February 2004
The Open Road together with The Grand Touring Club in Suffolk, recently contracted to assist General Motors (Detroit) by providing some classic English sports cars as references for the GM engineers to offer to a select group of the top American motoring writers, alongside a new GM model, the Pontiac Solstice, due to be launched in 18 months time.

 

The event commenced at Brooklands where the cars were lined up for first inspection by Dunlop Mac's shed and then the detailed route book took the group on rural roads through Surrey to West Sussex .  

 

The guests were able to swap during the day between the new GM car and a Triumph TR3A, a Lotus Elan Sprint drophead and our MGB Roadster and Triumph TR4A.  

 

The following day the cars were provided at Goodwood Motor circuit which had been reserved for the day in order to photograph and assess the cars in a habitat natural to the British sports cars of the '50's and '60's.

 

This was a most interesting  exercise, because it allowed the journalists not only to comment on the Pontiac Solstice in its early pre-production state, but also to test, or otherwise, General Motors' contention that this car "contains the DNA" of the classic cars we supplied.  

 

We were relieved that everything went very well, in particular that the older cars didn't disgrace themselves. Despite the excellence of the new car even at such a formative moment, we were quietly amused to see how much of the total time the much-pampered pressmen spent at the wheels of the older cars - and their undisguised grins that were evident as they returned.

 

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