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The Feds Didn't Kill Pontiac, Pontiac Killed Pontiac

Illustration for article titled The Feds Didnt Kill Pontiac, Pontiac Killed Pontiac

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from The Truth About Cars, Columbia Journalism Review and Hemmings.

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The Feds Didn't Kill Pontiac, I did.The Truth About Cars

Illustration for article titled The Feds Didnt Kill Pontiac, Pontiac Killed Pontiac
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If Pontiac didn't build crap, maybe the feds wouldn't have told GM to shut it down...

So I read earlier this week that Bob Lutz is saying that the US Government killed Pontiac. He says that GM had big plans to rescue the struggling brand with innovative, rear-wheel designs that included small performance cars that would have set the Germans back on their heels. Had these plans come to fruition, he hints, enthusiasts would have been busting down the doors and the brand would have quickly returned to good health. Sounds like new golden age for Pontiac was just around the corner. And it would have worked too, if it weren't for those meddling Feds. That's what Bob says anyhow, but I'm not so sure. The way I remember it, had a hand in killing Pontiac, too.

The love affair is overColumbia Journalism Review

Illustration for article titled The Feds Didnt Kill Pontiac, Pontiac Killed Pontiac
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The times, they are a changing.

In January 2013, more than 5,000 journalists from 62 countries poured into Cobo Convention Center in Detroit, as they do every year, for the North American International Auto Show. They rubbed shoulders with colleagues from Car and Driver, which prints 1.2 million copies a month, shared by its nearly 10 million readers.

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Cars of Futures Past – Porsche FLA Long Life StudyHemmings

Illustration for article titled The Feds Didnt Kill Pontiac, Pontiac Killed Pontiac
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So yeah, this is cool.

In the early 1970s, the environmental movement was gaining traction the world over. After decades of indifference, industrial manufacturers (including automakers) were forced to face the fact that the planet's supply of raw materials, clean air and clean water was not endless. A 1972 report from Italian think tank The Club of Rome, entitled The Limits to Growth, speculated that the automobile would be obsolete in the 21st century, rendered so by a lack of raw materials to build and fuel them. In response to this looming crisis, Porsche created the 1973 Forschungsprojekt Langzeit Auto (research project long life automobile, or FLA for short) to determine if such a vehicle was economically feasible to ensure the future of motoring.

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DISCUSSION

The Pontiac brand was extremely polarizing. Yes it made utter crap, but it also made some awesome gems. This is because the people working for Pontiac weren't as afraid to take risks in design. Can anyone think of a main stream brand that tried so hard to be different?

In case you need some reminders, I'll post some highs and lows of the brand in the past decade of it's existance. (edit wtf kinja, stop watermarking my photos)