The Oakland Motor Car Company had a short history as an independent car maker. Edward Murphy founded the company in Pontiac, Michigan in 1907. Murphy previously owned the Pontiac Buggy Company.
The Oakland Motor Car Company got its name from Oakland County, Michigan, in which it was based. Murphy decided to enter the automobile business after meeting with Alanson Brush, a former Cadillac engineer. The two men agreed to form a new company, and they chose the name Oakland Motor Car Company.
Oakland’s first car, the Model A, was a two-cylinder runabout that ran on a 12-horsepower engine. The Model A sold well.
After only two years of operation, in 1909 Oakland joined General Motors for $3.5 million.
Edward Murphy, the founder of the Oakland Motor Car Company, wanted to join the newly formed General Motors for a number of reasons.
Financial security: GM was a well-funded company with a strong financial position. This would have given Murphy peace of mind knowing that his company was financially secure.
Access to resources: GM had access to a wide range of resources. These included manufacturing facilities, engineering expertise, and marketing channels. This allowed Murphy to focus on the day-to-day operations of his company. GM handled the more complex tasks.
Potential for growth: GM was a rapidly growing company with a bright future. This would have given Murphy the opportunity to grow his company and reach a wider audience.
Competition: The automotive industry was becoming increasingly competitive in the early 1900s. By joining GM, Murphy could pool his resources with those of other automakers and compete more effectively against larger companies, such as Ford.
New technology: GM was at the forefront of automotive technology in the early 1900s. By joining GM, Murphy could access new technology and stay ahead of the competition.
Vision: William C. Durant, the founder of GM, had a clear vision for the future of the automotive industry. Murphy was probably attracted to Durant’s vision and believed that GM was the best company to help him achieve his own goals.
Oakland as Part of General Motors
In 1913, Oakland introduced the first six-cylinder engine in a mass-produced car. The six-cylinder Oakland was a popular model, and it helped to solidify the company’s reputation for building high-quality cars.
Oakland continued to produce successful cars throughout the 1920s. In 1927, the company introduced the Oakland Super Six, which was one of the most popular cars of the decade. The Super Six had a powerful engine, smooth ride, and luxurious interior.
In the early 1930s, the Great Depression took a toll on the automotive industry. Oakland struggled during the Depression, and sales began to decline. In 1931, GM decided to discontinue the Oakland brand in favor of its Pontiac division. The last Oakland car came off the line in 1931.
List of Models
Here are some of the notable Oakland cars:
Model A (1907-1909): The first car produced by Oakland, it was a two-cylinder runabout that was powered by a 12-horsepower engine.
Models 6-40 (1910-1911): The first Oakland car with a six-cylinder engine, it was available in both touring and roadster body styles.
Model 48 (1912-1913): A popular model, the Model 48 was available in a variety of body styles, including touring, roadster, coupe, and sedan.
Model 57 (1914-1915): A more luxurious model than the Model 48, the Model 57 was available in a variety of body styles, including touring, roadster, coupe, and sedan.
Models 6-27 (1916-1917): A popular model, the Model 6-27 was available in a variety of body styles, including touring, roadster, coupe, and sedan.
Models 6-45 (1918-1921): A more powerful version of the Model 6-27, the Model 6-45 was available in a variety of body styles, including touring, roadster, coupe, and sedan.
Model 68 (1922-1926): A popular model, the Model 68 was available in a variety of body styles, including touring, roadster, coupe, and sedan.
Oakland Super Six (1927-1931): One of the most popular Oakland cars, the Super Six was known for its powerful engine, smooth ride, and luxurious interior.
- Year Started: 1907
- Year Ended: 1931
- Origin Of Name: County of its Headquarters
- Location Sales: United States
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: Edward Murphy and Alanson Brush
- Owner While In Use: General Motors
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Chevrolet
- Naics Code: 336110
- Location Headquarters: Pontiac, Michigan USA