What I learned at NASSAM19 - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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What I learned at NASSAM19

The next Kappa would have been ..... a Saab. Specifically a Sonett. The prototype was not a coupe but it should have been, all production Sonetts were coupes. Thank you Salvador.

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Summer Solstice, Cleveland Heights OH - '09 NA Auto Mysterious Black Coupe; DDM Supercharger, MagnaFlow, DDM chassis kit, Hawk brake pads, Conti EC Sport tires on Black ASA wheels, Advent radio w/ NAV and b/u camera. Plate SOL 4 OH
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:39 AM
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There were a number of far-fetched kappa platform concepts floating around during the early 2000's. I wouldn't say any of them had better odds of seeing production than the others.

The Sonnet in particular was supposedly given the green light to go into production with a dual clutch transmission that never existed. Not then, not now.

Most of the concepts would have required stretching and modifying the chassis to the point that GM was much better off just using the larger Alpha platform - which is exactly what happened.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 02:26 PM
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And all that was schedule to start at Bowling Green on 2012.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 04:08 PM
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On a different 'learning' (and this will be of interest to @wspohn )... We had Stan Kaminsky as guest speaker at the closing banquet. He had worked at the Delaware plant for the entire span of the Kappa production as a vendor rep for the fascias - and before Kappa as an GM employee. He gave a very interesting talk on Kappa production and has written a book (due out toward the end of the year) full of production facts and data and photos.

Anyway, after the talk I went over to him and his buddy Tom, who also worked at the plant, and asked him the age old question of why the windshield surrounds were silver rather than body color. He said (and Tom agreed) that it was easier to produce that way, rather than over-paint the silver chassis with a particular body color and have to match the chassis to a body on the line.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 05:31 PM
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Sorry Soup, but I don't buy that for a second. While it was undeniably one less thing to coordinate, the fact that all the other panels were still coming together, and that every other car (including the coupes built on the same line) managed to get the correct chassis color make that an incredibly weak argument.

For whatever reason, I assure you it was done for cosmetic purposes. Whether to harken back to an old British roadster, or simply because the brushed/bare aluminum look was incredibly popular in the early 2000s, we will probably never know.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:10 PM
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Just to add some fuel to the fire, here is a 2005 post from gminsidenews.com

Quote:
07-07-2005, 10:45 PM #5
thatoneguy
Re: Solstice Colors
The windshield frame is always silver because it harkens back to old style convertables that had chrome frames... at least thats what the guy at the solstice display at the Detroit autoshow said.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil1734 View Post
. . . . we will probably never know.
When one does not believe the people working at the plant we will definitely never know ;-)
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:34 AM
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When one does not believe the people working at the plant we will definitely never know ;-)
In reality, the people working at the plant rarely know why they do the things they do. and most of them don't care.

In this case I believe that there is enough anecdotal evidence to support the idea that the silver was intended to add to the resemblance of the Solstice to classic British roadsters. It is certainly true that painting was easier because of it, but that is only because of the design and production process chosen. That design and process could easily have been chosen based on the intended result (silver windscreen frames) rather than the other way around.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 06:22 AM
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I can't believe how often I've agreed with John lately.

Am I getting old?

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 06:25 AM
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I can't believe how often I've agreed with John lately.

Am I getting old?
I'm not sure how to take that, especially the second line. But it (the agreeing) disturbs me also.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 06:44 AM
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ok i got it.

Last edited by YO MUDA; 06-18-2019 at 09:56 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by phil1734 View Post
Sorry Soup, but I don't buy that for a second. While it was undeniably one less thing to coordinate, the fact that all the other panels were still coming together, and that every other car (including the coupes built on the same line) managed to get the correct chassis color make that an incredibly weak argument.
There were 4 years of (minimized cost) production before the coupes were added, so they could well have 'worked out the kinks' by then. Again, I'm just reporting what those guys said.


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Originally Posted by phil1734 View Post
For whatever reason, I assure you it was done for cosmetic purposes. Whether to harken back to an old British roadster, or simply because the brushed/bare aluminum look was incredibly popular in the early 2000s, we will probably never know.
On what do you base your 'assurance'?

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:21 AM
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Maybe you are both right!

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:35 AM
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No Sonett would be a Sonett without a Ford V4 under the hood

Just like the Supra wouldn't be a Supra without a straight 6.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 11:00 AM
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On what do you base your 'assurance'?
My ISO/TS 16494 certification backed up with 15 years of being way too close to the GM BIQS/QMS working as a manufacturing and quality engineer for a Tier 1 supplier.

Trust me, I love to geek out over weird production things like this (we typically refer to them as "quirks," or if management is around, "value added features") so if there's a story here I'd love to hear it. It may very well be that there was some reason for it and some marketing guy made up the part about british roadsters because it fit the bill at the time, but the simple inability to coordinate colors on the line is ridiculous.

For starters, no other vehicle has ever run into this alleged kink over the past 100 years of assembly line production, let alone taken 4 years to not be solved.

Secondly, Wilmington had been producing perfectly color matched cars for 60 years prior to Solstice production, not to mentioned they matched all the other RPO options those cars had.

And lastly, there are a whole bunch of convertibles that don't match their windshield surround to body color for aesthetic reasons. Typically they go with black these days, but silver (chrome really) was popular for a long time too.

Oh - and don't forget about the tulip panel...
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Last edited by phil1734; 06-18-2019 at 11:10 AM.
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