The Pontiac name did not adorn an automobile until 1926, however marque does date back to 1893. Edward M. Murphy founded the Pontiac Buggy Company in Pontiac, Michigan, just north of Detroit and a town which had taken its name from a mighty Indian chief who, 150 years before, had banded together the Ottawas, Chippewas, Pottawattomis and Miamis into a powerful confederation.
The Pontiac marque lasted until the end of 2010 when GM discontinued the line due to the parent company bankruptcy during the Great Recession.
For the 1941 model year Pontiac offered three series of automobiles. These included the Deluxe Torpedo, the Streamliner Torpedo and the Custom Torpedo. Each of these series had various sub models. The Deluxe had five models, the Streamliner offered two models and the Custom featured three body styles.
The Custom Torpedo series offered the sedan coupe, a four-
Pontiac came out in 1940 with a Torpedo model on a C-body. In 1941 the Torpedo came out also on the A-body and B-body. Because of this the entire line of Pontiacs used the Torpedo name. Series 25 Pontiac's were the six cylinder versions and Series 27 had the eight cylinder engines. The C-body was discontinued after 1941 and didn't appear again until 1971.
As far as Pontiac's position among all American automobiles the true market niche for Pontiac was right where Alfred Sloan originally placed it, a step above the low-
1941 Pontiac Series 25
Pontiac did something new for 1941 that hadn't been done before by any American automaker. Pontiac had an engine option available for each of the three series. The standard engine for each was the six cylinder with the buyer being able to have a straight eight with dual carburetors and 103 horsepower for just $25 more. Pontiac advertised their 1941 models as the "Torpedo Fleet" offering both sixes and eights.
Featured in this article is the 1941 Pontiac DeLuxe Torpedo 2 Door Silverstreak Model 25 six cylinder.
The 1941 Pontiac is noted for it's higher, wider and crisper fenders. In general, all 1941 Pontiac's looked lower and wider. The 1942 models were redesigned with a larger grill, longer front fenders that were swept back into the front doors and rounded rear fenders. The 1942 Pontiac production was short lived with the ban on civilian auto production taking effect in February 1942.
The DeLuxe Torpedo was Pontiac's bottom of the line on the 119 inch wheelbase ( 3 inches longer than a Chevrolet) followed by the Streamliner Torpedo and the Custom Torpedo,both on a longer 122 inch wheelbase.
The Torpedo Fleet represented Pontiac’s most successful model year to date. Pontiac realized record sales for the 1941 model year. Total vehicles produced were 330,000. Some of this surely had to do with the gloom of the Great Depression fading a bit. Compare the 1941 numbers to the 144,000 units produced in 1939.
The first post war Pontiac was a Streamliner Coupe model that came out in September 1945. This was the only model available and it would take several years to roll out the new post war designs.
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For those wanting more information on the Pontiac Torpedoes, you may find offered for sale online the 1941 Pontiac Torpedo Fleet Brochure "Sixes And Eights for 1941"
1941 Pontiac Torpedo Specs
As mentioned above, the 1941 Pontiac Torpedoes were offered with both six and eight cylinder engines. Model 25's were six cylinder and Model 27's eight cylinder. The six cylinder engines were 239 cubic inch L-head Inline sixes. Power was rated at 90 horsepower.
The eight cylinder engine was a 249 cubic inch Inline eight rated at 103 horsepower.
Transmission was a synchromesh three speed column shift manual.
Brakes on the Torpedo were 11 inch four wheel drums.
The 1941 Deluxe Torpedo had a 119.0 inch wheelbase. Both the Streamliner and Custom Torpedoes had 122.0 inch wheelbases.
It's important to note that in 1940 Pontiac had the sealed beam headlight. This is a unitized lamp with a parabolic reflector. Included are filaments and a glass lens. All of this is put into one unit and sealed.
1941 Pontiac Torpedo Vintage Car Prices
As mentioned above, Pontiac had a record sales year in 1941. While there were 1942's produced until February 1942, the 1941 Pontiacs are milestone cars having been produced during a full production year prior to World War Two.
In general you'll find 1941 Pontiacs with asking prices from $5,000 and up. Modified 1941 Pontiacs will depend on scope of modifications but will typically be less valuable than a restored original.
You'll find well maintained restored models at prices around $17,000. We have seen a non restored Streamliner in good running condition at $12,000. As of this writing e also see a pristine condition 41 Pontiac Deluxe Six with an asking price of $40,000. As is always the case, a beautifully restored museum quality vehicle will command a larger price by far.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)