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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looked at an '08 Solstice GXP today, for several hours actually. In NH. List price was 9998 (don't ask me where that figure comes from, seems goofy figures are the norm) at a dealer. Major car maker but a small dealership. Nice enough people, and accommodating as well. I like them actually.

Car is Sly, new rubber. Looked pretty decent indeed. Interior was good, on the border to very good. Driver's door arm rest was a bit screwy, slight cut in the upholstery behind the shifter. Door panels a little bit scuffed, somehow the driver's interior door latch was gouged in three places. A pair of pliers? Smells like a quick fix was done. No big overall; it's a door.

Exterior was dirty. And they knew I was coming to look. No bueno. I looked under the car. Both fenders mashed flat underneath from the middle to the rear edge. No bueno. Driver's side rocker paint at the leading edge was cracked as a result, and has active rust under the crack. No bueno. I can fix all of that, as I could with the odd bubbling of paint under the hood at a wheel opening, which I actually think my old GXP had in '12. It has the expected road rash on the paint. And scrapes on the lower part of the rocker, driver's side, near the real wheel. Somebody ran something other. No bueno. Wheels are actually pretty good. New rubber. Meaty rubber. Car shows no evidence of use in the snow underneath.

I mentioned the dirt, the crushed fenders and rocker rust right off the bat. And there's a sheet of paper on the dash: "As-is no warranty". No bueno.

I drive the car, with the salesman. He talks about how the guy that traded it in is a friend and known to their dealership (no bueno), he works at another dealership and the car was always kept immaculately (I'm thinking, yes, damaged by shop equipment quite immaculately. What is broken underneath that I can't see). Car drives runs and rides well. Pretty tight. No door latch scritch, which I expected due to the ~30*F temp. Pulling 12 psi boost max though. Altitude maybe? We were up pretty high for New England, but only 640 feet. Cold day. Should be more than 12 psi in my opinion. My old GXP made 15-16 all day any day in central MA before the GMPP upgrade, and this car did not have the GM upgrade sensors or underhood sticker. Salesman did not know if it had been getting regular or premium fuel. They have had the car 104 days, so I expect it got gassed up with the cheapest gas available.

We drive back and start to talk. I have the money to buy the car on the spot plus extra in case I wanted to get warranty etc, on me. Real money, not plastic or a check. On me in pocket. I mention this. I list the pros and cons of the car and honestly, it has lots of pros. Cons are relatively few but maybe pricey. So I ask about the warranty. A warranty through the car manufacturer can be had. Good. We hash out a 3 year 48k mile warranty for 2900. Pretty much what I expected. I have them wash the car so I can actually gauge the paint condition. Pretty good actually. So we talk price: me, salesman, finance /warranty guy (I'm not financing but he figures out warranty price). Nice guys, no problems with them.

I tell them I can give them their list price of 9998, if the 3/48 warranty is part of the sale at list price. I'm thinking:

So 9998 minus new fenders, paint, install plus my time and hassle of having to fix a car's body that should not be damaged for the price that is being asked. This is a must for me since it is actually body damage, same to me as a dented rear quarter is body damage. This isn't a scratch in the paint and this is not a project car. The fenders have a slight bow in the bottom of them if you look at the car from 10 feet away. Both sides need to be done. I put a 1500 dollar figure on that. Sure it can be done for less. The place I want to have do it will do it 100% right the first time with no issues, guaranteed in writing. So to me that's 1500 to remove that body damage, in other words, to make the car cease to have that damage. With the rocker I put a 500 dollar price on it, same reasoning. That brings me to 7998. This will remove the body damage from the vehicle. Because I'm not buying a vehicle where I'm paying out of pocket to fix the body so that it is in good condition. This is not a project car.

Add the 2900 warranty to 7998 and it is $10,898. My offer was 9998, the list price.

I feel this is a strong base to negotiate on. They'll say 12, I'll say 11 and we'll settle on 11.5K for the shooting match is what I'm figuring.

Instead I hear: "I can sell that car in the spring all day at the asking price. I can do a couple hundred bucks but not what you're asking".

"Okay. Sorry to waste your time, goodbye". And I shake hands and split.

Which is a shame. I feel my instincts are pretty spot on here. Maybe they'll call me back. I'll keep an eye on the listing. The car had an old price tag of $11900 in it so I know they are coming down as the car sits. Will they let it sit for 6 months? Who knows. Maybe somebody will by it for their price. Just not me!
 

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Why bother ? for 10 grand you can buy a nice car that has been taken care of .From your description for me the car sounds beat and was dirty ,bubbling paint and rust when you looked at it !. I base my assessment on the way I take care of a car and someone who allows a car to get into this condition did not take care of it . Add in the fact that it's at a dealer who probably gave the person 6 grand on a trade in and you have no info as far as maintenance done other than what the dealer is telling you I'd pass . There are so many nice cars out there most people in snow states have them put away waiting for the warm weather be patient .
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
:) Have to start looking somewhere. First time around I spent a year getting my car. I'm patient. I have a GREAT story about an almost identical car to this one, same color but an 07, that I looked at in August. I just don't want to embarrass the owner if he's a member here, or insult him. Good guy, but poor car. The pic I got had to have been ten years old, the car looked nothing like that in person.

Paint bubbles were under the hood above the seam where the outer skin folds over the inner structure. As I say, I recall this perplexing fact from my own car, which did not see snow duty. Factory issue in my opinion; robot probably undersprayed the primer or similar, I bet some other cars have it too. Sometimes there's a tape covering the area, I've noticed from pics. I can fix that in ten minutes so that the flaw never returns with a little elbow grease, a spot blaster, and epoxy paint, and in an hour I can paint to match so you'd never see it. Same thing with the rocker; I neglected to clarify it was the paint that had a crack, not the steel. And the fenders truth be told; not a really complex shape and I can bump that metal pretty easy I think. I'm a pretty fair bodyman. I just don't like to do it, it's aggravating and after my stroke I really don't need the hassle. And paying for it is $$$.

Car isn't beat, by any means Actually pretty nice. But as I say, I cannot pay turn key prices for a car that needs rocker panel work and fender work and then some interior trim too.

I could go as high as 16 grand for the right car. This car seems like the wrong one. But I did get to re-familiarize myself with the nuances of the car, I went over it pretty thoroughly. And I remembered how much of an absolute joy it was to drive one. The view out of the cockpit is still thrilling and the car feels so confident. I've never understood the gripe about the drive by wire. I could tell which front wheel was on the painted line on the road by the steering wheel feel alone, just as I could with my old one. This car could have saved Poncho if GM had let it happen in my opinion. But Corvette is king.
 

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Driver's door arm rest was a bit screwy, slight cut in the upholstery behind the shifter. Door panels a little bit scuffed, somehow the driver's interior door latch was gouged in three places. A pair of pliers? Smells like a quick fix was done. No big overall; it's a door.

Exterior was dirty. And they knew I was coming to look. No bueno. I looked under the car. Both fenders mashed flat underneath from the middle to the rear edge. No bueno. Driver's side rocker paint at the leading edge was cracked as a result, and has active rust under the crack. No bueno. I can fix all of that, as I could with the odd bubbling of paint under the hood at a wheel opening, which I actually think my old GXP had in '12. It has the expected road rash on the paint. And scrapes on the lower part of the rocker, driver's side, near the real wheel. Somebody ran something other. No bueno. Wheels are actually pretty good. New rubber. Meaty rubber. Car shows no evidence of use in the snow underneath.
:)

Car isn't beat, by any means Actually pretty nice. But as I say, I cannot pay turn key prices for a car that needs rocker panel work and fender work and then some interior trim too.
Well that's confusing! The fact that it's at a dealership is enough to make me suspicious and walk away!


:lol:

Bert

 

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How many miles are on this cream puff? I would not walk away, I would run as fast as I could.

You can find GXP's with less than 20K on them and near perfect for under 12K. Watch this site as Chop puts them on here all the time. I would also look at the Redline, normally a little more expensive, but the it seems to me, a different group that takes a little better care of their cars. Not a hit at the Solstice guys on here, but I have looked at them and the Sky's at our local club. Normally the Sky's look better overall, and at every run out here the Sky's out number the Solstice's two to one. Don't get me wrong we have some gorgeous GXP's, but most of the Sostice's seemed to be owned by a younger group. Pontiac has the racing name is the only thing I can think of for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh, so Solstice Forum has turned into a place where punks come to laugh at other members and pick fights I see. Never used to be this way. Used to be a place were members were friends and helped each other.

Bert, I had put 54K miles on a Solstice GXP, and had put 20+ years of time into classic car restoration before you were a member here. I put a year of research into my original GXP before I bought it. You don't understand that every Solstice is a used car? Tough, get used to it.


skersfan
, I did not say it was a "cream puff". I described the car as pretty nice and gave it a thorough description. In true internet fashion, members here are being cyber detectives by only looking at negatives. I will not now nor would I back then buy a Sky Redline. I do not like them. The styling in my opinion is busy, cluttered and an awful mess of angles and curves. But thank you for trying to be helpful and for not being unfriendly.

SanDiegoGXP. I love SD. Golden Hill is nice. Do a search for posts made by one of these "elders" back when these cars were new I'll likely be in the thread. Your reply is only intended to demean me. Grow up.
 

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You have no Idea how long I've been a member of this forum! No not as long as you, but a lot longer than Aug. 2017! Of course I understand all Solstice's are used, but I guess you don't understand that some are in better condition than other's, and by you're "thorough description" this particular vehicle does seem to be quite beat up! Not so tough actually. Look, I (we) are not trying to pick a fight here, in fact we ARE trying to help you, by saying that there are nicer shaped Kappa's to be found. In the end do what you want of course, go ahead and buy that Solstice, I don't care either way.

Good Luck!

Bert
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you want to be friendly and helpful, then act that way Bert.

Instead you laughed at me. That was your choice on how to introduce yourself to me. I didn't do it for you.
 

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Buying any used car can be a challenge. This time of year in many areas the cars are tucked away. The locations that are able to drive our great cars all year long are able to put many more miles on them plus sometimes have issues caused by the sun. There are many great Kappa in northern climates that are stored for half the year. Usually these northern owners wait until spring to sell their cars., since they can get better prices. In our MKC club , 209+ members, we have many beautifully cared for and low mileage kappas. Keep shopping, watch Chop Top's posts, and I'm sure you will find the kappa for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Discussion Starter #12
Buying any used car can be a challenge. This time of year in many areas the cars are tucked away. The locations that are able to drive our great cars all year long are able to put many more miles on them plus sometimes have issues caused by the sun. There are many great Kappa in northern climates that are stored for half the year. Usually these northern owners wait until spring to sell their cars., since they can get better prices. In our MKC club , 209+ members, we have many beautifully cared for and low mileage kappas. Keep shopping, watch Chop Top's posts, and I'm sure you will find the kappa for you!
Absolutely will find one. It's early. The rule of thumb for old cars, especially special or collector cars, is that everyone feels their old iron is made of gold. You probably already know that one I bet! I bet I'll look at six or so before I find the right one. This would be number two. Number 3 is next week. That might exhaust local examples for the near future. One or two other prospects though, but colors I don't really want; the cars would need to be something really special for me to consider them.

And affirm on seasonal driving and storage. Most members here don't remember me. Well acquainted with that process, did it for many years myself. It pays to shop around off season though.

I have been paying attention to cars that have been for sale for 100+ days, meaning if at a dealer it was traded in mid fall instead of stored, and the dealer has been paying square footage for no profit. Might get lucky and find a steal that way. Plus warranties can be had at a dealer so I put up with that. Found an '07 GXP actually- I prefer the '07- with less than 20K miles and it looks new in photos but the place wants a lot of cake, I'd have to travel just to see it, and then pay for delivery too- I have driven four hour trips since my stroke but I don't need to find out that a seven hour one exhausts me. Being exhausted or stressed potentially brings on what they call an 'echo' in which symptoms can return and my right arm and leg act goofy. So that's an extra 2K minimum over their price for travel, room, shipment. All I did was mention to them that the car was top dollar so I had to be very particular about condition, and they dug their heels in immediately and said the price was firm. I didn't even say the price was high, I said the car better be right for that kind of money. That makes the sniff test hard to pass for me. has the GMPP turbo upgrade too, and I'm sure they are unaware. If they'd move on price I'd go see it and see what's what. Might have done me a favor though- I won't waste my time and money on travel.

This car ain't 'the one'. If it were envious or deep I'd feel more disappointed. But at the end of the day, walking from this one was correct. Unless they come back with a heck of an offer, they are welcome to waiting for a sucker. I figure June they'll sell. Eight months on the lot making them no money, getting worse, and gaining miles. As it is, it's over 3 months of making nothing for them except overhead. Well it is their business not mine. Maybe they can get 50K for it if they wait long enough for it to be an antique.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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ChrisBlair,

You definitely sound well informed on the issues with the Kappa's and what to look for.

I think your assessment is spot on. The reality is since you do have a pretty good grasp of what to look for and if your instincts tell you to walk away, walk away.

I always say, if it was meant to be, it will. Maybe they will call you back to negotiate. Maybe not.
As other have noted, there are lots of Kappa's out there. Some with low price, but issues; some flawless and pricey.

Trust your instincts and you will find a vehicle that you will enjoy and not regret!!

Best of luck on your search
 

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I've noticed the last few months that Craigslist Kappa ads are starting to decline. Now part of that may be due to the season, but part of that is also due to the fact that the mileage is taking it's toll on the olders cars. Plus, insurance companies are totaling them out faster due to their dropping values. Though I'm thinking that totaling out a car is much more efficient to an insurance company than dealing with invoices from body shops.

As far as my low cost and high cost threads, I haven't been spending as much time keeping up with them. I mean I still post in them, and still stalk CL on a daily basis. But I'm not posting as much as I once was, mainly because it does take some effort, and I don't believe that many have bought cars that I have listed. Regardless, I'll still continue to post as interest and times allow. The main reason I use CL is because you can still see a lot of private sales. Whereas most other sites focus on dealerships.

Lastly, there still are a lot of nice Solstice's out there in the middle price range that have been maintained well by their owners. As someone who's been looking for an older Cherokee XJ it really does take a lot of searching to find one that is good shape, been maintained and is priced fairly. I'm sure Chris Blair will find a Solstice that meets his wants and needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Discussion Starter #17
ChrisBlair,

You definitely sound well informed on the issues with the Kappa's and what to look for.

I think your assessment is spot on. The reality is since you do have a pretty good grasp of what to look for and if your instincts tell you to walk away, walk away.

I always say, if it was meant to be, it will. Maybe they will call you back to negotiate. Maybe not.
As other have noted, there are lots of Kappa's out there. Some with low price, but issues; some flawless and pricey.

Trust your instincts and you will find a vehicle that you will enjoy and not regret!!

Best of luck on your search
Thank you. My eyes are open. I've only scratched the surface. I kick myself every time I think of my old GXP.
 

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Good luck with your search, there are plenty of great cars out there with low miles in perfect condition. I got my garage queen GXP a year ago for $12k cash with 34k miles. It already had the water pump replaced. Over the past year that I've had it I've noticed many, many other GXP's pop up with less than 20k miles for about the same I paid. The prices seem to continue to slowly drop. You'll find the gem you're looking for, patience and effort in searching is all it will take.

BTW - I flew multiple states away with one way tickets to drive both my kappas back home. You may need to open your search distance and have one hauled or driven back to your home.
 

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Choptop is THE MAN in finding and listing these low milage cars. Thanks for your time Chop!!
 
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