GM is dead. long live GM.

by sam on 06/1/2009

So general motors went bankrupt today. It’s probably past time for them to reorganize and shed so much of the bloat that has distended the company over the years, but it’s kind of sad that some of the classic brands are on the chopping block (or have already been discontinued).

my first and only car was a GM car. It was a cherry red 1990 pontiac sunbird, that my parents surprised me with after I got my drivers license. Of course, living in the public-transportation-less suburbs at the time, the car was as much a gift from my working full-time parents to themselves, seeing that it was a fucking pain in the ass to get me home from school on most days given my participation in multiple after-school activities. That car took me through high school in rockland county, college in buffalo and law school in philadelphia before I moved to NYC and didn’t need (nor want) the responsibility of a car anymore. Then it passed to my brother for some period of time (his “spirited” driving churned through a few cars in his time), and then a few years ago, my dad traded it to a guy in exchange for a paint job on our barn up in the berkshires. As far as we’re aware, that guy is still driving it around. other than the color, it wasn’t a particularly exciting car, but I loved it all the same. It broke down incredibly infrequently, and (mysteriously) only when I was home from school so that my dad was available to deal with the problem. And said breakdowns usually involved something as simple as the battery dying YEARS after it’s expected life had run out. It was the last year that GM made cars out of steel instead of fiberglass, so driving through the snow in buffalo was a snap. That thing was heavy. Of course, my heavy doors (it was a 2-door) would be frozen shut every morning, so I have some not so fond memories of hurling my entire body against the door in the morning in order to unstick them and get to school. I never did learn that it might be a good idea to keep the defrosting solution somewhere other than inside the car.

Of course, I know why they killed pontiac. in reality, they were the same cars as chevrolets, but with a little less brand cache (except for the classic firebirds and GTOs). In fact, in college, my friend Vic had a chevy cavalier, in the exact same color as my pontiac, and we used to park them next to each other as a joke. because they were identical.

Still. it made me a little sad. Here’s hoping that GM can pull out of this bankruptcy leaner and more efficient. and, of course, that they start making cars that people want to buy again.

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