General Motors acquired the Oakland Motor Car Company of Pontiac, Michigan, 100 years ago, and introduced the first Pontiac in 1926.
Costing $825, that first Pontiac sold more than 74,000 units in its debut year.
In the years since, Pontiac has provided driving excitement, inspired bouncy pop songs, and, like anything that’s been around for so many years, had its share of disappointments.
Now that GM has officially announced their intention to kill off Pontiac, it’s time to unleash the Torrent of reactions and get the Vibe of the people who have experienced Pontiac, either through ownership or simple observation.
On this blog alone, we’ve drooled over Pontiacs as TV characters and muscle car icons. We’ve also chastised them as one of the worst cars money can buy, then gushed over the G8 when we were pretty sure Pontiac’s days were numbered.
On a personal level, I owned a 1992 Grand Am that I still have very mixed feelings about. At first that car was the coolest thing on wheels, because it looked the part. It was white with a red interior, black front-end bra, and shiny three-spoke chrome wheels. I had the impression that it was fast simply because it looked like it should be. I lost interest in the car pretty quickly, though, because the 120-hp four-cylinder didn’t exactly deliver the performance I wanted.
Plus, my dad had a 1990 Trans Sport at the time that ended up catching fire. That’s about the time my family moved on to Honda.
In 2007 I rented a Grand Prix for a week hoping to see some major improvement over the last decade, but honestly I was disappointed in how the car handled and in the mysterious shakes and rattles coming from the engine department.
I know my poor experiences with Pontiac are mostly the result of bad timing. Had I been driving in the late ’60s or had the G8 as my first return-to-Pontiac experience, I’d probably be much more nostalgic about the end of Pontiac. As it is, though, I see this as an end to a brand that just couldn’t live up to its early glories.
Do you have a Pontiac experience? Whether you love ’em, hate ’em, or don’t care either way, we want to know what you think about the death of Pontiac.