Goodbye Pontiac Solstice, the End to an Era.

My husband and I made a difficult decision today.  We decided to sell our “Baby ‘vette” – a brazen orange, 2008 Pontiac GXP Turbo convertible.  With little over 23,000 original miles and pristine leather interior, she still sports that new-car fragrance even though she’s now ten years old.   Isn’t she beautiful?  Shining like a gemstone in the mid-June sunshine….

You might have already guessed; she’s a garage queen – with a story.

I purchased this beautiful hot-rod for my husband Doug during the cold grey of winter.  It was delivered to our driveway, encased by ice, in January 2009; just six short months after his near-fatal motorcycle accident.

For those of you who have not experienced such tragedy, I’m here to tell you.  It takes a mere split second of time – WHAM! – and your life is changed forever.

After suffering through four months of hospital critical care wards and operating rooms, Doug returned home to face a very long road to recovery and self-ambulation.  Let it be known; his survival was nothing short of miraculous.  From helo-flight nurses to surgeons, all expressed surprise each time he survived in a succession of surgeries.  Whereas the drunk driver who had caused the head-on collision died of his injuries after spending three months in the same critical care wards — and he drove a truck!

It was only natural that Doug should mourn all that he had lost, for I mourned right along beside him.  This tragedy impacted my life as well.  So I knew that come spring,  Doug would mourn the loss of our beloved Goldwing.   We would never again ride like the wind.

Doug and I had been avid motorcyclists.

It was in 2007 when we decided to make a giant leap – park our old but wonderful 1982 Yamaha Virago and purchase a brand new, crucible orange, Honda Goldwing right off the Dealer’s showroom floor.  I say “leap” because even though we were at the height of our careers, we were still supporting several children, a house, and a dog.  Thus, the $20,000.00 sticker price was quite dear.

In short, the year I spent riding that Goldwing with Doug was the best time of my whole life.  I have so many wonderful tales to tell, in future posts perhaps.

Here’s a picture of our ’07 Level 2 Honda Goldwing, 1982 Yamaha Virago XV 920, and our daughter’s gas-powered scooter all lined up for a day of Beauty Parlor ‘detailing’.

And here’s a picture taken shortly after Doug’s accident.  Fortunately I had not been with him.

It happened in July 2008 – during the gas crisis imposed by former President Obama in his misguided mission to drive gasoline prices up to $5.00 per gallon in his so-called effort to “save the environment” thinking it would force us ‘commoners’ to buy smaller, fuel-efficient cars.  Well, we didn’t have such a car – but we did have a motorcycle that clocked about 40 miles to the gallon so Doug decided to drive our Goldwing back and forth to work for his whopping 2-hour daily commute.  It was upon one such return trip from work that Doug got struck down in a head-on collision.  He was less than 10 miles from home.

So what does any of this have to do about selling our Pontiac Solstice?  Everything.

My heart had been in the right place.  I thought that since Doug wouldn’t be able to ever drive another motorcycle, perhaps a sporty little hot-rod might put the wind back in his face…except that his injuries were so extensive, he couldn’t even sit in the car for the first two years let alone drive it.  Then after a few more years, we’d take it out for an occasional spin ‘around the block’ which was fun, but not without aches and pains.

Then a couple more years passed.  I tried to take it over as my own.  I certainly had no trouble driving it but it was meant to be a toy, not a daily driver.  Plus we had a conundrum.  I thought of the car as “Doug’s” and he thought of the car as “Robin’s” (because it was purchased with my earnings – he’s like that, a very honorable man).

So we faced a terrible decision.  We both loved the car despite the fact that it was little used.  We would never recoup the purchase dollars even though it was in “like new” condition.  Around and around we went.  We’ve actually been discussing this dilemma of keep versus sell for almost three years, even though it costs us more and more in depreciation dollars with each successive delay.

But I surprised myself.  I never thought I’d be able to say goodbye with such a glad heart.

As soon as we made the decision to sell, Doug immediately got to work washing and polishing our “Brazen Witch” so that she would look her best for a potential buyer.  I had floated the idea of asking a local used car dealer to sell the car for us on a commission basis and Doug agreed.  Neither of us were looking forward to a long, drawn-out process.

Doug is the consummate sales man with Trump-like negotiation skills.  He knew that the car would sell itself but he would need to make a deal that would be mutually beneficial for both us and the buyer.

Instead of approaching the dealer with a commission based offer, Doug sold it outright.  He had reasoned that it would be worth it for us to take $2,000 to $3,000 less than the Kelly Blue Book’s private-seller value for an immediate cash sale that would avoid all the hassles of dealing with the general public.  And for the dealer?  He gets a show piece!  A draw-in to his dealership and/or a quick profit since the car didn’t even need to be cleaned.

It was almost too easy.  I couldn’t believe Doug had her sold in less than an hour, and for the price we wanted.  But then again – our Solistice really is a ‘one of a kind’ special gal.  The car really did sell itself.

Best of all – we suffered no remorse, no regret, no second thoughts.  In fact, I actually feel relieved.  My garage has an open bay now for my Jeep Liberty and we have cash in our pocket to spend on something new.

Here’s a funny aside – we sold the Solstice, which was really a “replacement” for our motorcycle, with 23,021 miles on its odometer.  Guess what the Goldwing’s odometer read  at the time of Doug’s accident?  About the same, just under 24,000 miles.

Synchronicity?  Coincidence?  I wonder.

Either way, I think it was time to move on.  It’s the end of an era.  Sometimes we have to clear out the old, to make room for the new.



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