They had it coming.
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Verdict: As preposterous as an “estate home” McMansion on a quarter-acre lot.
* Pontiac Vibe
Technically, the Vibe still lives, because Toyota is still making them.
The Vibe was never really a Pontiac but rather a “badge-engineered” Toyota Matrix re-sold under the Pontiac label. (And the Vibe/Matrix was of course itself merely a Corolla draped with ugly, mini-dumpster bodywork. )
That alone made it worthy of retirement. Why bother? Buying a “Pontiac” Vibe was a lot like buying the same blue bottle of store-brand NyQuil sold right next to the real stuff, except you didn’t get the one advantage of buying the store-brand stuff — namely, a lower price. The “Pontiac” Vibe was actually priced above the Toyota Matrix — on the rickety theory that people would be willing to pay more for a Toyota if it was sold through a Pontiac dealership, with all the prospects for great customer service that came with it.
Verdict: The Most Pathetic “Pontiac” since the Daewoo-sourced LeMans of the 1980s.
This one’s a mixed bag.
Not all that long ago, Saab was an up-and-comers car, a peer of BMW. Circa mid-late 1980s, a Saab 9-3 convertible was among the coolest things on four wheels. It was a car you bought yourself after graduating law school — or getting that first real job. Saab, the company, was much better placed than its crosstown rival, Volvo — which at the time was still known mainly for its stodgy, boring, god-awful slow PETA staff cars that no one with any life force still pumping within them wanted any part of.
Then GM bought the company. And systematically strangled it.
By 2008 — when everything began to go sour — Saab was already ghosted. An afterthought. Not even spoken of in the same sentence as BMW.
Or even Volvo.
Its cars were staid — or weird. And overpriced, too. Most of the flair that had characterized previous Saab models had been systematically sucked out of them, leaving a lineup of slightly oddball-looking things with often-iffy reliability and BMW-level MSRPs with Lumina-level plasticky interiors.
Verdict: Saab’s downfall parallels the story of Randy “The Ram” Robinson in the movie, The Wrestler. It’s a train wreck, but you can’t stop watching it.
AKA Ford’s Pontiac.
There was a time when, like Pontiac, Mercury had something worthwhile to offer. In fact, it operated as a quasi-independent automaker only loosely associated with parent company Ford. It sold unique or at least different enough models — not rouged-up Fords with higher price tags. Its cars also had great names like Marauder and Turnpike Cruiser (as opposed to Mariner and Mystique).
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?