The new line of cars was named Pontiac to honor the Ottawa Indian chief of the same name. Regarded as a great leader, Pontiac brought together nearly every tribe “from Lake Superior to the lower Mississippi” to oust the British from their lands. He is best known for directly attacking Fort Detroit (later known as the city of Detroit) on his own. While that failed, his overall plan worked and resulted in a peace treaty signed in July 1766. Though the brand’s name stayed the same, the logo changed a few times over the years. However, it always maintained Native American iconography.
For the first thirty-three years (1926 through 1959), the company used two different logos, which were not all that dissimilar from each other. The first incorporated the old shield used by Oakland as the backdrop to the company’s name and Pontiac‘s profile. The second version evolved into a more rounded shield with a far less “cartoonish” profile image of Pontiac.
In 1956, Semon E. “Bunkie” Knudsen was appointed general manager of GM. At the time, he was the youngest manager General Motors ever had, and he came new ideas. The company moved away from the old-fashioned-looking profile of Pontiac to something more updated and elegant to usher in a new era for the company. Thus, the downward-pointed arrowhead with a four-pointed star known as the “Dart” was unveiled in 1959. Over the years, the styling changed slightly but, for the most part, remained unchanged. General Motors never revealed what, if anything, the color scheme or the star represented (via ListCar Brands).