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My Kingdom for a Visor

Oh, faithful GTO. For what do your initials stand? Ay; for thou would have me believe your name is “Gran Turismo Omologato”, I suspect truly that thy moniker be “Gets Troubled Often.” Or perhaps it is I to whom that nomenclature refers?

Ah…hmmh. As you might now have guessed, something went wrong with my car again. A very minor something, fortunately, in the grand scheme of things, but no less exasperating for it.

I had just backed out of my driveway this morning en route to work when entropy’s shriveled hand reached down once more to slap my vehicle where it stood. I keep my garage door opener clipped to my sun visor, but for one reason or another the remote’s signal won’t reach the door when the visor is stowed. So every day I have to flip it open, hit the remote button, then flip it shut. Not such a big deal to me, but apparently a bigger deal to my visor, which this morning finally decided that it had had enough.

As I flipped the visor down, it made a snapping noise. In truth, it’s been doing that for a few days now, but not usually in the mornings — only in the evenings when I come home. Aggravated and disturbed by this new pattern of behavior, I decided to unclip the visor from its bracket momentarily and swivel it to the side to see if I could determine why it kept making that snapping noise. Well, I sure got my answer. As I did this, the plastic swivel arm actually cracked and crumbled right before my eyes, leaving the visor to flop down and dangle in front of me like a wet flap of cardboard.

Built to last! (...till the end of the week.)

My view was now completely obscured. To my amazement, there was no position in which the visor would sit where it did not make it impossible to see where I was going. And it wasn’t broken enough, as absurd as that sounds, to entirely remove without tools. So I swung back into the garage and shut the car down, then went scrounging in the toolbox for the Torx driver that would be needed to unscrew the mounting bracket from the roof. (Fortunately I do have a Torx set.)

It’s a good thing my boss is on vacation and nobody was going to miss me if I was a few minutes late to the office, because after I got the Torx screws out, I had an inordinately difficult time disconnecting the wiring harness for the vanity mirror lamps. Finally I got the visor out of the car, tossed my door openers into the console storage bin and went to work. Fortunately, it was cloudy.

A while later I went searching online for a replacement visor, planning to just order one today and be done with it. But I was in for a shock. Not only is the new part a $175 item, there are none of them left anywhere. Apparently, when Pontiac went bankrupt and was shut down, the government excused them from the federal requirement that parts be kept stocked for 10 years after the vehicle model is produced. While you can still get a new, unopened passenger side visor (albeit at the ridiculous aforementioned cost), all the driver’s side visors are long gone.

That’s okay, because I didn’t want to pay those prices anyway. Instead I went to eBay to find a second-hand part being auctioned. That’s when I got my next shock: there was only one currently for sale on the entire site, and with three days until the auction ends, there were already three bids on it. A bad sign. I even checked eBay Australia for a Holden VX, VZ or VY series visor and found only mismatched slate gray ones from Commodores and Calais. Ah, well: I put the lone eBay item on my watch list so I can track bidding progress.

I then put out some feelers to the GTO community at LS1GTO.com to see if anyone had a visor to sell. I checked the “For Sale” forum first to see if anyone was parting out a GTO, but of those who were, the visors were already spoken for. WTF, is there a run on these things? I half expect that there is some enterprising scallywag collecting all the remaining stock so he can sell them, cackling with glee, at a huge markup. More likely, though, if complaints I found on the message board are any indication, these things are just prone to failure.

Now I fear I must ask myself, what comes first? The Xbox, or a sun visor? If I get lucky, and nobody bids that auction into the exosphere, perhaps both.

And in the meanwhile, it couldn’t hurt to try a shadetree repair job with a roll of duct tape and a tube of Gorilla Glue. Hey, that Gorilla stuff did fix my taillamp issues!

Then again, taillamps are not moving parts.

Edit 3/1/2012: I ended up negotiating a deal on eBay for a pair of replacement visors taken out of a 2004 GTO. They just arrived today, and after about a one-minute installation, I have a fully-functional driver’s side sun visor again. Plus, now I have a replacement for the passenger side if it ever craps out.

One thought on “My Kingdom for a Visor

  1. Yes indeed, when it rains it pours. You might need one of those “white trash” fixes Jay Leno’s shows on the tonight show sometimes.

    Good luck – hope you find one somewhere!

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