GM announced today that its storied division Pontiac will be phased by 2011. The division started making cars n 1920 and was in many ways ,the original 'muscle car". Talk of the division remaing as a niche brand containing a few select models diminished over the past few months as the economy worsened and the parent company GM strugglels From the GTO to the Trans Am, Pontiac division will be missed....
The first Pontiac car was introduced in 1926 after GM acquired the Oakland Motor Car Co. of Pontiac, Mich., in 1909. Pontiac was meant to be a low-priced companion to GM's "Oakland" line, but Pontiacs proved more popular. By 1929, half a million Pontiacs were sold.
_ Oakland ended production in 1932 but Pontiac lived on, from the early models like the Chief and Master Six Coupe to the Star Chief and Catalina.
_ Just before the 1949 models went into production, Ford Motor Co. obtained spy shots of the new Pontiacs, and both companies had created nearly identical grilles. After a phone call from Ford, Pontiac reluctantly redesigned its grille because the Ford was debuting first.
_ John Z. DeLorean joined Pontiac in 1957 to head up advanced engineering. DeLorean, division general manager Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen and chief engineer Pete Estes inspired the cars that soon would reshape the division.
_ Pontiac built a reputation for performance in the 1960s and 1970s with offerings like the GTO, one of America's first muscle cars and the inspiration for Beach Boys' tune "Little GTO"; and the Firebird and Firebird Trans Am.