Friday, August 02, 2013

Solstice on the beach

Grand Bend, ON
August 2013
What does this have to do with signs?* Surprisingly, lots. Signs aren't just stationary. They move. And sometimes they disappear.

Like the Pontiac logo on the fender vent of this lovely Solstice. When General Motors shuttered the brand in 2009, the car died with it. The Solstice's platform-mate Saturn Sky drifted into history, as well.

It wasn't the world's best car. Laughable cargo space, a convertible top that was maddening to live with - and eventually ended up shredding itself - and an overall level of performance that fell far short of the promises made by its decidedly Euro-styled body.

But here's the thing: great cars take time to evolve. And GM never game this car - or past vehicles like it (cough, Fiero, cough) the time and energy required for them to mature into greatness. When the bean counters run the kingdom, the kind of passion that results in world-beating products never seems to reach critical mass.

So when the economy soured and GM was caught with its pants down, some wannabe-great projects died on the vine long before they had a chance to truly shine.

Doesn't mean I can't appreciate one in a parking lot, though. It remains one of the sweetest-looking designs to emerge from a U.S. design studio. That it is still a sort-of-affordable vehicle for regular folks makes it even more worthy of some lens love.

Your turn: If you could buy any car, which one would it be. Why?

* Head here for more Thematic signs of the times


Somewhere round about said...

Any?....For all the wrong reasons, a morris traveller.


sage said...

a mini-cooper--it would be so "unlike" me!

rashbre said...

It's curious now, that designs are so fast to turn over that often classics don't really have a chance to mature.

The need for marketing model differentiation means that often theres a large change that more or less scraps the previous incarnation's form and replaces it with something else that won't be given a chance to refine.