It became official today: Pontiac is in the grave. As of August 2009, Pontiac rolled its last vehicle, a Vibe, off its assembly lines. And some wonder why GM closed the doors? But as of today, all of the cars are gone, and the dealerships are officially closing their doors…

Well, I’d like to take this time to say goodbye, personally, to one of the greatest automotive companies that has, as of recently, been coming out of retirement. Sure, Pontiac wasn’t making all the cars they should have been making. And with the G6, G5, G3, Vibe, etc. they weren’t making cars that were really worth a damn.

But my hat goes off to the Firebirds of old; to the Solstice, G8/G8 GXP and GTO (old and new). So they didn’t make the most exciting cars, but I dare anyone to get into a G8 and not say to themselves, “I think they’re getting it!” Many people didn’t like the newer, Holden-ized GTO, but I quite liked it. I’ll tell you, every BMW E46 M3 owner that I know had respect for them. A stock 5.7-liter or 6.0-liter GTO could seriously hang with some of the best Germany had to offer.

Then my heart goes out to the Solstice. Together with the Saturn Sky, they were able to outsell the all too amazing Mazda Miata. That’s a feat that no one has been able to do.

But when I really think about Pontiac, I think about the first ever muscle car, the GTO of 1964. One of the greatest and hottest selling sports cars of all time, it was to be a legend that died too young. As Billy Joel once said, “Only the good die young…” Thanks, Billy.

And thanks to you, GM. See what you did? You took one of your most promising brands, and you killed it. In order to get what you wanted. Too bad, so sad. Pontiac should have had the G8, G8 GXP, Solstice, another modern GTO (with more retro styling) and a newer, Camaro based Firebird. That’s all you needed. Make those cars, because they can get good enough gas mileage, be cheap enough, and have great styling that makes people walk away from a Miata, a Mustang, a BMW M3, etc.

I’m pourin’ one out for my old-school homies tonight, fellas. And I suggest you do so, too.