Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe
Model Year: 1953
Location of Manufacture: Oshawa, Ontario
General Motors of Canada began producing Pontiacs at its Oshawa, Ontario plant in the late 1920s. The Pontiac line was so popular that sales surged, from 1,200 vehicles in 1926, to over 14,000 in 1928. At this time, the Canadian-made Pontiacs were virtually identical to those produced in the U.S. In general, however, Canadian consumers preferred less-expensive, smaller versions of American models. In 1937, a uniquely Canadian model, based on a blending of Pontiac and Chevrolet components, appeared on the market. This new model was developed in response to consumer preferences, and also because of Canada’s restrictive import duties and tariffs. To avoid these, American car makers opted to set up factories in Canada and to share parts. In this way, they could keep production and sales costs low for the smaller Canadian market. Pontiac’s popularity increased throughout the 1940s, with a record-breaking 19,782 cars produced in 1948.
The Pontiac Pathfinder was introduced on the Canadian market only in 1953 and was produced until 1958. The car was an instant hit and Pontiac models continued to increase in popularity – production soared to 44,369 vehicles in 1953. The Pathfinder series, its name suggesting a car suitable for the exploration of Canada’s rugged terrain, was joined by the up-scale Pontiac Laurentian series, named after the popular mountain vacation region of Quebec. By 1958, the post-World War II economic boom began to decline and car sales slowed – for many car makers except Pontiac which saw another record-breaking sales year. In 1959, Pathfinder marque was replaced with Strato-Chief, and the Pathfinder line came to an end.