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Apr-28-2009 12:41printcomments

Saying Good Bye to Pontiac

Yesterday, amid ongoing financial problems and restructuring efforts, GM announced that it would phase out the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010.

1967 Pontiac GTO

(SALEM, Ore.) - The car that always reflected the cooler, more sporty side of General Motors, will take its place in history next year when the last Pontiac rolls off the assembly line.

Tough times in the U.S. will spell the end for the company that brought us the "GTO", Trans Am and "Bonneville. Sammy Hagar sang about them and so did Little Ronnie and the Daytona's with the classic "Little GTO."

Pontiacs never had the appeal to the hardcore hot rod community as the engines had limitations, compared to standard engines like the Ford 302 and Chevy's 327 and 350. But there have been exceptions.

My childhood friend Richard Hamilton had what was commonly accepted to be, the fastest Firebird in LA. This was in the early 80's when cruising places like Van Nuys Blvd. and Whittier Blvd. was not illegal.

The thing is, nobody could ever believe it when he would lift the hood and show them the Pontiac 400 motor. They always assumed it had a Chevrolet powerplant, and that was never the case.

Pontiac dates back to 1926, when it was first sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico by General Motors. GM marketed the car as an "athletic" brand specializing in mainstream performance vehicles.

Yesterday, amid ongoing financial problems and restructuring efforts, GM announced that it would phase out the Pontiac brand by the end of 2010 and focus on four core brands in the U.S.: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC.

The company that inspired generations of Americans is immortalized forever in our minds, but I wonder if the impact is something people can recover from any time soon.

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Bruce H April 28, 2009 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

Pontiac has long been an brand in decline with shrinking market share known for poor production and poor efficiency. It's about time GM hammered the last nails into its coffin

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