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Pontiac, Oakland fans strut their stuff

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 6:46 a.m.
  • Updated Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 6:52 a.m.


Pontiac may be gone as a brand, but the passion of Pontiac fans has, if anything, gotten stronger since General Motors pulled the plug on its performance-oriented division four years ago. That point was driven home last week when the 42nd annual Pontiac Oakland Club International Convention set up shop in downtown Wichita, its second visit to town in recent years.

Oakland began as an independent car company in 1907 – in Pontiac, Mich. – but was quickly incorporated into the General Motors lineup a couple of years later. In 1926, it would spawn the Pontiac line which ultimately supplanted the Oakland division when it was discontinued in 1933. But the link between the two brands remains strong, as shown by the POCI.

While Pontiacs vastly outnumbered Oaklands at this year’s national convention, there were plenty of the stylish Oakland sedans and a roadster or two from the 1920s on display; a couple from Florida even showed off a rare 1910 model.

A special Oakland breakfast cruise was one of the convention highlights, with a stop at one of the area’s finest private auto collections capping that event.

The Hyatt Regency served as convention headquarters, hosting meetings, tech sessions and giving participants a place to gather and relax when they weren’t on the show floors at Century II.

Everything from bone-stock Pontiac sedans and coupes to muscle cars and purpose-built drag racing cars was displayed. Cars in the south showroom competed for the popular votes of the crowds, while those in the north section of the hall were judged individually on points for specific class designations. In short, there was something there for everyone and you didn’t have to be a loyal Pontiac (or Oakland) lover to enjoy it.

More highlights can be found at Kansas.com.

Reach Mike Berry at mberry@wichitaeagle.com.

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