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Part of the GM auto business since 1932, Pontiac was primarily known for its sedans. Pontiac received a huge lift in the 1950s, when General Motors began using the division's cars on the national racing circuit. Their wide track stance and fierce growl also made Pontiacs instant hits with American street racers.
Given its history of producing respected muscle cars like the GTO (a name borrowed from the Ferrari Gran Turismo Omologato) and the low-slung, flashy Firebird, Pontiac understandably took pride in its 1980s marketing slogan, “We Build Excitement.”
Though creations like the pint-sized Vibe and sporty Solstice offered glimmers of hope for Pontiac, the excitement didn’t last. Despite efforts to breathe new life into the nameplate, the 2009 demotion of Pontiac from a stand-alone division to “focused niche brand” ultimately spelled the demise of the storied brand.
Pontiac's legacy lives on in the minds of those who appreciate the brand and in the offerings that continue to find their way to the auction block.
In December 2015, a 1963 Pontiac Bonneville "Roy Rogers" Nudie Mobile fitted with a six-foot-wide pair of genuine Texas longhorns sold at RM Sothebys for $308,000
In a 2016 Barrett-Jackson auction, a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am used in promos for the 1977 movie "Smokey and the Bandit" sold for world record $550,000
A 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Concept car sold at a 2006 Barrett-Jackson auction for $3.3 million