1937 Pontiac DeLuxe Eight Convertible Sedan

The 1937 Pontiac DeLuxe Eight Convertible Sedan was the costliest model in the lineup. See more classic car pictures.

The 1937 Pontiac DeLuxe Eight Convertible Sedan, boasting an all-steel body, was an impressive option in the medium-priced automobile market.

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In the beginning, there was Oakland, a pioneer automaker founded in 1907 and absorbed by the fledgling General Motors empire the next year.

The attractive hood ornament added to the DeLuxe Eight's elegant look.

Oakland prospered, only to falter in the 1920s, which led to a less expensive companion model, the 1926 Pontiac Six. It was so successful that it rendered its "parent" superfluous by 1931.

The DeLuxe Eight's instrument panel.

Pontiac got a straight eight and independent front suspension for 1933. In 1935, Pontiac adopted the all-steel "Turret Top," reintroduced a six-cylinder engine, and added a styling trademark that would endure through 1956 -- the famed "Silver Streak" hood and deck stripes that gave Pontiac instant identity.

The 1935-1936 Pontiacs sold well; 1937 looked even better as Pontiac moved up to the GM B-body used by Olds, Buick, and LaSalle. The all-new body boasted all-steel construction.

Impressive also was the straight-eight engine, which was stroked to 248.9 cubic inches, the size it would be until 1950.

The horsepower increase from 87 to 100 resulted in a top speed of 86 mph and 0-60-mph times of about 19 seconds, according to The Autocar, a British motoring magazine.

With the straight-eight engine, horsepower increased to 100.

The 1937 Pontiac sported squarer fenders; lower, fender-mounted headlights; narrower Silver Streaks (optional up back); and a horizontal-bar grille.

All in all, the new Pontiac looked "more important," a decided advantage in the highly competitive medium-price field.

At the beginning of the model year, Pontiac listed seven DeLuxe Sixes and seven DeLuxe Eights, the latter on a 122-inch wheelbase, up six from 1936.

They were joined at mid-year by a woody wagon (Six) and a Convertible Sedan (Six and Eight).

The 1937 Pontiac body featured all-steel construction.

At $1,235, the DeLuxe Eight Convertible Sedan was the costliest model in the lineup (prices started at $781); at 3,505 pounds, it was also the heaviest. And to most eyes, it was easily the most elegant.

The interior gave passengers plenty of leg room.

By comparison, Ford's ragtop sedan featured an 85-horsepower V-8, rode a 112-inch-wheelbase, and weighed 2,861 pounds -- all of which made it faster off the line, but not nearly as comfortable. It sold for $859.

The Pontiac, which was billed as "America's Finest Low-Priced Car," cost almost 50 percent more. It wasn't really low-priced, of course, but many thought it quite "fine."

Only 1,266 1937 Pontiac Convertible Sedans -- Six and Eight -- found buyers, about one-quarter as many as chose the Ford, so they were rare when new -- and almost never seen today, even at shows.

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