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Who Killed Pontiac!

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Just got the July Aug Pontiac Enthusiast Magazine with a good story by Jim Wangers.

Jim wote a good story that is better detailed thasn hi quotes by others on this topic. He name names and points out the failing of most since Delorean left Pontiac.

Jim stated most in charge either did not know or understand Pontaic and what was built in the 60's or did not care in the later years.

While I do not always agree with Jim he did point out many good failings of many at Pontiac and how they gutted Pontiac from what they truely were. Jim does give credit to a few that did try to keep it alive but they were too few in numbers to stand up to GM on their own. zzTHis is a good story and covers the main point of GM's failure that being GM's failure to treat Pontaic as a true performance division for too many years. Performance built Pontiac in the 60's and 40 years of too little performance killed them.

Jim gives credit to Bunkie, Estes and John D for making Pontiac mean something after years of not meaning much.

Now his list of who did not get it.

Jim McDonald 1969-72 GM soldier trying to fit in. Thought cheaper Pontiacs would sell better. Gave us decontented Chevys as a T-37.

Martain Caserio 1972-1978 True GM soldier. Affraid of critism of too much performance from GM. Held up the 455 SD and killed the 455 SD GP and GTO.

Bob Stemple 1978-1980 Killed the GP SJ. his quote was "the GP was a luxury car and did not need performance".

Bill Hogland 1980-1984 Failed to give the Trans Am it's own tuned version of the TA/firebird engine. It became a Camaro me too. The Fiero never also got the support to make right from the start.

Mike Losh GM soldier. Had cars like the STE but gave them the 2.8 when a 3.8 was available. A Euro sedan with no power? Delorean would have fought for more on the 14th floor till he got it.

Roy Roberts Never understood Perfromance and never promoted the Supercharged GTP the publicv and gear heads loved.

Lynn Myers Pontiac lifer Woke up one AM and learned she was in charge. Missed out on the tuners for the GTP and superchaged engines never promoted performace in a true nature. Would not call the GTO a muscel car and never considered drag racing it. Missed the market. Introduced Bob Kraut as marketing manager from Madison ave. HE was proud h knew nothing about Pontiacs image or past. He was the man behind the GTO not being called a Muscle car.

John Smales The toothpaste king from Proctor and Gamble. GM villain. Quote "people do not care what end drives the car they only want to know how good they look and feel". Nuf said!

Ron Zarella THe eye glass man who could not see. Hired a lot of outsiders with no clue on Pontiac heritage.

People he gives credit too are

Bill Collins

John Schinella

Steve Malone

Bill Harrison

Bob Lutz

Jason the editor also had a short thought on the death of Pontiac and while he is sad for it he said it could have been saved but in the end would it have? If so it may have been best to kill it now than to let them struggle on with no support. The end could have been even long and shameful at the hands of those in charge.

Like Jason stated we are left with a lot of what if's. Imagine a Lutz supported John Heirency running Pontiac 5 years ago?

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This still smarts.

Yes, Pontiac could, and should, have been saved.

But then, it should not have been made to suffer under idiots for so long.

Who killed Pontiac?

Incompetent GM management can be the only answer.

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>>"Performance built Pontiac in the 60's and 40 years of too little performance killed them."<<

40 years from now is 1968. Too long a span to claim performance was not given the proper attention. Try 30 and live with it.

>>"Gave us decontented Chevys as a T-37."<<

Wangers (or anyone else) cannot rewrite history. T-37 was in no way a 'decontented Chevy', and continuing to state such lies only perpetuates the myth that GM products have ALWAYS been 'badge engineered'. It's not accurate and it must stop. T-37 was only $67 cheaper base price than a Tempest- that was only 2% lower. It's meaningless, and does not belong in a list of 'where PMD went wrong'. If anything, the 455 GT-37 added performance image to the Tempest line, not subtracted it.

However, MacDonald was not the firebrand PMD had had or needed.

The rest of the PMD GMs were not as dedicated to the marque as those preceeding them, it's true, but PMD still was the premier performance division thruout the '70s- SD455, 455HO, W-72, these engines and a few others were still the go-to for performance & performance potential among GM. Camaro was struggling with only a 350 while the T/A was offering a 455! PMD is still not getting the credit due for the '73-75 GA- there you could get a 455/4-spd in a 4-dr sports sedan.

Case can still be made for the Turbo T/A, which -tho not quick by today's standards... people quickly forget it was in the same realm as a ferrari 308.

Tho the pure dedication of DeLorean, Estes & Malone was not recreated under later management, PMD product still served the Division's focus well into 1980s. Relative to earlier PMD product, it's easy to point fingers, but the '70s & '80s need to be compared to it's competition, not earlier Pontiacs.

-- -- -- -- --

Not that I think it will neccesarily come to pass, but --as opposed to ,say, Oldsmobile-- a Pontiac niche model can always make a return, the heritage is so great and long-running. Performance will always have an audience, and with the Draconian view of tommorow's offerings, a re-emrgence of PMD has more chance of happening down the road than another other discontinued marque in history, IMO. The opportunity to once again be the 'bad boy' marque will only grow in the future.

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This still smarts.

Yes, Pontiac could, and should, have been saved.

But then, it should not have been made to suffer under idiots for so long.

Who killed Pontiac?

Incompetent GM management can be the only answer.

I think that was the point jim was making.

I do agree with the editor that I would rather see a quick end vs a long dagged our end with even worse cars. Even the niche deal I feel was just a lie to keep the brand viable till the life cycles played out.

The truth is Pontiac had 10 strong years and that was it. yes they had some good models in the later years but they pail to the what was called the Glory Days.

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>>"Performance built Pontiac in the 60's and 40 years of too little performance killed them."<<

40 years from now is 1968. Too long a span to claim performance was not given the proper attention. Try 30 and live with it.

>>"Gave us decontented Chevys as a T-37."<<

Wangers (or anyone else) cannot rewrite history. T-37 was in no way a 'decontented Chevy', and continuing to state such lies only perpetuates the myth that GM products have ALWAYS been 'badge engineered'. It's not accurate and it must stop. T-37 was only $67 cheaper base price than a Tempest- that was only 2% lower. It's meaningless, and does not belong in a list of 'where PMD went wrong'. If anything, the 455 GT-37 added performance image to the Tempest line, not subtracted it.

However, MacDonald was not the firebrand PMD had had or needed.

The rest of the PMD GMs were not as dedicated to the marque as those preceeding them, it's true, but PMD still was the premier performance division thruout the '70s- SD455, 455HO, W-72, these engines and a few others were still the go-to for performance & performance potential among GM. Camaro was struggling with only a 350 while the T/A was offering a 455! PMD is still not getting the credit due for the '73-75 GA- there you could get a 455/4-spd in a 4-dr sports sedan.

Case can still be made for the Turbo T/A, which -tho not quick by today's standards... people quickly forget it was in the same realm as a ferrari 308.

Tho the pure dedication of DeLorean, Estes & Malone was not recreated under later management, PMD product still served the Division's focus well into 1980s. Relative to earlier PMD product, it's easy to point fingers, but the '70s & '80s need to be compared to it's competition, not earlier Pontiacs.

-- -- -- -- --

Not that I think it will neccesarily come to pass, but --as opposed to ,say, Oldsmobile-- a Pontiac niche model can always make a return, the heritage is so great and long-running. Performance will always have an audience, and with the Draconian view of tommorow's offerings, a re-emrgence of PMD has more chance of happening down the road than another other discontinued marque in history, IMO. The opportunity to once again be the 'bad boy' marque will only grow in the future.

Jims point on the T-37 is if Pontiac was to be a upscales performance division why offer a decontented car? That was the job of the almost forgotten Heavy Chevy Chevelle. Chevy was your value leader. If you bought Pontiac it needed to be a step up from Chevy not down.

The Grand Am, 455 SD and 455 HO were too rare to really make a differance. Lets face it Pontiac ended up thriving on graphics and movie images more than anything else. The Bandit sold more image and cars than any 455 SD. All that is good but the bandit needed more HP.

Then the Tubo V6 TA [ You need to not confuse it with the 301] was a great car but again how many were made? Too few again. This was a car the Pontiac engineers should be thanked for but it was too little too late. That car should have been built in 1985 when GM finally got the turbo right.

GM spent too much time selling the tubo in the GN and GM let the TA just be another Chevy. Buick should have been a luxury car not a performance car. Pontiac should have been a performance car not a luxury car.

I expect now that GM will be down to 3 divisions and a lot less managment many of this inter corperate bull &#036;h&#33; will stop.

Lets face it Pontiac only did good things when they broke the rules. If Delorean had not broken rules and was backed by Estes and Bunkie we would never have had the cars we have today.

Pontiac only thrived under real car people. Pontiac needed to be run by engineers not marketing non car people.

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>>"Jims point on the T-37 is if Pontiac was to be a upscales performance division why offer a decontented car? That was the job of the almost forgotten Heavy Chevy Chevelle. Chevy was your value leader. If you bought Pontiac it needed to be a step up from Chevy not down."<<

When did Pontiac ever push it was "upscale from Chevy" ?? Pontiac always stood on it's own ground in the '60s & '70s (and into the '80s). And they've always traded on & off w/ Chevy WRT features over the years : the only 2 lines to get FI for '57-58, if you recall (Corvette continued it into the '60s).

Mid '71 'Heavy Chevy' was NOT a decontented Chevelle- it added just over $100 MORE to a base Chevelle. It was a decontented Chevelle SS. Not comparable to the T-37, sorry. Car was a complete sales flop (6727 in '71, 9508 in '72 -- T-37 was 20K units in '71.5 alone) and was still less expensive than the T-37, tho they were quite close. But again; the Tempest was only 2% higher in price than the T-37, and the Tempest & Chevelle were close to begin with. Splitting hairs. But in this era, there was not much cross-divisional shopping at the showroom level. T-37 absolutely was a step UP from the Chevelle & awkwardly named Heavy Chevy Chevelle (an appearance/equipment package by itself), and the enthusiasts were drawn to the performance package the GT-37 represented, whereas before there was no Tempest line package (GTO = separate series). T- & GT-37 = success. Heavy Chevy = failure.

>>"The Grand Am, 455 SD and 455 HO were too rare to really make a differance. "<<

What the hell is this ?? Completely immaterial. It's a shield to deflect the fact that these performance offerings were there in the first place. Proof Pontiac was still building performance/sporty offerings, and it cannot be swept under the rug. BTW- GA sold nearly 71K units over it's initial 3-yr run.

Ferrari sells nothing compared to everything else, it makes a difference to most. Immaterial.

No- the blame is not with Pontiac, IMO; it's with Chevy. DeLorean was over at Chevy after Pontiac- he continued to push performance there, and it undermined Pontiac from below. Remember, if you accept that :

Chevy was your value leader...

what the hell were they doing with all those SSs and RSs and S-3s, etc ???

>>"Then the Tubo V6 TA [ You need to not confuse it with the 301] was a great car but again how many were made? "<<

I was referring to the '80-81, not the '89. 'How many were made'?? Again- you are confusing Pontiac's focus with Chevy's- where crushing volume is the core focus. Doesn't matter how many of (either of) the Turbo T/As were built, the fact remains there WERE THERE for those who bought them.

>>"GM spent too much time selling the tubo in the GN and GM let the TA just be another Chevy. Buick should have been a luxury car not a performance car. Pontiac should have been a performance car not a luxury car."<<

Right- what a bunch of wasted time, effort & money building those thousands of GSs, GSXs, 442s, Chevelle SSs in this period - no profit or brand cache there. :rolleyes:

While I'll readily agree than Pontiac has been under-funded WRT advertising since the late '80s, you are still comparing (and condemning) Pontiac of the '70s & '80s by comparing it to Pontiac of the '60s. Interesting, but invalid. You & Wagners) also still fail to see Chevrolet's part in squeezing Pontiac out and bleeding over into most of the other divisions (including adapting Cadillac design cues for their '77 B-Body), all in the name of volume. Unfortunately, 'the same thing badged as a Chevy' will never ever come close to equalling the volume of everything else it has buried throwing it's weight around.

Wagners has been bitter since being rebuffed by PMD / GM. By the late '70s, the company he was associated with (Evans) was primarily concerned with vinyl roofs. You can imagine his crushed pride....

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GM spent too much time selling the tubo in the GN and GM let the TA just be another Chevy. Buick should have been a luxury car not a performance car. Pontiac should have been a performance car not a luxury car.

:unsure: careful bad bad people tend to drive black cars. those buick guys are nuts when it comes to their GN's, Ttypes, and WE4's. but also lets not forget the sy-ty crowd either, its a heavy burden beating then new stock corvettes and such at the redlights :AH-HA_wink:

Lets face it Pontiac only did good things when they broke the rules. If Delorean had not broken rules and was backed by Estes and Bunkie we would never have had the cars we have today.

indeed thats how pontiac became the excitement division... to bad all things must pass.

here is a link about the t-37's though.

http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/2009/0...TC-MJ1752087487 have to be a hemmings subscriber. PM me if you want and i can send it to you if you want. I'm not trying to insult, just let you take a look cause to me stripper pontiacs have a place.

Edited by cletus8269
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It wasn't the media that killed Pontiac?

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>>"Lets face it Pontiac only did good things when they broke the rules."<<

The only 'rule' PMD broke was slipping the 389 into the GTO and calling the whole thing an option, getting around the internal Corp policy that the standard engined intermediate couldn't have more than 10lbs of vehicle weight per CI. The Engineering Policy Committee did not involve themselves with the specifics of options, so the GTO snuck under the fence as an option.

Most of the rest of PMD's "good things" were on the up-n-up & by the book: FI, 3x2, 2+2, Wide-Track, GP, Firebird, RA, etc etc etc.

Wangers isn't infallible. Paging thru his book Glory Days, I see a pic that always catches my eye- an 8-lug wheel (page 79). Caption claims "Pontiac was the first to offer a styled road wheel in 1960", yet you'd think Wangers would know that it was actually Cadillac that did this with the Sabre-Spoke of '55-58, esp since it came from the same company (Kelsey-Hayes).

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It wasn't the media that killed Pontiac?

Well it wasn't me ...

I'm trying to keep track of all the conspiracy theories and you guys aren't helping. :P:unsure::rolleyes:

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No, guys, it's quite obvious Toyota killed Pontiac. That was their plan this whole entire time.

Go drive your '84 Toyota and just zip it.

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Guys, lets be real. The fact that Pontiac dealers weren't allowed to take EBT is what really killed Pontiac.

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I think that was the point jim was making.

I do agree with the editor that I would rather see a quick end vs a long dagged our end with even worse cars. Even the niche deal I feel was just a lie to keep the brand viable till the life cycles played out.

The truth is Pontiac had 10 strong years and that was it. yes they had some good models in the later years but they pail to the what was called the Glory Days.

A quick end isn't how I'd describe it.

This decision was made in a panic, and without due consideration - like most of GM's decisions involving Pontiac.

The lie is the biggest problem I have with GM right now - you simply cannot trust their words anymore.

Pontiac had a great deal more strong years than just ten - I'm quite sure you know this to be true.

In fact, some of the darkest years of the industry saw huge market share and sales for PMD.

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Guys, lets be real. The fact that Pontiac dealers weren't allowed to take EBT is what really killed Pontiac.

:lol: from what i have observed in the grocery store parking lot, jag bmw and lexus do though.

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A quick end isn't how I'd describe it.

This decision was made in a panic, and without due consideration - like most of GM's decisions involving Pontiac.

The lie is the biggest problem I have with GM right now - you simply cannot trust their words anymore.

Pontiac had a great deal more strong years than just ten - I'm quite sure you know this to be true.

In fact, some of the darkest years of the industry saw huge market share and sales for PMD.

I truly think the end was decided when they killed the ST and called for a niche divison. I do not think they would have replaced any of the cars they kept, each would have dies at the end of ther life cycle. Obama just gave them an excuse to move it up. The Pontiac has had a history of little friends in GM.

Note the one friend they had is retiring I think he is tired of fighting the battle with in GM.

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>>"Lets face it Pontiac only did good things when they broke the rules."<<

The only 'rule' PMD broke was slipping the 389 into the GTO and calling the whole thing an option, getting around the internal Corp policy that the standard engined intermediate couldn't have more than 10lbs of vehicle weight per CI. The Engineering Policy Committee did not involve themselves with the specifics of options, so the GTO snuck under the fence as an option.

Most of the rest of PMD's "good things" were on the up-n-up & by the book: FI, 3x2, 2+2, Wide-Track, GP, Firebird, RA, etc etc etc.

Wangers isn't infallible. Paging thru his book Glory Days, I see a pic that always catches my eye- an 8-lug wheel (page 79). Caption claims "Pontiac was the first to offer a styled road wheel in 1960", yet you'd think Wangers would know that it was actually Cadillac that did this with the Sabre-Spoke of '55-58, esp since it came from the same company (Kelsey-Hayes).

I thought you knew your history?

The GTO was a broken rule.

THe Trans AM Chicken was killed till Schinella broke rules and painted the prototype Johnny Player gold and black. This time Michelll gave in and approved it. He killed it before.

The Fiero was klilled many times by GM and was farmed out to hide the program. They then lies and called it a commuter car and built a high mileage model they never really sold to convice GM keep it alive when they found out the program was still around.

Delorean broke rulles on the Firebired a and almost got what he wanted till he was saddled with the Camaro. He still had them rework it from what GM wanted him to use to make it at least a little different.

There are more cases where he broke rules and was stopped. The OHC engines were hated BY GM, THe FI engines he wanted later after the 57 were hated. The read disc brakes he wanted were klilled by GM, THe radials he wanted in the 60's were killed by GM. THe two seater he wanted was killed by GM. ETC!

If you want to go back farther on wheels the Skylark has special wire wheels in 53. It too was a rare like the caddy wheel.

Hey it is Jims take on thing if you want to disagree with what he said fine. I do not always agree with him too but he has one advantage over you or I he was there and we were not. Unless you really feel you know more than the guy who lived it first hand?

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>>"Jims point on the T-37 is if Pontiac was to be a upscales performance division why offer a decontented car? That was the job of the almost forgotten Heavy Chevy Chevelle. Chevy was your value leader. If you bought Pontiac it needed to be a step up from Chevy not down."<<

When did Pontiac ever push it was "upscale from Chevy" ?? Pontiac always stood on it's own ground in the '60s & '70s (and into the '80s). And they've always traded on & off w/ Chevy WRT features over the years : the only 2 lines to get FI for '57-58, if you recall (Corvette continued it into the '60s).

Mid '71 'Heavy Chevy' was NOT a decontented Chevelle- it added just over $100 MORE to a base Chevelle. It was a decontented Chevelle SS. Not comparable to the T-37, sorry. Car was a complete sales flop (6727 in '71, 9508 in '72 -- T-37 was 20K units in '71.5 alone) and was still less expensive than the T-37, tho they were quite close. But again; the Tempest was only 2% higher in price than the T-37, and the Tempest & Chevelle were close to begin with. Splitting hairs. But in this era, there was not much cross-divisional shopping at the showroom level. T-37 absolutely was a step UP from the Chevelle & awkwardly named Heavy Chevy Chevelle (an appearance/equipment package by itself), and the enthusiasts were drawn to the performance package the GT-37 represented, whereas before there was no Tempest line package (GTO = separate series). T- & GT-37 = success. Heavy Chevy = failure.

>>"The Grand Am, 455 SD and 455 HO were too rare to really make a differance. "<<

What the hell is this ?? Completely immaterial. It's a shield to deflect the fact that these performance offerings were there in the first place. Proof Pontiac was still building performance/sporty offerings, and it cannot be swept under the rug. BTW- GA sold nearly 71K units over it's initial 3-yr run.

Ferrari sells nothing compared to everything else, it makes a difference to most. Immaterial.

No- the blame is not with Pontiac, IMO; it's with Chevy. DeLorean was over at Chevy after Pontiac- he continued to push performance there, and it undermined Pontiac from below. Remember, if you accept that :

what the hell were they doing with all those SSs and RSs and S-3s, etc ???

>>"Then the Tubo V6 TA [ You need to not confuse it with the 301] was a great car but again how many were made? "<<

I was referring to the '80-81, not the '89. 'How many were made'?? Again- you are confusing Pontiac's focus with Chevy's- where crushing volume is the core focus. Doesn't matter how many of (either of) the Turbo T/As were built, the fact remains there WERE THERE for those who bought them.

>>"GM spent too much time selling the tubo in the GN and GM let the TA just be another Chevy. Buick should have been a luxury car not a performance car. Pontiac should have been a performance car not a luxury car."<<

Right- what a bunch of wasted time, effort & money building those thousands of GSs, GSXs, 442s, Chevelle SSs in this period - no profit or brand cache there. :rolleyes:

While I'll readily agree than Pontiac has been under-funded WRT advertising since the late '80s, you are still comparing (and condemning) Pontiac of the '70s & '80s by comparing it to Pontiac of the '60s. Interesting, but invalid. You & Wagners) also still fail to see Chevrolet's part in squeezing Pontiac out and bleeding over into most of the other divisions (including adapting Cadillac design cues for their '77 B-Body), all in the name of volume. Unfortunately, 'the same thing badged as a Chevy' will never ever come close to equalling the volume of everything else it has buried throwing it's weight around.

Wagners has been bitter since being rebuffed by PMD / GM. By the late '70s, the company he was associated with (Evans) was primarily concerned with vinyl roofs. You can imagine his crushed pride....

The T-37 was a decontented GTO for all intents. Also it was a way to cut the insurance cost for many. The Heavy Chevy package was not promoted much and few people today let alone back then knew much about it. Either way the numbers for each make them a rare car today. I still don't see much impact of the T-37 and it still is being overlooked often in the muscle car market other few other than Pontiac fans really care for one yet today. Even today if your going to buy upscale muscle car you buy a 442 or GTO if you want a cheaper one you buy a 1971 Chevelle SS. Chevy had no need for a decontented car since they were cheaper to start.

You had better accept Delorean inherited many cars he did not want at Chevy. He got a lot of Ed Coles projects he did not want. He did what he could but many of his moves were blocked as he no longer had Bunkie running block for him. He left after a short time there as he could do very little of what he really wanted. {Read onb a clear day you can see GM by Delorean and it out lines his many fights during Pontiac and Chevy.

Low volume V6 TA Turbo, 455 HO and 455 SD Completely immaterial??????? Please you make me laugh.

You are trying to say if you build a few hundred to just over 2,000 cars that make you a serious player in the performance maket? This is not Shelby!

With numbers for the 455 SD 1973 of 252 and 1974 of 943 that does not make a performance division. The 455 HO did better at 1971 2,116, 1972 at 1,286, 1975 at 857 and 1976 at 319 in the Bird.

Lets face it other than these rare engines the stock 400 Pontiac may have been better than most back then but were far from what Pontiac offered only a few years before. That IMO is too little and much too few.

As for Buick my comment was only the GN. I never commented in the past. In the 80's Buick had one car and it was not till 1985 till they got it right. I love this car but did Buick need to be the one selling it? As for the GS and GSX that was years before and had nothing to do with my comment. My comments were focused that we had a Monte Carlo SS 305 HO and Pontiac GP with a 305 even the 2+2 was available with a 305 base engine that was nothing. Should the claimed performance division be the first one in performance or your luxury division? Again a perfomance division with no performance?

Ok on you last comment I can see you know it all. If you think they did such a great job since 1979 to each his own. other than a good model here and there the division lost its way and seldom got good GM support. It lived off of marketing as a performance division but often with no real performance . But today they no longer can do that since only two of their cars were real performance cars. You can't fool people forever. Hell Chevy has a Cobalt SS but Pontic has a G5 with a what? I did not hear you!! Did you say a 2.4 4 cylinder that has no performanc about it?

I don't think Jim is too bitter as he is still worth a big chunk of change. Also again agree or not with him I will let his word stand over you or I since he was there. I think even you are not that aragent to think you know more than someone who was a part of most of this history. Sometimes they can tell you things you may not like but just because you don't like them does not make them wrong.

Either case this story was his opionion and he has a right to it. What Pontiac magazine is interviewing you for your Opinion?

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>>"I thought you knew your history? The GTO was a broken rule."<<

Circumvented, but OK.

>>"THe Trans AM Chicken...approved. The Fiero... the Firebired... The OHC...THe FI engines ...The disc brakes... THe radials..."<<

These are NOT "broken rules"- how is getting disc brakes approved & produced a mere few years after proposing them a "broken rule" ?? What was the GM 'rule' against disc brakes? Refusing an engineering or marketing proposal is not established a set rule, and turning around & approving it a few years later is not then 'breaking it'. Neither is re-submitting an idea for approval.

If you want to go back farther on wheels the Skylark has special wire wheels in 53."<<

Skylark had wires, Eldorado had wires, Henry's Quadracycle had wires!

But wires are not a 'styled road wheel'!! A 'styled road wheel' is a cast (or stamped) rim with a specific 'display' design... replaces the styled hubcap; something pretty much every car today offers. 8-lug, Rallye I, Rallye II, Tempest 8-lug, Honeycomb, Snowflake, Turbine... you get it, right?

8-lug was a styled road wheel, so was the earlier Sabre Spoke.

This is unquestionably a mistake on Wanger's part... no big deal, just pointing out that a guy who 'was there' is not infallible.

8-lugs are not all that common, either, but commonality has nothing to do with a discussion on whether Pontiac offered these types of performance options or not. They did.

>>"Unless you really feel you know more than the guy who lived it first hand?"<<

I do not, but as with any deeply-involved POV, the question of objectivity rises right to the surface. You don't think everyone who was ever 'there' is dead-on accurate? Ever read of 10 people giving individual descriptions of a criminal to the police ?

Last direct involvement Wangers had with PMD was in '70, the height of PMD's performance engineering. You think he was happy about no longer being directly involved w/ the marque that realized his childhood dream???? This is basic human nature, confirmed by what we both readily know about Wangers (& his hobbyist involvement) since PMD right up to today.

>>"The T-37 was a decontented GTO for all intents. Also it was a way to cut the insurance cost for many. "<<

That would be the GT-37, which you did not mention.

Tempest did not have insurance cost issues ALA the GTO, so the T-37 was NOT the 'answer' to that charge.

>>"Chevy had no need for a decontented car since they were cheaper to start."<<

But they thought they did- hence (as usual; Chevy gets whatever it whines for) the decontented Chevelle SS; the Heavy Chevy (yes- for insurnace reasons).

>>"You had better accept Delorean inherited many cars he did not want at Chevy."<<

Point was, Chevy -according to your post- is the volume / value leader. Yet every model had either an SS or RS or GT or whathaveyou performance package, both before & after DeLorean, and those ate into Pontiac's mojo- no question. Vega GT ?? Cosworth Vega ?? WTH ??? That should not have been Chevy's place, according to your 'one trick pony' heirarchy of GM Divisions.

>>"Low volume V6 TA Turbo, 455 HO and 455 SD Completely immaterial??????? Please you make me laugh."<<

hyper, quell your laughter & try and follow the discussion:

hyperv6 -

>>"...GM's failure to treat Pontaic as a true performance division for too many years. Performance built Pontiac in the 60's and 40 years of too little performance killed them
.

The VOLUME is immaterial, but the HARDWARE was in fact there, and that is the proof of what I'm saying: Pontiac DID offer the performance, the engineering programs, the features thru the '70s and later. The insurance regs and low-octane fuel put a crushing damper on performance cars in the early '70s- geez; AMC had a small stable of performance cars in '70, they were all gone 4 years later. Almost ALL the performance cars & engines were gone, Camaro: 350CI, Z28: dead for 2 yrs, Mustang: Mustang II, Cuda: gone, Challenger: gone, AMX: gone, GS: gone, 442: emasculated, etc etc.

Pontiac: Firebird/ Formula/ T/A: 400, 455, SD-455. RA V, VI, VII programs worked on (but denied). But the market demand was ebbing fast for this type of car, and that had more to do with it IMO than "GM failing Pontiac" in this period.

>>"You are trying to say if you build a few hundred to just over 2,000 cars that make you a serious player in the performance maket? This is not Shelby!"<<

By your criteria, any 'performance' manufacturer had better have the volume of Chevy or Ford or they're not 'serious', eh? When AMC was factory-backing & winning races, developing all sorts fo packages and standing convention on it's ear in '68-70, I supposed they weren't a serious player because they only sold 30K Javelin/AMXs vs Chevy's 350K V8 Chevelles & 112K V8 Camaros??

Those cars were there for those who wanted/could afford them, no different than Pontiac.

>>"Lets face it other than these rare engines the stock 400 Pontiac may have been better than most back then but were far from what Pontiac offered only a few years before."<<

Again- if you care to include the market/ consumer atmosphere, you must compare Pontiac of -say- 1974 vs other makes of 1974, not Pontiac of 1964.

Believe me, I understand the frustration of PMD's 'fall from grace' as well as anyone, but times changed and we can't ignore that here. NO ONE was much of a performance brand in the mid 1970s and later. Ferrari was pulling down 15 second quarter miles in 1980 ! BMWs were getting outrun by Beretta GTZs ! The times, they suxored !!!

>>"...the GN. ....I love this car but did Buick need to be the one selling it?"<<

>>"Hell Chevy has a Cobalt SS but Pontic has a G5 with a what? I did not hear you!! Did you say a 2.4 4 cylinder that has no performanc about it?"<<

Completely correct- this is ass backwards, still. Chevy above Pontiac, yet again.

But this is the '00s; we all know how well things have been running this millenium (and in the '90s).

Your points on the '80s Pontiacs I'll not take issue with. By then, yes; PMD was getting the cold shoulder.... but as you point out, to the betterment of Chevy. Whether that was PMD's fault, or GM's, I don't have the internal memos to determine, but again, if Corp was calling the shots, the MC SS should have the weaker engine, the GP the stronger. Got kind tough when GM killed of the Divisional GMs and the Divisional engine programs, tho... tends to point the finger right back at Corp, since Division was mostly a shell by that point.

My points remain grounded in the WHEN, the facts -- depending on WHEN-- do not support these grandious, revisionistic extrapolations of Corp's problems, hypothetically stretched back thru the '70s, thru the '60s and into the '50s.

>>"Sometimes they can tell you things you may not like but just because you don't like them does not make them wrong."<<

Quite true. If I was disagreeing about -say- what the Board & DeLorean or MacDonald argued about, or who said what to whom and then who went behind who's back and did what... yes; that would be (in this case) uninformed arrogance.

But if someone is going to say 'Pontiac didn't do "anything" WRT performance in a given year, yet there are specialty models, big blocks, european sedans, manual trans, movie placements, whathaveyou.... these aren't opinions, these are facts via product- inarguable.

Could Pontiac have had higher performance in the 1970s? Sure, couldn't every car possibly named at a given time?? Chevy was sliding a 190HP 350 in the Corvette in '73, not sure it could turn a sub-8 sec 0-60... all from 'America's Sports car'. Was that the best they could do there ??

>>"Either case this story was his opionion and he has a right to it.

And as such, is open to discussion. Facts, I don't argue.

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>>"Unless you really feel you know more than the guy who lived it first hand?"<<

I do not, but as with any deeply-involved POV, the question of objectivity rises right to the surface. You don't think everyone who was ever 'there' is dead-on accurate? Ever read of 10 people giving individual descriptions of a criminal to the police ?

Last direct involvement Wangers had with PMD was in '70, the height of PMD's performance engineering. You think he was happy about no longer being directly involved w/ the marque that realized his childhood dream???? This is basic human nature, confirmed by what we both readily know about Wangers (& his hobbyist involvement) since PMD right up to today.

This speaks volumes of your Opinion. I find it funny how you feel everone else is wrong and you and your opinionated fact over rule everyone else including those in the hobby and who partisipated in the act of working there.

The T-37 was also born out of the economy that was in poor condititon. Pontiac dropped from 3rd in sales and they wanted to capture sales with a lower cost car. The T-37 was GM's code for coupe and Pontiac used the name. They did apply this to a hard top also. Pontiqac was trying to win back sales they lost to the Maverick, Vega and other low cost coupes and sedans.

Production for the GT-37 the rival for the Heavy Chevy was less. You're 20K quote also included the non performance T-37. The GT-37 only had 5,802 for 1971. The GT 37 was hard top only since the sport mirrors would not fit the coupe doors so it was never offered in the slightly lighter coupe.

Either way there is no reason to argue with some one who knows more than the people at GM. I can quote their opinions and their ideas only to be told by someone not even involved that they know more.

You are not the only one involved with Pontiac. It is ok to have your view but to make wild claims if they built 97 limited cars that made them a performance division. If that is what it takes your revisionist hind sight and it makes you happy then fine.

It is a good thing Delorean is not here anymore as if he made a speach you would stand up and correct him with your opinions.

Anyway the story of who killed Pontiac is interesting and is from someone who was involved, he has a right to his view. It is his opinion and who has a right to say he is right or wrong. Better contact the magazine and tell them you know it all so they can let you write the magazine each issue. No need to interview all those peskey people from GM since they know little or recall little correctly.

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Even today if your going to buy upscale muscle car you buy a 442 or GTO if you want a cheaper one you buy a 1971 Chevelle SS.

i dont have a dog in this fight but i do want to say that from recent aution #'s that the Chevy's by far lead in the higher numbers of value. I'm not going Barret-Jackson for these numbers either.

this is coming from mecum events.

F17 Feature 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396/375 HP, 4-Speed $29,000

F120 Feature 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 W-30 Hardtop 455/300 HP V-8, 4-Speed Manual $27,000

F185 Feature 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Coupe 396/350 HP, 4-Speed $38,000

F213 TV Star 1972 Oldsmobile 442 2-door Hardtop Special-Order Ebony Black Ram Air 4-Speed $37,000

F166 Feature 1970 Pontiac GTO 2-Door Hardtop 400/350HP, 4-speed $45,000

F188 Feature 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Coupe Hurst Sunroof Indy Pace Car $45,000

these are all friday auction numbers too. saturdays are touching the 60-100 marks

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>>"I find it funny how you feel everone else is wrong..."<<

As I already stated, I don't 'feel everyone else is wrong' and I never said that, but at times I know stated facts are incorrect, regardless of who or how many said them. Gotta learn to separate the two. Just because a correction doesn't please you or echo your heros, doesn't mean it's not correct.

For the record, I have corrected numerous magazines & websites WRT automotive-related info, but never once was it anything I came up with out of my own mind. It has also almost always been appreciated (manners are never unilateral).

"There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know." -- TR

What am I supposed to do with this ?? :

>>"Production for the GT-37 the rival for the Heavy Chevy was less. You're 20K quote also included the non performance T-37."<<

I suppose I could just ignore it.... :unsure: ...... nah: While true, note should be made that the Heavy Chevy package did not include a specific engine, so unless a performance engine was optioned, the Heavy Chevy was a 'non-performance' car, too. They weren't all 402s. Discussion on a Chevy board logged much initial disbelief a big block was even available in the HC (it was).

I didn't make this up, GM did. Perhaps it's GM that thinks everyone else is wrong. :scratchchin:

-- -- -- -- --

Want to know what's REALLY funny?

That such supposedly-perfect people could so royally f**k up Pontiac.

-- -- -- -- --

Wangers says the '60 8-lug is the first styled road wheel, even tho Cadillac offered their styled road wheel a half-decade earlier. You suck it all down, hook, line & sinker, because Wangers said so. You dismiss the Sabre Spoke because it doesn't meet your criteria for volume (like the 8-lug was any kind of high volume option). Cadillac, history books, the cars themselves are all wrong, and Wangers is right 'because he was there'. You would hold a 1955-coded Sabre Spoke in your hands and call it & me a lie. It defies logic.

-- -- -- -- --

Tell you what, hyper; I'll pull up verbatim quoted lines from Glory Days, claim they are incorrect, and bet you money on that. You verify it, and I'll pay you if I'm wrong. You pay me if I'm right. $5 a fact, let's have a little competition.

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Speaking of T37s, weren't some of them pretty basic 2dr sedans with dog dish hubcaps and 6 cylinders? Chevy didn't even offer a Chevelle 2dr sedan those years..seems strange Pontiac would have models as or more plain and basic than Chevy, which I think was the authors' point. Same argument could be made about Buick and Olds, since they may have had very basic midsize models also those years (Skylark and F85 two door sedans w/ 6 cylinders). Even 35+ years ago, GM's 4 mainstream divisions competed with each other with similar models.

Edited by Cubical
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