Once the Pontiac motto said it all: “We build excitement.”
Sadly, if there’s anything left to be said about the once proud brand it’s this: “We build nothing.”
It’s funny to watch Pontiac commercials from the 1960s on YouTube. There’s a great pseudo psychedelic ad with Paul Revere and the Raiders extolling the features of a rust-colored fastback roaring down a test track somewhere in the desert.
Judge! The special great one from Pontiac, GTO!!
Hurst gear shifter,
three speed or four
Pontiac Ram Air, 366 horse
Mag-type wheels, 60-inch spoiler, airfoil
The Judge will rule!!
My brother had a 1970 455-HO 4-speed GTO he bought from a cousin in Claremont who bought it from a guy in Omaha.
“You can’t even get one like this in California because of all the smog crap they have to put inside,” my cousin claimed as he handed my brother Steve the keys.
The car was loaded and fast. I remember a trip down Baseline from Claremont to Cucamonga that probably took all of three minutes.
But I also remember Steve working for hours on the clutch, the carb, the belts, the electrical system, and a million other minor problems.
Ultimately that was the problem with the Detroit iron. For all the marketing and the hype, it wasn’t reliable.
Lay the blame at the doorsteps of GM, Ford, Chrysler and UAW.
On Monday, after GM announced it would no longer make Pontiacs, I got in my Saturn and cruised my little corner of the San Gabriel Valley looking for one. I saw an unremarkable G6 and an old Firebird.
Needless to say there were plenty of Lexus, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Kias.
It’s interesting to note that the Pontiac brand was named for an American Indian war lord who led a 1763 rebellion against the British at Fort Detroit. Chief Pontiac’s success perhaps emboldened the colonists who successfully tossed Brittish rule less than 20 years later.
Pontiac as a symbol of a young free nation had to be a powerful — if subliminal — marketing tool.
Pontiac’s rebellion began on April 27, 1763. The Pontiac brand died April 27, 2009 — 246 years to the day.
My brother ended up selling the rusted-out hulk of his GTO to a guy in Spokane, who fixed it up and cruised on Friday nights along Sprague Avenue.
Forty years after it was built, the car is probably in a junk heap somewhere — just like Detroit, a symbol of an America that no longer exists.
Octomom’s “krazy” life
Octomom must have needed a reminder she has 14 kids.
Nadya Suleman, the La Habra woman who gave birth to the longest surviving set of octuplets, decided to get a tramp stamp in Hollywood.
She got a tat of an angel surrounded by 14 stars — one for each kid.
That she choose a place called Kustom Kulture and got inked by a guy named Dik, probably says more about her and the true demise of our culture than I ever could.
Shockingly, (as the tablods like to say in all caps) Octomom chose to get inked in the wee hours of the morning. Who was watching the kids is anyone’s guess.
I wonder if the good-hearted people of middle America who reached into their pockets to help this woman and her brood with gifts of diapers, cash and toys realize their donations are going to frivolous pursuits, while the kids are attended to at midnight by hired help?
It amazes me that the county’s child protective services hasn’t stepped in and put an end to this farce.
Then again perhaps Nadya is doing her part to help the local economy by keeping freakish unkempt paparazzi and tattoo artists named Dik employed during tough times.