Extinct Cars – Dinocarus Rex Is On The Loose
Several of us have felt the envy of pulling up to a stoplight in our little commuter only to have something like a Porsche or Ferrari come up beside us and leave us in the dust. Yet we seldom give a second glace to an Oldsmobile Alero or a Pontiac Vibe as they drive by. In our commute we wouldn’t be surprised to see a hawk, yet we would be surprised to see a velociraptor. We should delight at the chance to see some of these extinct cars in action!
Next year’s Ferraris are celebrating 60 years in America. Next year’s Porsches offer one of the most diverse line ups yet (Believe it or not, Porsche actually offers the widest range of Hybrid vehicles. (Not what one would expect, but it’s true). Next year’s Oldsmobiles are…non-existent. Same with this years, and last years. There are a number of car brands we see drive past us that have gone the way of the dinosaur. Extinct. Cars that still run, still get us where we are going, and still provide an option for those looking for a first vehicle or for something affordable. So just what cars will we be digging up bones from in a few years?
Ghosts In The Machine
Geo – This might be the least surprising on this list, but the popular little Geo that can be seen whizzing around city streets is no more. The most popular models, a small car (Metro) and an SUV (Tracker) enjoyed a fairly decent run for about 11 years (1989 to 2000). Geo was introduced under GM to compete with smaller import cars coming from overseas. When the mid 2000’s hit and SUV’s became the rage, the Tracker was the last model of Geo being sold, and was replaced with the Chevrolet Equinox. This ended Geo’s run as an economy vehicle brand.
Oldsmobile – Many youth growing up today either owns or knows at least one person who’s first or second car was an Oldsmobile Alero. Oldsmobile is actually one of the older manufacturers on this list, operating for 107 years (making it one of the oldest in the world). While the last car produced by Oldsmobile was the Alero, its most popular was the Cutlass. As with other brands on this list, Oldsmobile fell under the GM brand, and was fatally phased out when GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
Pontiac – More popular in Canada than the United States, Pontiac offered a low price consumer vehicle for over 80 years. Pontiac was most well-known for its Sunfire (a popular beginner’s car), Montana van, and Grand-Am sedan. Pontiac also had a claim to fame in the muscle car days, with the GTO, LeMans and later the Firebird. It was also known for one of the most hated vehicle designs of all time, the Aztek. You can guess a trend here, Pontiac fell victim to GM rebranding in 2009 and was discontinued.
Saturn- Saturn revolutionized the auto market with its trademark plastic body panels. These panels were dent resistant and we touted as allowing the company to instantly change the look of your car, although this was never fully utilized. Saturn’s most memorable models include the Ion, the S and L series, and the final Vue. It’s fairly easy to guess what happened to Saturn, GM attempted to sell off the brand, and was unsuccessful. The final Saturn dealerships closed in 2010.
Suzuki – Some may feel that this brand is still being made, as they may still receive flyers and see ads on television. While the off-road vehicles (ATV and Marine) as well as motorcycle divisions are doing quite well, the automotive division has been scrapped (made clear by the barren Suzuki Automotive website). Classic Suzuki models include the Swift, Grand Vitara, and Sidekick. Other countries outside of North America continue to offer Suzuki vehicles, but Suzuki Canada shut its doors as of 2013. You may be wondering why GM shut this one down too, but this time GM had nothing to do with the brands closing. Suzuki Canada cited poor sales in North America (the brand remains 10th overall worldwide in sales, ahead of Chrysler, BMW and Mazda) as its reason for closing.
Extinct Cars – A Fond Farewell
It’s hard to see all these vehicles knowing that they are the last of their kind. Cars like the Sunfire and Alero were typical first cars for millennials, and many people have fond memories learning to drive or having that first taste of freedom owning a car brings. Over time these cars will fade from pieces of steel and rubber, to memories only held on to by those lucky enough to have experienced them. If you have a treasured beast, make sure it get the service it deserves.
Get sentimental in the comments below! What extinct car do you miss?