Saturday, April 25, 2009

The end of Pontiac - Pontiacs on film; GTO; Bonneville; Firebird; Grand Prix; Sid Davis

Click here for a photo tribute to Pontiac on the occasion of GM's impending cancellation of the Pontiac line. I wrote yesterday that a long line of automobile history is meeting its official end. But we are seeing the end of more than simply a line of automobiles.

Here are some examples of Pontiac on film through the years. The first four films are Pontiac commercials from the 1960's. The commercials are as different from each other as the classic styles were from those of modern cars:



1964 Grand Prix
video




1966 GTO
video



1967 GTO
video



1968 GTO
video

The next one is a brief promo for one of the earliest Firebirds:
video


The 1980 Bonneville commercial shows obvious influence from the economics of that age, as the commercial focuses on gas mileage instead of image and styling. Prices in general and the price of gasoline in particular skyrocketed that year (and the year before). The same conditions that resulted in the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 were reflected in the Pontiac ads.

video


Here is a two-part 1960 educational documentary that features the 1959 Pontiac as the main star. The film was meant to deter young men from juvenile delinquency. The car was the focal point of the story - "Temptation is waiting in the form of a sleek bronze convertible. . . . "


video

The 1959 Pontiac saw tailfins reach their height, much like the other American car lines.

video

These videos barely scratch the surface of the films in which Pontiacs have played an important role. The point is that our civilization and our culture are composed of many interwoven elements. Even something as seemingly mundane as a line of cars can have an impact on our education and our entertainment. As our civilization is destroyed by the barbarians from within and without - as each strand that comprises our culture disappears, the impact will be felt far beyond the loss of any one particular item. Only when we see how far something like Pontiac had become ingrained in our society can we truly appreciate what we are now losing.

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