Pontiac is Racist

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Washington Redskins no longer play football; instead a “football team” from “Washington” does.

That, at least, is what the ex-Redskins were called until someone came up with “Commanders” – a name as vapidly generic as the latest refrigerator white or silver crossover SUV.

Of course, it was said – mostly by white Leftists – that the Redskins name (and image) were racist. As if a team of elite-level athletes would abide playing under a derogatory name. As if fans of the Redskins were mocking American Indians when they cheered for the Redskins.

Most American Indians understood that the Redskins name and image were meant to honor the bravery and spirit of American Indian warriors in battle – which is what a pro football game is in every way other way except for the actual scalping. The Redskins – like any other pro football team – played to win. Not to mock.

How about Pontiac?

Did GM – the parent company – intend to make fun of the great chief after which it named what was, for many years, among its most successful car divisions? That makes all kinds of sense, doesn’t it? Because when you’re trying to sell people something, you want them to associate what you’re trying to sell them with something embarrassing . . .  .

Of course, it was in fact the opposite of that.

Pontiac, the man, was a a great chief – a formidable leader of his people, the Odawa. He was a key figure in the French and Indian War that pitted the British (and American colonists) against the armies of France and their Indian allies in North America. He organized his tribe – along with allied tribes – to fight the British in the Great Lakes area and for control of what was then Fort Detroit (that became the Motor City).

Pontiac was no fool – and GM honored his spirit (as well as his likeness) when it named its Pontiac division after him in 1926.

At first, Pontiac – the brand – was a kind of adjunct to Oakland, in the same way that Mercury was an adjunct of Ford except in reverse order as Oakland was considered the the fancier (and pricier) brand. But Pontiac quickly overtook Oakland in popularity and took over the business by 1933 – the chief’s image and the stylized arrowhead leading the way.

These symbolized the boldness that Pontiac became famous for in its heyday. Who else but Pontiac – under the leadership of a chief Pontiac himself would likely have considered a kindred spirit, i.e., John DeLorean – would have had the audacity to put together and actually offer for sale a car like the 1964 GTO?

It changed the course of the car industry.

Before the GTO, there were powerful cars – for those who could afford them – and the rest were plebeian cars, for those who could not. The wild thing Pontiac did was to take the power and make it affordable – by taking a big engine from a full-sized Pontiac and installing it in a smaller, lighter – and much less expensive Pontiac. Thus, the Tempest became the GTO – and thus was born the first mass-market muscle car. It created a whole new category of car and inspired a bevy of respectful emulators. No one tries to emulate the insulting.

Pontiac also led the way in pioneering what became the personal luxury coupe, in the form of the Grand Prix (especially the SSJ version, which was reputed to be DeLorean’s personal favorite and heavily influenced in its design by the man himself). This type of car became one of the most successful kinds of cars by the mid-1970s, by which time every other division of GM was producing (and selling lots of) similar cars, such as the Chevy Monte Carlo and the Buick Skylark and the Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Ditto Ford and Chrysler (including, famously, the Cordoba of Ricardo Montalban fame).

And – of course – there was the Firebird. Named after – and in honor of – the American Indian mythological figure, it became one of the most iconic cars ever.

Initially, it was a kind of also-ran that GM allowed Pontiac to sell as its own, slightly different, version of the brand-new 1967 Camaro. But by 1970, it was running ahead of its sibling – especially the Trans-Am version, which made its debut that year sporting a full complement of air dams and spoilers as well as the now-famous “shaker” scoop poking through its hood that literally shook left-and-right in concert with the mighty Ram Air III (and IV) V8s that were under the hood. It made its sister car, the Z28 Camaro, look almost like a dowager in comparison.

It was a car worthy of its arrowhead crest. If Chief Pontiac had been around in 1970, a RA III four speed Trans-Am would likely have been his car of choice. Perfect for scalping the competition.

No one took offense – because who would? Boldness and presence being laudatory attributes.

Luckily – as it turned out – GM retired Pontiac 13 years ago (after the 2010 model year) by which time it had become something no longer bold – and without much presence. It had stopped selling Pontiacs many years prior, when GM decided to use the name of the great chief to re-sell Chevys and Buicks.

That was insulting. A mockery.

And it was more-than-reason-enough to stop re-selling Chevys and Buicks under the name of Pontiac. But to suggest that Pontiac – in its heyday – was some kind of slight, a kind of vehicular minstrel show, is as idiotic an assertion as the recent ones made about the Washington Redskins.

Proud warriors don’t need to be apologized for.

And Pontiac – the man and the brand – were just that.

. . .

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

If you like items like the Safety Cult T shirt pictured below, you can find that and more at the EPautos store!







  1. Given that Pontiacs were paired with Oaklands, chances are that the original intention in naming them was to evoke civic pride in (and sell cars to) the workforce, many of whom came from the municipalities of (tom-tom roll) Pontiac and Oakland. That, or the naming committee couldn’t do better than to throw darts at a Michigan map.

    Yes, I know the town of Pontiac took its name from the celebrated chief, and I know that most of the frothing Haters don’t even know there was a chief named Pontiac. It’s all just atrocious theater, written in the halls of Langley or…wherever. Shakespeare must be rolling in his grave.

  2. I predict more car brands will follow Pontiac into the grave, because I think interest rates are going to the moon. Case in point, today interest rates jumped to new highs (since they bottomed out around 2-3 years ago). Here is a chart of what I think is going down:


    Obviously, with record high car and real estate prices, climbing interest rates are going to cause a huge problem – because those big ticket items are purchased on credit – and used car loan prices are soaring – and could EASILY be above 20% by next year.

    If you want an explanation why, deficit spending is completely out of control, and no one can tame it. Biden is a lunatic spender, spending money on a lost war, when we have no strategic interest in Ukraine, nor do we have any cash laying around to throw at gay actor Ziolensky and the slaughter which has already taken 500,000 Uke lives. Every dollar has to be borrowed, and when you are 33 trillion in debt, you should not be flushing money down the toilet in another lost war.

    That war is demonic. We should not be funding it. In fact we should be balancing the budget, but we are not, the national debt jumped 1 trillion in the last 3 months. If you recall, it took the nation 227 years to reach the first trillion of debt, and the increase of 1 trillion increments takes less and less time.


    “U.S. national debt tops $1 trillion, Oct. 22, 1981”

    (Do you remember Arizona threatened to leave the union if it breached 2 trillion?)

    And that can not go on forever, as the only way to pay for such huge debts is inflation, which is now above the Fed target of 2%, and could take off again – which I think is certain ’cause that little weasel Paul Krugman, said it was tamed – and he is like Jim Cramer – always wrong – thus a good reverse barometer.

    Today bond interest rates jumped – gapped up – this a day after the Fed meeting – the bond market is starting to react to inflation – which the Fed can not stop. Pandora’s Box got opened when the Fed jacked M1 by 16 trillion in the pandemic.

    And you all know that if rising interest rates kill car sales, Biden will throw even more money to stimulate. Rising rates could be the trigger to the Great Reset and eating of ze bugs.

    BTW I am very suspicious of that show Fear Factor which showed graphic bug eating.

  3. Say what you will, but naming a car the”GTO” was a raging case of Cultural Appropriation. And that’s exactly what De Lorain was going for. Nothing inadvertent about it at all.

    Except for Enzo, nobody gave a damn either .

  4. I don’t remember much attention being paid to the Pontiac name as an infringement on native Americans. I think most liberals are too stupid about history and only know simple things like tribe names.

    My first few cars and some after were Pontiacs. I still go by the dealer where I bought my first one, now a Toyota dealer.

    I think GM hit the skids when they ended Pontiac. They were the one brand that could create some excitement. Cadillac: luxury, Chevy: economy. Buick: popular in China. GM: trucks. Now bankruptcy and soon dissolution.

    • This post is worded in a very creepy, AI fashion.

      What human writes like this?:

      “I think most liberals are too stupid about history and only know simple things like tribe names.”

      “My first few cars and some after were Pontiacs.”

      “They were the one brand that could create some excitement.” This is drawing on the old tag line “Pontiac: We build excitement.”

      “Now bankruptcy and soon dissolution.” Well the bankruptcy was about 15 years ago and there was no dissolution.

      All of this is written with a sort of facile knowledge of things. What a creepy bot! Go away, bot. Go away.

      • My first new car purchase was a Pontiac Sunfire. Convertible with manual. Really liked that car. Next up was a Grand Am, wanted a Trans Am, but family.

        The Trans Am’s of that era looked like the Batmobile. I really would have loved to have one. After a minivan my wife got a Vibe. Which was a decent little car.

        Considering the GTO, Trans Am, Fiero, and Solstice. Pontiac put out some of the coolest US production vehicles. Excitement indeed.

        • What human would say this (especially when responding to a question about past ownership): “Considering the GTO, Trans Am, Fiero, and Solstice. Pontiac put out some of the coolest US production vehicles. Excitement indeed.”

    • LOL, spot on. And hang them all for signing loyalty oaths to Israel. I hope to see the day when 538 congress criminals are hung down Pennsylvania Ave., swayin’ in the breeze.

  5. I think a few people decided to make a big deal over cultural appropriation because they could. No one really ever thought much about names of things (you know… like the Mississippi [Misi-ziibi], Missouri [he of the big canoe] and Ohio [ohi-yo’] rivers) before, if only because they were named hundreds of years before the white man destroyed the North American Utopia.

    A little education is a terrible thing, probably worse than none at all. All the people who went to college after their parents became middle class figured out that the longer they stayed in school the longer they could avoid work. So they got their grad school dissertations in the library, reading old newspapers and books with an eye to adding their two cents to the collective. But there’s only so much you can say about 18th century political views, so they had to extropolate and attempt to mindread across time. I guess it worked, because we’re dealing with this sort of crap now.

    Too bad, because I have a feeling eventuall every manufactured product will just devolve into a number, like European cars. Somehow “750il” doesn’t evoke the same visceral reaction as “Skylark” or “Thunderbird” but I guess that’s marketing’s problem.

  6. This Oldsmobile/Subaru guy has a lot of respect and admiration for Pontiac—the chief and the car.

    Speaking of which, I trust Dr. Oldsmobile the mad Rocket Scientist over a lot of doctors and scientists out there! Yes, “science” meant something very different when Oldsmobile’s Rocket engines roamed the highways.

    If Pontiac hadn’t been, well, scalped, in 2010, it sure would have by now.

  7. I saw a red MG for sale recently

    Not a Pontiac but another dream car

    Looked a little rough, no idea what gremlins are under the hood, but the ragtop appears intact.

    Sorely tempted.

    • Do it. Old MGs have soul and character and are very fun to drive. You’ll never regret it, even when battling the Prince of Darkness’ electrics, the single worst part of them.

      • I agree. MGB’s, if not afflicted with terminal dogleg rot, are a most visceral, most fun little ride. So easy to work on.
        Now you’ve done it Publius…roll on English car jokes!
        Lucas headlamp switches have 3 positions, Dim, Flicker, and Off!
        Why do MG’s leak oil? To keep the front end lubricated!
        It’s not an MG hood (top) unless one can pass an Old Speckled Hen through the gaps!
        Proud owner of a 1967 MGB for 20 years.

  8. Growing up in Az we had Indians in our school. Heck, we used to play Cowboys and Indians as little kids. Was even in the Indian guides, before Cub Scouts. Never knew any Indians, or their parents, to concern themselves with such trivialities as sports ball team names. If anything, it was a matter of pride in their overall native culture. They did have a natural aversion to each other. Navajo, Hopi, Apache, all made it clear they were not the same, by highlighting their ancient accomplishments/animosities. Probably one reason we so easily subjugated them. Its history repeating today, with white Americans who cant even agree that we’re being replaced.

  9. Boy, Eric, do I WISH I’d never given up my graduation present, my grandmother’s 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix, with a 400 V8 and Turbo-Hydro 400. That car was FUN to drive, and even with 115K on the odometer, it still could cruise on I-5 in the West San Joaquin valley at over 110 mph in the middle of the night! Big nose on the front clip, about 16 inches of empty space in between the engine and the radiator, seven feet of hood…that car was a TRIBUTE to American “excess” and just plain automotive FUN, but it rode like you were driving a couch.

  10. Chief Pontiac was at least from the Detroit area, makes good sense to name a car make after someone who helped the place be in existence. The same for Cadillac, the frog who founded Detroit.

    The Washington football team needs a better nickname. A name that is relevant to the population of the city, the demographics. A more appropriate name that reflects the culture of Washingtonians. The Washington Criminals, that is better than ‘Commanders’ for gosh sake, maybe the Washington Crocodiles or Washington Snakes, closer to the political zeitgeist there. The Washington Collectivists is about right, that works too. Maybe the Washington Warmongers for the baseball team.

    Going to have to rename Yosemite to a mostly peaceful name like Sierra National Park. Can’t have a national park name that translates to ‘those who kill’. Or maybe the leftists think it’s a great name.

    Rename the Potomac, can’t have a Red man word for a river where the Washington snakes live. Another outrage. Name it the BlueGrey River, has a significant historical reference then.

    The New York Knickerbockers is a great name for a team, honoring the culture there.

    Buick Riviera can’t be beat for a model name.

    Have to rename Tecumseh engines, the Mississippi, the Ohio, rivers can’t have Native American words anymore.

    Pontiac is an acronym for Poor Old N****r Thinks It’s A Cadillac.

    • Have you seen the Washington Commanders mascot?? They are henceforth to be referred to as the Washington War Pigs. I don’t care what they call themselves.

  11. Dumbass Americans in their zeal to be virtuous and politically correct actually insult those they ‘think’ they’re trying to protect when it’s them that are the uneducated fools. The White Races are disappearing themselves and deservedly so. No longer improving societies now claiming it was past generations that have destroyed everything including the planet. Their answer? To eliminate cheap transportation,,, no convenient heating or cooling and bring C02 to zero having no clue that will kill off all plant and animal life. They are an embarrassment to the species.

  12. ‘taking a big engine from a full-sized Pontiac and installing it in a smaller, lighter – and much less expensive Pontiac’ — eric

    With specific output of IC engines having tripled since DeLorean’s day, even a small engine would suffice for blazing performance if installed in a lightweight vehicle. But such vehicles aren’t produced anymore, thanks to hulking Leviathan which thinks it can design cars (and 14,000 lb Joint Light [sic] Tactical Vehicles, and F35s that need a groomed, vacuumed runway — oh, you effing clowns!).

    This leaves only vintage vehicles for us to play with, which by nature is a small-scale, personal and local undertaking.

    Thinking to start our own tribe of militant Luddites, the Whiteskins. I’m Captain Analog … pleased to meetcha.

    • Indeed, Jim!

      Just consider the current Camry V6. It is quicker to 60 and through the quarter mile than probably 80 percent of factory stock ’60s/early ’70s muscle cars. Now imagine how quick and fast it would be if it weighed 1,000 pounds less or – better yet – that magnificent V6 were installed in an 1,800 pound Lotus 7 kind-of-car.

      So sad what we could have had…

      • This car exists – in Europe. The Lotus Exige V6. They took a series 2 Elise (1950 lb) and put a Camry V6 in it (2500lb now). They were blisteringly fast.

        I bought a broken Elise 15 years ago now, and fixed it. It’s 2000lb, 215HP, totally analog, and even no power steering. I’ve been driving it at the track all those years, and enjoying the hell out of it on the street too. I can’t see myself ever getting rid of it because nothing like it will ever be made again, it’s illegal.

        On proper tires, this car corners at 1.5 G’s at the track.

    • regarding groom runways I seen a video from about 10 years on a Russian fighter plane and the airbase it was stationed at. Scrap planes sitting around and definitely not a groomed runway. The officer in the interview pointed out that in war time the run way would be damaged so the plane was designed so the air intake for the engine shifted to the top of the wing at low speeds to prevent engine damage.

      Oh those Russians, somehow I get the feeling their smarter than we think and am I the only one who wouldn’t mind owing an AvtoVaz 1500?

    • Hi Chris,

      The 455 in my ’76 is built in emulation of the RA III 400. Same cam, less compression – more displacement! It pulls hard – and there’s no replacing the moan of the Q Jet when the secondaries dump open!

      • That’s because, being designed in the FIFTIES, that Pontiac engine had to have it’s production compression LOWERED, down to 7.6:1. That’s like most stock engines that were FLATHEADS, including Pontiac’s own straight-8, topped out at! That was due to how to reduce NOx emissions, and then strangle that engine with “cats”, since the engine had to run a tad “rich” in order, again, to NOT produce NOx. Not only did the “cats” rob power by excessive back pressure, they also caused greater fuel consumption due to the rich mixture, and shortened engine life by excess gasoline washing down the cylinder walls and/or diluting the crankcase oil. I would argue that this obsession, akin to in the Stark Trek original series episode of that name, Captain Kirk turning into “Captain Ahab” in pursuit of, not an angry cetacean, but some malevolent cloud being that dined on “hew-mon” red blood corpuscles, was COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE, overall, for that hallowed “environment”, in terms of more petroleum used, more resources spent on crap that hampered engine performance, and shortened vehicle life. Not unlike today’s EV SCAM.

  13. I’m not much of a stick n’ ball fan but off the top of my head, there’s Braves, Chiefs, Blackhawks, Seminoles, and Chippewas. I know the Cleveland Indians got renamed as did a ton of college teams (e.g. Fighting Sioux was such a badass name).

    When are they gonna start demanding to rename cities & states? Let’s start with Massachusetts and Connecticut. I suggest the former be called Elitist Snob Hell and the latter be renamed to Where Rich New Yorkers escape New York..

    • well, the Soviets renamed St. Petersburg “Leningrad,” and since we are in the throes of a race-communist revolution, yeah, it could happen:


      “The Democratic-led council’s Cultural Affairs Committee is set to hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to yank artworks from city property dedicated to historical figures such as George Washington, Peter Stuyvesant and Christopher Columbus…”

    • I’m in Oklahoma, where they dumped all of the unwanted some years ago. ALL of the towns are native American names. Would be a bunch of paperwork.

  14. Own 4 pontiacs, 2 4 gen birds, a 2005 goat and a nice solstice.

    Proud to call them pontiacs. The woke crowd can kiss my butt

  15. The woke society just wiped out what remained of native-american pride. All references to American Indians as mascots and symbols are gone. Poof! They did what the US govt in the 1880’s couldn’t do – made the American Indian disappear from society. Isn’t it ironic from people who only want the best for the downtrodden?

    I’m still waiting for Notre Dame to get rid of the fighting Irish leprechaun. As an Irish-American I’m triggered! We don’t all get drunk and donny brook ya know (just sometimes)!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here