This 1926 Pontiac Tourer is the oldest car I have photographed as a full set and I really enjoyed it. Ryan and Kirsty with their little son drove to Adelaide from Mt Gambier to take part in the Bay to Birdwood rally and while they were here I had a chance to capture a few moments the day before the event. Pontiac is in immaculate condition, looks and drives like brand new. Here is a small story from Ryan about it.
I inherited our 1926 Pontiac Tourer from my dad Brad Turner in 2011. He inherited it from my great, great Uncle Bill Turner. My dad was 15 when his great Uncle Bill died, so it was more like a toy for him at the time. According to my Nana, dad used to drive his Pontiac around a paddock behind the house and charge kids from the local area for rides!
The Pontiac wasn’t exactly well looked after during this period and often sat under a tree in between use. Dad often reflected on this time and wished he’d taken more care of it as a youngster! He moved it into the back of the service station he’d bought from my grandfather in about 1970.
When my dad died in February 2011 after a couple of years of illness he still owned the service station with my mum and the car was still parked in the same place. It hadn’t moved in about 40 years. During that time he had often talked about a restoration. He was going to get it ready for my oldest sister’s wedding but that came and went along with two other weddings in my family. Dad was a mechanic but apart from getting the engine to run one time in about 1995 no restoration work was started.
I wasn’t sure what we would do with the Pontiac when mum and I started cleaning up the service station for sale in late 2011. Not having any experience with vintage cars let alone restoring them, I initially thought it was sadly too far gone. I learnt however that anything was possible given enough effort, time and money. I was excited to think we might be able to get dad’s car back on the road!
The overwhelming feelings I had when we finished the restoration were happiness and relief, mixed with the satisfaction that we were able to make this happen and save the Pontiac from being lost to scrap metal. I couldn’t have done any of this without Kirsty who was my girlfriend when this started and is now my wife. Her support was without limits and it’s wonderful to now share the Pontiac with our little boy Flynn who is two and half and loves being in it even more than we do! We continue to drive it regularly and were lucky enough to win the Concours de Elegance at the 2016 Bay to Birdwood which was a very proud occasion. My dad and great, great uncle would be pleased their car has remained in our family and will hopefully be enjoyed for many more generations to come!
Pontiac Motor Company was started by General Motors in 1926 as a companion car to Oakland.
• This car was imported to Australia as a rolling chassis from the USA and the body assembled by Holden Bodies in Woodville, Adelaide.
• Approximately 1,100 Pontiac Tourers were sold in Australia in 1926 at a cost of 225 pounds each.
• The engine is a 6-cylinder side valve which produces 40hp at 2400rp. Capacity is 186.5ci with 4.6:1 compression.
• Top speed around 50mph but it cruises comfortably at 45mph.
• Rear wheel brakes only. These are a contracting band style.
• Emergency brake is a more conventional drum on the rear wheels.
• When Pontiac stopped manufacturing in 2010 it was the oldest GM brand in existence that was started by GM.
Here is also the screenshot from the newspaper