Pontiac: History & Cars


In contrast to Buick, Chevrolet or Oldsmobile, the make Pontiac was not named after its founder, but after a famous Indian.  Pontiacs were constructed in the Oakland factory.  The latter had become part of the General Motors group as early as 1909.  When in January 1926, the cheaper Pontiac was presented, Oakland was still one of General Motors' leading makes, but the consumers opted massively for the new make.  Oakland's turnover collapsed, causing its termination in 1931.  In 1932, the Pontiac Series 302 was presented.  Only 6,281 of the total number of 36,352 cars sold were Series 302 cars.  The most striking feature of the models was their pointed radiator.  They had a 292cm wheelbase.  The engine delivered 77bhp at 3600 rpm, which was sufficient for a top speed of 78mph.

In 1940, almost 250,000 Pontiac cars were sold, but 1941 was an even better year with a sales figure of 282,087.  In 1940, Pontiac presented a new model, the Torpedo Eight.  The car was a cross between the Oldsmobile Ninety, the Buick Roadmaster and the Cadillac Sixty-Two.  In the same year, two additional new models were marketed with a six-cylinder engine, as well as two models with an eight-cylinder engine.

The engines for the 1941 cars were tuned even more.  The 3.9 litre six-cylinder engines now delivered 90bhp at 3200rpm and the 4.1 litre eight-cylinder engines delivered 103bhp at 3500rpm.  In 1942, the assembly lines were adapted to the production of army equipment.  That is why, in that year, only 15,404 motorcars were manufactured.

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