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You Can Buy the Nicest Pontiac Vibe Left in This Cruel World for $25,000

Snag a surprisingly practical car and a piece of SEMA history in one fell swoop.
Streetside Classics

Nostalgia is a funny thing. Without it, there’s no way you could convince someone that the perfect 2003 Pontiac Vibe might actually be worth $24,995. To anyone who didn’t experience the 2000s tuner craze firsthand, the Vibe was just another General Motors rebadge. But to those who did, this retired SEMA show car is certifiably sick.

Before you ask, no, I’ve never used that word to describe a Pontiac Vibe before. That’s because most of them don’t have a shiny orange paint job, 18-inch five-spokes, fender flares, and a spoiler out back. Officially, it’s called the Vibe FX, and it’s the only one like it that Pontiac ever made.

It was also partially made by Toyota, as that’s where the Vibe gets its 1.8-liter, 132-horsepower four-cylinder from. The Vibe shares a whole lot of parts with the Toyota Matrix underneath, which is a good thing if you ask me. This particular one has a four-speed automatic (sad), as well as all-wheel drive. No one would complain if the buyer found some way to swap in a stick-shift and one of those factory superchargers.

As you’d hope for with a car from this time period, it has a Kenwood subwoofer in the trunk and a flip-down DVD player. They fit well with the exterior theme that’s obviously unique but not too over the top. I have to give Pontiac props for that because it had to be mighty tempting to throw every garish gadget at this thing.

These features are all great, but what takes this Vibe over the top is its condition. There are just 1,673 miles on the odometer and the body panels are totally original, as is the Radiance Orange Pearl Spice paint they’re coated in. Every part of it looks new, all the way down to the cloth interior. That can’t be said of very many 2000s tuner builds, though it helps that this has traded hands between private collectors over the years instead of teenage hooligans.

The Vibe FX last sold at Mecum’s 2020 Glendale auction for an unknown amount, but I’m betting it went for less than $24,995. It’ll take a special buyer to scoop it up for that price, but don’t be surprised if such a person exists. People used to laugh at folks who paid top-dollar for period-correct ’80s and ’90s tuner cars but those are commonplace in today’s marketplace. Its one-off status surely helps it, even if it is just a Pontiac hatchback.

Find it at Streetside Classics in Phoenix if you’ve got that much money burning a hole in your pocket.

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