The year was 1987, and I was 13 years old. My parents had been shopping for a new car for the past few weeks, and they always seemed to go to the dealerships when I wasn’t available. Missing those trips totally killed me, as there wasn’t anything cooler on the face of the earth than a new car dealership (hey, I was a sheltered child, ok?). Maybe they didn’t include me on purpose – I don’t know. But my mother was sympathetic to my desire to tag along, and made a promise that she would take me to the local Pontiac dealership to look around sometime when it wasn’t open. I was as excited as a 13 year old car geek could possibly be!
The very next Sunday, she made good on her promise and we drove over to Johnson Pontiac in Holly, Michigan. It was a small dealership, but they always seemed to have a good number of every current model in stock. This particular dealership had always been interesting to me, as they made a regular habit of parking the more interesting models on a small concrete pad right in front of the showroom – there was always good stuff to see. Trans Am’s, Fiero’s, Grand Prix GT’s, etc. Pretty nice selection for a small town dealership.
Anyway, I brought my trusty (cheap) 110 camera with me for that Sunday afternoon adventure and I couldn’t have picked a worse choice. Between that piece of crap camera and my non-existent photography skills, nearly every photo came out blurry. Ugh! I remember being pretty upset when I got the pictures back from the developer, but now I’m just happy to have something for the memories. Anyway, here are some of the pics I took (my apologies for the lack of clarity in these pics):
Sadly, Johnson Pontiac closed it’s doors for good in the early 90’s. The bad economy of the time hit the small town of Holly pretty hard, and this dealership was one of the unfortunate casualties. The shocking thing is that the lot sat vacant and unused for such a long time. Nobody was in a rush to buy the building, or to develop the property into something else. Here’s a snapshot from Google Maps showing the state of things in 2008 – pretty sad, isn’t it?