June 19, 2018

PONTIAC

Oakland Motor Car Co. (1926-1932)

Pontiac Motor Co. (1932-2010)

Pontiac, Michigan


This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1925-1927)     mjs
Size: 82mm wide 52mm high     MM: Fox

The Pontiac was introduced in 1926 by the Oakland Motor Car Company, which was part of General Motors, as a companion car to the Oakland the sales of which had begun to decline (see Oakland). 

The first Pontiac was a conventional L-head 40 hp six-cylinder car but it was offered at a low-price similar to that for a four-cylinder car from other manufacturers. It was an immediate success and first year Pontiac sales of about 77,000 cars was a record for American automobiles beating the Chrysler record of 1924.

In 1926 and 1927 Pontiac also built some car-based light vans. A larger six-cylinder engine followed in 1929 together with a new styling look, which helped to boost Pontiac sales. But the stock market crashed in October 1929 and Pontiac and Oakland sales fell. Oakland production ceased in 1931 and the company became the Pontiac Motor Company in 1932. 

A new V-8 Pontiac joined the line in 1932 but only lasted for one year. For 1933 all new Pontiac cars were powered by straight-eight engines and had new streamlined body styles but were offered at low prices compared to the competition. In 1935 Pontiac production rose to 175,000 cars from a low of 42,600 in 1932 and a six-cylinder model was reintroduced. Pontiac sales reached 282,000 in 1941 putting Pontiac in fifth place in the industry.

After World War II Pontiac cars were essentially the same as the pre-war models until 1949 when Pontiacs were restyled with lower bodies and hydramatic transmission. There was a short return to light van production between 1949 and 1953. In 1955 the Pontiac straight-eight engines were replaced by a new V-8, which became more powerful for the Super Tempest. In the 1960's there was an emphasis on performance and the production of sports models like the G.T.O. Grand Prix and the Firebird, which became the Trans Am in the 1970's with a 300hp V-8 engine giving it a top speed of 120mph. In 1984 the Fiero range of lower-priced sports cars was introduced and was an immediate success.

Pontiac continued its policy of offering performance and sports models through the next two decades as well as introducing a variety of more medium range models. However, General Motors decided to reduce the number of marques within the group and Pontiac was finally dropped in 2010.


Emblems

The first Pontiac radiator emblem, used on the Series 6-27 from December 1925 to December 1927, was a metal emblem in the form of a double sided medallion with the front depicting the chief of the American Indian Pontiac tribe above the words "Chief of the Sixes", which was used as a slogan for the six-cylinder Pontiac car, and the words "Product of General Motors" on the reverse, see example shown above at the top of this post.

This is a Pontiac showing the radiator emblem and Indian head mascot (1927)    ms

The Pontiac radiator emblem was reduced in size for the Series 6-28 models from January 1928 to January 1929. There are two versions of this smaller Pontiac radiator emblem. One is simply a smaller version of the larger Pontiac radiator emblem shown above, whereas the other is similar but has several subtle design differences, see example of the different design below: 


This is a smaller Pontiac radiator emblem (1928-1929)     mjs
Size: 60mm wide 42mm high     MM: Unknown

The following photo shows the two versions of the smaller Pontiac radiator emblem together for comparison:

These are the two versions of the small Pontiac radiator emblem (1928-1929)   mjs

The following photo compares the large and small Pontiac radiator emblems:

These are the two sizes of Pontiac radiator emblem   mjs

The Pontiac emblem shown below is believed to have been used as a hub emblem in 1926 and is rare:

This is believed to be a Pontiac hub emblem (c1926)       mjs
Size: 62mm diameter     MM: None

The Pontiac hub emblem shown below was labelled as from 1927:

This is a Pontiac hub emblem (1927)     ms
Size: Unknown

There were no Pontiac radiator emblems for the 1929 and 1930 model years. However, the Pontiac name continued to be displayed on the hub caps. After 1930, the Pontiac radiator emblem was changed almost each year, as shown below.

For 1931, the Pontiac radiator emblem was changed to a red enamel emblem depicting the head of an American Indian chief, see example below. This Pontiac emblem is scarce.

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1931)     mjs
Size: 47mm high 38mm wide      MM: Fox

There was also a similar but smaller Pontiac emblem at this time, which was used as a dashboard emblem. This Pontiac emblem is rare.


This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1931)    mjs
Size: 35mm high 25mm wide       MM: Robbins

This shows the two sizes of enamel Pontiac emblems with the American Indian head (1931)   mjs

The Pontiac radiator emblems changed again for 1932, see examples below. The Pontiac V8 emblem is scarce.


This is a Pontiac V8 radiator emblem (1932)     mjs
Size: 120mm high 36mm wide      MM: Fox

This is a Pontiac Six radiator emblem (1932)      mjs
Size: 120mm high 36mm wide      MM: Fox

The following photos show the radiator emblems used in 1933:


This is a Pontiac Straight 8 radiator emblem with opaque red enamel center (1933)     mjs
Size: 164mm wide  40mm diameter center      MM: D L Auld

There are two versions of this Pontiac radiator emblem, an opaque red enamel emblem as shown above and a transparent red enamel emblem as shown below:

This is the transparent red enamel Pontiac Straight 8 radiator emblem center (1933)   mjs
Size: 40mm diameter      MM: None

The painted emblem shown below is believed to have been displayed on the Pontiac dashboard in 1933 and is rare:

This is a Pontiac Straight 8 emblem (1933)     mjs
Size: 103mm wide  23mm high      MM: Unknown

The following examples show the changes to the Pontiac radiator emblems from 1934:

This is a Pontiac Straight 8 radiator emblem (1934)     mjs
Size: 165mm wide 45mm high     MM: Fox

This is a Pontiac 8 radiator emblem (1935)    mjs
Size: 113mm wide 70mm high     MM: None

This is a Pontiac 6 radiator emblem (1935)    mjs
Size: 110mm wide 30mm high       MM: Unknown

This is a Pontiac bumper emblem (1935)     ms
Size: Unknown

This is a Pontiac 6 radiator emblem (1936)     mjs
Size: 74mm wide 46mm high     MM: Fox

This is a Pontiac 8 radiator emblem (1937)     mjs
Size: 110mm wide 41mm high    MM: Unknown

This is a Pontiac 6 radiator emblem (1937)     mjs
Size: 110mm wide 41mm high     MM: Unknown

This is a Canadian Pontiac 224 radiator emblem (1937)     mjs
Size: 110mm wide 41mm high     MM: Fox


This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1939)      mjs
Size: 85mm wide 28mm high     MM: Fox


This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1940)     mjs
Size: 100m wide 35mm high    MM: None

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1940)    ms

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1941)    ms
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown
This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1942)     ms
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown

There were no Pontiac emblems for the years 1943-1945 due to the Second World War. Pontiac production began again for the 1946 model year.

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1946)       ms
Size: Unknown      MM: Unknown

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem center (1946)     mjs
Size: 79mm diameter    MM: None

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1947)      ms
Size: Unknown

This is a Pontiac Silver Streak radiator emblem (1948)     ms
Size; Unknown     MM: Unknown


This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1948)    nick gray
Size: Unknown

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1950)      ms
Size: Unknown

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1951)    jill reger
Size: Unknown

This is a Pontiac radiator emblem (1952)      ms
Size: Unknown

I do not have the dates of use for the following Pontiac emblems. If you know any of these dates, please let me know in order to update this post:

This appears to be a Pontiac radiator emblem (date unknown)    mjs
Size: 119mm high 37mm wide     MM: Unknown

This is a Pontiac 8 emblem (date unknown)     mjs
Size: 76mm wide 52mm high     MM: None

This is a Pontiac 8 emblem (date unknown)     mjs
Size: 108mm wide 71mm high      MM: Unknown

This is a Pontiac 8 emblem (date unknown)    mjs
Size: 89mm wide 48mm high       MM: Grammes






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