Pontiac: Sporty Division of GM cars

Explore the legendary line of Pontiac sedans and sports cars


Pontiac has a diverse history and was managed by General Motors. Let’s take a look at the brand and the cars they’ve manufactured over the years.

Pontiac was owned by General Motors and founded in 1926, the company sold its models throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. Pontiac was marketed as General Motors’ performance division since the 1960s. During the late 1970s, Pontiac ran into some financial problems and General Motors attempted restructuring efforts. But by 2008, they decided to let the brand go the same way it had with Oldsmobile in 2004.

Pontiac Models

A Brief History

Pontiac was introduced by General Motors and were part of the General Motors Oakland division based in Oakland, Michigan. Oakland was purchased by General Motors in 1909 and mostly provided fairly priced automobiles until 1931 when it was renamed, Pontiac. The name was derived after a famous Ottawa chief who gave his name to the city of Pontiac and this was where the vehicle was also produced.

Within just a few months the brand was outselling Oakland. There were different models and body types available including sedans, coupes, and roadsters. Pontiac produced a variety of cars including a 40-horsepower option with a six-cylinder engine and in 1955 the company introduced completely new chassis and bodies which helped increase sales in the following years.

In 1959 Pontiac was released with an Arrowhead emblem with a star in the middle. Most of the models during the 1960s and 1970s were styled very much like other General Motors makes. However, the company retained its own rear and front styling, as well as engine and interior.

With increasing insurance cost and rising fuel costs, powerful engines of the 1960s became less of a demand. Safety, economy, and luxury became the preference and engine performance started to decline in the 1970s. This is when the company introduced a new product called the Ventura II, which was loosely based on the Chevrolet Nova. Pontiac also completely restyled all their cars the same and station wagons also got a new design.

Popular Pontiac Models

Some of the most popular Pontiac models were the 1002, Firefly, Grand Am and the Sunbird. The Trans Am was also one of the most well-known models, and it was specifically built with upgraded handling suspension and horsepower. The 2000 Sunbird was produced between 1976 and 1980, and again from 1982 to 1994. It is a popular four-door model and was competing with the Ford Mustang and the Ford Capri.

Pontiac remains an iconic brand even today and has a rich history. It will be remembered for generations to come.