Standing in the middle of a parking lot, I gazed in fascination at the hood of a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. It’s been years since I’ve seen one; yet here she is, a vintage beauty from the early 1960s, sitting in front of me as if a drive-in was just around the corner. A mid-2000s Pontiac GTO was in the same parking lot as an Olds Aurora, parked on the other side. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean the GTO was, given its reputation for being covered in cheap plastic and flimsy trim. The passage of time, on the other hand, could have been sweeter for the Aurora.
The sight of these three vehicles parked side by side in a parking lot made me get carried away. How many automobiles have been introduced to replace a vacuum to become expensive collectibles? Likewise, what about the vehicles that came into the world with a clear mission and purpose but failed terribly. In this parking lot, I saw the best of both worlds: the city and the countryside. As for the GTO, the mid-2000s model was meant to reflect old-school muscle and restore Pontiac as a serious player in the auto industry. For this reason, the Oldsmobile Aurora was tasked with saving the company’s reputation.
Many cars have suffered the same fate, and others have become classics quite by accident. In this article, you will learn about eight General Motors models that have not lived up to the expectations placed on them and have quietly achieved the status of classics.
2004 – 2006 Pontiac GTO ($ 5,000 – $ 8,000)
The mid-2000s saw a significant resurgence of muscle cars. With the Pontiac nameplate, GM had no choice but to join in the fun again. This was done incorrectly, however. GM imported the Holden Monaro from Australia with Pontiac and GTO badges, while Dodge and Ford came up with new designs for the Charger and Challenger.
A lot of people didn’t like it because it was too expensive and didn’t seem gaudy enough for what it was meant to be. However, nowadays it is very inexpensive and can be had for anything from $ 5,000 to $ 8,000.
Saab 9-7x ($ 3,000)
There was a lot of badge engineering done at Saab when it was a GM company. The Saab 9-7x was a badge variant of the Cadillac SRX, and it was sold under the Saab nameplate. It only existed to boost Saab sales in the United States, the company’s largest market. No way would happen, and Saab ended up going bankrupt shortly after GM sold it to Spyker, where it was discovered face down in a mountain of bankruptcy papers.
Outside of the lackluster interior, it wasn’t necessarily a bad car, but as Car & Driver points out, it was against Audi, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes and BMW for the top spot. The 9-7x had no chance of saving Saab due to its heavy chassis, built-in Mexican sticker, and low fuel consumption. Although the specified price of this Saab is over $ 42,000, you can find a lot of it between $ 3,000 and $ 4,000.
Pontiac Aztek ($ 3,000)
Pontiac’s (and GM’s) next big hit was supposed to be the Edsel, but it turned out to be something else entirely. While GM’s entry into the crossover industry was a smart move, the market is now booming and this particular model has strayed too far from the original concept.
The Times reported that General Motors designers revealed that the design of the Aztec had been changed, costs had been reduced and other compromises had been made. GM didn’t want to spend the money, so we chose it instead, designed for those who lead an active or tough lifestyle. It looked unappealing, but underneath all that rust was a capable crossover – it’s a shame no one has tried it. The Aztek could preserve the Pontiac brand, but it was discontinued in 2005, and Pontiac quickly followed suit. Now it sells for under $ 3,000.
Chevrolet Citation ($ 3,000)
Forget the aesthetics of the Citation. Despite the fact that it was not the most visually appealing vehicle, its inclusion on our list has nothing to do with its aesthetics. This was a milestone for GM, as it was the first Chevrolet to be offered with front-wheel drive. The Honda Accord and Volkswagen Rabbit were among the vehicles it was supposed to compete with.
A stain on General Motors history, it is widely viewed as a total design failure, but it dangerously came close to becoming an important role model for the company. It was for a time the best-selling automobile in the United States. While this may sound incredible, it’s the truth. After barely five years in the market, Chevy Beretta and Corsica have taken their place. Some have been “quoted” for less than $ 3,000.
Chevrolet Bel Air ($ 2,500)
In order to go against the grain, Chevrolet created the Bel Air. In the past, similar models came and went, leaving no trace behind. For more than two decades, the Bel Air would be synonymous with luxury since it debuted at a time when Chevrolet was the most opulent.
The Bel Air, in a variety of body configurations, can now be found at almost all vintage vehicle events. They also show up in large numbers at Chevrolet auto shows. What was once just another model is now one of the best-known and most sought-after classics of all time … Luckily, we found some for as little as $ 2,500!
Chevrolet SSR ($ 2,000)
The introduction of the Chevrolet SSR was unquestionably a blunder for General Motors. Like Chrysler’s Plymouth Prowler, it was an effort to enter the “hot rod” market. The SSR, like the Prowler (and GTO), was only in production from 2003 to 2006.
It was designed to look like a modified 1950s pickup truck, but with the powertrain of a modern sports car, according to Edmunds. To make matters worse, it weighed a lot and cost a lot of money. Ultimately, General Motors discovered that a company-built hotrod couldn’t be sold, and it has stayed away from that market ever since. While the original price was around $ 45,000, you can now find one for the low price of $ 2,000.
1982-1988 Cadillac Cimarron ($ 1,200-3,000)
GM built a sports sedan in the early 1980s because it feared losing luxury sales to the Germans. When it debuted with the Cimarron, a vehicle the size of a BMW 3 Series but costing almost twice as much as a brand new Chevy Cavalier, it didn’t develop anything that behaves or behaves well. .
However, at the height of the import boom, the general public saw through GM’s deceptive ploy to take over the market. Despite Cimarron’s demise in 1988, Cadillac’s fortunes continued to deteriorate for more than two decades after that. Now this flop can be found for as little as $ 1200.
Pontiac Fiero ($ 800)
This time around, we’ll be talking about a vehicle General Motors has made an effort with: the Pontiac Fiero. It wasn’t a disaster designed with a badge or poorly constructed vehicle, but it quickly gained a reputation for being unreliable and expensive to repair. As Motor1 points out, it has been criticized for being unnecessarily complicated or under-designed in some ways. Despite being heavy and slow (11.3 seconds to reach 60 mph slow), a surprising number of people (135 people reported engine fires to NHTSA) were affected.
A mid-engined sports vehicle like the Fiero could have been very competitive for General Motors if it had been fitted with the right engine and the right design. However, although it was a big hit in the market, it failed to meet its stated goal of becoming GM’s true rival in the sports car market. You can buy one for around $ 800.
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