Monday, April 27, 2009

RIP Pontiac

MD with Pontiac Firebird on California Big Sur coast road, November, 1982

The woes of General Motors seem interminable. Today they announced the phasing out of their Pontiac "excitement" division with the loss of 21,000 jobs worldwide. The loss of great automotive names always seems sad especially when one has a personal connection. The first car I bought when I arrived on the shores of California back in 1982 was a Pontiac Firebird. Truthfully it wasn't a great car but it had a nice V8 motor and transported me around San Francisco as well as the California coast and mountain roads for 7 or 8 years. It survived a head on collision with a stolen VW Beetle (suffering a mere scratch to its bumper -the VW was destroyed) and an on another occasion after having had a door dented in an accident (again not my fault) the insurance cheque helped pay for my first Apple Macintosh. I never did get the door fixed and the car acquired a wonderfully battered Mad Max look. The transmission failed the night my daughter was born and having lost reverse gear I remember physically heaving the thing backwards in order to get it our of its street parking slot so that I could make my way to the hospital. Eventaully it was sold in San Diego to make way for an outrageous Trans Am (remember them?) but that, as they say, is another story...

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