1959 Pontiac: The “Wide-Track” Pontiac is born!

1959 Pontiac

1959 Pontiac

From John Gunnell’s book “75 Years of Pontiac Oakland“:

“The 1959 Pontiacs were the first models inspired totally by “Bunkie” Knudsen’s thinking and they were beautiful cars. America’s buyers responded quickly to the new design, purchasing 83,148 units between September 1, 1958’s production start up and the following New Year’s Day. That was 38 percent of the past season’s total output.”

“A total of 47 engineering advances were claimed, with the most important of these including a five-inch extension of the width between wheel center to provide a “Wide-Track” stance and the offering of a de-tuned, regular fuel engine as a no-cost option. All Pontiac powerplants this season were normally aspirated 389 cubic inch displacement V-8s.”

“The cars copped Motor Trend’s prestigious “Car of the Year” award and the Bonneville was named Car Life’s “Best Buy” in the $23,000-$3,000 price class.”

On the racing scene, “Professional drivers like Fireball Roberts took checkered flags at Daytona Beach and the Darlington 500, while other “Ponchos” captured the National Hot Rod Association’s Top Eliminator title and climbed to victory at Pike’s Peak.”

1959 Pontiac

1959 Pontiac

“The seven assembly plants cranked out 383,320 cars during the model year, a 77 percent increase over 1958. A record 6.9 percent of all American assemblies bore Pontiac nameplates this year, providing a firm grasp on fourth industry rank, while outdistancing both Buick and Olds.”

“The 1959 models had lower, longer and roomier bodies; split radiator grilles; twin-fin rear fenders, V-contour hoods; a 40 percent increase in glass area; nicely revised side trim and well-received flat-top roofs on new Vista-styled pillarless sedans.”

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One Response to “1959 Pontiac: The “Wide-Track” Pontiac is born!”

  1. Late 50’s and early 60’s Pontiacs best ever. Beautiful

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