Pontiac originated from the Pontiac Buggy Co., founded in Pontiac, Mich., in 1893. Pontiac-branded vehicles first appeared in General Motors showrooms in 1926. Possibly the most notable Pontiac ever built, the LeMans GTO, or Gran Turismo Omologato, debuted in 1964. It is credited with creating the muscle-car era in Detroit. Parent company General Motors viewed Pontiac as its “excitement” or performance division, giving the vehicles slightly more power and better handling than products from its other brands. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to save it when GM was forced into bankruptcy in 2009 during the global economic crisis. As part of a government-ordered restructuring and viability plan, GM announced that Pontiac would be phased out by the end of 2010.