GM Announces Plans To Phase Out Pontiac

On this day in 2009, the struggling American auto giant General Motors (GM) says it plans to discontinue production of its more than 80-year-old Pontiac brand. Pontiac’s origins date back to the Oakland Motor Car, which was founded in 1907 in Pontiac, Michigan, by Edward Murphy, a horse-drawn carriage manufacturer. […]

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Chrysler And Autoworkers’ Union Agree To A Deal

On this day in 2009, Chrysler and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union reach a tentative deal that meets government requirements for the struggling auto manufacturer to receive more federal funding. As part of the deal, the UAW agreed to let Chrysler reduce the amount of money it would pay […]

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Fifty-Year-Old Mark Martin Wins NASCAR Race

On this day in 2009, driver Mark Martin wins the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona, and becomes the first 50-year-old to claim victory at a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Sprint Cup race since Morgan Shepherd did so at a […]

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Baseball All-Star Killed In Truck Accident

On this day in 2009, former Major League Baseball all-star pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych is found dead at the age of 54 following an accident at his Massachusetts farm involving a Mack truck he was working on. Fidrych, the 1976 American League Rookie of the Year, suffocated when his […]

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Honda Wins World Green Car Award

On this day in 2009, the Honda FCX Clarity, a four-door sedan billed as the planet’s first hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle intended for mass production, wins the World Green Car award at the New York Auto Show. The first FCX Clarity cars came off the assembly line at a Honda plant […]

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“Fast & Furious” Is Top Opening-Day Car Movie

“Fast & Furious,” the fourth film in an action-movie franchise centered around the world of illegal street racing, debuts in U.S. theaters on April 3, 2009, kicking off a record-breaking $72.5 million opening weekend at the box office. “Fast & Furious,” starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Michelle […]

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Super-luxurious Maybach Zeppelin Goes On Sale

On this day in 2009, the uber-luxurious Maybach Zeppelin sedan goes on sale, with a starting price of $523,870 for the Maybach 57 Zeppelin and $610,580 for the Maybach 62 Zeppelin. Daimler-Benz, owner of the Maybach brand, announced that only 100 Zeppelins would be built, with each vehicle hand-crafted to […]

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“Shuttin’ Detroit Down” Debuts

On this day in 2009, country singer/songwriter John Rich releases a song about the plight of autoworkers titled “Shuttin’ Detroit Down.” The song, which featured such lyrics as “While they’re living it up on Wall Street in that New York City town, here in the real world they’re shuttin’ Detroit […]

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“Gran Torino” Opens Down Under

On this day in 2009, “Gran Torino,” a movie named for the 1972 Ford muscle car, opens in Australia and New Zealand. The critically acclaimed film, which starred Clint Eastwood as a retired Detroit autoworker, had opened across the U.S. earlier that month and later premiered around the rest of […]

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Toyota Officially Passes GM As Planet’s Biggest Car Maker

After more than seven decades as the world’s largest automaker, General Motors (GM) officially loses the title on January 21, 2009, when it announces worldwide sales of 8.36 million cars and trucks in 2008, compared with Toyota’s 8.97 million vehicle sales that same year. However, the news wasn’t all rosy […]

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