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-   -   Goodbye Saturn, Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010) (http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162331)

bjsaturn 01-03-2011 01:26 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
I said goodbye to Saturn in June 2010 when I sold my '97 SL1 and moved from Long Island, NY to Incline Village, NV. Fell in love with an older girl named Volkswagen and never looked back.

She (Saturn) was my first and I will never forget her. Good times...

Signing off,
-bjWagon

PS. Thanks to everyone contributed to the site, it sure saved me a bundle. Thanks to the Saturn car experts and the die hard Saturn fans who were so knowledgeable and helpful!!

UG0TB4NN3D 01-03-2011 01:29 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
:< Sorry to hear this. My first car was a '97 Saturn SL2. I bought it for $400 and couldn't have been happier with what I spent on it. When I got it, the driver's door panel had been hit, the front bumper was gone, and the hood was bent. Replacing the door panel was a snap, I wish every car used those door panels. Unfortunately I put off buying tires for it and one wet day, it was the downfall of my SL2. Definitely won't ever forget that car, I drive a Nissan 300zx now and I still miss cruising around in my SL2.

adventureoflink 01-03-2011 01:30 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
[QUOTE=mkaresh;1697189]When it was announced that Saturn would be closed I suggested expanding the forum to cover Buick, or starting a sister forum to cover Buick. Which is where GM hopes Saturn owners will go (a pro or a con?) and which has no especially good forum for current models. Not the same, I know, which I assume is why you did neither.[/QUOTE]

I dunno about that, personally I thought a Chevrolet section would be more appropriate, since both were about cheap, reliable transportation (though in two different ways). Even still, I've also seen many posts about BAWWW NO MOAR G.M. IN MY FAMBLY and WE'RE GOIN TO HONDUH to render that option kinda useless.

You also gotta remember, G.M.C. is about ripped off Chevy trucks and CUVs, Buick is entry-level luxury, and Cadillac is about high-end luxury.

Then again, there IS an other cars section of the forum for this..

[QUOTE=Ninesvnsicks;1697197]I just sold my 96 SC2 to my friend the other day too I already miss it. He freakin peels out and blows the tire out pissed me off. He needs new tires now so his fault lol.[/QUOTE]
He should really be lucky he doesn't need a new transaxle by now, due to the differential pin blowing a big hole in the transaxle block. Those aren't cheap, ya know, and you can't just rebuild it; you'd need a whole "new" transaxle.

You might wanna warn him of that the next time he wants to do peelouts in it.

reno97 01-03-2011 01:39 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
My experience with Saturn overall was excellent. The dealership where I bought my Aura and Astra from was very, very friendly. Every time I would come in to get my cars maintained, they treated me like a king!

Now when GM decided to drop Saturn, a letter was sent to me where the closest Chevy dealership would take care of me and man, that was a bust. Going in, treated like a "oh he's a Saturn guy, not one of our loyal Chevy customers" person, and since I was new, they didn't even show me where the waiting area was. Because of this transition experience, I found a way to move on from the Aura and the Astra to another pair of vehicles where I can get full support instead of partial support.

Me and wifey loved both vehicles and as we traded both in for our new cars, it was bittersweet. We would even check out the dealership's website to see if the cars were still up for sale, lol.

Anyway, I wish everybody good luck and good fortune.

VTHokie00SL2 01-03-2011 02:43 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Saturn led me to buy a GM car when I otherwise wouldn't have. GM's handling of Saturn will ensure that I will never purchase another GM vehicle.

Arnel 01-03-2011 02:49 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
6 Attachment(s)
Charlie,

I don't know where to start; actually like most things in life, (quoting some 80's song lyrics) "you don't know you've got 'til it's gone." This shouldn't feel like a eulogy because Saturnalia/SaturnFans.com is a celebration of a collection of folks that bought cars that weren't merely modes of transportation.

SaturnFans.com is a cyber-community that existed long before Second Life, Myspace, or even Facebook. I fondly remember joining Saturnalia just prior to the 1999 Homecoming. I was a newbie. My 1995 Pontiac Sunfire had just been totalled in an accident over the '97 Christmas holiday & I took the insurance check from the loss and bought a used 1994 SL2 from a Pontiac dealership. Barb, my girlfriend at the time (who is now my wife of 10 years) had a 1993 SL1 that she had bought while in college. I figured what better way to earn brownie points with her than to buy a similar car that I found quite practical. (I figured it would last me a few years/miles...not the 10+ I owned it.)

That summer, my girlfriend and I were living in Ocean City, MD and we had read on Saturnalia/Saturnfans about Homecoming. Barb had always regretted not making the trip to the first Homecoming in 1994 and swore that she would make the next one if she had the opportunity. It was a HOT summer day when we departed Ocean City for Manassas, VA where we would meet up with the Boston/NYC arm of a Saturn caravan. We drove two cars. I can remember being assigned our Homecoming placards and meeting up with other owners who were just as fond of their cars as we were. I can remember Barb misunderstanding the directions of one of our caravan leaders, Lisa Silbaugh, a Saturn Corp. employee. My wife had mistakenly followed a Saturn that was visiting Saturn of Manassas when it exited the lot. When she followed, I followed, and so did the dozens of Saturns that had assembled and lined up in SoM's lot. LOL. I can remember talking to Barb on our FRS radio sensing that something had gone awry but it was too late, all the cars had left SoM's lost and was now following us. I can remember seeing Ms. Silbaugh in a blue LS2 zooming in front to take the lead. I remember all of us pulled alongside a shoulder to regroup just before we were to hit the Interstate for the first time as a caravan of magnitude. (A local newspaper, in the meantime, had shown up at the retailer for a photo-op that never happened.)

Our next stop was Saturn of Roanoke Valley. I will remember that stop because if I recall correctly, it had started to rain and all of us were crammed in the retailer sharing ownership stories and bonding. It was that day that Saturn won me over for life. It was that day that Ms. Silbaugh & the management group of SoRV presented me with a 100,000 mile Saturn license plate frame - on the drive from Ocean City, my SL2 had cleared the 100k milestone!

I can remember the drive from SoRV in the pouring rain. Myself, Barb, HumpMan and others were easily doing 70-80 mph in pouring rain while talking to each other over FRS radios - so much for handsfree! The following morning, Barb & I, along with a grandmother and grand-daughter were interviewed by a local TV station for their morning news program. And if that wasn't exciting enough, later that day we would be driving our Saturns for TEN LAPS on Bristol (TN) International Speedway.

By the time we had made it to Spring Hill we had already made several new friends. I can remember the New Jersey Saturn Retailer that had converted an airport shuttle for the caravan and the sign of our route along the side of their "jitney". I can remember the prototype yellow SC2 that Saturn of Bowie transported to Homecoming. I can remember the purple SL1 that had a sign that read something like "I went to Saturn Homecoming and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". I can remember Allyn DeVers from a Saturn retailer in New Hampshire. He was a friend that we made that was always there when we needed him. I remember Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Hootie and the Blowfish performing on the main stage. I remember how HOT it was and how we were drinking water as if we'd been stranded in a desert for days. I can remember how delicious the catfish sandwiches were that they had served us for lunch. Most of all, I can remember our first tour of the Spring Hill manufacturing plant.

In the years to follow, my SL2 would accumulate 170,000 miles with me behind the wheel (it had 40k on the odometer when I bought it). Just over 5 years ago, Charlie had put together sort of a SaturnFans.com Homecoming. While the attendance was nothing like what we had seen at Spring Hill in '99, this event allowed us to meet other loyal Saturn owners that we had grown to "know" over the years on SaturnFans...Spazie, OhioVueBoy, ClapDaddy, just to name a few. We bonded over go-kart races at a track near Opryland Hotel. We walked into the Saturn Welcome Center one more time. We toured the manufacturing facility one more time. And most of us even had our photos taken with our beloved Saturns at the front entrance.

In between, I eventually worked at Saturn of Salisbury (MD). I always did my best to share my Saturn experience with my co-workers and my guests. It didn't make me the most successful salesperson at SoS, but it did offer me the chance to share our love of all things Saturn. Thank you, GM Wayne Weir, Ops Mgr Chris VanDePoole, and FM Terry Desautels for giving me a chance.

In the fall of 2008, Barb & I donated our '93 SL1 and '94 SL2 to charity. Just last summer, we traded our 2007 Saturn VUE Greenline for a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid. On the last day of 2010, we spent over $1400 on a brand new exhaust system & tie-rods on our 2001 Yellow SC2 Special Edition....just so that we could share what we have left of Saturn with our two young boys, ages 2 & 4.

People that never owned a Saturn will never understand the love we have shared. People these days can't understand why a car owner would want to visit where their car was made. When Saturn used Alphaville's Forever Young as the music bed for their ads touting the ION 4 door coupe, we didn't know that Saturn's days were numbered.

[B][I]Charlie, for as much we love Skip for creating the little (polymer) car that could, we love you for giving us all a world in which we could share our love (& hate, lol) of Saturns. YOU gave us a place to share stories, sentiments, and memories.[/I][/B]

We thank you, Charlie. I wouldn't have cried reading your farewell story, or be fighting back tears now, if all of your hard work hadn't touched my life...and the lives of others.

To alter a line of dialogue from sci-fi lore, "(We) have been and always shall be your friend(s)."

Deivid 01-03-2011 04:27 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Sad words... Im not a Saturn owner but I meet you because I had a lot of Opel cars, and as many of you know Saturn and Opel share a few models in the last years and that was the reason why I met you. When I discovered that my Astra and Vectra was sold in the US with specs for the american market I started to search information about the Astra, Aura (Vectra in Europe) and I found that the actual range of Saturn cars were very similar to the Opel, Vue was our Antara and the Sky was our GT... That made me feel very integrated in the Saturn family.

Bad times run in Opel too in the last two years. My father worked in the Opel factory for the last 30 years as engineer (now he is 59 years old) and since July he is pre-retired... :( So i can feel with the lost of Saturn as a part of the Opel family has die...

Im sure that the Saturn brand meaned a fresh breeze for the US market and now its paying the bad decisions and excessive waste of GM.

R.I.P. Saturn... :tear:

prof 01-03-2011 06:12 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
We still have six Saturns in the family. We bought them (as well as others in the past) for value and overall ease of ownership, from the showroom to the service to the general reliability. Saturn was a great concept GM had no clue what to do with. So-- no thanks to GM. Thanks to Saturn and Thanks to Charlie for the best car website ever!

billwill 01-03-2011 06:26 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Are we sure the fat lady has sung? I recently had my Aura XR in for a reprogramming of the tire pressure sensors. Printing the paperwork took longer than the whole programming procedure. I again expressed my deep disappointment that Saturn was history. The service manager said, "There's still hope; there are a couple of things in the works." I said, "Maybe Penske is still interested." He replied, "Could be but there are other things that might work out."

Who knows? I hope someone with some cash and a brain cell will realize what a proud brand Saturn is and should continue to be. My service manager later said, "I've worked with this dealership for over 20 years and Saturn owners are the most loyal and satisfied customers I've ever seen." Amen.

I hope the brand will be continued somehow. But if it is not, rest assured I will drive my Saturn until it disintegrates. I'm in my early 60s and have owned 32 cars, all but 3 bought brand-new - Pontiacs (oops), Oldsmobiles (oops again), Chevys, Opels, a Fiat, a Ford (ugh), a Nissan and two Hondas. My Saturn's absolutely the most satisfying vehicle I've ever owned. Indeed, it has been a great ride.

ShelfLife 01-03-2011 06:53 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Great article. Thanks, Charlie.

I've learned a lot about my car, and ultimately myself, through visits to this website. This is a wonderful community and I'm relieved to hear that it isn't coming to end any time soon.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my '99 SL2. While I've enjoyed every one of the 200,000 miles I've traveled in it, I now know it won't be long before I'll have to have it retired. It's been a great ride, for sure, but all rides come to an end eventually. I just wish I'd been able to replace my old Saturn with a new one. I sincerely regret not grabbing one before my dealer closed for good.

I owe a great deal to the folks here who offered their advice and helped keep my car running as well (and as long) as it did. Richpin and his videos saved my tail on more than one occasion. I cannot thank you all enough.

May your Saturns ride on.......I'll be envious of every one I pass by.

Jon

piney 01-03-2011 07:01 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
While in college in the late 1980s, I first read of the Saturn brand being formulated. Followed it ever since then. In May or June of 1991, I bought one of the first Saturns, a 1991 SL2, medium blue with the spiral wheels and 5-speed manual. It was sweet.

I still remember people flagging me down or asking at red lights what kind of car it was. Compared to the Civic or Corolla of that day, Saturn was the best thing on the market and it didn't look or drive like an economy car. Those were good times. Since then, I've had three other Saturns.

I've been on this site for nearly a decade and have enjoyed it. Sold my last Saturn, a 1997 SL2, auto with traction control, in 2003 after it wouldn't fit a rear facing car seat. Loved the car though.

While I am almost exclusively on the OT forums, I still read the site. It is a great one, one that Charlie has done a wonderful job with and I thank him for it. :us:

BobL 01-03-2011 07:01 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
When I first went into Saturn of Raleigh in 1995, I knew this was for me. Technically proficient salespeople with no pressure - Relief at last!

Had 3 SL's and 1 SL1 and was a real fanatic.

Then the garbagehead beancounters struck with the German trash L series. Trusted Saturn so much, I bought a first year model, a 2000 LS.

Beautiful car but completely trash Opel Vectra roots created numerous uncorrectable design flaws that the greatest dealer couldn't fix. It took 2 more years to get rid of the worst flaws still leaving garbage German design like the clutch slave cylinder in the bellhousing that was a $1,500 fix.

GM ruined customer service too. The metal emblem on the steering wheel would bend if you touched it sounding the horn. GM denied my request for a warranty fix under the 3/36 bumper to bumper warranty. The ignorant design required a $700 airbag + labor. Even though GM paid after I filed arbitration citing how I followed the owner's manual "press the pad to sound the horn". That was it for me and Saturn.

Well, the LS wound up traded for a Corolla at 21K miles and under 2 years,

Alas poor Saturn, I knew you well.

rtread 01-03-2011 07:28 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Sorry to see Saturn go, but being a Saturn owner, what can I expect in the future as far as parts availability? Skilled Saturn maintenance? All replies welcome.

JMD82 01-03-2011 07:30 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
I bought my son a 1995 SL2 when he graduated from high school back in 95..He still has it. If anything goes wrong he brings it to me to fix..Nothing major.Has over 200K miles on it. It got him through college. It's his 3rd car now and he uses it when gas prices rise to go back and forth to work. I believe it's going to last forever!!

jon_e_quest 01-03-2011 07:44 AM

Charlie, thank you. It was always of great comfort to come here, especially during Saturn's darkest hours. But now with your goodbye, I think what's left of our small Saturn world just got a little bit darker...

2NDSOUT 01-03-2011 07:51 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
[QUOTE=rtread;1697258]Sorry to see Saturn go, but being a Saturn owner, what can I expect in the future as far as parts availability? Skilled Saturn maintenance? All replies welcome.[/QUOTE]

Read this site... and local Salvage Yards will be your friend. Find a good tool set, and start teaching yourself how to fix your car.

You'll be glad you did.

I did, and I haven't looked back. I taught myself car repair, simply by reading this site.

spartsguy29 01-03-2011 08:01 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Very well written, Charlie. I was a Saturn employee for a dealership in Connecticut( I believe you know which one.) Times were great while they lasted and in my 13 years of being a parts man in automotive, the last 5 with Saturn have been extremely satisfying, yet turbulent, and then tragic. I went through the same thing with Daewoo. That was worse as there was no support at all, noone to call. Saturn still offers parts. I am still considered the resident Saturn Parts "Guru" where I work. As long as they still offer the parts for them, I'll do what I can to keep people on the road.
Matt Dupre

WV6Z 01-03-2011 08:09 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Geez Charlie and the group, I really am at a loss for words, except to thank you Charlie for providing this place for us and to thank all of the members for all of their help via there posts, which have all been immensely useful and helpful.

Our two Saturns, an '02 SL2 and an '04 Ion Level 2 are still our daily drivers. They have without a doubt been the most reliable vehicles we have ever owned, the SL2 having 131k miles and it has had a couple of back yard brake jobs and a water pump replaced. The Ion2 was a junk yard find that 25k miles when I got it. It had damaged door panels, rear quarter panel, rear bumper cover, rear axle and front hub assembly replaced to make it road worthy again. It now has 76k miles and other than the ignition switch white wire being clipped, it has been reliable as the SL2 and has never had anything done to it other than regular oil changes and oil and air filter changes. The SL2 will get a new battery today and the Ion2 got one last week. We are blessed with a combination that can't be beat.

We had often looked at the Auras and the Vues, but will be looking elsewhere now when it comes time to do some car shopping. I guess that GM's 'experiment' was a success, it sure changed our lives in a positive way and rescued us from the clutches of Ford and Chrysler. Not really sure where we will go from here now, maybe we will follow my mother's lead again (she went through two SC2s and loved them) and go KIA I guess...... who knows. Her Optima has been a great car for her, but, it sure isn't that dream Aura I have wanted since I first saw one on the interstate.

Anyway, before I get any more long winded than I have and before I get all mushy and teary eyed..... thanks Charlie and all of the rest of the gang. I will continue to pick through the posts here for help if or when I need to to keep our little pair of Saturns running.

Best wishes for a very happy and prosperous New Year to all!

Tom

hemi4cam 01-03-2011 08:13 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Where do I start ? Let me just say without the Saturn automobile my life would have not been what it was the past 15 years. Why ? There simply was and is no other car, that offered such great reliability, economy, and durability, for such an affordable price- ever.

I'm in my late 40's and grew up in the musclecar era- driving Chevelles, GTO's, Firebirds, Olds Cutlasses. My friends and I cruised around in Challengers, Cudas, Buick GS, Camaros, Galaxy, Fairlane, Cougar, Nova, etc. cars- with V-8 power.

As great as those cars were, they became unaffordable to drive on a daily basis once gasoline went over $1.50/gallon and stayed there, then shot up to $4/gallon, and now is at $3.20/gallon. Also those cars had one other foible- they rotted out badly in the rear quarters floors, trunk area, front lower fenders, lower doors, rockers. Every pre-1990 American car I ever owned, rotted out from under me here in the northeast USA.

After getting married in the 1990's, my wife and I needed an affordable car with good gas mileage that would last. I went to a used car auction, and bought a one-owner, A-title, 1991 Saturn SL2 4 door, with 5-speed manual, loaded- it had 98,000 miles on it, but was driven highway miles only by a college student for 4 years- easy miles.

WOW- what a great car- my first impressions were, where has this been all my life ? The car got 30 mpg CITY mileage, and 36 mph highway. (my old musclecars got 12 mpg-15 mpg at best) city). One time we took it on an extended trip and one section of the trip on the interstate and turnpike, it got 42 mpg. Awesome.

We proceeded to run the odometer up to 222,000 miles before we sold it, and got $500 for it. The new owner drove it away and used it for quite some time afterwards. The car looked the same the day I got rid of it, as the day I bought it- it did not deteriorate cosmetically on the exterior, one bit.

When we still owned the stick 1991, my wife kind of took that car over, so I needed one for myself- I bought another 1991 SL2 automatic trans car. That one had 137,000 on it, bought from a schoolteacher, for $2500.

The automatic car got 28 mpg city and the same mileage highway as the stick car, 36 mpg. As the mileage climbed and the engine got loose, it also got 30 mpg. AMAZING. Again, ran that car up to the same 222,000 miles before getting $500 for it on a trade, towards a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. The auto trans Saturn had one foible, with a sunroof there was not much headroom in the car- but other than that it was a great car.

Well we needed another car at this point, because we are a 2 car family, and one day while perusing the for sale ads, there was a 2002 Saturn SW2 with stick shift transmission, for $4000. It had 75,000 miles on it, was 3 years old, and was another A-title car, and had just come out of the factory warranty. I looked at it, and ended up buying it for only $3500. It was only 3 years old at the time. What a deal ! That is our current Saturn which now has 148,000 miles on it and still running strong. But FWIW, the newer Saturn lacked some of the traits and qualities of the old Saturns we had. The newer Saturn was simply a cloned Saab, being that GM owned Saab, they used the Saab platform and put a GM drivetrain in it. The Saab suspension and ride is far inferior to the original Saturn.

What most people don't realize is, Americans made and make the best cars in the world- don't believe what you see and hear on TV- it's all hype. The foreign cars are overpriced window dressing- they don't last.

What will we get when it's time to replace this Saturn ? I don't know. I sold the Pontiac Grand Prix for $1800 when it reached 180,000 miles- and replaced it with a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo. That is also a very good car- but the Pontiacs and Chevys don't get the mileage the Saturn got, and don't have the rust free plastic fiber bodies.

GM really outdid itself with the Saturn. It's sad to see it go. We brought our son home after he was born from the hospital, in a Saturn, and those are the cars we had car seats in to haul him around when he was an infant and toddler. They are great cars !

I believe the early first model 1991-1993 models 2 door SC2 will someday be a collectible car. One thing about a Saturn, it was not slow ! They had a lot of pep and a high tech engine, with hemi head, 4 cams, tubing header, fuel injection. And they handled excellent and were great in the snow w/snow tired all around.

RIP Saturn- and Pontiac and Olds too. It seems like this government and corporate philosophy is, to squeeze out the middle class, including our cars. It's a sad situation. Hopefully in the future, GM can shake off the government (Obama admin), and union (UAW), and foreign (China) owership intervention, and make great cars like the Saturn, Pontiac, and Olds again.

WayneKoppa 01-03-2011 08:13 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Thanks for all your hard work Charlie.

I don't look at this being over as long as someone is carrying the flag.

I just sold my Checker Marathon last year.

My SW2 is my daily driver. See them on the road all the time. Even up here where the road commissions do what they can to make everything a pile of
rust in a few year.

Thanks again.

Wayne

Michigan


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