2008 Pontiac Solstice

Happy Solstice Day!

Solstice Day comes but once a year… okay, twice. Summer, the longest day of the year, and Winter, the shortest. But, as we are at the time of the Summer Solstice, let’s take a look at Pontiac’s last gasp at a new car. Which, as a droptop roadster, is kind of perfect for this day.

The Pontiac Solstice was a proper two-seat roadster convertible produced from 2005 until the maker’s untimely demise in 2010. It started off as a two-place roadster, with a sleek hardtop coupe following. There is not a straight line anywhere to be found on the car’s styling, all round and swoopy and smooth. People might quibble about designers forcing a split Pontiac grill into its face, but that’s like Cindy Crawford’s mole. Yeah, it’s all good, even great. This was an eye-catching sight when it first came out and only turns heads faster now that it’s been gone for over a decade.

The Solstice was the basis for a fair number of diecast models from 1/18 down. Here are a few.

Pro Mark 2006_Pontiac_Solstice

Yat Ming released a very nice 1/18 model in numerous colors. It featured lots of opening and operating parts and captured the spirit of this fun little car perfectly.

Pro Mark 2006_Pontiac_Solstice

Maisto did a nice version of the car in 1/24 scale, in several colors including their fantastic eye-searing yellow. They also released it in 1/64 scale.  

Maisto 2006_Pontiac_Solstice

Maisto also released a model of the coupe concept car, which is pretty daring considering at the time, there was no guarantee this thing would ever see the light of (the longest/shortest) day. The proportions of the concept were spot on even if the details like headlights would end up being dialed back a bit.

Pro Mark 2006_Pontiac_Solstice

Matchbox produced a coupe version of the Solstice in some actual production colors and some wildly imaginative designs. Either way, it’s nice to know they exist.

Pro Mark 2006_Pontiac_Solstice

The Solstice was built on a shared platform also used for the Opel Roadster and the Saturn Sky. The Sky was also Saturn’s last hurrah, and maybe, just maybe, even more beautiful than the Solstice. The Sky never came in hardtop form but did inspire a few diecast versions, something few other Saturn vehicles can claim.

However you choose to celebrate the Solstice today, wear sunscreen and drive fast!

Ron Ruelle is a cartoonist, writer, and illustrator who also writes about model cars. You can see his work at www.ronruelle.com

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