The shaky economy, volatile financial and real-estate markets make many of us wonder how to best use the money we still have. Many automotive enthusiasts turn to classic collectible vehicles as investments. We often read and watch highly desirable classics sell for 6 and sometimes 7 figures at auction.
This is nice, but is there a way to get into this action on a lower budget and without discovering the next Shelby barn find? Is it possible to purchase a modern car for a modest amount of money that will retain it’s value and possibly be an investment 10, 20, or 30 years into the future?
If there is a formula to determine collectibility of any vehicle, it has these three elements: desirability, rarity, and the condition of the specimen. Desirability is subjective in nature and is difficult to get a handle on, however there are a few rules to follow.
On the other hand, rarity can be determined in a more scientific way by taking the number of vehicles produced and subtracting the number of vehicles lost to attrition. Of course, the older the vehicle – the fewer surviving examples. As for the condition of the specimen – of course, all of us want a collectible car that spends most of it’s days in a vacuum sealed bag and is driven only a few dozen miles per year on dry, warm, and partly cloudy days.
Enter the Pontiac Solstice GXP and Saturn Sky Red Line. These two GM cousins have the makings of Modern Collectibles. Lets break it down.
Pontiac Solstice GXP:
Does this car have style? Yes, some people love it and some hate it – thus it has style. How many doors does it have? It has 2 doors, and this good in collector world. Does this car have power? Yes, the GXP has a magical 2.0 liter direct injected and turbo charged engine that produces 260hp and same number of torque.
When this engine appeared it was a pioneer among American manufacturers. Does this car have performance? Yes, it weighs less than 2,900 lbs; it has a manual transmission option and rear wheel drive. Is it fun? Yes, see previous. Does it have critical acclaim? Yes, just google it. These answers move the desirability meter to the top.
Between 2006 and 2010 there were around 62,000 Solstice Convertibles and around 1,200 Solstice Coupes produced. Now, lets zero in on the GXP variant. Out of all Coupes produced, 781 were of the GXP flavor. And there were around 13,000 Convertible GXP examples. Since, Pontiac no longer exists, we can be sure that these numbers will stay as they are.
It’s safe to say that the GXP Coupe has the needed rarity to qualify for the collectibility formula. Whether, the GXP Convertible qualifies is more up to debate. In the case of the convertible, more break down maybe needed: a rare year, a rare color or manual versus automatic transmission, etc.
If you see a low miles GXP Coupe with a manual for sale – you may have just found a unicorn. Just don’t let the seller in on this. It will be a good investment. If you found a nice GXP Convertible – it is still worth a buy.
Saturn Sky Red Line:
The sister car to the GXP Coupe the Saturn Red Line offers more muscular styling and sharper character lines.
Does this car have style? Yes, it’s angular style is different from the curvy Pontiac, but it has it’s own identity. Refer to GXP’s section for all other questions. This also combines for one desirable car.
Between 2007 and 2010 there were around than 34,000 Sky Convertibles produced. Out of all, approximately 12,000 were the high performance Red Line version. This number still looks a bit high, so a further breakdown may be necessary. For example, there were around 1,300 Red Lines produced in 2009, and this number makes this year more desirable.
If you find a nice Red Line for sale – it is worth a buy.
Solstice GXP Reviews
Saturn Sky Red Line:
Complete Solstice Specification PDF can be downloaded HERE.
Andre Smirnov is a Software Engineer by trade and a life-long automotive enthusiast. On the weekends – you may find him at a car show, an auction, watching a race, or tinkering in the garage. When not working or spending time with the family – he often scours the internet and other media for various automotive, mechanical, and computer related information.