2012 Detroit Autorama: Politically Incorrect Pontiac
The Chief’s Torpedo
1941 Pontiac Torpedo Deluxe Convertible

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This very nicely done 1941 Pontiac Torpedo Deluxe convertible would have caught my eye because of the quality of the work, but in any case, I had to give the owner credit for having moxie. The car is called “The Chief’s Torpedo” and the owner is politically incorrect enough to include a small cigar store Indian as part of the display. Of course, naming the brand Pontiac, after the Indian chief who fought the British in colonial days, was meant to honor Native Americans (Siberian-Americans?), not demean them. Pontiac used an Indian head as its logo for much of its history. The Indian head hood ornaments and mascots that Pontiac used are well known. I didn’t know, though, that there’s also an Indian head profile on the back bumper. The Torpedo used what was known as “torpedo” styling, without running boards and with a more streamlined and lower look. Considered to be advanced styling in its day, the Torpedo introduced  styling motifs from the Cadillac Sixty Special into GM’s more modest brands.



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