Pontiac was one of the few companion cars that not only equaled but outsold and outlived its brother. Named for the chief of the Ottawa's who ruled all the tribes bounded by the Great Lakes, the Alleghenies and the Mississippi, including the Deep South, the Pontiac was created to fill the gap between the Chevrolet and the Oldsmobile on the lower end of the pricing ladder. The Pontiac Six represented an incorporation of engineering talent of Chevrolet, Oakland and Cadillac. Advertised as "Chief of the Sixes" it was introduced in January 1926 at the New York Auto Show; by July 23rd more than 39,000 chiefs had been sold, in 12 months 76,742. A year later it became the best selling "six" in America to rank seventh in all sales. A remarkable feat for an introductory car offering two models, a 2 passenger coupe and a 5 passenger coach, with an all new 40 hp, 186.5 cu. in., L-head engine with a 3 3/4 in. stroke then for an American production car.
Pontiac boosted Oakland's sales, and both outgrew the Pontiac plant. A new facility was built reportedly in 90 days, and all the machinery was moved prior to opening day when 70,000 visitors were entertained. the building, sheathed in glass, was called the "Light Plant".
Pontiac also offered a 3/4 ton closed body truck based on its passenger car chassis. With a payload of 3470 pounds, this truck would evolve into a GMC light duty truck, Model T-11 and T-15A, continuing with the reliable six.
Pontiac was gifted with a forthright and spirited name, a modern look and many mechanical improvements. It was bodied by Fisher to make it a compelling attraction among its competitors as well as its brother. By 1930 Pontiac's bigger six option outpaced and outsold the new V-8 Oakland to become the fourth ranking car in sales. In 1932 Oakland production ceased, and the company was named Pontiac Motor Company.
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