Stories

Pontiac Service Excellence Award

Pontiac Service Excellence Award

When you think of 8-lug wheels you automatically think of big Pontiacs, because that’s the only models they were available on. And in many cases you may also connect the 8-lug wheel even more closely to the Grand Prix because it was the sporty big car, and 8-lug wheels are certainly sporty looking. Also this wheel was purely Pontiac, no other car manufacturer had anything like it, not even the other GM divisions. So it is no surprise that when Pontiac introduced an award program for service managers, they picked the 8-lug wheel as the symbol of that program. The “Pontiac Service Excellence... Read Full PDF

The GP in Canada

The GP in Canada

Pontiacs had always been built in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada since their inception in 1926. Because of an import duty the Canadian government had placed on all American built cars (which was quite substantial) brought into Canada, and a more price-conscious consumer, GM found it favorable to place parts from the Chevrolet parts bin on their Canadian built Pontiacs. They included major components such as the drivetrain and frame. Interior and exterior trim made up of various U.S. built Pontiacs were mixed in as well, then throw in the Canadian nomenclature that included such cars as the Strato... Read Full PDF

The Phillips Family & The Auto Business

The Phillips Family & The Auto Business

You have no doubt seen illustrations of a family tree, names on imaginary branches representing various members of the family, going back through the generations. Now that you have that pictured in your mind, if you use your imagination a little, you will see that the Phillips family tree has a vehicle or two resting there in the shade under those very limbs. And if one were to focus a little more clearly on those vehicles, it is likely they would be identified as a truck for hauling car parts, and a Pontiac of some sort. As we outline the careers of three men in the Phillips family you... Read Full PDF

Nudie

Nudie

This story touches on a lot of things and covers a lot of ground. I could not come up with a title that encompasses them all, instead settling on one that I thought would grab your attention. I will, however, not leave you hanging too long. However, you can bet that there will be a Pontiac somewhere at the heart of the matter. 

There were many discussions about cars in my family when I was growing up and some of the details of those discussions I remember to this day. Oddly enough, this story has its roots in one such conversation.

My mother worked for a time as a waitress at... Read Full PDF

Prize Pontiacs

Prize Pontiacs

These Pontiacs didn’t win a prize, they were the prize. Starting in 1959 Marathon gas stations started a promotion called the “Picnic Sweepstakes.” The grand prize was an all expenses paid trip abroad. Then there were weekly prizes of a new Pontiac and daily prizes consisting of picnic baskets, coolers, ice chests and all manner of picnic gear.

In 1960 the sweepstakes ran from July 4 through August 28 and attracted more than 3 million entries from Ohio Oil’s marketing area. The lucky weekly winners of a new 1960 Pontiac were Allan Dotson, Elyria, Ohio; R.J. Harrolle, Kentland, ... Read Full PDF

African Traveler 1982 Grand Prix

African Traveler 1982 Grand Prix

Just looking at this car... you see nothing very remarkable about it. The 3.8 litre V-6, automatic on the column and bench seat are certainly nothing to write home about. The only thing that even comes close is the fact that it is thirty-years-old and still runs and drives. This may impress the average person, but to car collectors like us, it’s nearly a new car compared to the ones in the garage or building out back. 

When you really think about it, there is nothing very remarkable about any of the 80,367 Grand Prix’s Pontiac produced in 1982. There was no Ram Air, Super Charged or... Read Full PDF

The GMC Motor Home

The GMC Motor Home

In a time period when most RV’s resembled a huge box, and their interior appointments were considered utilitarian in nature, General Motors was building what they called “The showplace that goes places”. Today these GMC’s have what has to be considered a cult like following. It is said that of the 12,921 built between 1973 and 1978 that 8,000 to 9,000 are still registered and in service today. 

The demand for motorized recreational vehicles was on the rise in the late 1960s. General Motors decided to jump into this market, raising the standards as they did. Although much research... Read Full PDF

Ask Chief Pontiac

Ask Chief Pontiac

 At the 1933-34 World’s Fair in Chicago, Pontiac Motor Division touted a seeing, hearing, talking Chief Pontiac as a mechanical marvel. He was no mind reader, nor could he help you with your finances, but he could answer questions about Pontiacs. 

For the World’s Fair Pontiac published a special brochure measuring 11” x 15 3/4”, folding out in three panels, and printed in one color, dark brown. It is titled at the top “Pontiac Chieftain” dated 1907 - 1934, and subtitled “27 years of progress.” The time span is interesting as it goes back to the beginning of Oakland, even before GM’s... Read Full PDF

Printing an Oakland Ad

Printing an Oakland Ad

In my many years of collecting, this is the first Oakland printers plate that I have ever come across. It was a gift from longtime friend and former POCI president Todd Schafer. 

This is an ad that was probably printed in a newspaper, but could have been an advertisement in a magazine or program of some sort. The name of the dealer would have been printed in the space below the body of text, above the bottom line that says “The Greater Oakland Six”. 

The ad mentions January 9, but has no year, however the use of the words “The Greater” dates it to 1927. The ad describes an... Read Full PDF

The Oakland V-Eight

The Oakland V-Eight

Many of the car enthusiasts you meet at the average car show today have never heard of an Oakland. This is understandable since the car was last produced in 1931, many years before most of the people at the show were born. With that in mind it is also understandable that they know nothing of the unique motor powering the Oakland in its last two years of production, 1930 and ‘31. When describing our 1931 Oakland to car enthusiast, they think that it is pretty unique, upon mentioning the V8 they automatically assume you have a custom car, and are quite surprised when you tell them it is... Read Full PDF

'73 GTO - Black Goat of the Family

'73 GTO - Black Goat of the Family

The 1973 GTO received little respect from day one. Consider the fact that the GTO was a totally redesigned model from the previous year. Yet where was all the hoopla, promotion and excitement that normally came with the introduction of a new body style? There was no print ad in magazines, no post card for the salesmen to mail out to prospects, no poster on the wall for showroom visitors to see, no TV commercials, and no stories in the paper from press releases. If you were looking through the showroom brochure and had a sharp eye, you would have spotted the little water color illustration... Read Full PDF

Vauxhall - Sold and Serviced by Pontiac Dealers All Across America

Vauxhall-Sold and Serviced by Pontiac Dealers All Across America

Vauxhall is nearly an unknown name among Pontiac enthusiast today. Only those old enough to qualify for an AARP membership have ever heard of them, and even then sometimes I get a blank look when the name Vauxhall is brought up. When visitors come to my house and I am showing them around, before I pull the cover off the Vauxhall I say “remember how Buick used to sell Opels?” I always get an affirmative response, then as I pull the cover off I follow up with “well, Pontiac used to sell Vauxhalls.” The response is usually always the same, they had never heard of them. They then are further... Read Full PDF

Pontiac's Safari Magazine

Pontiac's Safari Magazine

The Safari was a travel-type magazine published for Pontiac owners. Each issue featured motor trips including major points of interest, interspersed with Pontiac information. The first issue was published in August 1960 and featured a motor trip from Niagra Falls to Montreal. General Manager S.E. (Bunkie) Knudsen introduced the new publication to Pontiac owners with a letter inside the front cover. In part his message said “We fully realize that our customers are Pontiac’s most important asset, and we sincerely hope that Safari will bring added enjoyment to your Pontiac travels”.

... Read Full PDF

1976 50th Anniversary Grand Prix

1976 50th Anniversary Grand Prix

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Pontiac, which was introduced in January, 1926 Pontiac created a special limited production Grand Prix. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this special car and some of the related memorabilia.

The earliest piece I have related to the “1976 Pontiac Golden Anniversary Grand Prix” (Pontiac’s official name for the car) is a memo dated August 1, 1975. The memo was from R.E. Benson who was sales promotion manager, and the memo was only sent to zone managers. The first paragraph reminds the zone managers of their first look ... Read Full PDF

1968 Pontiac Performance Catalog

1968 Pontiac Performance Catalog

Ben Franklin, the most notable printer in American history could never have imagined the technical advancements in the printing profession. Gone are the days of hand setting type one letter at a time, inking the letters with a brayer, printing one sheet at a time by pulling a large lever with force to make a good impression on the paper. Printers in Franklin’s day, and even half way through the 20th century, before letterpress printing fell out of favor were considered craftsmen. Today a pressman has to possess a combination of offset printing knowledge and an equal amount of computer... Read Full PDF