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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

Pontiac bites the dust

Posted Monday, April 27, 2009, at 2:37 PM

One of my Pontiac dream cars: A 1977 Trans Am.
Too bad Pontiac will become the latest victim of the economic crunch. GM announced today the legendary car line is being eliminated.

I've owned two Pontiacs -- a '79 Grand Prix, one of the best cars I ever owned, and an '87 Grand Am, a "lemon" with multiple problems the dealership couldn't fix.

Then there are those Pontiacs I've wanted. The mid-to-late 1970s Trans Ams; I'd still love to have a black one with T-tops. The black '64 GTO that was for sale on a used lot here briefly in, I think, the early '80s. Nearly any GTO from 1964-72. Some of the Fiero GTs from the late '80s, which were taken off the market just as General Motors got them right. Some of the Grand Prix models from the early-to-mid 1970s. A '61 Catalina two-door hardtop, simply one of the best-looking cars of that era. All of them expensive collector cars (except for the Fieros) these days.

And Pontiac still makes some great vehicles today, such as the G8 and the higher-performance version of the Solstice sports car.

In later years GM's model offerings have become too similar. Remember when the different GM divisions offered unique cars? Maybe sameness killed the brand.

GM also announced today they're planning to drop a massive number of dealerships.

Twenty and 30 years ago Shelbyville had multiple new car dealerships, and so did most other smaller communities. Now we have to go out of town for so many brands, which isn't exactly convenient when it's time for service.

Hopefully we can keep Shelbyville's remaining new car dealers -- and maybe add a few someday. We've lost enough businesses lately.

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I guess that puts the cabosh on the Torrent or Vibe I was wanting.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Wed, Apr 29, 2009, at 3:15 PM

It is sad to see the Pontiac go. I can still remember the Chieftan in the late '40's with the lighted Indian Chief head for a hood ornament.

The only way I was ever able to own a luxury car was to buy one that was several years old. I can remember my 1964 Gran Prix which was truly a luxury car.

There have been a lot of good cars to have bitten the dust in my lifetime. Some of the ones I remember include: DeSoto, Kaiser, Frasier, Nash, Hudson, Plymouth, Packard, LaSalle, Crosley, Oldsmobile, Edsel, and now Pontiac, and I am sure that some of you can add many more names to the list.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 12:08 PM

The worst part is how much the resale value of the newly sold Pontiac's will plummet. I love the new G8 (this car had been in Australia for more than 5 years), and its current value is impeccable. However, when Pontiac is "phased out", it will be worth less than half its real value. Just reminisce back a few years ago when the same thing happened to Oldsmobile. Reverse engineering (mostly from Japanese) and intensive marketing efforts to build what customers want, is how Japan was able to make its niche. I truly hate that "American" cars, and potentially companies that build them, are biting the dust left and right, however they had multiple opportunities to use their competitive advantage. They relied too heavily on cash cows, and once the profit began running out on that, there were no stars waiting in the wings to replace them. Enough marketing dialogue. I just hope GM, Ford and Chrysler have learned (and maybe Shelbyville will too) that resistance to changing the status quo, even when the competition pressures you, often leaves you with no other option than to slash your workforce, shed dead weight and sometimes... close your doors. I certainly don't want that, but then again, I didn't want the subpar cars they were churning out before reality hit them so abruptly.

I often wonder what a next-gen Firebird could have looked like, considering the highly anticipated Camaro.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 8:41 PM

oh man, some of those old pontiacs are the bomb. My grandmother had a 1967 Pontiac Bonneville that rocked.

It would smoke the tires..it had a 400 with a 4 barrel carb.

Grandma could get up and go!

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 7:18 PM

I'm really diappointed. I have a Pontiac Grand Prix and I love it. I wanted a GTO, but the insurance was a bit too much. Oh well, I guess my next car will just have to be a Corvette :P

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 4:16 PM

Adios Bandit , my friend used to have a replica of the car from the movie, sure did love that car.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 2:36 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.