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Charlie 12-31-2010 10:56 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 12-31-2010 11:04 PM

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 01:52 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 04:59 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 06:13 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 08:38 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 11:41 AM

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 12:32 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 01:32 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 01:52 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 03:35 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 03:56 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 04:16 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 05:45 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 07:58 PM

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

homerec130 01-01-2011 09:14 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 10:36 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 01-01-2011 11:34 PM

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 12:25 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 12:33 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..

macbox 01-02-2011 08:54 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thank you Charlie for being here. I've been driving Saturns for 15 years, and have been following the brand since I first saw a TV ad back in 1993.

I'm doing what it takes to keep my S-Series on the road.

s3nfo 01-02-2011 09:04 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Quite possibly the best article on Saturn I've read Charlie, those media credentials sure were well deserved.

NJastra 01-02-2011 10:53 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
That was a beautiful article to read and I'm sure goes even deeper than what was stated. Although I'm a relatively new member here, I certainly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication. I may not have owned a Saturn like many here throughout its entire history, but I have been a lifelong GM guy and always had an appreciation for Saturn and its history.

Thanks again and I hope to be part of your site for the rest of my Saturn's journey.

GR898SL2 01-02-2011 02:05 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
My family shall do their best to keep their two orphans in top form for many years to come.


linuxdude 01-02-2011 02:48 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
I concur with cris_thomas, if a donation or two is needed for, just ask.

Heck, with all the money I've saved doing basic repairs myself (like a water pump) the return on investment--in a retroactive way-- of a $20 donation to would be spectacular.

When I think of the likely future benefit to me personally of having expertise on tap, it's clear that contributing a few dollars to the site is easily the most compelling investment opportunity on the planet right now :)

Routs 01-02-2011 04:11 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Very well written article. Always nice to know more about the man behind the site and some history on how we got where we are today. Thank you for this site where we can exchange ideas, problems and fixes. I wonder how many thousands of dollars you have helped this community save over the years?

As the proud owner of two Saturn Vues, I'm looking forward to me and my family enjoying them for years. While they aren't perfect, they are pretty bulletproof and have a unique style which I believe will allow them to age gracefully. Hearing some of the miles our more veteran members have on their little mini-suv's/cross overs, I'm optimistic of a similar life span.

I'm not sure we'll ever see another new Saturn on the road (unless GM decides to release a specific vehicle with that name someday) but I think the brand has left a memorable legacy in it's wake.

unkle bik 01-02-2011 05:40 PM

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

You had me scared, Charlie. I thought this would be the last days of SF. I was able to accept the fact that the Saturn end happened a couple years back. But would be shocked if this site disappeared. There is a wealth of info on this site that would be sadly missed. Just look at the S-Series tech stuff with Old Nuc's & Madpogues help.

All four in our family (me,wife,daughter & son) are proud owners of Saturns & rely on this site for it's great help in keeping them running. I have found many friends here & enjoy the commaraderie. Even though I am not here as often as in the past, I look forward to posts of fellow members (good & bad)

Keep up the good work, Charlie!:yes:

col_dude190 01-02-2011 11:22 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
To Charlie, thank you so much for all of your hard work with this site and everything that you do to make it such a great community. I can only imagine how difficult it can be for you at times to juggle everything going on in your daily life along with managing this site. As everyone has said, if you ever need anything to help keep the site up and running, whether it be money or help running the site, just let us know. There are a lot of generous and talented people out there who will do whatever it takes to keep this site up and running! I have learned a great deal from this site about our vehicles and I love being able to share my knowledge and experiences to help others. I hope to be a member of Saturnfans for many years to come! :D

[QUOTE=s4turngolf3r;1696873]Good article. You know whats funny? My former Saturn dealer recently reopened as a Nissan dealership. How ironic :cry:[/QUOTE]

Just of curiosity, which Cleveland Saturn dealer did you used to go to? I purchased an ION and one of my Vues from Saturn of Mentor and always used them for warranty work as they were the closest Saturn dealer to where I live (about an hour from Western PA if ya drive fast ;) ). They became a Nissan store fairly early into the Saturn dealer closings. I was pretty disappointed as they were always a great dealer and I loved the people there. All of my Saturns are now out of warranty, so it isn't a huge deal for me, but it was sad to see that dealer go away. They keep sending me flyers to come look at a new Nissan, but that won't happen so long as my Vues are up and running.

jaman 01-03-2011 12:27 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Goodbye -- and thank you Charlie for providing us with this very informative site . We will all miss your postings ! when you see me screaming
down the freeway in my red ion 2 please wave and keep the Saturn memories alive :usa:

mkaresh 01-03-2011 12:30 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Great piece, Charlie. I've long held out this forum as proof that GM should have found some way to keep Saturn going. Forums like this don't happen without a dedicated group of owners, one in particular.

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.

smeat 01-03-2011 12:31 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
With 347k miles on my 95 SL it's hard to imagine people turned away from the brand. I've driven it to every state one can drive to, lived in it for months at a time, did a perfect 180 on a gravel road for a local commercial, kissed every girl I've ever kissed in (or at least on the hood of) it, been rear ended, watched it get destroyed by softball hail only to bring it back as it has always brought me back, no matter where we were from high mountain dirt roads to Galveston beaches. The car is beat to hell, but it runs nice and it's seen me through almost half my life. I lost the picture of me buying the car a long time ago, but I still have the car, like an old buddy, he may not be the best chick magnet, but if someone doesn't like him, they're not worth the time.

layitlo 01-03-2011 12:31 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
I don't have much of a story about saturn. I drove a s10 blazer for close to 20 years and I wouldn't drive anything else. But when I didn't have any options I was given one to buy my 97 saturn sc1. And till today I'm glad I bought. It wasn't hard to work on, parts were easy to buy. And above all it was fun to drive. Only bad thing it had for it was a being to small for me and the kids. I did some trading and now drive a chrysler sebring but if I ever came across a shot at another one that is a 4dr I will take a good look at it. I do sish they would keep them but just like the s10 for us minitruckers everythign has an end. I enjoyed the site here and what I learned was very helpful to me. I do hope that more people find this place helpful to them as well. Have a happy new year. Be safe and keep it real.

PaulGraz 01-03-2011 12:33 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Wow - At first I thought this was Charlie saying that he was shutting down the site or something.

Charlie - we first interacted online before you had a website, back on the Saturn "listserver". It was hosted on a college server somewhere - wasn't it UCSD?

I had joined that list in 93, just before buying my first Saturn, a used 92 SL2. Blue-Black, 5-speed, teardrop rims, and a spoiler. By late 95 I was trading it in on a brand new 96 SC2, after buying my wife a new 95 SW2 6 months before. I still miss those cars, but we got alot of life out of them before moving on.

We drove the 95 SW2 to Spring Hill for Homecoming 2 (the sequel!). I was bummed that I couldn't go to the first one. It was so hot my wife and daughter nearly passed out!

And sometime around there I sent you all my pics from the NY auto show when the L-series was first shown. And not long after that we bought an LW200 - which we still own (over 170K), and I can honestly say has been the most reliable car we've ever had - bar none.

It's been a fun ride. But to me, Saturn died a few years ago when the products were no longer unique, but just re-badged GM stuff. I felt they could have done so much more. But GM just didn't get it.

So hats off to you Charlie, and keep this site going as long as you can. It's worth it, and even if we don't say so - everyone appreciates your efforts.


1FUNSUV 01-03-2011 12:35 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
[QUOTE=jaman;1697186]Goodbye -- and thank you Charlie for providing us with this very informative site . We will all miss your postings ! when you see me screaming
down the freeway in my red ion 2 please wave and keep the Saturn memories alive :usa:[/QUOTE]

Thanks Charlie for the great leadership and ongoing support throughout the duration of this wonderful forum. Yes, like millions of others, I'm also very disappointed and saddened to learn that GM had officially pulled the plug on the Saturn line.

Just didn't make a lot of sense to me, but they claimed it was about the money at the end. Oh well. At any rate, I continue to enjoy and drive our 2006 Saturn Vue with the 3.5l V6 Honda equipped mill. Only 59K miles on her and still running like new and very dependable and cost efficient I might add also.

A great little commuter vehicle here in crazy San Francisco. Yet, mighty powerful enough (250HP), safe, and fuel efficient for those long, out-of-town trips as well. Plan on driving her until 100K and with regular maintenance it should be able to reach this milestone no prob. Fortunately, our local GM dealership will continue to service our Saturn Vue, so no problem in this regard!!!

In closing, many thanks again Charlie for everything Saturn. I learned a lot from all of the wonderful Saturn members and I like to thank each of your also. Thanks again and Happy New Year to ALL!

Ninesvnsicks 01-03-2011 12:46 AM

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

jbaron76 01-03-2011 12:53 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thank you Charlie!

I don't post very often, but I can always rely on this site and its members for reliable information for my Saturn. It is sad to say goodbye to a once-great car company.

Thanks for all your hard work!

abkaiser 01-03-2011 12:54 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
Thanks for everything, Charlie - it was great having you as our host for so many years. I do believe Saturnalia is the forum I've been a member of the longest, and I'm proud that's so.

Saturn was truly something different, and I'm sad it's gone. I've owned three Saturns over the years, and I was hoping to own more. But it's not going to happen.

My first Saturn (95/96? SL) drove me though college. The second (99 SC2) drove me to see my first job, my marriage, and my baby daughter. Now my daughter's five, and my third Saturn (02 SL) is what she calls "the silver car".

It's just a car brand, but it was definitely the best.

So long, Saturn.

JerryHughes 01-03-2011 12:54 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
[QUOTE=Charlie;1696521]A new story entry has been added:

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

Thank you, Charlie, for all the work you've put into this site! I've never come upon another site with so much great information from so many great people. It's been helpful beyond description and that's coming from someone who can hardly turn a wrench. I'm sure everyone who's visited this site is as thankful as I am. Good luck in the future and keep that Saturn runnin!


KevKingoftheSea 01-03-2011 12:55 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
I've never posted here, but I've gotten valuable information here on a couple of occasions.

I'd just like to say that my first (and so far only) car is a 1997 SC2 and it's never treated me wrong. I bought it just short of 150,000 miles, and it's shown me no signs of slowing down, and I love that little car. It's a manual, and I would choose to drive it over most of the automatics out there any day. If I'm lucky it will last long enough for me to teach my girlfriend, and perhaps even our future kids, to drive a manual on it. Saturn made some great cars in their time, and I hate to see them go.

HiWire 01-03-2011 01:13 AM

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

I've always enjoyed my time here and my 2001 SC2 is still going strong. I miss the staff at my old dealership and my feelings for GM are pretty negative after the last couple of years.

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,

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)

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/ is a celebration of a collection of folks that bought cars that weren't merely modes of transportation. 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 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.


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