautiful car.

        But mid-sized cheap luxury car != sports car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Cupholders are also good for holding iPhones.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It would be sad that the last pontiac to be sold was a G3 (aka Chevy Aveo with pontiac badges). Thank god it was a Solstice Coupe. I hope it was a GTX
        • 4 Years Ago
        Eh, I would take a G8 over a Solstice any day of the week. I used to love the Solstice (actually I thought the Sky was better looking), but the first time I drove one completely soured me. It just felt so cheap and poorly thought out. Everything rattled and clunked, visibility was crap, etc. I was extremely disappointed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think that Mr Dieffenbach is a lunatic at all. He has a rare, sure to be collectible, model. On top of that he can document it was one of the last new Pontiac's sold.

      This car will be a collector's dream in 30 years if he plays his cards right and keeps it nice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't help but feel bitter about this, so much so that I refuse to be a patron for GM ever again.

      Hello Ford...
      • 4 Years Ago
      damn man...this is a a sad day ...the G8 was like one of my favorite cars.....damn hate to see it go....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Finally, what a crap car company that produced nothing good since 1969, the G8 was crap, huge panel gaps, bad gas mileage, low quality interior, low options for price point.
      You Americans are funny and in denial, which isn't a river that most of your population couldn't point out on a map, google or other wise!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pontiac's been a dead brand walking for aloooong time. Let at the crap that's come out of GM's "performance division" for the last 15 years (excluding the G8).

      I know I don't need to say it but "GRAND AM". A performance car???

      Instead of giving Pontiac engineers and designers the green light to produce performance oriented products GM put an anchor around their neck by providing craptastic automobiles.

      Could Pontiac have been revitalized? Sure, but at what cost? {hopefully the G8 will make its way over to Chevy or Buick}

      As for GMC I totally understand why GM decided to keep it. Trucks, especially heavy commercial trucks, are more profitable than cars and the GMC brand is well known in industrial circles.

      Many here say you can use Chevy branding on GMC products but for some reason believe that another GM division can't pick up Pontiac's slack.

      • 4 Years Ago
      He needs to put it in his garage and forget about it for 30 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...and then sell it to me for $100 when he's old and senile!
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