10 iconic brands that disappeared

In the dog-eat-dog world of business, companies come and companies go. Yet some of the dearly departed retain a soft spot in our cultural memory.

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May 25, 2012 8:07AM
there is only one slogan we need to follow, live in America buy American
Apr 30, 2012 12:02PM

Specifically concerning the General Motors brands here, I can fully understand why Hummer and Saab were discontinued.  The reasons for the demise of Oldsmobile is less clear.  But a few remaining GM mysteries in my mind are:


1.  Why discontinue Saturn?  I had a 1993 Saturn that was one of the best cars I ever owned.  Very reliable.  Great gas mileage.  Rust-proof plastic body panels.  What's not to like?


2.  Why discontinue Pontiac?  Very popular and reasonably-priced brand.


3.  Finally, why continue to have both Chevrolet and GMC trucks?  They are virtually identical.  Why not discontinue Chevy trucks and just make GMC GM's truck line.  I don't get it.

Apr 30, 2012 1:34PM

What about Plymouth?  They were certainly more of an iconic brand than most of the others.

Apr 30, 2012 12:16PM

Mr. Anthrope--

In reference to your second question concerning Pontiac, it's because in all the years Pontiac was in existance they never earned a profit.  They kept producing the product because people loved them so much and Pontiac was an American icon.  Nonetheless, they were never a money-maker to GM.  It's a shame, too, because my husband and I both love our Pontiacs--he has a Grand Prix and I have a G6 GT, and they have been wonderfull

Apr 30, 2012 5:11PM
What killed Pan Am wasn't Lockerbie or high fuel prices -- it was the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.  Before then, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) regulated airtline rates & routes; under that regime, Pan Am couldn't fly domestically & the domestic US airlines couldn't fly internationally, so they fed their international passengers to Pan Am & Pan Am fed international passengers to them.  Under the ADA 78 & its implementation, all US airlines were allowed to fly internationally & of course they were well-positioned to keep their domestic passengers for themselves & take international passengers to inland destinations.  The ADA 78 pretended to level the playing field by allowing Pan Am to fly domestically -- but what chance did it have without a domestic feeder system against an array of entrenched domestic airlines?  When the ADA 78 passed, Pan Am was doomed & everyone in the CAB knew it.  How do I know this?  I was a routes & rates attorney at the CAB when it happened.
Apr 30, 2012 7:26PM
Well how about AMC, Oldmobile, Pontiac, TWA, Otis Elevator, RCA, Magnavox, Zenith, Hudson, and the list goes on and on........  Poorly written article that doesn't take into consideration many other smaller companies that have disappeared.
Apr 30, 2012 12:01PM
Iconic, Hummer?????  Not one thing was great about the Hummer, just watching the raise and fall of the company. Produced products that served no real purpose to the mass public.
May 25, 2012 4:42PM
Yeah,1966 Olds 442 convertable,4 speed,4 barrel,dual exhausts,and premium fuel was 36 cents a gallon,I kick myself in the **** for selling that car,GM did everything they could to kill that brand,along with Pontiac,I always loved my domestic GM cars for awhile,then scumbag Roger Smith took control of GM,as far as I'm concerned,that man could screw up a one car funeral. Once Obama bailed them out,he screwed alot of people and kissed the UAW's ****,who pretty much will own GM,(if they don't already do),kudos to Ford for not taking any of our tax dollars.
Apr 30, 2012 7:14PM
Unfortunately , Olds and Pontiac that were  2 of the greatest car builders of all times are now gone. Who would ever have thought it ??? I was lucky enough to not only drive but own some of the fastest cars these makers ever built. Nothing at all even close to the heart pounding sensation when you mash down on the gas in a 442 !!! Who can forget the G.T.O  ?? I wont go on as you get the idea. Sad , sad and more sad. Memories.......
Apr 30, 2012 4:59PM
What about Pontiac?  Great cars no longer produced.  Guess you can say the same for Mercury even though that is not a General Motors product.
May 1, 2012 1:58AM
This old retired guy remembers his first car - 57 Olds 88 with the J2 setup (tri-power) on a 348 cu motor, with the Jetaway trans with "super gear".  Won a lot of street drags until the 400 cu blocks of the the early 60s hit the streets.  Upgraded to 63 Catalina with 389 and tripps. 

In 70 bought what was then one of GM's ultimate muscle machines - Buick GS455 with real ram air induction, turbo 400 trans, over 500 lbs of torque and loved Sunoco 260. Kept that beast for 20 years and until it rotted out from under me.

Nevertheless, the 442s and GTOs will always be in a class by themselves.  Despite the good old days of big iron, I'm glad to see that muscle cars are not dead and still out there, some approaching 500 to 600 HP.  But at my age I would kill myself.

May 25, 2012 12:33PM
69 Z/28 RS.....Shell Super..102 Octane...21 cents a gallon...Everyone had their favorite car. Their favorite time.  40 Years from now, kids will be thinkin. .Damn, I wish I still had that old 2012 or 2013 Mustang GT......Remember when you could buy gas for your car......My electric bill is over $ 3,000 dollars a month because of this damned electric car. Sure wish those fools in 2012 woulda drilled more wells.
Apr 30, 2012 4:51PM
I had a black oldsmobile Cutlass S. It had a plaque on the side (B pillar) that said DBSX on it. Never knew what that stood for. It had red interior with T-tops. 1977. The paint shinned like glass and the small red pinstripes matched the interior. Put chrome wire wheels on it. Cruised the "gut" , Riverside Ave, in Spokane, Wa., at nights with it. What a beautiful car that was. Have owned lots of vehicles, lots of different makes. That Olds was COOL!
May 25, 2012 3:22PM
I remember all of these brands; the one that I was happy see die was the Hummer; I drove these crappy vehicles in the military and would never have thought about owning one as these were overhyped and poorly made.
Apr 30, 2012 2:27PM
They also forgot Woolworths, probably the largest chain of retail stores, which lasted a hundred years and built one of the first skyskrapers in new york city for their executive offices. The woolworth building, with its art deco lobby, still stands under that name. They sold shlock and coined the phrase 5 and Dime store, but couldnt keep up with the more upscale department store trend.
Apr 30, 2012 1:10PM
Apr 30, 2012 4:02PM
Mr BodyGuard....I don't think most people know what you are saying LOL....get some gramer lessons before you try to run your mouth, moron
Apr 30, 2012 4:45PM
gone are the days of "full-service servicestation"....check the oil, tires and $1 gas.....
Apr 30, 2012 5:07PM
You can than the goverment for deregulation of the airlines. I worked from 1959-1996 for Capital (now United Airlines) and watch how a few major airlines destroyed the airlines industry of today. In the early 90's ,United, Delta, American,Northwest and TWA met in Scottsdale AZ to plan in the coming years we will only have 4 major airlines. Just look at the number of airlines driven out of business or merged as of today. Now the next one will be US Air and American. I can go on and on about the underhanding of the airlines but who really cares?
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