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Whatever Happened to the Pontiac 6000?

The Pontiac 6000 is a car that was manufactured and sold by General Motors from 1973 to 1990. The vehicle was well known for its sleek design, power, and performance. Though the company has stopped producing this popular vehicle in 1990, some are still on the road today; however, their numbers are dwindling. Join us as we take a look at one of America's favorite cars of all time: the Pontiac 6000!

1983–89 Pontiac 6000 STE

The largest American car company, General Motors Company, is based in the Renaissance Center in Detroit. It was founded by Billy Durant, who wanted to build a better mousetrap than what had been on offer until that point. Despite initial struggles with his foot-pedal powered carriage and early ignition problems, he assembled an automaker of global proportions such as Toyota can only dream about reaching. Nowadays, 209 thousand people are working for GM; they make cars or trucks that sell across 31 countries worldwide - including Australia. The 1980s were a tumultuous time. Miami Vice, the Thompson Twins, and Front-wheel drive all affected one another in some way or form - with front-wheel-driven cars becoming more popular than ever before as well. The automotive industry experienced its cultural shift during this decade. From Florida to London via the U.S., people wanted their vehicles to be just like they saw them on TV: short and sleek looking without paying for gas that would make you go broke by week's end.

According to Autoweek, cars from the 1980s were fascinating as General Motors built many vehicles in a short period. Customers had to choose between Buicks with touchscreen computer displays, Cadillacs with Italian-built bodies flown across the Atlantic on specially converted Boeing 747s, and Pontiac's most gadget-packed car: The 6000 Sport Touring Edition. GM introduced modern-sized A-body cars in 1978. The design was based on an earlier generation's platform, which is why they were referred to as RWD midsize cars (Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac LeMans) but only available with a front-engine layout. In 1982 however, GM released separate FWD models that would become known as "A-bodies." These featured a more compact X-body frame with rear-wheel drive layouts instead of upfront engines like their predecessors had been given previously.

The futuristic digital instrument cluster, made in Japan by Denso, was a remarkable addition to the 6000 STE. The pushbutton-intensive HVAC and audio system interface were also notable features of this vehicle. Engineers had to be creative to work around the limitations of the steering wheel controls. This car used infrared light-based connections between the two devices to avoid unreliable rotating electrical contacts and achieve precision control over vehicle functions through a clocked spring mechanism in its center console rather than cumbersome wires.

The first year of the Pontiac 6000

The 1982 model was available in two trim levels: 6000 and 6000 LE. Both came standard with the new-for-1982 2.5 L (151 cu in) Tech IV four-cylinder engine. That made 90 horsepower when paired to a five-speed manual transmission or throttle body injection technology on all models for fuel efficiency. Power was increased by 50% if equipped with an optional 3 liter V6 which could be purchased as either a regular gasoline-powered six-pack option or a diesel-fueled version of 4 wheel drive capability without having to worry about scraping your beautiful paint job against any rough terrain off the road. The Pontiac STE was a car that stood out from the others. According to Automobile, the Pontiac 6000STE is a car that MotorTrend wasted no time pitting against its worldwide competition: The Audi 5000, the Toyota Cressida, and the BMW 528e. While it didn't stand head-and-shoulders above these cars, it did hold its own, which was impressive considering how humble this family sedan's roots were as an A-body not designed for sport but to get you from point A to B.

With its six front lights and two-tone paint, it was difficult to miss this ride. There is one thing about it that sets them apart from other cars. Not only did they use Chevy's anemic 2.8-liter V-6 engine, but they also had a triple-gear automatic transmission, according to Hagerty. In that case, made the steck slow down after accelerating for too long or stop altogether if you didn't shift manually through all three gears before hitting top speed (yes, we are talking 130 horsepower). Those who wanted more style than handling, though, were perfect as every detail tweaked just right, including suspension system upgrades.

The last of Pontiac 6000 in 1991

The passive front seat belts introduced on the 6000 model in 1988 replaced all of the old 2.8 L (170 cu in) V6s found across their line for 1989. The original 3.1L engine, first seen only in an STX, was also a standard option to replace any vehicles with lesser machines. Still, this motor later became optional before it finally disappeared from 1991 models completely and gave way to AWD options at S/E trim levels instead. The last Pontiac 6000 rolled off the assembly line on July 22, 1991. GM dropped the 6000 and replaced it with its successor. The Grand Prix sedan was never seen again after 1991 as well. 1990 marked the end of Pontiac's wagon-making days when they discontinued their last station wagon model, a staple in America for decades before this point. It was a bittersweet day for everyone in the company who had devoted their lives to building great cars like this one, and they all knew that there would never be another car meeting its standard of excellence. The colorfully painted 1990 Pontiac 6k reached out with an extended hand from where it sat at rest until finally resting peacefully again as it entered into retirement to join so many others before it; left behind by today's technological advancements yet still cherished dearly despite what is now regarded only as of yesterday's drivetrain technology.


The Pontiac 6000 was a car with its heyday in the 1980s when it was considered one of America's most iconic cars. It is now well into the 21st century, and many people may not even know what this model looks like anymore if they have ever been aware of it at all. But back then, there were few others on the road with as much power or style to match up against this American classic.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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