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The Oakland Automobile 1920-1931 & The Oakland Motor Car Co.

1937 Pontiac 1926-1939 Pontiac
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401 Six - Master Six
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Oakland
The Oakland Motor Car Co.
Pontiac, MI
1920-1931

In the early years Oakland 1907-1909 and Oakland 1909-1919 a wide range of Oakland automobiles were offered including some the industries first closed body automobiles. At first closed bodies were a good idea but it really didn't help Oakland. In the 1920s sales did fall off sharply and there was not to much General Motors could do about it.

1920 Oakland Sensible Six Closed Sedan
1920 Oakland Sensible Six Closed Sedan

In 1921, General Motors began to make some changes. A factory expansion at Oakland was one. At the same time corporate lines were were reorganized so that Chevrolet, Oakland, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac would sell in specific price brackets. In 1922 Oakland came out with a new automobile or rather a new engine called the 6-44. It was cheaper but less powerful.

1922 Oakland 4-44 Six Sport Touring
1922 Oakland 6-44
Six Sport Touring
1922 Oakland 6-44 Six Sedan
1922 Oakland 6-44
Six Sedan
Click on image above to see full size!

In 1922 and 1923 Oakland automobile production included open and closed models. Five different models - a $1095.00 Roadster, $1145.00 Touring Car, $1,265.00 Sport Touring Car, $1,625 Coupe and a $1,725.00 Coupe. All were equipped with the water cooled 6-44 19 horsepower engine, selective sliding gear transmission, 115 inch wheelbase and 32 x 4 inch wire wheels. Prices included speedometer, ammeter, tire pump, electric horn, metal visor and heater. Bodies were painted maroon or blue-black with black running gear.

1923 Oakland 6-44 Automobiles
1923 Oakland 6-44 Automobiles

In 1924, 1925 and 1926 another round of body changes occurred at The Oakland Motor Car Co. They included a $1095.00 Roadster, $1095.00 Touring Car, $1195.00 Special Roadster, $1195.00 Special Touring Car, $1215.00 Coach, $1,295.00 Landau Coupe, $1,495.00 Coupe for Four, $1,545.00 Sedan and $1,645.00 Landau Sedan. The 6-54 six cylinder was rated at 19.8 horsepower and had a selective sliding gear transmission with a spiral bevel rear drive. One popular body color was Buckingham gray. These 1920s automobiles had a 115 inch wheelbase and 31 x 5 inch disc wheels. By the end of 1926 Oakland sales reached 57,000 units. In addition The Oakland Motor Car Company introduced a new cheaper model called the Pontiac Six.

1925 Oakland Coach
1925 Oakland Coach
1927 Oakland Six
1927 Oakland Six
Click on image above to see full size!

Despite being given an all new engine in 1928, the Oakland slipped to 30,826 units in 1929 and was losing ground to its own Pontiac. 1929 production included a two door Sedan, four door Sedan, Sport Roadster, Coupe, Sport Phaeton, Landaulet Sedan and a very popular Oakland Convertible Cabriolet. Specifications included 117 inch wheelbase, 29 x 5.5 inch wood wheels, three speed transmission with spiral bevel drive. Prices ranged from $1145.00 to $1375.00 for the Landaulet. 1928 and 1929 body colors were green and black.

1928 Oakland Cabriolet
1928 Oakland Cabriolet
1929 Oakland 6-54
1929 Oakland 6-54
Click on image above to see full size!

Oakland standard equipment list increase a lot by the late 1920s and in 1929 included instrument panels with speedometer, ammeter, oil gauge, gasoline gauge. In addition oil filters and gasoline strainers were offered on the engines. Electric horns replaced bulb horns and ignition theft locks replaced simple switches. Available for the first time were items we take for granted today like - automatic windshield cleaner, spare rim and tire, shock absorbers, stop lights, rear view mirror, sun visor, cowl ventilator and dome light. A folding trunk rack was standard equipment on the the large Phaeton Sedans and Roadsters.

1929 Oakland All American Six
1929 Oakland All American Six
1930 Oakland Eight
1930 Oakland Eight
Click on image above to see full size!

In 1929 the Oakland was equipped with an "All American Six" followed by a V-8 from the Oldsmobile Viking in 1930. Combined sales figures for Oakland and Pontiac showed sales of 86,000 units in 1930 and 1931. Oakland's contribution was diminishing and the name was phased out in 1932 after selling 500,000 units from 1907 to 1931. There wasn't much room in the General Motors lineup for high priced V-8's after the stock market crash of 1929. The Oakland Motor Car Co. produced only the Pontiac after 1931. In 1933 The Oakland Motor Car Co. name was changed to The Pontiac Motor Co.

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