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Pontiac
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 more sporting, performance-driving experience for a reasonable price, and a youthful feel to its advertising.
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. The Oakland Motor Company and Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works Company decided to merge together in November 1908 under the name of the Oakland Motor Car Company. The operations of both companies were joined together in Pontiac, Michigan 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'.
A Native American Headdress was used as a logo until 1956. The current Pontiac logo represents a Native American arrowhead. 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 the subject matter of its logo.
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.
Pontiac's second generation V8 engines were nearly identical, allowing many parts to interchange from its advent in 1955 to its demise in 1981. Sizes ranged from 265 in³ to 455 in³. 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 largest engines into its mid-size cars, creating the Pontiac GTO. The non-traditional Pontiac V8 was the 301 and the smaller displacement 265 in³. Produced from 1977 through 1981, this motor has the distinction of being the last Pontiac V8 produced by PMD. The 301 has a 4 inch bore and 3 inch stroke, identical to the vaunted Chevrolet and Ford 302 engines.
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 in³ V8.
All Pontiac Motor Division (PMD) engines (pre-1980 unified GM) 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. PMD engines were unique for their rear distributor, integrated water pump and timing chain cover, and separate valley pan and intake.
Models
* Pontiac 2000 Sunbird (1983-1984)
* Pontiac 6000 (1982-1991)
* Pontiac Acadian (1976-1987, Canada)
* Pontiac Astre (1975-1977; 1971-1977, Canada)
* Pontiac Aztek (2001-2005)
* Pontiac Bonneville (1957-2005)
* Pontiac Catalina (1959-1981)
* Pontiac Chieftain (1950-1958)
* Pontiac Custom S (1969)
* Pontiac Executive (1967-1970)
* Pontiac Fiero (1984-1988)
* Pontiac Firebird (1967-2002)
* Pontiac Firefly (1985-2001, rebadged Suzuki Swift, Canada)
* Pontiac G3 (2006-present, rebadged Daewoo Gentra, Mexico)
* Pontiac G4 (2005-present, rebadged Chevrolet Cobalt, Mexico)
* Pontiac G5 (2007-present, rebadged Chevrolet Cobalt)
* Pontiac G6 (2004-present)
* Pontiac Grand Am (1973-1975, 1978-1980, 1985-2006)
* Pontiac Grand Prix (1962-2006)
* Pontiac Grand Safari (1971-1977)
* Pontiac Grand Ville (1971-1975)
* Pontiac Grande Parisienne (1966-1969, Canada)
* Pontiac GTO (1964-1974, 2004-present)
* Pontiac J2000 (1982)
* Pontiac Laurentian (1964-1981, Canada)
* Pontiac LeMans (1962-1981, 1989-1994)
* Pontiac Matiz (1998-2005, rebadged Daewoo Matiz, Mexico)
* Pontiac Matiz G2 (2006-present, rebadged Daewoo Matiz, Mexico)
* Pontiac Montana (1999-2005)
* Pontiac Montana SV6 (2005-2006)
* Pontiac Parisienne (1983-1986; 1958-1986, Canada)
* Pontiac Pathfinder (19??-1958, Canada)
* Pontiac Phoenix (1977-1984)
* Pontiac Pursuit (2005-present, Canada)
* Pontiac Safari (1955-1989)
* Pontiac Silver Streak
* Pontiac Solstice (2006-present)
* Pontiac Star Chief (1954-1966)
* Pontiac Star Chief Executive (1966)
* Pontiac Strato Chief (Canada)
* Pontiac Streamliner
* Pontiac Sunbird (1975-1980, 1985-1994)
* Pontiac Sunburst (1985-1989, rebadged Isuzu Gemini, Canada)
* Pontiac Sunfire (1995 - 2005)
* Pontiac Sunrunner (1994-1997, rebadged Geo Tracker, Canada)
* Pontiac Super Chief (1957-1958)
* Pontiac T1000 (1981-1987)
* Pontiac Tempest (1961-1970, 1987-1991; second generation was a rebadged Chevrolet Corsica and was only sold in Canada)
* Pontiac Torpedo
* Pontiac Torrent (2006-present)
* Pontiac Trans Am (1969-2002)
* Pontiac Trans Sport (1990-1998)
* Pontiac Ventura (1971-1977)
* Pontiac Vibe (2003-present, rebadged Toyota Matrix)
* Pontiac Wave (2004-present, rebadged Daewoo Kalos, Canada)
Concepts
* Pontiac Banshee (1966, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1988)
* Pontiac Bonneville Special (1954)
* Pontiac Bonneville X-400 (1959-1960)
* Pontiac Bonneville Le Grande Conchiche (1966)
* Pontiac Bonneville G/XP (2002)
* Pontiac Cirrus (1966)
* Pontiac Club de Mer (1956)
* Pontiac Fiero Convertible (1984)
* Pontiac Grand Prix X-400 (1962-1963)
* Pontiac Grand Prix SJ Edinburgh (1972)
* Pontiac Grand Prix Landau (1979)
* Pontiac Maharani (1963)
* Pontiac Montana Thunder (1998)
* Pontiac Monte Carlo (1962)
* Pontiac Proto Sport 4 (1991)
* Pontiac Pirhana (2000)
* Pontiac Pursuit (1987)
* Pontiac Rageous (1997)
* Pontiac Rev (2001)
* Pontiac Salsa (1992)
* Pontiac Sunfire (1990)
* Pontiac Sunfire Speedster (1994)
* Pontiac Stinger (1989)
* Pontiac Strato-Streak (1954)
* Pontiac Strato-Star (1955)
* Pontiac Tempest Fleur de Lis (1963)
* Pontiac Trans Am Type K (1978-1979)
* Pontiac Trans Sport (1986)