The Classic Pontiac

The Classic Pontiac

This site is dedicated to Classic Pontiacs. It covers Pontiacs from 1926 until 1975. We decided on 1975 as the cutoff point, because we feel everything after that year tends toward the modern era of automotive manufacture. Given 1973 gas crisis in the US, the legislative requirements concerning fuel economy, new safety requirements and the onboard computerization of automobiles, cars began to dramatically change. They were no longer "Classic Cars."

Pontiac Beginnings

In 1921 the GM Executive Committee decided that there was some pricing confusion across the GM line of cars and that some of their cars were actually competing against each other. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr, Executive Committee member, came up with a plan, the "Companion Make Program", designed to establish a separate rung on the "pricing ladder" for each GM car. It smoothed out the pricing differences between the lowest price Chevrolet through the highest priced Cadillac. To achieve this, they created "companion cars." Pontiac, introduced to the American car buyer in 1926, was intended to be a "companion car" to the Oakland, filling the gap between Chevrolet and Oakland pricing.

Pontiac's Ranking on the Pricing Ladder

*companion cars

General Motors began it's promotion of the Pontiac in October, 1925 with a Saturday Evening Post ad announcing that General Motors would offer a new car produced and distributed by its Oakland Division. A January 1926 Saturday Evening Post ad revealed the new car's name: Pontiac, described by General Motors' ad writers as "The greatest Indian chief who ever appeared on the American Continent." The ad called the Pontiac the "Chief of the Sixes" in reference to the car's 6 cylinder engine.

The Pontiac was the only "companion" car to last beyond the 1940s.