Solstice Appreciation

Finding Value on the Rise

John Gunnell - July 03, 2014 04:11 PM

ImageJohn Gunnell
ImageJohn Gunnell

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      It’s hard to believe that Jim Whitmer of Oklahoma City isn’t a dealer since he recently sold four of the six Pontiac Solstice coupes he bought with his 401K. Whitmer, 70, is a retired accountant. “I’ve been driving appreciating cars since 1957,” he said. “I never felt as positive about the future appreciation of a car as I do in the case of these Solstice coupes.”    
      We met Whitmer when he drove a Hydro Blue 2009 Solstice coupe to the 2014 Pontiac Oakland Club International ( convention at the Hyattt Regency hotel in Wichita, Kansas. Whitmer is not a club member and simply showed up at the meet. He parked the car outside the hotel and put small “For Sale” notices on it. He said that he has researched Solstice coupes very carefully.
      “A total of 1,266 Solstice coupes were made in 2009,” Whitmer claims. He says that of that total, 1,057 were sold in the United States, 122 went to Mexico and 87 were marketed in Canada. According to Whitmer, only 26 cars were painted Hydro Blue, fewer than any other color in 2009. The car Whitmer brought to Wichita to try to sell had the 2.4-liter engine, automatic transmission, leather seats and a six-disc CD player. He was asking $24,500 for the car.
      Whitmer’s research shows that only 12 Solstice coupes were made in 2010. One went to Canada and the rest stayed in the U.S. Nine were GXP models with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and three had the 2.4 engine. Whitmer says that five of the 2010s had a four-speed automatic transmission and seven had a five-speed manual transmission. He also has a stick shift Kinetic Metallic Blue 2010 Solstice coupe back home and is asking $55,000 for that car.
      Whitmer says that a magazine editor recommended buying Solstice coupes before prices climb to $40,000-$75,000. He feels prices are rising.
      A check of the Internet found asking prices for Solstice coupes both higher and lower. Debate on the Internet rages if there are “real” 2010 models or whether those cars are simply leftover 2009s. Whitmer sells the cars with free delivery included in his price. He drives the car to the buyer, then hitches a ride to the nearest airport for a flight home.
      He hopes to sell the last two cars and use the money from all six Solstice coupe sales to purchase a Corvette for himself.