And I am sure the government has ruined it as well.
So many things I hate about GM from swinging from the nuts of unions to wasting time making hybrids that get worse mileage than any car I have ever owned. Oh and the styling… Short of the Corvette and the new Camaro, GM has historically had terrible styling. Especially on wheels, interiors, engine bays, bodies, and chassis.
So what is this “good thing” about GM in the title? Their dedication to racing and racers. Now as I mentioned earlier, I am sure since they became Government Motors, that has all changed. What brings this up? A few years ago I was actually considering buying a Pontiac Solstice GXP. So while I was at the PRI (Performance Racing Industry) show in Orlando, I found out GM produced a book on how to prepare a Solstice for racing. What other manufacturer actually makes a book like this? It’s not just a catalog of parts they want to sell. It is pretty extensive. The tile of the book is Pontiac Solstice Performance How to Go Fast & Have Fun.
So what makes this book so great? First of all, it’s published by General Motors Performance. And here is the kind of things covered. Again, by the vehicle manufacturer.
Chapter 1: History of the car. Basically, it’s a whole bunch of swinging from the sack of Bob Lutz. At the end of the chapter is a build book project master list. It covers SSB & T2 road racing classes.
Chapter 2: Vehicle tear down. Basically removal of all major components like gas tank, steering wheel, convertible top, exhaust, suspension, etc. Also is a small side section about autocross setup. Included in that you get alignment, tires, legal part numbers for C-Stock (NA) and A-Stock (GXP).
Chapter 3: Roll cage installation. Not only roll cage design, but also how to prep the chassi for it and how to weld it together. Even covers making and welding close-out sections.
Chapter 4: Interior trimming and installation. Basically where to cut the parts to fit around the cage and how to reinstall them. Also includes fire supression system install.
Chapter 5: Powertrain upgrades. Includes various legal power mods for T2 and SSB. Also covers recommended fluids, A/C delete, Performance Radiator (Ron Davis) install, diff cooler install, and coolant bleeding.
Chapter 6: Road racing vehicle prep. Installing long wheel studs, racing brake pads (don’t know why it would be different than regular pads). They even go so far as to tell you which brake pads to use for SSB and T2 (yes they list different ones for each class). Also covers installing race seat, harness, and steering wheel. Other things covered include: bleeding the brakes, installing brake reservoir cap extender, tow hooks, carbon fiber hard top, and creating a log book.
Chapter 7: Going fast and having fun – safely. Covers alignment, ride height, racing tips, etc…
Chapter 8: Extreme Solstice Performance. Pretty lame chapter. Covers things like drifting, air jacks, big turbos, body kits, fuel sumps, etc. But none of it in enough detail to do you any good.
For a car build book for T2 or SSB, I’d give this book a 7/10. But since it was actually published by the manufacturer thereby telling you it’s ok to race these babies, I up that score to a 8.5/10. The autocross section is limited to about 1 total page which is pretty lame. And no classes that allow much modification are covered.