Car Collector Corner: 2008 Pontiac Solstice SCCA-SSB
Q: Hello Greg and I really enjoy your columns in our newspaper. Keep up the good work!
My wife Eleanor and I purchased a 2008 Pontiac Solstice three years ago. It is a convertible and an SCCA-SSB edition. It was a low mileage, one owner car and that cost $29,945 brand new.
We only drive it on nice days and take it to car shows. It is a blast to drive and turns heads wherever we go. I know I would have a hard time finding another one like this, and we plan to keep it for a long time. Can you tell me how many of this edition were produced in 2008 and also what the SSB stands for? Thanks, Lew and Eleanor Brown, Gillett, Pa.
A: First, thank you for your kind remarks. Your words of encouragement keep me going every week as I truly love what I do.
As for your car, you are sitting on a very nice, rare collectible and a well built sports car from General Motors' former Pontiac Division. It's sibling is the Saturn Sky, which receives similar high grades in all areas of construction and looks.
Too bad both of these divisions were eliminated by GM, as they were all built in Wilmington, Delaware, through its final 20 cars in 2010. The platform used by the Solstice and Sky was called the GM Kappa platform.
As for your Solstice's designation, the SCCA stands for Sports Car Club of America and SSB is Pontiac's "bragging rights" badge following Solstice winning both 2006 and 2007 overall SCCA National Championship in class Showroom Stock B (SSB) road racing.
According to records, only 65,247 Solstice sports cars were ever built, including the hardtop coupe, which went on sale in 2009. The coupe is rare with 1,266 built before the plant in Wilmington was shut down.
Another note about the Solstice includes GM's original intent to build a "real sports car" in addition to its high powered and more costly Corvette. Unlike the previous two seater Buick Reatta and Pontiac Fiero efforts (both nice in their own right) Solstice proved its strength on the race track and was built for driving fun, looks, road racing ability and affordability. Even the world's most popular auto racing simulation, iRacing.com, has a class dedicated to Solstice competition which I personally enjoy very much.
Here's the best and final part of my column. Pontiac dealers received this announcement from headquarters following the second straight SSB win in 2007: We WON!! Solstice won the SSB and T2 classes of SCCA Club Racing division at the 2007 Runoffs at Heartland Park Raceway in Topeka, KS. Because of this we are offering two limited production models. The SCCA SSB Champion Edition will be available on base Solstice models, and the SCCA T2 Champion Edition will be available on Solstice GXP models. Each will carry unique graphics, stripes and embroidered light titanium leather seats along with higher levels of standard content. We will produce 250 of each special edition for a total of 500 starting January 2008.
Armed with this knowledge, you and your wife own one of Solstice's most rare models. Congrats and enjoy that Pontiac.
(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto writer who welcomes letters from readers on collector cars, auto nostalgia or old-time motorsports at 116 Main St., Towanda, PA 18848 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org).