- Written by webmin
Even before the recent euthanization of Pontiac, I would have never expected to see a circa 1960s Chief Pontiac head logo sign still standing. However, as John Lee, the longrooffan, recently pointed out with these couple photos, one does, on West Colonial Drive in Orlando, Florida. Not only that, to Orlando residents, the McNamara Pontiac-Isuzu sign remains a treasured landmark, even though the dealership closed up in 2006.
Though we haven’t yet been able to locate any vintage photos of the dealership, we did find a brief history of the dealership in our research on McNamara Pontiac. According to his obituary, Dennis McNamara founded the company in downtown Orlando in 1961, after a decade and a half of selling cars and serving in the Army during World War II. In 1965, he then moved the dealership to its current location on the southeast corner of West Colonial and Orange Blossom Trail. It appears that at around this time, McNamara Pontiac absorbed Leppere Pontiac, which had been operating on East Colonial Drive since 1952. Other than taking on the Isuzu franchise, nothing much appeared to have changed at McNamara over the next 40 years. The dealership now appears to do business elsewhere in Orlando as Carl Black Buick-Pontiac-GMC. Dennis McNamara, who was named GM Dealer of the Year several times, died in April 2009 at the age of 88. Even though the dealership was long vacated when the Google StreetView car drove by, a fourth-gen Firebird remained in the main showroom.
Please, Orlando, don’t let that sign fall to any knucklehead developer.
For a shot of the sign lit up at night, check out the Orlando Sentinel’s website.