GM's Pontiac brand officially dies today,
Oct 31, 2010, After 84 years, General Motors officially says goodbye forever today to Pontiac. No more Bonnevilles. No more Firebird Trans Ams. No more GTOs.
The New York Times just wrote an obituary for the brand:
It was 84 years old. The cause of death was in dispute. Fans said Pontiac's wounds were self-inflicted, while General Motors blamed a terminal illness contracted during last year's bankruptcy. Pontiac built its last car nearly a year ago, but the official end was set for Oct. 31, when G.M.'s agreements with Pontiac dealers expire.
The Times pays special attention to the GTO, brainchild of engineering bon vivant John DeLorean, who went on to create the car in his own name and to get caught, and later acquitted, in a FBI cocaine sting.
Even now, long after Pontiac disappeared from the headlines and sales lots but before today's official end, it seems strange for it to be gone.
Remember Pontiac excitement?:
The numerous attempts to revive the brand, and Oldsmobile before it? We thought some of those efforts, resulting in cars like the fun Solstice, above, were wholly worthwhile.
But without Pontiac, it's interesting to see what GM is making of the four brands that it has left. Buick fills the niche now left by Pontiac, and while it's not a performance brand, it's clear that GM is putting a lot more resources behind Buick than it ever did when it was another name in the underfunded pack.
So goodbye Pontiac. We will still be driving the GTOs and Trans Ams that you leave behind for decades.