A Kia dealership in Connecticut is putting up for sale a super-rare Pontiac Banshee prototype designed by John DeLorean.
In the early 1960s, Pontiac wanted to offer its own pure sports car. The GM division came up with a concept, based around a fiberglass body and designed by none other than John DeLorean. The prototype was called the Pontiac Banshee.
Sadly, the model never made it to production. Incredibly, however, the first Banshee concept that appeared back in in 1964 is for sale... at a Kia dealership. We say the first concept, because there have been three others in the years and decades since - in 1968, 1974 and 1988.
As for the 1964 edition, two versions were built at the time; a silver coupe with 6-cylinder in-line engine and a white convertible with a V8 engine. It's the first of these, the coupe, that is currently for sale. In this version, a four-speed manual transmission links the engine to the rear wheels.
So what killed the Banshee before it even got started? In short, its capabilities. At the time, in the eyes of GM executives, the Banshee was if anything too fast. With its lightweight construction and powerful powertrain options, it was going to be the equal of the Corvette. And at GM, where the brand's hierarchy is crucial, nothing could match the Corvette. As a result, the Banshee had to be sacrificed.
The model, though it was never produced, is mythical among enthusiasts. It is also a symbol of an era, a time of intense internal struggles at General Motors. And it might have disappeared for good, if not for a GM employee of the time who asked to purchase the model; and so it survived.
The last owner of this Pontiac Banshee died in 2006, and since then it's been owned by a Kia dealership in Connecticut, Napoli Kia. As for its selling price, it has been set at $750,000 USD. The car shows only 1,498 miles on its odometer.
Is it worth it? The model is totally unique, so it's worth what a collector is willing to pay. The Banshee fits the definition of an investment, to be sure. One day it will be resold for over a million dollars.