When The General decided to eliminate the Oldsmobile brand— I’m still convinced that the main reason for the execution was the syllable Old in the marque’s name— the process took nearly a half-decade, with nostalgia-drenched “Final 500” editions of the last Oldsmobile models released with great solemnity. Even the ho-hum Silhouette minivan got a Final 500 version for its sendoff. When the Pontiac Division’s time came at the close of the 2000s, the 84-year-old marque was shoved out the door to stagger to an ignominious death, unloved and alone in a Michigan drainage ditch. Here’s one of the very last Pontiacs ever built, found in a Denver boneyard last month.
The division’s production story began with the 1926 Pontiac Six, and it ended when the final G6 rolled off the line at Orion Assembly in January of 2010.
Today’s Junkyard Find shows a build date of October 2009, which makes it the latest discarded G6 I’ve been able to locate (I found a junked July ’09 car, also in Rent Me White, last fall). The Vibe was available as a 2010 model, but production at NUMMI halted when the soon-to-become-Tesla-owned plant began shutting down in August of 2009. Some Daewoo-built G3s remained on dealer lots well into 2010, but they were 2009 models stranded by their Aveo-ness. That makes this G6 one of the last handful of Pontiacs ever made.
Like most late-production G6s, this car has the base 2.4-liter Ecotec (rated at 164 hp) and a zero-frills interior.
We can feel fairly certain that it served as a rental car for a couple of years, then soldiered on as an increasingly neglected cheap commuter for the remainder of the 2010s.
Then a fender-bender happened, and what sane person pays a body shop to patch up a slightly bent non-truck from a defunct marque in 2020 Colorado? You’ll find every self-service car graveyard around Denver packed with 10-to-15-year-old Detroit sedans in not-so-rough condition, while their truck and sorta-truck-shaped brethren stay on the street.
I still need to shoot a 2011 Mercury and a 2001 Plymouth for this series, but I’m still not certain that the final Saturns deserve such an honor. We’ll see.
For links to 2,000+ additional Junkyard Finds, Treasures, and Gems, head to the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand.
The G6 was a Chevy Malibu under the skin, but it benefited from Pontiac Excitement.
Have you ever started a car from across the road? Given your backseat passengers a tan? Or driven a four-door like a sports car?