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As I was driving home from the gym this morning I realized I am actually quite sad about the disappearance of the Pontiac brand of car this year. I think they were massively underrated vehicles. I've dealt with three of them in my lifetime - on old 80s Bonneville, a 98 Grand Am SE, and my current car - a 2007 Vibe.
The Bonneville lasted 250k miles with NO work beyond typical maintenance and at 250k needed rubber tubing replaced since it was literally disintegrating from age... but still working. And some brake work - it was sold at that time and still running fine. The 98 Grand Am went to 150k miles with no major work - just at that time (over 10 years old/150k miles) it needed some work done but then was fine until it was totaled by a random guy on a cell phone and its life cut short. Our current Vibe has some 44k miles on it now and has never had any issues - it's a really good little car. All of these got GREAT gas mileage - the Grand Am, despite being a 6 cylinder and reasonably powerful little car regularly was in the 34-35 MPG range. The Vibe can hold a kayak or giant 8 ft log, comfortably fit 4 large/tall passengers and cargo - gets over 30 on average. I know in their time they made some goofy cars (like the underpowered Sunfire but what do you want from a 10k car?) but in general they were really impressive. I'm sad to see them cut.

Since I'm unlikely to ever end up with my dream car (a Lamborghini Diablo - haha!) I'd like to someday have a Pontiac Trans Am. I was sad when they stopped making those, too, but I've seen some in great shape come up for sale (this sort of model version: http://photos.webridestv.com/datastore/images/user/314f01c180adad528da94912782d4b75/Pontiac_Trans_Am_143445_20081011.jpg ) - if I have one of those I'll be in driving heaven. :) Despite the fact I drive like an old grandma.

This is probably the most you'll ever hear me talk about cars - in general I don't care about vehicles, especially luxury ones - but I have a strong appreciation for the mechanical wonder that they are, and how they allow us such mobility and options living in such a spread-out country like the U.S. So, hat's off to Pontiac, I'll miss you!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Gotta say, I love my Vibe with a deep and desperate passion.
Feb. 15th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
I'm really happy you ended up liking yours - I'm a pretty hardcore Pontiac fan. Does yours have a name yet? Ours is Smith (Matrix's evil (but much cooler) cousin... yes I'm a dork!)
I think we're not the only ones... when I was originally researching the car I found this amazing form of Vibe-lovers who spent their time making those PSP tubes out of car photos and all had amazing forum signature banners with their geeky little vibes plastered everywhere.
Awesome cars!
Feb. 15th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
My sister bought a Pontiac last year and likes it a lot. Sad they won't be making them anymore, it's a real solid car.
Feb. 15th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
I agree! Out of all the brands to cut... I just don't know why these weren't more popular!
Feb. 15th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Before we got the hybrid, we had a Pontiac Montana. It was a pretty good car and I generally liked Pontiac; I couldn't understand why they cut out the brand either.
Feb. 15th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
I always like the Montanas, I had really considered one when we decided on the Vibe. I'm sad it was just never a popular brand - I don't get it. Pretty much everyone I know who has had a Pontiac either loved it or at least liked it. Hmmph!
Feb. 15th, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
I still have my Pontiac Sunfire. There still some stuff that should get looked at but it's still running. This cold weather isn't helping it though. I find it amusing that you want the same car as I do, except I want and older 70's model.
Feb. 15th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
That is good to know about your Sunfire - that's the only Pontiac I ever really heard any complaints about, albeit few of them.
I'm not surprised you'd want a Trans Am - they're pretty popular cars, especially the firebirds/older models! Sexy machines they are!
Feb. 16th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Saturn is getting dropped like a rock as well by GM this year. The interesting thing about GM's strategy is they are NOT cutting the brands that make poor sales; infact Saturn is still one of their top sellers, Pontiac had lost some sales in the recent years, but they still sold well for the Sedans.

They could have streamlined their product lines by cutting GMC out, since the Chevy and GMC trucks and SUVs are based off the same body and made in the same plant. As well as cutting production of a lot of their dead-weight not-selling fuel guzzling SUVs they could have easily saved both Saturn and Ponitac in the process.

But it would be Un-American to cut production of Trucks and SUVs, even if those are poorer sellers (though they admittedly get a lot in profit markups from them)

Doesn't make a whole lot of sence to me, but I guess I'm not an analyst.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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