My Search for a Saturn Sky, Part One

So, I've made the decision to buy a Saturn Sky Redline. This is not going to be as easy as I first thought it was going to be.

I had actually made my decision before I had posted on Oppo asking your guy's opinions, but the affirmation of my decision in comparison to what my silly car-friends were saying was a nice boost.

If you don't want to read the first part of this, in short I have found one car within 300 miles of me that is what I am looking for. I have e-mailed the dealership selling it and am waiting to hear back from them. Hopefully this happens soon. Feel free to scroll to the bottom to see it.

The Sky fits my needs just enough, and is a car I'm passionate about to the point that owning one almost seems like a dream. If I had known the odds facing me, I might have reconsidered. Seems like finding a non-riced out, mint condition RX-7 FD3S doesn't seem so out of the question.

There's a reason I've mentioned how hard this will be a few times now, and the odds against me. Let's take a quick look at some numbers real fast. Keep in mind the Sky was a "low-volume" niche market car.

My Search for a Saturn Sky, Part One

Going Against the Odds

  • Total Sky Production: 34,415. Including all manual, automatics, standard, and Redlines; 2007-2010.
  • Total Redline Production: 15,212. Including all manual and automatic transmissions; 2007-2010.
  • Total Manual Redline Production: 5,629. 2007-2010.

So my goal is to find a car that they only made almost six thousand of. While definitely not impossible, it's not too promising either. Still, I've gone against worse odds. After all, I did get cancer at the age of 18; and I had lower odds of that happening than winning the lottery according to my doctors. So one out of nearly six thousand isn't too bad. I can do this. Maybe.

It gets worse though.

See that fifty-six hundred number? That's included all sorts of colors, options, and what not. So long as it's a Saturn, a Sky, a Redline, and a manual transmission; it's included in that number. Why is this such a big deal? I don't want the majority of colors the Sky came in. My choices are:

  • Black Onyx: 5,434.
  • Carbon Flash: 550.
  • Techno Gray: 1,240.
  • Silver Graphite: 2,714.

Now that list is out of every one of the 34.5 thousand Skys produced! There is no breakdown that I could find of manual Redline color productions. To make it more interesting, I only want a black convertible top; which was standard on most of those colors. So out of all my color choices combined, I'm limited to a max of 29% of Skys produced. Assuming the take rate is identical for N/A and Redlines (which it wouldn't be), I'm looking at a choice of roughly 1600 cars. Hoping that one of those is for sale.

To throw another wrench in the gears, the only option I absolutely must have is satellite radio. I want i factory installed, not to add it after the fact. This is just another limiting factor.

My Search for a Saturn Sky, Part One

Let's Talk About Price

Ah, another question. I've already said before that I can afford a Sky, but let's get into that a bit.

My budget is $15k. Yep, just fifteen thousand dollars for a fun, used daily driver. Heading on over to the great Kelley Blue Book, let's plug in some numbers. I'm going to use 60k miles as my baseline figure, as I feel that's a fair average for a car of this age. Now I always go by private party pricing because I refuse to pay dealer mark-ups, so here's those numbers:

Excellent Condition: $13,672 (2007). $14,458 (2008). $14,909 (2009).
Very Good Condition: $13,222 (2007). $14,008 (2008). $14,409 (2009).
Good Condition: $12,922 (2007). $13,608 (2008). $13,959 (2009).
Fair Condition: $11,897 (2007). $12,508 (2008). $12,759 (2009).

So no matter the year, I can (seemingly) afford this; assuming I can get close to the KBB pricing. An average $13k-$14k price tag isn't too bad. I just have to find one for sale.

To AutoTempst We Go!

Ah, AutoTempst, everyone's favorite means here of searching quickly for a car we might only be remotely interested in. It's so convenient to be able to search multiple listings on different sites all at once. I love this place. :)

So I plugged in my criteria: Saturn, Sky, 300 miles, my ZIP code, Red+Line, Years 2006, Years 2010. Go!

  • eBay results: 2 Redline Skys! One dark blue 2008, one red 2009. Neither what I am looking for. Both automatics as well.
  • Cars Direct results: 6 Redline Skys! One pale blue 2008, one red 2008, one silver 2008, one white 2007, one white 2008, one Silver Graphite 2007! I got my hopes up on this 2007, but it turned out to be autotragic. :(
  • Oodle results: 5 Redline Skys! One black onyx 2008,one red 2007, one silver pearl 2007, one silver pearl 2008, and one white 2008. Unfortunately the one black onyx was also an automatic.
  • Craigslist results: 0 Redline Skys!
  • Cars.com results: 8 Redline Skys! Two black onyx 2008s, one dark blue 2008, one silver pearl 2008, one white 2007, three white 2008s. One of the black ones was automatic, but one was manual! Bingo! :D
  • Autotrader results: 18 Redline Skys! Hot damn! Two black 2008s, two blue 2007s, four blue 2008s, one green 2007, one green 2009, one red 2008, one silver pearl 2008, one techno gray 2009, one white 2007, three white 2008s, and one yellow 2007. One of the blacks was automatic, one manual (same as the Cars.com result!) and the techno gray was automatic.

So, after all that work, I had found one car that fit my criteria. Just one.

My Search for a Saturn Sky, Part One

Is It the One?

So, here it is. (AutoTrader & Cars.com) The one I found. It's for sale at a Chevy dealership in LA, 122 miles away from me. It's a manual, Redline Sky in black onyx with a satellite radio. It has 63,300 miles on it. From the pictures, it looks to be in pretty good condition. They are asking $14,959 for it. Which is far, I guess.

KBB.com says it's worth $13,353 in good condition or $13,753 in very good condition; which it looks like it could be either. Those are also private party values, which are the only values I plan on paying.

My goal? Pay no more than $13,500 for it. I feel that's a fair price. If they got it as a trade in, they probably only paid $11k to $12k for it, so they are at least making some profit at $13.5k.

I've sent an e-mail through AutoTrader to the dealership. I've been reading many, many mixed reviews about this dealership on-line. Their web-site also sucks, really badly.

Hopefully someone gets back to me sometime soon, as I am actually really interested in buying this car. I'll call on Saturday if they don't reply back to me. I'd actually make the trip up to LA this weekend to go buy it if they'd be willing to deal.

So that's my journey so far in trying to find a Saturn Sky Redline. I'll keep you guys updated as I go. Anyone notice anything from the pictures or have any experience dealing with this dealership?