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Pontiac as Pioneer

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I just became aware that Pontiac sold the first GM car-based station wagon, in 1937.

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My book agrees with that claim- interesting.

Pontiac has had numerous pioneering features.

1958 - first make to move the A/C compressor /equipment underhood (vs. the trunk).

1960 - first integral brake drum/wheel.

1966 - first use of molded plastic for grillework (vs. metal, primairily 'pot' metal).

1967 - first use of 'hidden' windshield wipers.

1968 - first use of body-colored bumpers ("Endura").

1969 - first use of in-windshield antennas.

Quick ones off the top of my head- there's more.

Pontiac was also the last marque to stop production as a result of Gov. material rationing going into WW II.

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Well, most of those were from GM engineering, and they would give items to Pontiac and Olds as 'experiments'.

Some of the above really didn't work too well. Hidden wipers get covered with ice/snow. And, the first window antennas had poor reception.

Pontiac did well when GM had 50% market share and could differentiate cars better. After they started pouring $$ into UAW contracts and Roger Smith's wacky ideas, then cost cuts showed in products.

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Pontiac, as with every other Division, had their own Engineering department. Sure, often they worked with GM Research, but often they did not. Who's to say which feature involved what departments ??

The HydraMatic, for example, started out in Cadillac Engineering in '34 until '37-38 when it was handed off to Olds for in-car field testing. Then again- Cadillac Engineering drove most of GM's developments for the first 30+ years.

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