Sunday, October 31, 2010

The End of the Road

Today is the final day that Pontiac exists as a working brand.

Here's what I wrote about the decision to end it in April of last year:

"For whatever reason, my family's always had a thing for Pontiacs.

When I was a kid, my mother drove a Grand Prix which, in one of my earliest memories, was stolen from a mall parking lot in Miami. She's gone through several updated models of the same car since and continues to drive one to this day. When I was 17, I drove a Pontiac Fiero GT -- a long since discontinued quasi-roadster that was essentially two seats, a V6 engine and not much else. It remains probably my favorite of all the cars I've owned in my lifetime, and not simply because of the obvious nostalgia attached to it. The damn thing was just a blast to drive.

These days, with the exception of the Solstice, most Pontiacs look alike and don't offer much in the way of the visceral thrill that, say, the GTO or the Trans Am once did. Still, it's sad to see the entire brand go, maybe because there is so much American mythology behind it.

The demise of Pontiac also sends an ominous and undeniable message about the state of our economy and what it means for all of us: Not even history can trump the absolute authority of the bottom line right now."

RIP, Pontiac.

By the way, my mother bought a Mercedes a couple of months ago. Sure Pontiac's a good car -- but come on, there's just no comparison.


Anonymous said...

Chez, thank you for that. My dad was also a Pontiac guy and bought his first in '62, a new Catalina. A few years ago, I bought an '04 Gran Prix. I still have it and still drive it daily. There are a few of us left out here who mourn the demise of a great car.


Anonymous said...

I think the most memorable Pontiacs were pre-1980 anway.

right now, I'm driving a hand-me-down 2000 Sunfire.

Money quote from my buddy: "You'd better not bash this one up like you did the VW. You're a bohemian when you're driving a golf with different coloured body panels. In a Sunfire with different coloured doors you're just a redneck."

Sr. Wrangler said...

I used to have a Fiero and it was a blast to drive. I also sold them in the mid-80s. Their target demographic was 20-40 something women and it worked. Unfortunately, many got traded as soon as car seats and groceries became a priority and the used market tanked. The V6 came late to the game. The 2M4 was way under powered. They also had a lot of quality problems.

becky said...

i spent several years of my childhood in a white Catalina with a sort of teal, vinyl interior. that car (and the fact that we left our cars unlocked back then) saved me from two Doberman Pinschers that got loose in the neighborhood one day. i staid in there for a good hour before i dared get out to walk back into my house.

i still remember what that car smelled like. good memories.

Alanna said...

You know who designed and developed the GTO? John DeLorean.

"The Dream is over. What more can I say?" - J.Lennon.