1930 Pontiac Big Six
The “true” 1930 Pontiac, series 6-30B, began production on December 14th 1929 and was introduced to the public in January of 1930. You may recall that prior to this time; Pontiac was doing 2 model introductions per calendar year. The series 6-29A automobiles were titled as 1930 models despite being only slightly upgraded versions of the series 6-29 Pontiacs of 1929.
Pontiac was not alone in the practice of “split” model years, it was deemed beneficial to sales at the time, but it certainly makes it difficult for us today to accurately distinguish Pontiac models from 1926 through 1930. Think of the Pontiac models and model years this way; the January introductions were the “true” Pontiac models for their respective model years. The late summer models were titled for the next model year, but in reality, were more closely related to the models introduced in the previous January.
Pontiac offered 7 models for 1930; Coupe, Sport Coupe, Two-door Sedan, Four-door Sedan, Custom Sedan, Sport Roadster and Phaeton. Standard exterior features included 10 spoke Jaxon wheels and rear mounted spare tire, 31 vertical louvers on either side of the hood and a polished chrome cowl band. A half-oval belt molding was used to enhance the styling, beginning just behind the radiator, it extended all the way around the body. The radiator shell was chrome plated, as were the bumpers, door handles and all exterior bright-work. A variety of colors was available, all in Duco paint. The closed bodies, provided by Fisher, all featured “military type” visors, oval rear windows and the Vision/Ventilation windshield, which was sloped for the first time to eliminate glare during night driving. The open bodies were supplied by Stewart, as expected, the windshields that could be folded flat.
The Coupe was a two-door, 2 passenger model ideal for the business or professional person; its rear deck package space measured 39 ½ inches long by 45 5/8 inches wide by 17 ¾ inches average height. There was also a convenient package shelf behind the adjustable front seat. Mohair upholstery was standard, along with a rear view mirror and automatic windshield cleaner. The exterior lamps featured chrome trim rings with painted bodies; this was also true of the two- and four-door sedans. Six-wheel equipment was available at extra cost and included 6 wire wheels with tires, front fenders with tire wells, side carriers with two locks and a folding trunk rack in the rear. A one-piece rear bumper was fitted on side-mount vehicles.
The Sport Coupe was fitted with a rumble seat to accommodate two additional passengers, but otherwise was very similar to the Coupe. The rear window featured a crank type regulator so it could be raised or lowered as needed. The interior was mohair while the rumble seat was upholstered in Fabrikoid. The Sport Coupe came with fully chrome plated exterior lamps; as did the Phaeton, Sport Roadster and Custom Sedan.
The Big Six Two-door Sedan was the mainstay of the Pontiac line with room for 5 passengers. The enclosed Fisher body utilized crank type regulators on all of the side windows, convenient inside door lock controls, rear floor carpet and a dome light. The top and upper quarters were painted steel. Lovejoy shock absorbers were standard equipment on the chassis and this was true for all of the 1930 Pontiacs.
The Four-door Sedan featured 4 side windows with the top and upper quarters trimmed with imitation leather. The standard interior was fitted with mohair upholstery and front rubber mat; the rear compartment was carpeted and equipped with a foot rest, robe rail, dome lamp and smoking case. Like all other 1930 models, six-wheel equipment was available at extra cost.
The Custom Sedan can easily be distinguished from the Four-door Sedan by the rear quarter windows and the fully chrome-plated lamp assemblies, front, side and rear. Inside, the rear and quarter windows feature roll-down shades for privacy; in additional to the interior features of the standard Four-door Sedan. Another feature of the Custom Sedan was the installation of rubber seals on the clutch and brake pedals; these sealed the passenger compartment of drafts and fumes when the pedals were in their normal, upright position.
The Sport Roadster was Pontiac’s model for the youthful motorist and offered quite a rakish appearance with the windshield and top both folded down. The adjustable front seat was upholstered in Spanish leather while the rumble seat was durable Fabrikoid. The gray Clothteal top was supported by a chrome-plated slat iron frame with natural finish wood bows. The side curtains were single piece construction that could be left in place even with the top folded down. The rear curtain was removable. Prior to 1930, there were 2 roadster styles; the standard and the Sport model, with the main difference being the addition of the rumble seat. My information says the standard roadster was dropped at the end of 1929; but there is room for doubt that this was actually the case.
The Phaeton was essentially a roadster with 2 extra doors. The seats were Spanish leather front and rear; the rear floor was covered in carpet and the single piece side curtains opened with their respective doors. The top was of the same color, material and construction as the Sport Roadster and the body carried chrome-plated lamps, as well. The Phaeton was supplied with a half-boot to cover the rear compartment.
The Pontiac engine was improved for 1930 with stiffening ribs cast into the lower crankcase for increased structural rigidity. Metric thread spark plugs were used for the first time and all 4 engine mounts were fully insulated with rubber to minimize vibration. The displacement and horsepower remained at 200 and 60 respectively. The key operated transmission lock to prevent vehicle theft was replaced by a key locked ignition coil. The starter drive was also improved.
The chassis was upgraded with larger brake drums and softer front springs. Lovejoy shock absorbers were standard equipment on all models and the hand brake acted on all four wheels, not just the rear wheels as in previous models. The axle ratio remained at 4.42:1 and the 110 inch wheelbase was also unchanged from 1929. The standard wheels were 10 spoke Jaxon units in naturally finished wood, including the single spare. Steel wire wheels were used on vehicles ordered with side-mount spare tires; (six wheel equipment).
The Fisher bodied Pontiacs all featured the VV windshield and vacuum operated windshield wiper; crank type window regulators were fitted to all opening windows, an inside rear view mirror, dome light and inside door lock controls were also standard. Instrument panels in all of the 1930 models included uniformly sized gauges for the first time. Radio and heater units were optionally available on any model; wind wings could be fitted to the open models.
Total production for the 6-30B model was 62,888 vehicles. This would be the final model year to offer the Stewart-bodied Sport Roadster and Phaeton. It was also the first model year that a late summer introduction did not occur, the split model year was finished. The 1930 Pontiacs remained in production until autumn and the new 1931 models were introduced in January, but that is another story.