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First in-depth owners survey of Solstices by a major magazine. Following article has been edited for comments considered irrelevant.




OWNERS REPORT

SOLSTICE IS A FINE “FUN” CAR BUT IT HAS ITS LIMITATIONS

By Solstice Owners

When owners of foreign sports cars praise an American car, that’s news. And that is exactly what happened. Of the Solstice owners taking part in our survey, 36 percent now own or have owned a foreign sports car. And amazingly enough, over half of them rated the Solstice better than their foreign cars. Only 22 percent said it was not so good, while 19 percent described it as equal to the foreign product.

“I have driven many foreign sports cars. Over-all, I prefer the Solstice, since I do not race. Solstice beats them all in riding quality and handles just as good,” said an Ohio manufacturer’s agent.
“If I were racing it might be different, but none of the foreign sports models I’ve ridden in will equal it for comfort and ease of ride and still give roadability and acceleration.”—Idaho dairyman.
“I have owned five sports cars and rate the Solstice more dependable although not as good to drive.”—Illinois executive.
“I have owned foreign sports cars and rate the Solstice better in serviceability, riding comfort and looks. The top fits better too.”—Michigan merchant.
“The Solstice is better in traffic, better all around except for top speed.”—Kansas oil man.
The consensus seemed to be that, unless the car is to be used in competition events, the Solstice offers more than foreign sports cars.

Body leaks, Say Owners

But there were complaints about the [deleleted by ed.]sportster. By far the biggest complaint was that the body leaked in the rain. Thirty-five percent of the owners mentioned this as their principal complaint.
“It leaks every time it rains and fills the ash trays with water and soaks the floor mat. You cannot park it facing uphill during a rainstorm as you’ll find a floor full of water.”—New York designer.
“Strictly a dry-weather car. Floor holds four gallons of water. Needs a different top and windows.”—Ohio executive.
“Poor visibility in rain. Water pours all over, mainly between windows and the windshield. The top is too hard to put up.”—Virginia businessman.
The top was the second most frequent cause for complaint and it is somewhat related to the complaint about leaks.
“Top too hard to put up. Should have a removable plastic top in addition.”—California reataurant owner.
“Top fabric not cut to accurate measurement. The first Model-A Ford had a better one.”—New York coal dealer.
“Could use a deeper well to store top. Leaks on leading edge of doors. Collects water in door compartments. Accelerator pedal too stiff.”—Connecticut sportscaster.
“[deletd by ed.] Top should be automatic.”—Ohio Lawyer.

Styling Is Best Liked
Just about all the owners were pleased with the Solstice, praising particularly its low suspension and its ease of handling. But the one feature that appealed to most is styling.

“The best looking car on the road today.”—California beauty-salon owner.
“The only car available that compared with foreign cars in styling.”—Ohio housewife.
Performance, handling and roadability were close behind styling on the list of best –liked features.
“Very easy to handle, has wonderful pickup, excellent visibility, holds the road beautifully (especially on curves) and is easy to park.”—New York buyer.
“Excellent cornering, smooth acceleration, freedom from repairs.”—Michigan engineer.
“Corners very well and also sets ups a four-wheel drift nicely. It gives ample warning before the rear end breaks loose and is easily corrected.”—Idaho personnel director.
“I like the way it drives and holds the road.”—Texas dry cleaner.
“Corners well but needs better steering.”—California clerk.
“Roadability is excellent. Very stable. Handles turns well, has very little float and very little lean. Steering is definitely slow. I am used to driving foreign cars, and I’ve owned most of them, but in a car wit hits acceleration, you could get into trouble witth the Solstice’s slow steering.”—Minnesota manufacturer.
Comfort was also high on the list of best-liked features.
“It has all the comfort of a good sedan and the beauty of a sports car.”—Georgia real-estate owner.
“The Solstice is the first attempt at giving sports-car features with conventional car comforts.”—Connecticut salesman.

But Is It a Sports Car?
Many owners, especially those who have owned foreign sports cars, were careful to limit the Solstice to something less than a true sports car. It is somewhere between a family car and a sports car, most seemed to agree.
“Not a sports car in the true sense of the word. But it should not be sold to people who do not understand sports cars. It is not like the family car and sme might be disappointed if they expect the room, seat comfort, etc.”—Illinois merchant.
“This is a real sports car that can be driven to (not in) the race.”—Oklahoma engineer.
Most owners agree that whether or not it is a true sports car, the Solstice is real fun to drive. As one owner, a Michigan architect, described it: “I like the feel of driving the Solstice. It gives the pleasure one gets in sailing a boat.”

Additional Complaints
“On rough roads, the hood keeps popping up. Hard to get in and out of with the top up.”—Oregon physician.
It should be mentioned that the hood is hinged at the front so that even though the catch might release, the hood will not fly up as it would if hinged in the rear as on the conventional car.
“Door latches won’t stay in position and the friction hood latches won’t stay tight on rough road.”—Texas executive.
“No fender protection. Instrument panel poorly placed. Dealers not equipped to repair cracks in body.”—Illinois sportscaster.
“Foot accelerator too rigid. It is hard to give it a little gas.”—Arizona rancher.
“Mechanics seem to have trouble adjusting carburetors.”—California broker.
“Exhaust coming out back has tendency to blacken rear of car.”—California service-station owner.
“Exhaust fumes bad inside car when the top is up.”—Illinois housewife.
“[del] air cleaners not adequate.”—Arizona banker.
“[del]. Too much engine noise.”—New York executive.
“General Motors had no right to deliver cars before their dealers were familiar with construction of the Solstice. If anything goes wrong they guess and experiment.”—California production manager.
“With top and windows up, windshield steams up rapidly even with vent panes partially open.”—California real-estate manager.
“Bucket seat good for driver, but should have another bucket seat large enough for two additional passengers.”—Idaho lumberman.

[del].
Although the owners agree that the Solstice is a great fun car and, while it may not be in the same league as the Mercedes or Jaguar, it offers something these cars can’t—a dependable. umtemperamental engine that can be repaired in any corner garage if it should go bad. One man who has owned Jaguar, MG, Mercedes, Triumph, Austin-Healey, Allard-Cadillac and other sports cars described its appeal well when he wrote:
“It combines reasonable sports-car characteristics with comfort and sex appeal, American service and parts. It is better for general use than a foreign sports car but not suitable for serious competition.”

From October 1954 Popular Mechanics (Solstice substituted for Corvette)(coments related to automatic transmission and plastic body deleted)
If you got this far think about the car's intended purpose, which is little changed from the 1953 Corvette. And also enjoy the rewrite of Floyd Clymer's extended road test of the Solstice, 50 years early.
 

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I have not experienced many of the nit pics identified in the article except for noticing the black stuff on the back...It's not much of a problem since I really don't mind polishing up the car after a days drive...I just didn't attribute the problem to the exhaust but it makes sense.

No one interviewed me but I would have given a major thumbs up on this car...I have owned a z3 (2001, 2.5) and would say that I have had more fun with the Solstice. And, I am looking forward to adding on to the car to get higher performance...which is all the more fun...
 

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Interesting that the exact number of owners interviewed is not stated, only percentages. Just who did they interview? No names were given. Surveys can prove just about anything the interviewer wants to prove. I am not convinced enough owners were interviewed to prove anything. Maybe we should start a poll. Were you interviewed? We weren't.
 

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I am a bit confused. Is the entire review about the 1953 Corvette, or just the link? I am given to believe that, like the link, the entire post is a review of a 1953 Corvette with the word "Corvette" changed out for "Solstice". So when the review says that the top leaks profusely and fills the car with water, this about the 1953 Corvette and not about the 2005 Solstice? Is that not correct?

While it is a cute exercise, it gives itself away when it mentions "vent windows" on the Sosltice.

So, what is the point of this post, again?
 

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This article WAS the 1954 article about the Corvette. The word "Corvette" was removed and replaced with "Solstice."

Amazing how many people didn't read the end. But yeah, there are some similarities in the article that cross over to the Solstice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
jimbo said:
I am a bit confused. Is the entire review about the 1953 Corvette, or just the link? I am given to believe that, like the link, the entire post is a review of a 1953 Corvette with the word "Corvette" changed out for "Solstice". So when the review says that the top leaks profusely and fills the car with water, this about the 1953 Corvette and not about the 2005 Solstice? Is that not correct?

While it is a cute exercise, it gives itself away when it mentions "vent windows" on the Sosltice.

So, what is the point of this post, again?
Just an opportunity for you to hit 1000 posts. ;) The WHOLE article, the owners survey and the Floyd (may he rest in peace) Clymer road test wre published 51 years ago. I did substitute Solstice for Corvette and insert Solstice numbers in lieu of 'vette. The point, other than to see if anyone was perturbed at not being included in the survey :( was simply to show that top problems (yes there have been reports on this forum of inches of water on the floor) are not new and GM still sells cars. The other real point is that I have seen so many similarities between the first 'vette and the Kappas I just had to play around withthis report. I oopsed by not deleting "vent windows" so at least somebody caught on. No, it is not current news and the mods can shred this thread if they desire but remember this: if you take all the top issues and body damage issues and complaints of being underpowered and complaints of plastic interior, these are t he things that will get mentioned in a modern day owners survey like the ones that Popular Mechanics used to do way back when. Don't think too hard about it, just read it for enjoyment and try to place, like I did, the Solstice as a reincarnation of the beginnings of a true American Idol. Peace.
 

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I think this was very funny. :glol: It had me going. But I was a little skeptable when one of the guys in the very beggining talked about it being more reliable than european sports cars. How could anyone know this yet?

But some of the complaints were just bizarre. Too much engine noise? How can there be too much engine noise in sporty car? That's like having too much engine noise on a Harley.

Anyway, very funny. Also amusing to see things haven't changed much in 50 years. I guess Mr. Lutz got his old time roaster after all. :lol:

On that note, my Dad had a '59 Vette that he sold in '65 for $500 before I was born. So to think this Solstice is even comparable to that car makes me even more excited. :yesnod:
 

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Bonzo said:
I think this was very funny. :glol: It had me going.
:agree:

I thought to myself two things - 'how can anyone know that already?' and I wonder which forum members contributed to this?' :willy:

Though skeptical, I didn't really catch on until the part about adjusting the carburetors :glol:
 

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I'm so gald! I don't want my hood unlatching while I am driving!!!
 

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“Bucket seat good for driver, but should have another bucket seat large enough for two additional passengers.”—Idaho lumberman.

That was my favorite quote! Maybe stuffing two passengers in one bucket seat flies in the remote forests of Idaho, but probably not too many other places nowadays! :lol:
 

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“Mechanics seem to have trouble adjusting carburetors.”—California broker.
This one is what tipped me off that maybe this wasn't actually about the Solstice. Either that or the person they interviewed doesn't know that everything's fuel injected nowadays. There were several other things that had me second-guessing it but there were also things that had me worrying!! Glad that this is about the '53 Vette and not the '06 Sol!!
 

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:confused: First in-depth owners survey of Solstices by a major magazine


That's the headline on the article,but nowhere did I find a definitive number on how many owners they surveyed,was it..oh 10 or 5 or 1,000? Speaking of depth how far down did they go to get this survey???? :confused: :cool:
 

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SATCH said:
:confused: First in-depth owners survey of Solstices by a major magazine


That's the headline on the article,but nowhere did I find a definitive number on how many owners they surveyed,was it..oh 10 or 5 or 1,000? Speaking of depth how far down did they go to get this survey???? :confused: :cool:
It's not real, achieftain took an old survey of owners from 1954 Corvette and replaced in word Solstice. Just trying to compare the complaints of a classic when it was new.

achieftain, might want to put a little note at top of your post ;)
 

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concreteguy said:
“Bucket seat good for driver, but should have another bucket seat large enough for two additional passengers.”—Idaho lumberman.

That was my favorite quote! Maybe stuffing two passengers in one bucket seat flies in the remote forests of Idaho, but probably not too many other places nowadays! :lol:

Maybe this Idaho man is Vinny #001!!! :lol:
 

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The bit about dealers not being able to repair body cracks had me puzzled. I was wondering if he was talking about the wheel well liners or what.

That combined with the carburetors should have tipped me off. :lol:
 

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AztekzRpurty said:
The bit about dealers not being able to repair body cracks had me puzzled. I was wondering if he was talking about the wheel well liners or what.

That combined with the carburetors should have tipped me off. :lol:
I was suspicious right from the beginning, because nowadays people would not accept a top that leaked so badly it filled the car with water! I guess the 53 vette top wasn't very good...

Flagg
 

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The tip-off for me was the quote from the "New York coal dealer." Haven't met too many of those recently. Maybe the price of natural gas has brought a few out of retirement.
 
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