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Encyclopedia > Pontiac
Pontiac
Pontiac-GMC Division
Type Division of GM
Founded 1926
Headquarters Detroit, Michigan, United States
Industry Automobile
Products Mainstream/Performance
Parent General Motors
Slogan Designed For Action (U.S.)
Ignite The Feeling (Canada)
Like nothing you've seen before (como nunca lo habias visto) (Mexico)
Website www.pontiac.com

Pontiac is a marque of automobile produced by General Motors and sold in the United States, Canada and Mexico from 1926 to the present. In the GM brand lineup, Pontiac is a mid-level brand featuring a sportier, high-performance driving experience for a reasonable price, and its advertisements appeal to younger customers. No authentic images of Pontiac are known to exist. ... The name Pontiac can refer to: Chief Pontiac (who led the Ottawa tribe in military operations in the 1760s) Pontiac, the General Motors automobile brand. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A division of a business entity is a portion of that business that operates under a different name. ... Detroit redirects here. ... “Car” and “Cars” redirect here. ... Look up mainstream in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the band, see Big Brother and the Holding Company. ... General Motors Corporation, also known as GM or The General, an American multinational conglomerate corporation, is the worlds largest auto company by annual production volume for 2006, and the second largest by sales volume as of the first half of 2007, behind Toyota Motor Corporation. ... Look up slogan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML... A marque (French for brand and pronounced as mark) is a brand name, most commonly used for automobile brands. ... “Car” and “Cars” redirect here. ... General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM), also known as GM, is an American automobile maker with worldwide operations and brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Vauxhall. ...

Contents

Pre-war years: 1926-1942

1928 Pontiac
1936 Pontiac Master Six Coupe

The Pontiac brand was introduced by General Motors in 1926 as the 'companion' marque to GM's Oakland Motor Car line. The Pontiac name was first used in 1906 by the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works and linked to Chief Pontiac who led an unsuccessful uprising against the British shortly after the French and Indian War. The Oakland Motor Company and Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works Company merged in November 1908 under the name of the Oakland Motor Car Company. The operations of both companies were joined together in Pontiac, Michigan (in Oakland County) to build the Cartercar. Oakland was purchased by General Motors in 1909. The first General Motors Pontiac was conceived as an affordable six cylinder that was intended to compete with more inexpensive four cylinder models. Within months of its introduction, Pontiac outsold Oakland. As Pontiac's sales rose and Oakland's sales began to decline, Pontiac became the only 'companion' marque to survive its 'parent', in 1932. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 530 × 599 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,536 × 1,736 pixels, file size: 532 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 530 × 599 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,536 × 1,736 pixels, file size: 532 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (900 × 600 pixels, file size: 86 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)1936 Pontiac Master Six Coupe photographed at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, by Douglas Wilkinson for www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (900 × 600 pixels, file size: 86 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)1936 Pontiac Master Six Coupe photographed at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, by Douglas Wilkinson for www. ... The Oakland Motor Car Company was a United States based automobile manufacturer from 1907 to 1932. ... No authentic images of Pontiac are known to exist. ... Combatants France First Nations allies: Algonquin Lenape Wyandot Ojibwa Ottawa Shawnee Great Britain American Colonies Iroquois Confederacy Strength 3,900 regulars 7,900 militia 2,200 natives (1759) 50,000 regulars and militia (1759) Casualties 3,000 killed, wounded or captured 10,040 killed, wounded or captured The French and... Pontiac is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan named after the Ottawa Chief Pontiac. ... Oakland County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. ...


Pontiac began selling cars with straight 6-cylinder engines. In 1933, it moved up to producing the cheapest cars with straight 8-cylinder engines. This was done by using many components from the 6-cylinder Chevrolet, such as the body. In the late 1930s, Pontiac used the so-called 'torpedo' body of the Buick for one of its models just prior to its being used by Chevrolet as well. This body brought some attention to the marque.


For an extended period of time, prewar through the early 1950s, the Pontiac was a quiet and solid car, but not especially powerful. A flathead (side-valve) straight eight offered both the quietest and smoothest possible operation, with an appropriately soft suspension and quiet muffler offering the feeling of luxury without the expense. These combinations proved attractive to the vehicle's target market - a reserved lower middle class that was not especially interested in performance or handling and was seeking good value and a roomy vehicle in a step up from the entry-level Chevrolet. This fit well within parent GM's strategy of passing an increasingly prosperous customer up through the various divisions. Straight 8's are slightly less expensive to produce than the V8's that were growing in popularity, but they were also heavier and longer than a V8. Also, the long crankshaft suffered from excessive flex, which restricted straight 8's to relatively low compression and modest RPM's. In this application the inexpensive (but poorly-breathing) flat-head valves were not a liability.


Dowdy to Fun: 1946-1954

1948 Pontiac Silver Streak Convertible Coupe

Throughout this period, Pontiac models were seen as middle-of-the-road reliable cars more suited to middle income buyers of middle age. The emerging and lucrative younger, performance oriented customer eluded the brand. Although reliable cars, Pontiacs just couldn't shake their dowdy image. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution‎ (900 × 600 pixels, file size: 90 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)1948 Pontiac Silver Streak Convertible Coupe photographed at the Grand Experience CCCA Concours at the Gilmore car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, June 5, 2005, by... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution‎ (900 × 600 pixels, file size: 90 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)1948 Pontiac Silver Streak Convertible Coupe photographed at the Grand Experience CCCA Concours at the Gilmore car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, June 5, 2005, by...


From 1946-1948, all Pontiac models were essentially 1942 models with minor changes. The Hydra-matic automatic transmission was introduced in 1948 and helped Pontiac sales grow even though their cars, Torpedoes and Streamliners, were quickly becoming out of date and out of step with the growing youth market.


The first all-new Pontiac models appeared in 1949. Newly redesigned, they sported such styling cues as lower body lines and rear fenders that were integrated in the rear-end styling of the car.


Along with new styling came a new model. Continuing the Native American theme of Pontiac, the Chieftain line was introduced to replace the Torpedo. These were built on the GM B-Body platform and featured sportier styling than the more conservative Streamliner. In 1950, the Catalina trim-level was introduced as a sub-series. The Pontiac Chieftan was an automobile produced by the Pontiac Motors Division of General Motors from 1949 to 1958. ...


In 1952, Pontiac discontinued the Streamliner and replaced it with additional models in the Chieftain line built on the GM A-body platform. This single model line continued until 1954 when the Star Chief was added. The Star Chief was created by adding an 11-inch extension to the A-body platform creating a 124-inch wheelbase. The Star Chief was a car built by General Motors Pontiac division between 1954 and 1966. ...


The 1953 models were the first to have one-piece windshields instead of the normal two-piece units.


Foundations of performance: 1955-1960

Pontiac Star Chief 1955

Although completely new bodies and chassis were introduced for 1955, the big news was the introduction of a new 173-horsepower (129 kW) overhead valve V-8 engine (see Engines section below). Pontiac took a big leap ahead in the public's eye and sales jumped accordingly. With the introduction of this V-8, the six cylinder engines were discontinued making all Pontiacs available only with V-8 engines. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


The next step in Pontiac's transformation came in 1956 when Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen became general manager of Pontiac. With the aid of his new heads of engineering, E. M. Estes and John Z. De Lorean, he immediately began reworking the brand's image. Semon Bunkie Knudsen, October 2, 1912-July 6, 1998, was a prominent automobile executive. ... John Zachary De Lorean (b. ...

1959 Bonneville from the rear, showing double rear fins

In the 1958 model year Knudsen saw to it that the car received a completely reworked chassis, body and interior styling. Quad headlamps, longer and lower bodys, honeycombed grilles and concave rear fender panels were some of the styling changes. Additionally the Bonneville, a sub-series of the Star Chief introduced in the 1957 models, became its own line. These were built on the 122-inch wheelbase of the A-body platform. An early sign of the successful changes being undertaken was seen in the selection of a 1958 Tri-Power Pontiac Bonneville the pace car for that year's Indianapolis 500. Download high resolution version (1007x512, 208 KB)1959 Pontiac Bonneville taillights and fins. ... Download high resolution version (1007x512, 208 KB)1959 Pontiac Bonneville taillights and fins. ... The Pontiac Bonneville was an automobile built by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1958 to 2005. ... The Pontiac Bonneville was an automobile built by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1958 to 2005. ... See also List of Indianapolis 500 pace cars A pace car has been used to start the Indianapolis 500 since 1911. ... “Indy 500” redirects here. ...


For 1959, the Chieftain line was renamed Catalina and the Star Chief was renamed Custom Star Chief. This coincided with major body styling changes across all models that introduced increased glass area, twin V-shaped fins and lower hood profiles. Because of these changes, Motor Trend magazine picked the entire Pontiac line as 1959 Car of the Year. Motor Trend is one of the oldest automotive magazines still publishing. ...


The 1960 models saw only modest changes in styling, although the tailfins all but disappeared that year. The big news was the introduction of the Ventura, a V-8 equipped model built on the shorter 122-inch wheelbase platform and falling between the Catalina and Star Chief (the Custom was dropped) models. This started the Pontiac trend of equipping even its smallest models with V-8 engines. The height of the tailfin era; the 1959 Cadillac. ...


The horsepower era: 1961-1970

1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible

The 1961 models were again drastically reworked. Along with new bodies came the introduction of redesigned perimeter frame chassis for all models. These new chassis allowed for reduced weight and smaller body sizes and the introduction of the all new Tempest as the entry level model in the Pontiac line. The Tempest moved Pontiac into third place among American car brands. In a few short years the Tempest would spawn one of the biggest names of the muscle car era, the Grand Turismo Omologato better known as the Pontiac GTO. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution‎ (900 × 600 pixels, file size: 91 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible photographed at the Henderson Springsational Car Show in Henderson, Nevada, April 23, 2005, by Douglas Wilkinson for www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution‎ (900 × 600 pixels, file size: 91 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible photographed at the Henderson Springsational Car Show in Henderson, Nevada, April 23, 2005, by Douglas Wilkinson for www. ... The Pontiac Tempest was an entry-level compact automobile produced by the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors, introduced in September 1960 for the 1961 model year. ... 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible The Pontiac GTO was an automobile built by Pontiac from 1964 to 1974, and by General Motors Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006. ...


In 1961, Knudsen moved to Chevrolet and Estes took over as general manager. He continued Knudsens work of making Pontiac a performance car brand.


Although GM officially ended factory support for all racing activities across all of its brands in 1963, Pontiac continued to cater to performance car enthusiasts by making larger engines with more power available across all model lines. For instance, the small Tempest was equipped with a 215 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder engine making 140 horsepower (105 kW). However, it could be ordered with the LeMans GTO option giving it a 389 cubic inch engine rated at 325 horsepower (242kW).


In 1964 John De Lorean replaced Estes as general manager and he too continued Knudsen's work. It would be under his leadership that Pontiac charged headlong into the muscle car and pony car "wars" of the mid-to-late 1960s, offering a wide range of cars with solid performance credentials. John Zachary De Lorean (b. ...


Due to the popularity of the GTO option, it was split from the Tempest LeMans sub-series to become the separate Tempest GTO sub-series. On the technology front, 1966 also saw the introduction of a completely new overhead camshaft based 6-cylinder engine in the Tempest and for the first time plastic grilles were used on Pontiac cars.


The 1967 model year saw the introduction the Pontiac Firebird pony car, a version of the Chevrolet Camaro that was the brand's answer to the hot-selling Ford Mustang. The Pontiac Firebird was a pony car built by the Pontiac division of General Motors between 1967 and 2002. ... A pony car is a class of automobile. ... The Chevrolet Camaro is a pony car made in North America by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors. ... For other Ford Mustang models and concepts, see Ford Mustang Variants. ...


By 1968 the so-called muscle car era was fully underway causing Pontiac to make the GTO a separate model from the Tempest with a standard equipment 400 cubic inch 350 horsepower engine. In the pony car arena, the stiff competition with Ford and Chevrolet led to the introduction of the first Ram Air 400 option for the Firebird. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


For 1969 the biggest changes were in the muscle car and pony car arenas. The GTO received the Ram Air option in its Judge package while the Firebird got a second Ram Air option called Ram Air IV and a special Trans Am package. This year also saw De Lorean leaving the post of general manager. His replacement was F. James McDonald.


Changed focus: 1970-1982

Although MacDonald tried to keep performance in the forefront of Pontiac's products, increasing insurance and fuel costs for owners coupled with looming Federal emissions and safety regulations would eventually put an end to the big block, powerful engines of the 1960s. Safety, luxury and economy would become the new watch-words of this decade.


The 1971 models would see the last of the high performance muscle and pony cars. In trying to adjust to the changing market, in 1971 Pontiac introduced the compact, budget priced Ventura II (based on the third generation Chevrolet Nova). This same year Pontiac moved the Bonneville from its top of the line spot and replaced it with a higher luxury model named the Grand Ville. Finally, the car that formed the foundation of the Pontiac muscle car line, the Tempest, was dropped. The Chevrolet Nova or Chevy II was an American compact car introduced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in 1962. ...


The 1972 models saw the first wave of emissions reducing and safety equipment along with the standard round of updates. The impending demise of the muscle cars could be seen in the fact that once again the GTO was a sub-series of the LeMans models. MacDonald left the post of general manager to be replaced by Martin J. Caserio. Caserio was the first manager in over a decade to be more focused on marketing and sales than on performance.

1973 Pontiac Grand Am, the first model year of the Grand Am

For 1973, Pontiac restyled its mid-sized LeMans and Ventura models and introduced the all-new Grand Am. All other models received only minor updates. Again, power dropped across all engines as more emissions requirements came into effect. The 1973 Firebird Trans Am saw the first introduction of the famous (or infamous depending on which automotive historian you talk to) large Firebird graphic. This factory applied decal, a John Schinella restylized interpretation of the Native American fire bird, took up most of the available space on the hood. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 447 pixelsFull resolution (1188 × 664 pixel, file size: 98 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 447 pixelsFull resolution (1188 × 664 pixel, file size: 98 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Please see the file description page for further information. ... The Pontiac Grand Am was originally a mid-size car and later a compact car that was produced by the Pontiac division of General Motors. ... The Pontiac Grand Am was originally a mid-size car and later a compact car that was produced by the Pontiac division of General Motors. ...


The 1974 model year would see the end of Pontiac convertibles for the next decade. Additionally, all Federal emissions and safety regulations were required to be in full effect for 1974 causing the demise of two of the three iterations of the big 455 cubic inch engines after this year. The last version of the 455 would hang on for two more year before being discontinued.


For 1975, Pontiac introduced the new sub-compact Astre, a version of the Chevrolet Vega. This was the brand's entry into the fuel economy segment of the market. The Chevrolet Vega (Pontiacs version was known as the Pontiac Astre) was a compact coupe and station wagon sold from 1971 through 1977 as a replacement for the ill-fated Chevrolet Corvair. ... The then-innovative Chevrolet Vega was a subcompact car sold from 1971 through 1977. ...


The 1976 models were the last of the traditional American large cars with large engines. After this year, all GM models would go through "downsizing" and shrink in length, width, weight and available engine size. The Sunbird joined the line as a more sporty option to the conservative Astre. There have been two different vehicles bearing the name Pontiac Sunbird. ...


For 1977, Pontiac replaced the Ventura with the Phoenix, a version of Chevrolet's fourth generation Nova. Pontiac also introduced its 151 cubic inch "Iron Duke" 4-cylinder overhead valve engine. This engine would later go into many GM and non-GM automobiles into the early 1990s. The Iron Duke and the 301 cubic inch V-8 were the last two engines designed solely by Pontiac. Subsequent engine design would be accomplished by one central office with all designs being shared by each brand. The Iron Duke (also called the 2500, 151, Pontiac 2. ...


The remainder of the 1970s and the early 1980s saw the continued rise of luxury, safety and economy as the key selling points in Pontiac products. Wire-spoked wheel covers returned for the first time since the 1930s. More station wagons than ever were being offered. Padded vinyl roofs were options on almost every model. Rear-wheel drive began its slow demise with the introduction of the first front-wheel drive Pontiac, the 1980 Phoenix (a version of the Chevrolet Citation). The Firebird still soldiered on and some models had Formula and Trans Am option packages. However, these were usually nothing more than different wheels, added fins and some decals, though the Trans Am did have a big(for the time) engine; performance had become an afterthought. Vinyl roof refers to a vinyl covering for an automobiles top. ... Rear-wheel drive (or RWD for short) is an engine/transmission layout used in automobiles. ... Front-wheel drive is the most common form of engine/transmission layout used in modern passenger cars, where the engine drives the front wheels. ... The Chevrolet Citation was a compact car sold by the Chevrolet brand of American automaker General Motors from 1980 through 1985. ...


Return of performance: 1982-1988

1985 Fiero Sport Coupe

The beginning of Pontiacs second renaissance started with the vastly redesigned Firebird for the 1982 model year. The wedge shaped Firebird was the first major redesign of the venerable pony car since the early 1970s. It was an instant success and provided Pontiac with a foundation on which to build successively more performance oriented models over the next decade. Image File history File linksMetadata 417096_94_full. ... Image File history File linksMetadata 417096_94_full. ... The Pontiac Fiero was a mid-engine sports car produced by General Motors from 1984-1988. ...


The next step in Pontiac's resurgence came in the form of its first convertible in nine years. Seeing Chrysler's success with its K-Car-derived convertibles, GM decided it needed a competitor and quickly adapted the J-body cars. The all-new for 1983 2000 (later renamed Sunbird) had a convertible as part of its line. 1987 Plymouth Reliant K The Chrysler Corporations K-Car platform of the 1980s ranks as one of the most overt uses of platform sharing in automotive history. ... The J platform, or J-body, was General Motors inexpensive front wheel drive automobile platform from the 1980s and 1990s. ...


Next came the 1984 Fiero. This was a major departure from anything Pontiac had produced in the past. A two-seat, mid-engined coupe, the Fiero was targeted straight at the same market that Semon Knudsen had been aiming for in the late 1950s: the young, affluent buyer who wanted sporting performance at a reasonable price. The Fiero was also an instant success and was partially responsible for Pontiac seeing its first increase in sales in four years. The Pontiac Fiero was a mid-engine sports car produced by General Motors from 1984-1988. ...


Pontiac also began to focus on technology. In 1985, a Special Touring Edition (STE) was added to the 6000 line as a competitor to European road cars such as the Mercedes 190. The STE sported digital instruments and other electronics as well as a more powerful V-6 and retuned suspension. Later iterations would see some of the first introductions on Pontiacs of anti-lock brakes, steering wheel mounted radio controls and other advanced features. The Pontiac 6000 was a conservatively styled mid-size car introduced by Pontiac in 1981 for the 1982 model year, slotting between the Bonneville and the Phoenix. ... Mercedes 190D See also Mercedes-Benz 190 for other models sold with the same name The Mercedes-Benz W201 was introduced in November 1982 as the Mercedes-Benz 190. ...


With the exception of the Firebird and Fiero, beginning in 1988 all Pontiacs switched to front-wheel drive platforms. For the first time since 1972, Pontiac was the number three domestic car maker in America. Pontiac's drive to bring in more youthful buyers was working as the median age of Pontiac owners dropped from 46 in 1981 to 38 in 1988.


More of the same: 1989-1996

With the focus back on performance, Pontiac was once again doing what it did best. Although updating and revamping continued throughout the 1990s, the vast change seen during the 1980s did not. The period between 1989 and 1997 can best be described as one of continuous refinement. Anti-lock brakes, GM's Quad-4 engine, airbags and composite materials all became standard on Pontiacs during this time. The Quad 4 (called Twin Cam after 1995) was a DOHC straight-4 automobile engine produced by General Motors Oldsmobile division. ...


All new models were produced but at more lengthy intervals. The 1990 model year saw the launch of Pontiac's first minivan, the Trans Sport. An all-new Firebird debuted in 1993 while the Sunbird was replaced with the Sunfire in 1995. It has been suggested that Mini MPV be merged into this article or section. ...


Return to yesteryear: 1997-2004

Early Pontiac Montana (SWB)

Beginning in 1996, Pontiac began mining its historic past. The all new Grand Prix debuted with the Wide Track chassis making a return spearheaded by the "Wider is Better" advertising campaign. In 1998 Ram Air returned to the Trans Am. It would eventually make its way to the Grand Am. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 504 pixel Image in higher resolution (2128 × 1340 pixel, file size: 264 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pontiac Montana Metadata... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 504 pixel Image in higher resolution (2128 × 1340 pixel, file size: 264 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Pontiac Montana Metadata... The Montana is a minivan from the Pontiac division of General Motors that replaced the Pontiac Trans Sport moniker for the 1999 model year. ...


The 1999 model year saw the replacement of the Trans Sport with the larger Montana minivan. The Montana is a minivan from the Pontiac division of General Motors that replaced the Pontiac Trans Sport moniker for the 1999 model year. ...


Faced with declining sales and a saturated sports car market, GM killed the Pontiac Firebird and its sister Chevrolet Camaro after the 2002 model year.


All other Pontiac models carried on until the end of the 2004 model year with only minor revisions and updates.


All change: 2005-present

For the 2005 model year, Pontiac embarked on a series of major changes not seen since the 1980s. Within four years, all of their cars would be replaced completely, both in design and name.


First to fall was the Bonneville which had no direct replacement. The same year, the Pontiac Grand Am was replaced with an all new model called the G6. The Sunfire was replaced with the G5 in the 2007 model year. Next in the line will be the G8; scheduled for the 2008 model year it will be a replacement for the Grand Prix and fill the void left by the Bonneville. The Pontiac Grand Prix is an automobile produced by the Pontiac division of General Motors. ...



In an attempt to return Pontiac's focus to strictly performance oriented vehicles, the Montana was discontinued after the 2006 model year. Also for 2006, Pontiac fielded the unique Solstice roadster. Equipped with a pair of 4-cylinder engines, the Solstice is intended to compete with cars like the Mazda Miata, and the Honda S2000. GM's Saturn division came out with the Solstice's higher end twin, the Saturn Sky, the following model year. However, these attempts took a step backward with simultaneous release of the Torrent Crossover SUV. The Pontiac Solstice GXP was introduced at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. ... The Mazda MX-5 is a popular sports car built by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan. ... “S2000” redirects here. ... The Saturn Sky is a roadster from the Saturn marque of American automaker General Motors. ... The Pontiac Torrent is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) sold by the Pontiac division of General Motors, and replaced the U-body Aztek as the companys crossover SUV for 2006. ... A crossover SUV (also called CUV for Crossover Utility Vehicle) or XUV (not to be confused with GMCs Envoy XUV) is an automobile with a sport utility vehicle appearance but is built upon a more economical and fuel-efficient unibody construction. ...


Style trademarks and logo

Pontiac "Arrow-head" Logo
Native American Headdress and silver streak in a 1952 Pontiac Chieftain
Split grille and Arrow head logo in a 1966 Pontiac Tempest

A Native American Headdress was used as a logo until 1956. This was changed to the currently used Native American red arrowhead design after GM realized that Pontiac was suffering from some confusion with other marques. In particular, the 1955 and 1956 Pontiacs had grilles reminiscent of Mercury and fins and taillights reminiscent of Oldsmobiles. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,280 × 960 pixels, file size: 384 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Quelle: selbst fotografiert, 06/2007 Fotograf: Späth Chr. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,280 × 960 pixels, file size: 384 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Quelle: selbst fotografiert, 06/2007 Fotograf: Späth Chr. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,048 × 1,536 pixels, file size: 447 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) 1966 Pontiac Tempest 23717. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,048 × 1,536 pixels, file size: 447 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) 1966 Pontiac Tempest 23717. ...


Besides the 'Indian head' logo, another identifying feature of Pontiacs were their silver streak - one or more narrow strips of chrome-plated steel which extended from the grille down the center of the hood. Eventually they extended from the rear window to the rear bumper as well, but ultimately along the tops of the fins instead. Although initially a single 'silver streak', this stylistic trademark doubled for a short time to two, representing the cylinder banks. The streaks along with their grille ripples and the fins were all discarded at the same time as the Indian head logo.


Two long-standing styling derivatives of the 'silver streak' motif are the familiar split grille design (which in the past often meant a massive vertical divider down the middle of the grille) and multiple-stripe shaped lights.


Engines

Main article: Pontiac V8 engine

Pontiac was the last of GM's North American marques to switch to the V-8. As was the case with its using straight-8, Pontiac used a cost-cutting feature on its engines. Instead of having its OHV rockers pivoting on bearings machined into them, the rockers were stamped from sheet metal into a cup shape that was fitted over a hemisphere with oil forced at high pressure between the surfaces instead. The division encouraged racers, such as Mickey Thompson's building a speed record car with four such engines, so as to get this novel design better accepted. Pontiac V8 engine with Tripower carb setup From 1954 to 1981 the Pontiac Division of General Motors manufactured its own, unique V8 engines. ... Mickey Thompson, born December 7, 1928 - died March 16, 1988, was an American racing legend. ...


When Pontiac decided in the late-1940s that it needed to compete in the growing performance market, it began work on a true V-8 engine. Although work on the new overhead valve V-8 engine was started in 1949, conservative leadership by then general manager Harry J. Klinger and the untimely death of his more aggressive replacement Arnold Lenz kept progress at a glacial pace. It wasn't until the 1955 models arrived that a true V-8 was available.


In mid-1956, Pontiac introduced a higher power version of its V-8. Among other things, this version of the engine was equipped with a high performance racing camshaft and dual 4-barrel carburetors. This was the first in a series of NASCAR-ready Super-Tempest and Super-Duty V-8 engines and introduced the long line of multi-carburetor equipped engines that saw Pontiac become a major player during the muscle car and pony car era of the 1960s. Jeff Burton (99), Elliott Sadler (38), Ricky Rudd (21), Dale Jarrett (88), Sterling Marlin (40), Jimmie Johnson (48), and Casey Mears (41) practice for the 2004 Daytona 500 The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the largest sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States. ...


Pontiac's second generation V-8 engines were nearly identical, allowing many parts to interchange from its advent in 1955 to its demise in 1979. Sizes ranged from 265 cubic inch to 455 cubic inch. This similarity (except the 301 & 265) makes rebuilding these engines particularly easy, as almost any Pontiac engine one can find will contain useful parts. This dimensional similarity between engines of various capacity also made it possible for Pontiac to invent the modern muscle car, by the relatively simple process of placing its second largest engine, the 389 cid, into its mid-size car, the Le Mans, creating the Pontiac GTO. The Pontiac GTO is a classic example of the muscle car. ... 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible The Pontiac GTO was an automobile built by Pontiac from 1964 to 1974, and by General Motors Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006. ...


From their inception in the 1950s until the early 1970s, Pontiac engines were known for their performance. The largest engine was a massive 455 cubic inch V-8 that was available in most of their mid-size, full-size and sports car models. At the height of the horsepower era, these engines made a powerful 334 horsepower at 4800 RPM. Federal emissions laws eventually brought the horsepower era to a close and resulted in a quick decline for Pontiac's engines. For instance, the optional 350 cubic inch V-8 for Firebird Trans Am models dropped from 250 horsepower in 1971 models to 160 in 1972 models and a paltry 150 in 1973 models, but not because of emission systems, but because of the switch from gross horsepower which measures the engine only output to net horsepower which measures rear wheel horsepower. rpm or RPM may mean: revolutions per minute RPM Package Manager (originally called Red Hat Package Manager) RPM (movie) RPM (band), a Brazilian rock band RPM (magazine), a former Canadian music industry magazine In firearms, Rounds Per Minute: how many shots an automatic weapon can fire in one minute On...


The only non-traditional Pontiac V-8 engines were the 301 cubic inch and the smaller displacement 265 cubic inch V-8s. Produced from 1977 through 1981, these engines had the distinction of being the last V-8s produced by Pontiac; GM merged its various brand's engines into one collectively shared group in 1980. Interestingly, the 301 had a 4-inch bore and 3-inch stroke, identical to the vaunted Chevrolet Small-Block engine and Ford Boss 302 engine. // Chevrolets small-block V8 is a famous automobile engine. ... The Boss 302 engine is a racing small-block V8 from Ford Motor Company. ...


Pontiac engines were not available in Canada, however, but were replaced with Chevrolet engines of similar size and power, resulting in such interesting and unusual (at least to American car fans) models as the Beaumont SD-396 with a Chevrolet big-block 396 cubic inch V-8.


All Pontiac engines were designed around a low-RPM/high-torque model, as opposed to the ubiquitous Chevrolet Small-Block engine known for its smaller displacement and high RPM/high power design. Pontiac engines were unique for their integrated water pump and timing chain cover, and separate valley pan and intake. // Chevrolets small-block V8 is a famous automobile engine. ...


Carburetors

PMD originally used Carter 1-barrel carburetors for many years, but by the time of the second generation V-8 engines had switched mostly to the 2-barrel offerings. These also were the basis for the Tri-Power setups on the engines. Bendix-Technico (Stromberg) 1-barrel downdraft carburetor model BXUV-3, with nomenclature A carburetor (North American spelling) / carburettor (international spelling), colloquially called a carb (in North America and the United Kingdom) or carby (chiefly in Australia), is a device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine. ... Tri-Power is the name used with reference to the triple two-barrel carubration of the Pontiac V8. ...


The Tri-Power setup included one center carburetor with idle control and two end carburetors that did not contribute until the throttle was opened more than half way. This was accomplished two ways, mechanically for the manual transmission models, and via a vacuum-switch on the automatics. This went through various permutations before being banned by GM. A manual transmission (also known as a stick shift, straight drive, or standard transmission) is a type of transmission used in automotive applications. ...


PMD also had a square-bore 4-barrel at the time, but this was rated at a lower power than the Tri-Power. This carburetor was later replaced by the Quadrajet, a spread bore. 'Spread-bore' refers to the difference in sizes between the primaries and secondaries. The Quadrajet is a 4 barrel carburetor made by the Rochester Products Division of GM that was widely used in General Motors motor vehicles until 1990, in which its last application was on the Oldsmobile 307 V8 engine, which was last used in in the Cadillac Brougham and full size...


By the end of the muscle car era, the QuadraJet setup had become the nearly-ubiquitous choice on PMD engines, due to its excellent economy and power characteristics. While QuadraJets have been occasionally derided as being poor performers, with proper understanding and tuning it can compete at most levels with other designs.


This design proved good enough to last well into the 1980s with emissions modifications while most others carburetors were dropped for the easier to build fuel injection when economy mattered.


Cars during this time period were relatively a good value but often were hoped to be purchased every three to four years. This car model would cost around 2,000 dollars


Models

Models Pontiac 2000 Sunbird (1983 - 1984) Pontiac 2+2 (1964-1967, 1986) Pontiac 6000 (1982 - 1991) Pontiac Acadian (1976 - 1987, sold only in Canada) Pontiac Astre (1971 - 1977) Pontiac Aztek (2001 - 2005) Pontiac Beaumont (1964-1969, Canada) Pontiac Bonneville (1957 - 2005) Pontiac Catalina (1959 - 1981) Pontiac Chieftain (1950 - 1958) Pontiac...

Pontiac in popular culture

  • An alternate slang term for the marque among performance enthusiasts is Poncho.
  • Another slang term used in the early stages of brand was "Indian" due to the subject matter of its logo.
  • Ronny and the Daytonas sang about the Pontiac GTO in their 1964 song Little GTO.
  • Tom Lehrer: "Rover was killed by a Pontiac, and it was done with such grace and artistry that the witnesses awarded the driver both ears and the tail." From "In Old Mexico"
  • In the Transformers film, an Autobot named Jazz transforms into a Pontiac Solstice.
  • In the chorus of his 2007 song "Johnny Cash", country singer Jason Aldean sings, "Done gassed up the Pontiac."

Ronny & the Daytonas were a surf rock group of the early 1960s whose members included Paul Jensen (vocals, guitar), Don Henderson (Bass, Guitar), Lynn Williams (drums), Lee Craft (writing, guitar) and Buck Ronny Wilkins (writing, guitar, vocals) with contributions from many more. ... 1965 Pontiac GTO convertible The Pontiac GTO was an automobile built by Pontiac from 1964 to 1974, and by General Motors Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006. ... Thomas Andrew Tom Lehrer (born April 9, 1928) is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. ... Transformers is a 2007 live action film based on the Transformers franchise, directed by Michael Bay and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. ... The Pontiac Solstice GXP was introduced at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. ... Jason Aldean (born Jason Aldine Williams February 28, 1977) is an American country music singer-songwriter. ...

Gallery

See also

Pontiac V8 engine with Tripower carb setup From 1954 to 1981 the Pontiac Division of General Motors manufactured its own, unique V8 engines. ... Like many other American automobile makers, Pontiac produced a straight-8 engine. ... Like most American automobile manufacturers, Pontiac relied on the straight-6 design for their circa-World War II automobiles. ... This page chronicles the many automobile engines that General Motors has used in its various marques. ... No authentic images of Pontiac are known to exist. ...

Notes

References

  • Kimes, Beverly R., Editor. Clark, Henry A. (1996). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1945. Kraus Publications. ISBN 0-87341-428-4. 
  • Gunnell, John, Editor (1987). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. Kraus Publications. ISBN 0-87341-096-3. 
  • Flammang, James and Kowalke, Ron (1999). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976-1999. Kraus Publications. ISBN 0-87341-755-0. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Pontiac vehicles


Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from , its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. ...

 v  d  e Pontiac, a division of General Motors, automobile timeline, United States market, 1980s-present
Type 1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Subcompact Sunbird T1000/1000 LeMans
Compact J2000/2000 Sunbird/Sunbird Sunfire G5
Vibe
Phoenix Grand Am Grand Am Grand Am
Mid-size LeMans Bonneville G6
Grand Am 6000
Grand Prix Grand Prix Grand Prix Grand Prix
Full-size Bonneville Parisienne Bonneville Bonneville Bonneville G8
Catalina Safari
Crossover Aztek Torrent
Minivan Trans Sport Trans Sport/Montana SV6
Sports Firebird Firebird Firebird GTO
Fiero
Roadster Solstice

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