Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sayonara, Pontiac...

... and Hummer, Saturn, and Saab.

The 83-year-old Pontiac automobile brand is going the way of Pan Am, Eastern Airlines, and some other car makes: In its bid to avoid bankruptcy, General Motors is eliminating four of its makes while cutting 21,000 jobs and 2600 dealers.

I'm not going to shed a tear over the narcissistically hazardous Hummer, but I'm sad to see Pontiac go and I'm sure my ex feels the same about Saturn. Actually, every car I've owned has been made in Japan or Korea, with the single exception of the Honda Passport I drive in Honolulu, which was made at an Isuzu plant in Indiana, USA.

But I did have occasion to drive a Pontiac as a rental while visiting my family some years back. It was a Pontiac Sunfire convertible, and it was hella fun to drive. Sure, part of that was that fact that it was a convertible, but it was a pretty responsive car. I had fun with it, and for one brief moment, it was in my top three of "cars I would consider buying if I were to move back to Orange County."

That list now is now a Lexus IS, a Toyota Prius or its Honda equivalent, or an Acura TSX, with a Hyundai Azera or Genesis coming in as an honorable mention, depending on whether I'm married and what I'm doing professionally at the time.

While I enjoy my Honda Passport, a fairly rugged small-scale SUV, it's an Oahu car that I wouldn't need on the tamer streets of Orange County. The Passport is great on Honolulu's pothole-riddled streets and its rugged beach lanes, as well as other island locations, but its gas-guzzling tendencies wouldn't play too well for the long drives I would have to make in California (there's only so far you can go on Oahu before you hit the end — it's an island).

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