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[edit] Originally posted by skeptic. Deleted by accident when trying to edit an individual post: [/edit]

I was about to post this into an existing thread, but decided it warranted it's own discussion.

From the beginning the Solstice reminded me of the early Corvettes. The idea of an open top roadster, not the current high performance sports car idea of a Corvette, the apparent size, the round front end....

Hopefully this is somewhat readable:

...........................Solstice.........................Corvette
height...................50.2..................................52
length.................157.2................................167
width.....................71.6...............................72.2
wheelbase...........95.1...............................102
track.............60.5/61.2...........................57/59
weight..................2860.............................2850
HP...........................170...............................150



I am in no way implying that the solstice will be the Corvette of tomorrow, just observing the beginning of life similarities. Before I looked it all up I did think the wheelbase/lengh of the two were closer to the same.
 

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Great post skeptic. I never knew the early vette was that small.
 

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Perhaps it's also worth noting that in '53 the engine was a 6 cyl, not a V8. While a minor point, it tells me that it was originally intended as a fun drop top roadster, not an all out muscle car that it quickly became.
 

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The best comparison between the two is in intent. In '53 and now, GM wanted to create an upgraded image for their brand. In the early fifties Chevrolet, while popular, always had a performance gap with Ford. Chevy was not associated with performance. They also wanted to show that GM, being the most successful automaker in the world, could compete with anyone anywhere. At the time there was a rising interest in sportscars by returning GIs and thier options where mostly foreign made. GM said "we can do that!".

Today GM wants to get back in the car business and improve the performance image of their Pontiac brand. They have promised us excitement, but by and large have not delivered. Again keeping and eye on the growing interest in sportscars, and the demand that has been met largely by foreign makes, GM has said, "we can do that!".

Both cars are a response to consumer dissatisfaction with the offerings of the day. In the fifties cars were getting bigger, heavier and softer. In the '00s we have SUVs and Pickups that are bigger, heavier and softer. Not everybody wants that.

The design and layout of the two cars directly reflects GM's desire to compete head to head with who they preceived to be the leaders in the market. In the fifties it was against cars like Jaguar, MG, Austin Healey, Kaiser and Nash. Today it is Mazda, BMW, Honda and Toyota and these cars are retro inspired by the sportscars of the past. Not to mention that I'm sure the GM design studio looked back at what had been done there before and said to themselves, "Damb! That was cool!" This is even more obvious in the Chevy Nomad concept. (which I also really like!).

Anyhow, I was not born soon enough to buy a C1 but I do have a chance to make up for that now!:D
 

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Not too bad...

How about the Triumph TR6? My sister had one many years ago and loved the car... It broke down and sat in her garage for about 10 years, then out in a field for 12 years...

Finally sold it and the person fixed it up as a show car. NICE...
 

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Nice post AeroDave, I think you hit the nail on the head in regards to GM's motivation. They do seem to finally be doing a nice job trying to re-establish brand identities. Cadillac is surely the brand that is furthest along, but Pontiac is quickly getting there with the likes of the GTO, GXP and now Solstice.
 

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Oh, I posted this before, but I guess I deleted it or something - does any one know what a '53 Vette was originally priced at, when compared to today's dollars?
 

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Thanks for the research. That is pretty interesting. So, the Solstice will have about the same base price as the original Vette, and very similar dimensions, weight and HP. Of course, with modern tires, brakes, etc. I am sure they Solstice would easily outperform it.
 

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2006solstice said:
Thanks for the research. That is pretty interesting. So, the Solstice will have about the same base price as the original Vette, and very similar dimensions, weight and HP. Of course, with modern tires, brakes, etc. I am sure they Solstice would easily outperform it.
i'd bet most Kias would outperform it. :smile
 

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skeptic said:
I was about to post this into an existing thread, but decided it warranted it's own discussion.

From the beginning the Solstice reminded me of the early Corvettes. The idea of an open top roadster, not the current high performance sports car idea of a Corvette, the apparent size, the round front end....
Even before this website came into being, I was looking for someone to photochop a Nomad grille onto a Solstice in order to give it the retro Corvette look it deserves (recall that the original Nomad was based on the original Corvette). Thanks to Stephen M for this excellent picture!
 

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Nice job on the photochop grill, it looks great and does sort of give it that vintage Vette look. However I think I still prefer the Solstice grill. It's more distinctive and there is no mistaking it for any other identity. The Vette/Nomade grill is to close to Chrysler and Thunderbird. Even Miatas would look like that if they bothered to put a grill in! (always bugged me about Miatas, pay all that money for a car and you have to look at the bare radiator and all the gack arount it!) I've been working on my own photochops but it's hard to improve on the good looks of the Solstice!
 

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Is interesting since GM is showing three cars, a roadster, a coupe, and a wagon on the new platform just like they did in the 1953 Autorama. Wonder if only the same model will make production again. BTW if going to model on a Corvette, why not use a 53 instead of the 54 in the picture.

One other note: the 150 hp Corvette was considered totally underpowered even by 1953 standards though the powerslide may have had something to do with it. Many remained on dealer lots both at the end of '53 and '54.

Super trivia: what's the reason for the giant brake light in the dash ?
 

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padgett said:
Super trivia: what's the reason for the giant brake light in the dash ?
I don't really know the answer, but I'll take a stab at it anyway. Is it because they were concerned about people accidentaly driving with the parking brake on and stressing the fiberglass mid section? I am assuming that the early Vette's chassis layout is similar to later ones with front and rear sub-frames with fiberglass inbetween. Again I am just guessing and don't really know. :confused
 

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Much more plebean reason. The speedo was lifted from the Chevrolet sedan and there it had a hole for the transmission linkage (remember "three on the tree", at one time anyone with a floor shift was considered out of it). They had to fill the hole with something so a giant parking brake light was used.

A lot of the magic goes away when you know what was really going on at the time.
 
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