Over the course of the last 110 years or so, the world has watched as a number of automotive companies have risen and fallen. While some companies like Ford and General Motors have managed to withstand the test of time, seemingly an endless number of others have become nothing more than a distant memory. That said, not every disappeared brand is destined to be forgotten. More than a decade after it left dealer showrooms, Pontiac remains a beloved automaker in the eyes of many. In fact, a new report from Budget Direct suggests that Pontiac is missed more than any other defunct automaker, thanks to models like the Firebird and GTO.
According to Budget Direct, the publication used Google Search data in order to discover which defunct brand maintains the most amount of love online. After tabulating the results, General Motors’ former Pontiac brand led the competition by a significant margin. In fact, Arrowhead-wearing vehicles accounted for nine of the top fifty searches related to extinct automobiles. The Pontiac Firebird came in on top with 111,000 monthly searches, whereas the Pontiac GTO came in second place with 88,000 monthly searches. Surprisingly, the Pontiac Aztec holds down the number 7 slot, thanks to some 72,000 monthly searches. We can probably thank Walter White for that one, however.
The massive amount of love for Pontiac doesn’t necessarily come as a huge surprise. Despite the occasional misstep, the brand was long known as the more-enthusiast oriented option within GM. Things certainly got a bit less interesting at Pontiac towards the end however, as GM continued to badge-engineer its way towards Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. That said, models like the Pontiac Firebird and the Pontiac GTO remain icons of affordable performance to this day. Considering how lacking General Motors current lineup is in the sporty department, we don’t expect this love to taper off any time soon.
The Great Recession certainly wasn’t kind to the automotive industry. The loss of brands like Pontiac and Hummer was genuinely upsetting to enthusiasts, if not a good thing for The General’s pocketbook. That said, the Hummer nameplate has made a triumphant return to the market recently in EV form. Perhaps we could one day see the return of an enthusiast-oriented Pontiac as well. Perhaps.