The Pontiac brand was established in 1926 and (according to the owner of this 1908 example), the Oakland Motor Car Company did not know there were Pontiacs prior to that time when they chose the name for their cars. However, the Pontiac Spring and Wagon Works was a company that was founded in 1899, and by 1907 they had decided to move on to producing an automobile.
The owners of the Pontiac Springs and Wagon Works of Pontiac, Michigan started building rapid trucks in 1904. By 1907, they decided to also produce an automobile, the 'Pontiac.' A prototype was displayed at the Grand Central Palace Exhibition of the Carriage Dealers Association in October, 1907. It was powered by a two-cylinder water-cooled 12 horsepower engine. The car was well-received by the press at the Chicago Automobile Show the same year.
In 1908, after fewer than 40 cars were built (some sources say less than sixty), the Pontiac Springs and Wagon Works sold its building and part of its equipment to the Motorcar Company makers of the Cartercar. Correspondence from 1929 indicates that General Motors management was not aware of this earlier Pontiac when they named their new car in 1926. It is believed that more 'The Pontiacs' exist, but their present whereabouts are unknown. (About four are known to survive; three are high-wheelers).
In 1908, The Pontiac sold for $600 without a top, and $650 to get one.
The complete owner history of this example is known since 1929. The current owner acquired the car from the noted collection of John McMullen.