Pontiac is arguably the best all around car that General Motors ever produced. Although, it is fair to say that the Cadillac and to some extent the Buick were more readily identified as luxury automobiles, the Pontiac has always been far more than a performance machine.
To the younger generation, the Firebird and its performance cousin the Trans Am are probably the models most readily identified with the brand, but Pontiac dealers (of those that remain!) can certainly testify to the early, glory days of the GTO.
These models were so representative of their era that they became mainstays in the popular culture, with starring roles in box office topping movies like “Smokey and the Bandit” starring Burt Reynolds and popular television series like “The Rockford Files” starring James Garner.
And back in the earlier days of larger cars with enormous tail fins, Pontiac certainly had credible entrants such as the Bonneville and the Catalina.
This classic line-up of models from Firebird, Trans AM, GTO, Bonneville to Catalina were all best-sellers in their day, and the earlier models like the Chieftain with it’s classic Indian (native American) head logo American classics in an earlier era were equally popular before the later Pontiacs that we still see on the street today.
There is no doubt, though, that an underlying theme of these cars from then to now has been performance. In recent years, there was a tremendous amount of favorable press for the original launch of the Pontiac G6 and the subsequent arrival of the updated G8, both updates of the classic Pontiac performance car of bygone days.
And it is certainly lamentable that General Motors pulled the plug on the entire Pontiac brand before the general public could become more aware and knowledgeable about these significant new entrants into the Pontiac family, and before their true sales potential could be reached.
Hopefully, there will be an ongoing and vital market for Pontiac used cars and certainly at least some Pontiac dealers may be able to successfully transform their businesses into repair centers and continue to supply enthusiasts with genuine parts for them.
The loving restoration of classic Pontiacs from the past and present will no doubt grow in popularity and cult status once new models are no longer rolling off the assembly lines.
While General Motors may have pulled the plug on the brand, Pontiac can live on forever through our memories, which are now all the more poignant knowing the clock is ticking on this classic car brand.