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For those who wondered why it was Pontiac that was killed: According to a former GM executive in seminars he gives and I have personally attended and heard first hand, this news falls right in line with what he said in the seminars and in print in Pontiac publications: Part of this decision was made to appease the Chinese who revered the Buick brand as a symbol of status. This dates back to WWII when our military generals drove Buicks.

The Chicons viewed this as a sign of status, if you drive a Buick you were someone. Although poor decisions by GM and its mismanagement over the years certainly contributed to Pontiac’s demise, the decision to terminate Pontiac over Buick despite Pontiac outselling Buick was ordered by the Obama Administration. This was not a financial decision, it was a decision made to appease the Chicons. Revelations by Bob Lutz now come out.

Most also have no idea GM was caught breaking into the offices of Jim Mattison owner of PHS. Jim acquired all the Pontiac historical data legally in court many years ago. Pontiac Historical Services.

Jim got a call one night and was told GM broke into his offices to STEAL all the historical data on Pontiac. Jim arrived just in time with the Police to thwart the theft. Had he not, all historical data on Pontiac would have been destroyed.

Jim was harassed spied on followed and intimidated by GM as they filed suit to get back the information Jim acquired legally. Long story short, Jim and others liquidated personal autos etc to SAVE this information from being purged.

Jim WON in court.. however in the settlement, Jim agreed to eliminate the name Pontiac in the PHS........... The P is now an initial and is no longer recognized as PONTIAC.

If you ever have a chance to talk to Jim or attend one of his seminars you'd be surprised at just how far GM went to purge Pontiac from history.

It's about time word from someone like LUTZ gets out....... Thank this Administration for Pontiac's elimination.
 

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Interesting points, but remember... The bailout was requested and approved during the previous Administration. The details of course were left to be hammered out in the current administration and difficult, painful decisions had to be made. Sucks, but the fallout from a complete failure were likely much worse.
 

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Why Poncho Died

:cool Pontiac was always the division in search of an image. PMD was always looking for a niche in the car sales game but never really finding one (think back to all the various slogans PMD used in advertising). When PMD stumbled across the performance image in the '60s they prospered. When new management took over during the '70s the performance image suffered greatly, and the division's final attempt at being an affordable euro/BMW-esque brand was foolish. PMD was always the division on the ragged edge -- I'm actually surprised Oldsmobile went down the tubes first.

But the action that really sealed Pontiac's fate was every time a Japanese import sales contract was inked. If I have to explain it to you, you won't understand. :mad:
 

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Really is a shame when you look at the Buick market in this country. How often do you see a Buick (2007 or newer) on the road? How many of those Chinese loved SUV's do you see?

When the decision to can Pontiac happened, I thought they have dropped Chevy trucks and SUV's and just had the GMC line. If they had done that Pontiac would probably still be here.

Just think, it could have been just like our younger days with Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers and goats being bad ass out on the streets again. Oh, those were some great times.
 

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I agree there's no need for GMC and Chevy. But killing Chevy would be like doing away with mom's apple pie and baseball. Chevy out sells GMC nearly 3:1.
 

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I have always said it had something to do with the chincos dirty rotten#@[email protected]#@
Pontiac would have been saved had they made a retro GTO to bad we are now bowing down to a country that owns half our real estate already .
 

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When I went to disney in 2010 I had a chance to talk with the guy in the GM test track ride who was down there trying to sell you a new GM car. I asked him about Pontiac & why they didn't do a retro GTO like fords did with the mustang, & was told the higher ups which were all young yuppie types wanted to compete with the bmw 320 cars. I laughed at him when he said that as I told him the guys who are going to buy a new GTO aren't looking at a bmw. Pontiac people are loyal to Pontiac for there cars not something to compete with them. When I told him the new GTO had looked like nothing more then a Grand Am with a better engine he tried to sell me on the idea that it was a better car then the Grand Am & yes I said that was true but the new GTO wasn't a better car by any bodies idea of cars just a Grand am with a different engine. I couldn't get him to see that the new GTO was a flop from the very start that why it was dead then. I couldn't get him to understand that a retro GTO would have sold many more then the Grand Am GTO they had tried to sell. I finally had to just walk away with my heads down in shame because he couldn't understand how real Pontiac guys felt. But with guys running Pontiac that have no idea about real Pontiac performance thats what really killed Pontiac.
 

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Remember this statement: REGULATIONS BEAT DOWN INNOVATION.

Pontiac, and most all other performance cars were given up on when federal regulations and insurance regulations came down on the auto industry at the turn of 1970, the height of big muscle. Bigger muscle was on the drawing board and offered over the counter, ie the Ram Air V, the Chevy LS7, the Buick 455 Stage II, etc.. Congress demanded higher gas mileage cars, thus the Ford Pinto, Mercury Capri, Chevy Vega, the Dodge Colt, and all those imports. Remember that tiny little Honda Z that had a 2 cyl engine in it that led to the Honda Civic line of cars? And of course, who doesn't remember the 1973 OPEC oil crisis that squelched the high performance out of cars and gave a shot in the arm to the onslaught of economy cars that were waiting in the wings just for this exact moment at this exact time?

This is the timeframe in which Pontiac was killed. GTO was no longer a model offer, but was back to being an option. It struggled on in its death throw with trying to up the cubes to the 455CI, but we were all so familiar with the merits of the 400 CI and what it would do. The 455CI was not really a replacement, nor did it have the horsepower, but it had torque. The GTO became an option on the Lemans which got heavier and fatter with continued crash protection regulations and the addition of assorted devices until the best Pontiac could do was use the smaller and lighter Ventura (Nova) as the last nail in the GTO coffin.

More promotion was put into the Trans-Am with its graphics, the last hurrah with the SD-455 attempt, and of course the Smokey and the Bandit connection. But by this time, the GTO was dead and gone and it was the GTO that brought Pontiac to the forefront of other makes with Pontiac & GTO being synonymous. It was their public relations coverage that made you want one. Little GTO, the Monkee's Mobile, Hurst equipped, the GTO tiger image which was coupled with such things as Tiger Paw tires and Esso's gasoline tiger trademark and the line "put a tiger in your tank", and all the car reviews. Ah, then there was the Royal Bobcat treatment. Blueprint your 400CI for more HP, or heck, for a small fee, let Royal slip in a new blueprinted 428 CI to replace the already tire shredding 350 HP 400CI. And let us not forget the juniors, the Lemans & Tempest with their OHC 6 Sprint option, the Custom S with its HO 350 CI, or even the 455CI in its GT-37. Pontiac offered performance in all its A-body cars at every level.

And then the regulators came into play, the feds, the insurance, those "new" factored horsepower ratings, and of course OPEC. From 1971 to 1974, Pontiac sufficated and only hung on with the life support system called the Trans-Am From 1974 forward, I can't think of any cars that Pontiac produced that had the impact the GTO did for its name and image. Weakening the 400CI to save weight, introducing the absurd 301 CI, and eventually dropping the infamous 400CI in favor of the later Chevy engines simply attempted to place a rosey mask of performance over the already dead body called Pontiac. If I wanted a Chevy engine in my Pontiac, I'd go to Canada and buy a Beaumont, or buy a Camaro.

No offense to anyone on this board as this is just how I see it because I've lived through it. I really had high hopes with the Pontiac Solstice, although it had a Toyota engine, but I saw dreams of a modern day Cobra as "us" hot rodders shoed in one of those old antique 400CI engines that once made the GTO a proud and respected ride, and place a Pontiac engine in a Pontiac body.
 

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A friend in Highschools dad worked at the GM proving grounds when they were trying to shoehorn the Grand National turbo V-6 into the Fiero. He said they flipped some cars at launch in the early testing. Also like the Solstice idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Grand National Fiero? The mind boggles.... :exclamation:

A friend of mine on Facebook just the other day posted some photos/articles of what Pontiac and Mac MacKellar were working on in the mid 60's. I was blown away by the innovation involved. A system for building overhead cam Pontiac V8's -- and not JUST overhead cams, but a system that could be:
1) Retrofitted to any existing V8
2) Took up no space on the front of the engine and didn't disturb any of the accessory drives.
3) Used hydraulic cam followers (no adjustments needed).
4) Once installed, actually made working on the engine easier. You could pull both heads off the motor in far less time than it took with the cam-in-block system.

And oh, by the way, although there were never any official dyno results released - some sources reported that one of the early overhead cam tripower 421's made north of 620 HP at 7000 rpm.... now if that won't unravel your bow-tie, I don't know what will :biggrinjester:

See the attachments for the details.

I didn't even know about these engines until just a few days ago, and now that I do, I'm even more proud of Pontiac and more P*SSED OFF about what happened to them. Sorry ::cough - spit:: chevy, you are and will always be the Wal-mart of the automotive world- cheap, unimaginative, and owing your very existence to Pontiac.

Bear
 

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How F'in cool is that, great article...and did you know that originally the RA was supposed to be a dual quad set-up in 65' (sounds familiar...hmmm)

 
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