Sunday, November 3, 2013

Zombie Cars

According to former GM CEO Bob Lutz, Obama told the company that even though they liked their Pontiac Division, they couldn't keep their Pontiac Division;

Lutz: "Feds said, 'we're giving you 60 billion dollars. Drop Pontiac or you won't get the cash.'

Pontiac had committed to producing a lineup of rear wheel drive high performance cars to compete with the Germans and Japanese. Unfortunately, it wasn't the government's idea of "cars people (politicians want them) to buy.

So bye-bye, G6, G8, Grand Am, Trans Am, GTO, and Fiero. After 2010, it became just a part of history, just like the old "Wide Track Pontiac" ads of the 60's. Pontiac lived on only as a zombie on the used car lots, Craigslist ads, and Sunday auctions.

R.I.P Pontiac - 1926-2010
Epitome of the 60s Muscle Car, the 1967 GTO
Pontiac wasn't the only casualty of the bailout, there was also Saturn, loved by its owners but detested by the unions who were the true beneficiaries of the bailout. An attempted sale to Penske fell through, sealing its doom

Saturn 1985-2010
Also consigned to nameplate heaven was the Saab brand owned by GM, loved by yuppies and Jerry Seinfeld

Not to mention that you can no longer get a Hummer

Arnold may be bahck, but for his Hummer it was hasta la vista, baybee

Before the bankruptcy and bailout of 2009, "Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" became Not Anybody's Oldsmobile after 2004, but not before a 1967 Olds Delta 88 killed Mary Jo Kopechne in July of 1969 along with Ted Kennedy's presedential ambitions. Olds also contributed the 442 to muscle car legend.

Before that, there was the short lived economy car GEO brand of the 90s

Here's a look at other brands and entire car companies that Pontiac joined after 2010;

Alan Jackson can buy him a Mercury or two, but no new ones after 2011

Ford's ill-fated Edsel was strangled in its cradle

1958 Edsel Corsair. Ugly car named after a cool WW II Marine fighter plane

Chrysler has escaped death's door many times, most notably with the 2009 bailout and sale to Fiat.. The previous brush with death was in 1980 when they were bailed out and revived by the K-Car and the Minivan. However, several brands did not survive the bean counter's Grim Reaper.

Plymouth went away after 2001

The Cuda lagged behind the Mustang & Camaro on the sales charts, but it held its own on the street

The Eagle was a rebadged Mitsubishi that Chrysler sold in the 90s

1998 Mitsubishi Eagle Talon

The Titanic of the street, the leviathan Imperial which served The Green Hornet well

1965 Imperial. Machine guns not included

The DeSoto, the finned cruiser that died after the 50s

1959 DeSoto Firedome

Finally, here's some entire companies that either were absorbed or went entirely out of business

AMC 1954-1987


AMC's Rambler nameplate - 1955-1968
1965 Rambler Marlin

Nash, 1917-1954
"The Little Nash Rambler blew his horn it went Beep Beep .."

Hudson 1909-1954
The very spacious back seats in the Hudson Hornet conceived many early Baby Boomers

Kaiser 1945-1953
The Kaiser Henry J. coupe. Stripped and basic. Not popular with families but its light weight made it a popular modified quarter miler for the low budget drag racers

Packard 1899-1958
1956 Packard Executive which the also defunct Soviet Union revived as the Chaika Gaz 13

Studebaker 1911-1967
"Honest dear, I read Playboy just for the Avani ads"