Generic Motors' Excitement Division officially flatlined today, although they'd pulled the feeding tube out last year, back when GM became Glorious People's Red Banner Automotive Plant #5.
It was kind of sad.
I've owned three Pontiacs: A '70 GTO, an '84 Firebird Trans Am, and an '86 Fiero 2M6 SE. All three were fun cars, but there was no doubt that by the '80s Pontiac had largely lost its way, becoming mostly just badge-engineered GM products with a lot of wings, fake scoops, and bulgy ridged plastic body cladding that looked like it had been dreamed up by hormonal high school boys during study hall.
Oh, sure, there was the occasional standout, like the 6000 STE of the early '80s, or the late-'80s Bonneville SSE, and there was always the perennial Firebird, but it didn't make up for flubs like the Aztek or the Trans Sport *hawwk... spit!* minivan-fer-gossake.
It was kind of sad because, there in the last model year or two, Pontiac showed signs of emerging from the wilderness. The Australian-sourced G8 sedan was one of the most vicious four-doors ever offered in America. And the new Solstice roadster was genuinely interesting; everything that the public was led to believe the Fiero would be, except it actually delivered.
But with the US auto industry in a tailspin, it was too little, and too late.
At least they saved Cadillac. Here's something I never thought I'd say in all my years of being interested in fast cars: There are some genuinely badass rides coming from Cadillac these days.
(H/T to TJIC.)