May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Pontiac LogoBrief History About Pontiac

Pontiac was founded 1893 as the Pontiac Buggy Company in the USA, by Edward M. Murphy and built horse drawn carriages, but by 1907 moved to building cars as the Oakland Motor Car Company.

In 1909 General Motors bought 50% of Oakland MCC and then the rest of the company when Edward Murphy suddenly died that same year. The first Pontiac vehicle to come from General Motors was built in 1926 and was added as the Pontiac brand to run along the side of the Oakland divisions cars. The brand was originally sold as a low budget option of vehicles and sold well.

During the 50’s GM started to make Pontiacs more attractive to younger drivers and gave them stylish looks and started to increase the cars performance.

In 1964 they built what some consider to be the first muscle car, the Pontiac GTO. This was followed by a sleuth of other performance models, that made the Pontiac brand very desirable, until the oil crisis in the 70’s that pretty much killed the muscle car era.

In the late 70’s, and 80’s Pontiac continued with building cars like the Firebird, but with emissions and safety laws, high insurance costs and gas prices, they needed smaller more economical cars and so also built more compact cars and added the Fiero to the model range. They also built more luxury into many of their cars to increase their appeal.

Most Pontiacs during the 90’s were just re-badged GM cars, including the return of the GTO later in 2004, which was based on the Holden Monaro.

With GM having financial difficulties during the 2000’s, they tried to revamp some of Pontiacs offerings and still had plans for more models, but by 2008 they then announced that the Pontiac brand would be discontinued and by 2009/10 the brand ceased to exist.

Pontiac GTO
GTO 1964-1967

Pontiac GTO
GTO 1968-1974

Pontiac GTO
GTO 2004-2006

Pontiac Fiero
Fiero 1984-1988

Pontiac Firebird 1st Gen
Firebird 1st Gen 1967-1969

Pontiac Firebird 2nd Gen
Firebird 2nd Gen 1970-1981

Pontiac Firebird 3rd Gen
Firebird 3rd Gen 1982-1992

Pontiac Firebird 4th Gen
Firebird 4th Gen 1993-2002