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Charlie 12-31-2010 11:56 PM

Goodbye Saturn, Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
A new story entry has been added:

[drupal=3472]Goodbye Saturn, Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)[/drupal]

[quote][I]Note: As General Motors gets ready to shut Saturn's doors at the end of this year, I'd like to take a moment to look back at why the brand was created and how it evolved over the years, what made the cars and company so special to me, and also address some concerns about how Saturn's closure will impact the future of[/I]
Later tonight the giant ball in Times Square will be lowered when the clock strikes twelve and 2010 will come to an end. It's been a emotional year for Saturn employees, owners, and fans; October 31st marked the end of General Motors' grand Saturn experiment. Of all the news articles I've written for over the past 15 years, this one has been by far the hardest for me to write. Saying goodbye is never easy, and this time is no different. To me Saturn was more than just another car or company: it represented a fresh approach to running a business, and more significantly, it was a symbolic entry in America's ideological battle against the best vehicles the "import" car companies had to offer.[/quote]

adventureoflink 01-01-2011 12:04 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Don't remind me man.. :cry::tear: tonight also marks the end of the Ford Panther line (crown vic, grand marquis, town car)

so tonight just feels extra bad for me

DIYguy 01-01-2011 02:52 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thank you for hosting this immensely valuable resource and community. I do not believe that folks thank you nearly enough.

Happy 2011 to you and your family and all the very best wishes from myself and our family.

NueSaturnVue 01-01-2011 05:59 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
I miss going to the Santa Ana dealer, I actually LIKED going. Sucks, stupid GM....our babies are orphans now

martlet 01-01-2011 07:13 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
A heartfelt thank you for this column and for the many years of work behind this site. We have never met but I can say that you and Al Clapsaddle and so many more of the Saturn Fans family influenced my life as you supported my decision to purchase Saturn vehicles.

Even in the darkest moments of the company's history, when I turned every day to this site for information and reassurance, the site steadied my hand and helped me make a decision to purchase a 2008 Vue Hybrid - a car that has been flawless in operation. There were some regular site members who questioned that decision. To those members I can now say that the purchase was no less successful than my purchase of a 2002 Vue (from a Spring Hill production line only weeks old) or prior to that of a new 1995 SW2. As this holiday gas prices crested a penny below the three dollar high water mark, my pride in ownership has never been higher.

As the years of reading this website have progressed so has my personal life. I purchased my 1995 SW2 as the car to safely transport a new baby who this year is a teenager with her own drivers license. As I now consider cars to purchase for her after she departs for college, the choice is obvious. Her mother and I will only feel good about her driving a Saturn with a protective space frame, exceptional fuel economy and poly panels which will hold their looks even in the dent prone college parking lots that she will use. Our Saturn family story goes on and on.

Before closing I should mention that like you and the many of the true fans of the this brand, I too have influenced others to buy Saturn. One of these people is a certified Cadillac mechanic who had always envied my Saturn vehicles. One day in 2007 after working on one of my vehicles, he made up his mind to buy one for himself. Even with the demise of the brand he too proudly points to four Saturn products within his family that he was partially responsible for buying. So for his family and for mine and for the many other families that I encountered on your website (and even before that on the Yahoo Groups site) I offer my thanks for a job well done.

Scott P.
Lilburn, Georgia
1995 SW2 (sold at 260k miles)
2002 Vue (still going strong at 160k miles)
2008 Vue (a youngster at 46k miles)

mike08vue 01-01-2011 09:38 AM

I will miss the Saturn customer service phlosophy most of all. So far, the authorized service provider has not lived up to my expectations. One would think that they would take something that did work and add it to their business model. IT seems that GM and their dealers just want to erase all traces of Saturn. Thanks Charlie for keeping Saturns memory alive. Its much appreciated. Happy New Year to all.

2NDSOUT 01-01-2011 12:41 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

I have to say that was a very well written article. I know that this forum has helped me in ways I never thought of. I've been an owner now since 1997; when I first purchased my 94 SC1 that had 59,000 miles on it. When 2008 rolled around and I hit 340,000 miles on the original engine and auto trans; with help from this site--- I never would have gained the confidence or the car knowledge that I have currently--- if it wasn't for this site.

I remember the first "major to me" repair that I had attempted was replacing the ECTS. Kind of a major repair if you didn't have alot of working car repair knowledge prior to doing it. Looking back, I get a little smile on my face because it is such a simple fix.

This site has given me the knowledge to repair and/or replace: Spark Plugs, Water Pumps, Alternators, Brakes, Fenders, and so many other things that I never would have DREAMED about knowing how much to fix on my cars. But I am grateful for the community of people that are here that have the knowledge that can share it with others. This site has also given me the opportunity to meet up with some people in real life, and be able to have fun with the cars as well.

I'm looking forward to many more years being able to enjoy the upkeep on my cars as they age; as well as helping others with their "new" Saturn purchase.

Thank you for 10 years of online support. I still can't believe that I am now going into my [B] 11th [/B] year of being involved in an online car forum.

Make sure that your kids understand the importance of being able to fix things for themselves as they get older. As a parent myself of a 3 year old; I am trying to instill in him early the ability to work and fix things.

Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

The Math God 01-01-2011 01:32 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thanks for all you have done for us over the years.
I got lucky and found what will probably be my last Saturn Vue recently at a former Saturn dealer. Had only 4,000 miles.
Not sure that opportunity is going to come again.
My local Saturn dealer is gone, now selling Subaru and the Saturn service has gone to a Chevy dealer.
Hopefully advertising will keep up enough for you to run the website for many years to come as what we have learned about our favorite brand will be important to those looking at these as used cars.

sparkynsmoke 01-01-2011 02:32 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
I've had 3 Saturns in the last 16 years, but since day 1 of the company launching, I wanted one.
When I won Sparky in a church raffle in June 1995, she was a God send. I didn't have a car at the time, and the first time I saw her, it was almost like we were meant to be.
I've done some pretty amazing things in my life with her, like driving to Vegas to get married, bring two of my three kids home from the hospital, get two college degrees, be an only child and family workhorse car.
Then Smoke came along. He was my little SW car that was so cool. Unfortunately, I only had him for 15 months, as he was killed in a broadside collision.
2 1/2 years later, after the addition of a "bowtie" sibling for Sparky, we drove to Saturn of Whittier to get an ignition lock where Swoop, our 2005 Relay 2, came into our lives.
We needed a bigger vehicle, and kids don't get smaller, so the Vue was out, the Outlook was a tad too big, and when my husband saw the built in DVD player, needless to say, he was sold.
While Sparky will eventually head into retirement to be restored, I had considered getting a Vue, but more than likely will consider getting a Monte Carlo SS.
Why? I'm a big Nascar fan and have always wanted a Monte Carlo since I graduated from high school in 1987. Call me crazy, but when you fall in love with a car, you just gotta go for it.
I LOVE my Saturns and always have. No demise of the nameplate will EVER change that.
SATURN FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Signmaster 01-01-2011 02:52 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
I will try to view it as not an end but the start of something new... a site dedicated to supporting a great line of vehicles that should have never went away.

Thanks for the site Charlie. In my many years of vehicle forums over time it is probably the best single source dedicated to one vehicle line.

cris_thomas 01-01-2011 04:35 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Charlie, Whatever it takes to keep this site online, let us know. Do NOT let a valuable resource like this site disappear from the web. You need donations? Done. You need someone else to maintain it? Done. Whatever it takes, just let us know.

I've been a Saturn owner for close to 15 years. My yellow '01 turns 11 this year and just cracked 225K miles. Gonna need the valuable info in this site to keep her running. :)

- C. Thomas
Former head of the Saturn Performance Owners Club New England

adventureoflink 01-01-2011 04:56 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
I actually got a chance to read the article Charlie.. very well written. It's amazing you've kept up with Saturn, even as far back as 1985..

RIP Saturn. :cry: Still can't believe I'm working on my second year here, and within these short two years, it's given me enough motivation to do nearly anything on a Saturn (or most cars in general), as well as go back to college for mechanics. :)

Thanks again for your hard work and dedication on keeping this site alive, Charlie. :)

BobbyP 01-01-2011 05:16 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
It has indeed has been one hell of a ride... Thanks for the website!

Everyone should support the vendors on this website to help keep it online!

TaylorMutts 01-01-2011 06:45 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thank you for providing such an outstanding resource for all Saturn fans. I have enjoyed our interactions over the years, and feel you did a great job providing a balanced viewpoint on this brand. I suspect this site will stay active for quite some time, as owners and fans trade stories and provide support with repairs and modifications.

Be good, my friend.


eRic 02sc2 01-01-2011 08:58 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
sniff :(

homerec130 01-01-2011 10:14 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Just another satisfied Saturn owner who wants to say thank you. Thank you for allowing us to have a place to ask questions, show our knowledge (and lack thereof) as well as vent and rejoice. We bought our first Saturn in 1996 as we were fed up with the other US auto manufacturers. We found our local Saturn dealership to be a fun place to go, where we were always welcome and greeted as friends. Right from day one. That one 1996 SC2 GL ended up being the first of many Saturns.

Once again, many thanks Charlie, and if you need help keeping this valuable resource up and running, let us know. Besides, I think it will still be fin to say "We told you so" when they try to reinvent the wheel again.

Oh, here is my complete Saturn History

1996 SC2, Silver, 5 Speed
1999 SC2, Dark Purple, Auto (Lease)
2001 L200, Silver, (Lease)
2003 Vue 2.4L, 5 speed
2004 Vue 2.4L, Auto (VTI)
2006 Vue 3.5L, Auto (Replaced the 03 - Got tired of driving a stick)
2008 Vue 3.6 XR Auto (Replaced to 04 before the VTI died)

(Pardon me if I got some of the particulars a little off, but that's what happens when get older.)

off-track 01-01-2011 11:36 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thank you Charlie for the superb writeup and all you've done for us Saturn fans! The help provided by all the folks that frequent your forums have proven invaluable time and time again. It was really enlightening to see all that you've done to try to preserve the brand. Too bad those efforts were mostly ignored. Please, keep up the fight (if possible) as you've obviously got a lot of folks here that agree with you 100%.

Also, please thank your wife for understanding! I just wish mine could comprehend why I spend so much time in the garage. :D

brucewayne 01-02-2011 12:34 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thanks for the great site Charlie. Back in the summer of 2009 when we were looking to buy a new car, we happened to visit a Saturn dealership for the first time and fell in love with the 2009 Saturn Vue hybrid. When we came home that night to do some research on the internet, we found out that Saturn was possibly going away. But it was all the great Saturn owners on this site that convinced us to take the plunge and buy a Saturn. And then 4 weeks later we bought a second Saturn, a 2009 Saturn Astra. A year and a half later and we are still in love with our Saturns. My only complaint has been that the GM dealership we decided to go to for servicing once our Saturn dealer closed, ended up losing their GM status and we were forced to find yet another GM dealer. I must say that we have been very happy with our service at this new dealership so far.

What makes me most sad, is knowing that when the day comes that I have to replace on of these, that we will not be able to replace it with a brand new Saturn :-(

Charlie... I was also very interested to read that you have binders full of Saturn ads etc. I have been collecting ads for about 20 years now and have many binders full of my favorite things such as; Apple computer, Coca Cola, Disney and ever since we bought our Saturns, I have been collecting Saturn ads. As you can imagine, my collection fits in just one binder, but I am always checking out used magazines at thrift shops etc and slowly adding to my collection.

s4turngolf3r 01-02-2011 01:25 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Good article. You know whats funny? My former Saturn dealer recently reopened as a Nissan dealership. How ironic :cry:

adventureoflink 01-02-2011 01:33 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
[QUOTE=s4turngolf3r;1696873]Good article. You know whats funny? My former Saturn dealer recently reopened as a Nissan dealership. How ironic :cry:[/QUOTE]
that's nothing; a majority of Satty dealerships have became Kia lots, mitsu lots, and subaru lots -- in that order. First I've heard of a Satty lot going Nissan tho..

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