Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It looks like the Pontiac line will be joining Oldsmobile on the Midden-Heap o’ History. Alas.

I’ve owned both Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles. Well, technically, at least in the case of the Pontiacs, the cars were technically owned by the Great Corporate Salt Mine... but since I had more-or-less exclusive use of the vehicle, the distinction is without effect. And they were reasonably decent cars, although I would not put any of them up against today’s Nipponmobiles.

But back when I was first learning to drive, it was in my parents’ 1970 Pontiac Bonneville.

The ’rents were Repeat Pontiac Offenders back in the 1960’s. After disposing of their two-tone 1954 Dodge - the first car I can remember - in 1961 and replacing it with a Chevy Impala, they switched over to the Pontiac Bonneville in 1964. New Bonnevilles showed up in 1967 and 1970, but it was the 1970 model that was a real step-out. No more boring “Metallic Silver” or beigy “Champagne” - this one was fire-engine red, a real eye-catcher. My mother, no doubt, swung the decision-stick when it came to the color.

It was fun, that car, despite being somewhat stodgier than Pontiac’s more youth-oriented models - like the G.T.O. And the grille design seemed to hearken back to the notorious Edsel - “like a car sucking a lemon.” But I was in no position to be choosy. And it was bright red. The perfect color for cars... and toenails.

Pontiac, ave atque vale. We hardly knew ye.

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