What Was Your First Pontiac?

Illustration for article titled What Was Your First Pontiac?

I'm guessing that a respectable percentage of you have owned at least one Pontiac (you foreign types with your Polski Fiats and Proton Sagas can sit this one out). What was the first one?


All this is inspired, of course, by my personal Pontiac history, as related in one of my very first Jalopnik posts. In addition to scoring the world's most heinous- but running- '67 GTO at age 17, I spent a great deal of time attempting to get the keys to my dad's plush '81 Bonneville, for those occasions on which the young ladies refused to go anywhere with me in what they referred to as "that piece of shit" (i.e., 100% of the time). Because of my history with those two flawed-but-loved Pontiacs, I'm feeling the pain of Pontiac's demise much more deeply than I did with Oldsmobile or Plymouth.

Now it's your turn. We already know which Pontiacs you found most pants-swellingly exciting, but what was your first one? Maybe not the first one you owned, but the first one you cared about. If it was an Astre or even (shudder) a Phoenix, that's OK! And here's the complete text of my original $113 GTO post, for those of you too lazy to go check it out.

When I was 17, one of my mom's coworkers flipped out over "that damn junk heap" that her husband had kept rusting in the driveway for years. "Hey, doesn't your kid like cars?" she asked my mom. "If he takes it today he can have it for $113!" (Bad Husband had paid $112 for it). Next thing I know, I'm handing over the cash for what I'm told is "some kind of ugly Pontiac that gets terrible mileage." Soon, a tow truck shows up with... a '67 GTO! Hurst dual-gate! 400 engine! Big fat tires and everything! This being the early 80s, I am suddenly the owner of a Hella Cool Car and am entitled to hold my head up high next to my peers driving 350 Chevelles and 383 Satellites. Of course, my pet Goat was a total heap, every inch of the body a mass of holes, dents, and adobe-like layers of Bondo, the interior resembling the aftermath of a rabid-Doberman-vs-weed-whacker battle (it leaked so bad that mushrooms sprouted from the carpeting after heavy rains), it had no exhaust system, no brakes, no seat belts, no functioning gauges, etc. Within hours of getting it semi-roadworthy I slid sideways into a tree and collected several moving violations, and I continued crashing into things and burning up a set of tires per week doing gnarly burnouts in front of my high school until, a few short months later, I sold it to a bodywork man for $500 so I could concentrate my wrenching on my (quicker and more dangerous) '58 Beetle. So all I got out of my GTO ownership was the right to puff out my chest and say "Yeah, I remember my ol' '67 Goat! Man, that was a helluva car!" But now what I'm wondering is: what's the current equivalent, in the "holy shit, what a deal" sense to a $113 GTO for today's 17-year-olds? An Impala SS for $500? Integra Type R? 300ZX twin turbo?


parkrndl is enjoying his midlife crisis

never had one. about 10 Chevs, a couple Olds, a Buick, but no Pontiac. I do remember a friend's '79 or '80 Grand Prix back when we were in high school... he used to BLAST Suicidal Tendencies and Dead Kennedys and Sex Pistols thru the shitty stereo when we went cruising with him. Also my college roommate's Grand Prix, about the same year... he offered to let me use it for my girlfriend to practice for her road test because he thought my '73 Nova with the ass-in-the-air Gabriel Hijackers and the loud exhaust was too shitty to learn on. Turned out the front end of his Pontiac was so f-ed up (creaky, clunky, pulled to one side) that we used the Nova anyway, she found it much easier to drive...