Jim Wangers Obituary, Jim Wangers Died At 97
- john Gibson
Jim Wangers Obituary, Death- It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Jim Wangers, who was almost 97 years old, has passed away. His passing came very suddenly. On Thursday morning, Jim peacefully passed away while he was sleeping.
Jim Wangers was a marketing genius in the car industry. I am aware that those he inspired, including all of us Pontiyakers, have a deep affection for Jim and his devotion to Pontiac. Jim enjoyed relating anecdotes to others, and he took great satisfaction in the realization that his tales helped people learn more about and develop a deeper affection for their automobiles. The following is an excerpt from a communique that was written by Jim’s nephew, Gordon Wangers.
“Back in the 60s, Jim became the right-hand man to the infamous John DeLorean and had run all the muscle car marketing at Pontiac – being responsible for everything from the legendary “GTO vs. GTO” Car and Driver Magazine cover story; the Monkeemobile; the GTO Thom McAn Shoe; and even the lyrics to top 10 national hit song ” In addition, he holds the title of winner of the coveted “Wally,” which is the NHRA Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the titles of the winner of the NHRA Nationals in 1960 and 1963 while racing a Pontiac Catalina. I should also mention that despite the fact that he was obviously not athletic, he was the fastest man I have ever seen driving with a four-speed transmission… way back when his arm and the Hurst floor shifter were literally a blur.
I was so fortunate to have Jim’s friendship and, to borrow a phrase of his, “to have been at the right place at the right time” to participate in all things Pontiac with him. This included restoring Pontiac Enthusiast Magazine, resurrecting the GeeTO Tiger Program, and driving the GeeTO Tiger at Pontiac events all over the country and even traveling the world with him. I consider myself to have been blessed beyond measure. The preparations for a memorial service or a celebration of life have already begun. It is the hope of the family that the memorial service, which will also feature a Pontiac Car Show, will be held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles sometime between the end of May and the beginning of June. In the not-too-distant future, an announcement regarding the precise date and time will be made.