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If you think you’ve read about this before, you probably have. But forget everything you may have seen about the last Pontiac automobile ever made. The absolute last one is alive and well. But it’s a strange journey showing, unfortunately, that in the end, a brand’s last car ever made is mostly just another number in the profit ledger. A rental fleet was its initial fate.

Wasn’t the last Pontiac made another car?

The real last Pontiac ever made with assembly workers
The real last Pontiac ever made | General Motors

When we last took a look at the final Pontiac down the Orion Township Assembly Line, it was known to have been in an accident in 2015. It was a total loss. Having VIN 1G2ZA5EB5A4166962, due to it getting a branded title, records show GM voided the G6’s warranty, and its current whereabouts are unknown. The previous G6 to the one above, the second-to-last Pontiac, also met a similar fate. So these “last two Pontiacs” met the same bad endings to their already inglorious rental fleet beginnings.

We thought that to be the end of the sad story, as VINs verify what’s what. Except, it ends up it wasn’t the last. There was one more, with the same VIN as the previous G6, except for the last three numbers being 963. This absolute last Pontiac made was found through the dogged pursuit by members of the Pontiac Transportation Museum in where else, but Pontiac, Michigan. 

How was the last Pontiac made found?

Pontiac Transportation Museum Executive Director Tim Dye with last Pontiac made
Pontiac Transportation Museum Executive Director Tim Dye | Pontiac Transportation Museum

Once Pontiac Museum Executive Director Tim Dye saw the information about the supposed last Pontiac, he wanted to be sure. Through printouts of the last Pontiacs he found, there was that real last VIN ending in 963. With this discovery, he began investigating its whereabouts. 

Originally in an Avis airport rental fleet in Boise, Idaho, after 11 months, it was auctioned to a Pontiac dealership in Colorado. But it was soon back on the auction block heading to another Pontiac dealer in Kansas. That’s where an 82-year-young woman bought the fleet white G6. Nobody knew its historic significance.

The real last Pontiac ever made assembly worker signatures
The real last Pontiac ever made | Pontiac Transportation Museum

For years, the woman drove her G6. Once the museum found her, it got in touch with her daughter. But the woman was not going to let her Pontiac go. Pursuing her for months, she finally gave in and sold it to a friend of the museum, who donated it. Something no one knew about until the donation was all of the assembly plant workers’ signatures hiding under the trunk lining. 

What’s happened to other brands’ last models?

White 1961 Desoto with two models
1961 Desoto | Stellantis

So, where have other defunct automobile brands’ last cars gone? The last Mercury, a 2011 Grand Marquis, was part of a fleet order and its fate is unknown. In 2001, the last Plymouth, a Neon, went to loving hands. The last Oldsmobile, a Dark Cherry Metallic 2004 Alero GLS, was initially part of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing, Michigan. It then went to the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights before selling into private hands. 

Back in the 1960s, the last Studebaker, a 1966 Cruiser sedan, sits in the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, while the last Desoto, a 1961 model, was lost to the winds  

As for Pontiac, at least this last production vehicle is around to complete the legacy of the 84-year-old brand. It’s kind of sad, as the Pontiac Division built some of the most memorable and historic cars GM ever made. From Firebirds and GTOs to Wide Track Bonnevilles and Swiss Cheese Catalinas for drag racing, it had a rich history that should have seen continuation right to today. Unfortunately, it lost its way in its later years. It ended with a rather ignominious end.


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