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Pontiac radiator emblem

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Pontiac radiator emblem
Smithsonian Institution

Oakland sedan

Pontiac radiator emblem
Catalog #: 325,528, Accession #: 260,303
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
"Chief of the Sixes" was Oakland's initial motto when it began producing the first Pontiac Six in 1926. In 1932 General Motors established the Pontiac Motor Division, replacing Oakland.
Physical Description

Dimensions (in mm): 5.3 L x 8.3 W x 1.1 D

Inscriptions: PONTIAC CHIEF OF THE SIXES PRODUCT OF GENERAL MOTORS (with image of Chief Pontiac and laurel branches)

Materials: metal

Colors: bronze

Dates Used:
1926 - present
Gift of Hubert G. Larson
Radiator emblems were colorful metal plates with a manufacturer's name or logo that attached to the radiators of early automobiles. Varying in shape and size, but never more than a few inches across, the emblems were small branding devices. As vehicles became more popular in a national market, people began associating the company name and logo on different vehicle models with a specific manufacturer. Radiator emblems sometimes indicated the type of engine or place of manufacturing. Other times they appealed directly to a driver’s sense of style and class by using iconic images or a catchy motto.
Related People, Places, and Events
Hubert G. Larson
In 1964 Hubert G. Larson donated a collection of 278 radiator emblems to the Smithsonian.

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