Oakland (automobile)

The Oakland Motor Car Company manufactured the Oakland brand vehicle between 1907 and 1909 in Pontiac, Michigan. The founder of Oakland was Edward M. Murphy who sold half of the company to GM in January 1909. During the summer of 1909, Murphy died and GM acquired the remain rights to the Oakland brand.

Originally the Oakland vehicles used a vertical two-cylinder engine but was replaced with the four-cylinder and sales increased to around 5,000 units per year. In 1916, the V-8 engine was introduced and the Oakland brand sales increased substantially.

The company was afflicted with quality and production problems early in 1920, but under new General Manager, Fred Hannum, quality began to improve and with the implementation of a production schedule the company began to rebound in 1921.

The price range for the GM vehicles were Chevrolet being the least expensive. Depending on options, the price progressively rose to the Oakland’s lowest priced vehicle.

However, within GM there was a huge price gap between the Chevrolet and Oakland vehicles. In 1926, Pontiac was introduced top fill that gap. In the first year of sales, the Pontiac outsold Oakland, and by 1929 there were 163,000 more Pontiacs sold than Oaklands.

Oakland vehicle production was discontinued in 1931.

Image Caption: Scanned image from a 1917 infrogmation. Credit: Oakland Motor Car/Wikipedia (public domain)