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Monday, April 27, 2009

RIP Pontiac Motor Division

Pontiacs: They were a step up.
Chevy was the entry-level car.
Pontiac was the next step.
Buick (ah, the deuce ana quata).
Cadillac was luxury, favored by barkeeps.

My first one was a 1964 GTO, 389 six-pack exactly like the one pictured here, including the color, but not the girl. My Dad taught me to drive in that car. My wife and I had our first date, and our first kiss, in it.

Back then to me, it was an 8-year-old used car, handed down from my older sister. My Dad paid $1000. He knew it was cool. It took me a while to understand. If I had it now, the same car in the condition it was in before I totaled it, (in 1974), it would be worth more than $70,000. Sigh.

I owned other muscle cars. But this one was the pioneer of muscle cars. It smoked the wimpy little Mustangs of the same year. The design was John De Lorean at his prime. Elegance on top of 348 horses.

I'm saddened by the demise of a car company with so many beautiful cars in its history. The company was the brainchild of Edward Murphy and Alanson Brush and the Pontiac Buggy Company of Pontiac, Michigan. Murphy called his new car company The Oakland Motor Car Company in 1907. William C. Durant, owner of General Motors, bought the company in 1908, shortly before Murphy's death. The first Pontiac was introduced in 1924.

General Motors, the company that bought Pontiac, made her the experimental division of GM and is responsible for most of her beautiful offspring, eventually ran her into the ground and finally killed her.

Photos of Pontiac's history of design to follow.

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