The times they are a-changin’, and automakers are slashing the excess weight from their fleets to stay afloat, sometimes doing away with entire brand names in the process. Now that the oily dust is beginning to settle it’s time to take a look at some of the poor autos that weren’t fortunate (profitable) enough to avoid the chopping block, and several of the inspiring survival stories that made the cut as listed at Jalopnik.com’s “Carpopocalypse Now”.
NO LONGER WITH US
-Pontiac. She’s gone, Gone! On the plus side, that means Pontiac fans now have the rare opportunity to buy modern day classic cars – In the excitement division’s final months of production the total number of Pontiac G8 GXPs and Solstice Coupes EVER produced will top out at just 2,000 units said Buick/GMC/Pontiac marketing chief Cheryl Clatton. She called the new cars potential “collector items.” (1) For any Pontiac fan with the capital to invest in this extraordinarily lucractive buyer’s market, now would be a great time to head down to the local dealership and pick up a car or two that could APPRECIATE in value after its driven off the lot.
-Camaro Z28. This one hurts, because an even higher performance version of the already ridiculous new Camaro never even had the chance to be killed off; release of the close to production ready Z28 that could have gone head to head with the Mustang GT500 was halted in the concept phase. According to Motor Trend, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said he sees performance cars moving away from big V-8 engines as emissions and fuel-economy requirements get stricter. (2).
NOT TRUCKIN’/STILL TRUCKIN’
-Diesel Dodge Ram 1500. Dodge made the first one back in 1981, but the buck stops in 2009, because Dodge is part of Chrysler and Chrysler declared the B word. In effect, Dodge will not be able to offer the light-duty diesel engine originally intended for the new half-ton Ram – at least for now. Rumor has it that Chrysler will bring back the lil’ hauler as part of the new Chrysler LLC with more than a couple enticing changes. (3)
-Dodge Power Wagon. It’s back! Pickuptrucks.com spotted the new ride in a not so sneaky public appearance:
“How do we know it’s the Power Wagon? Big “Power Wagon” lettering across the rear tailgate, an integrated winch in the front bumper and its hallmark solid front axle give it away. The purpose-built Power Wagon is the only 2010 Ram HD model with a 4.56 rear axle, locking front and rear differentials, and electric sway bar disconnect for maximum articulation off-road. It looks like the 2010 Ram Power Wagon will carry over its BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO LT285x70R17 33-inch tires and 17-inch aluminum wheels from the 2005-09 model.” (4)
-Dodge Viper. After looking unsuccessfully for a proper suitor to take ownership of the beloved American icon, Chrysler announced that they had not received any bids that met their requirements and decided to keep the Viper as their very own (and Fiat’s). Making the saga even more special, after Chrysler halted all of its manufacturing for nearly seven weeks after their bankruptcy the first factory to reopen was the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, the one that manufactures the $90,000 Viper. (5)
-2010 Ford Mustang. Don’t flip your wig; the new Mustang is alive and well. We’re talking about an unconfirmed story where three 19-year olds lived the dream and talked someone into letting them take a 2010 Ford Mustang GT out for a test drive. Guess what happened. They stole it and eventually totaled it when the driver lost control. From Jalopnik.com:
“The crash was violent enough to destroy every bit of front-end body work, crinkle the main cabin structure and tear the front suspension off. OFF. None of the kids were wearing seat belts of course, and one was ejected from the vehicle in the crash, but unbelievably they all walked away with scratches and bruises.” (6)