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GTO, Firebird and other Icons
The Pontiac automobile dates back to 1926 when General Motors first rolled out their line of cars under Pontiac trademark name, although it was originally used in 1906 as the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works, owned by the Oakland Motor Company. Pontiac began when Edward Murphy, the founder of a buggy company, created a two-cylinder car for Alanson Brush who worked for Cadillac. After Brush rejected the design, Okland-Pontiac accepted it as one of the first Pontiac cars in 1906. A year later, Murphy had a hard time selling this car. General Motors and Oakland merged in 1908. Oakland went out of business in 1929.
The name Pontiac is after Chief Pontiac who was an Ottawa chief. He lead Pontiac’s War from 1763–1766 that was a battle between the Indians fighting against the British occupying the Great Lakes region.
The first car to be produced was the cartercar, a touring car, that was only in production for 10 years. It resembled the 1928 Porter from the 60’s sit-com My Mother the Car, which was a hybrid of many cars from 1901 to 1922.
The first truly successful car model that Pontiac put out was the 1924 True Blue Oakland Six. Pontiac was born and would be in production for the next 86 years, until Pontiac ceased production in 2010. In the middle 1950s, while Pontiac had a problem completing with the Chevrolet Bel Air, Pontiac outsold the rocket engine Oldsmobile models. It also outperformed the Buick.
The Pontiac drove through the 1960s and 1970’s with the Tempest, GTO, Firebird, and Trans Am muscle cars. For people interested in a family type car, Pontiac offered Lemans and Bonneville. The Pontiac was so successful in the middle 1960s, Columbia Pictures television division requested that a special Pontiac GTO model be made the television series, The Monkees. Dean Jeffries , a noted car designer had agreed to take on the challenge. The windshield was a forward two-split. The rear quarter panels were modified. From the 1980s to 2010, it was an up and down struggle for the Pontiac, having some successes and failures.
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