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Pontiac produced cars offering 40 hp (30 kW; 41 PS) 186. 7 cu in (3. 1 L) (3. 25x3. 75 in, 82. 5x95mm) L-head straight 6-cylinder engines in the Pontiac Chief of 1927; its stroke was the shortest of any American car in the industry at the time. The Chief sold 39,000 units within six months of its appearance at the 1926 New York Auto Salon, hitting 76,742 at twelve months. The next year, it became the top-selling six in the U. S. , ranking seventh in overall sales. By 1933, it had moved up to producing the least expensive cars available with straight eight engines. This was done by using many components from the 6-cylinder Chevrolet Master, such as the body, but installing a large chrome strip on the top and center of the front hood Pontiac called the "Silver Streak". Only eight cylinder engines were offered in 1933 and 1934, displacing 223. 4 cubic inches for 77 HP. In the late 1930s, Pontiac used a Buick "torpedo" body for one of its models, just prior to its being used by Chevrolet, earning some media attention for the marque. An unusual feature of the "torpedo"-bodied exhibition car was that, with push of a button, the front half of the body would open showing the engine and the car's front seat interior. 1937 was a year of major change for Pontiac, all models except the new station wagon now using the all steel B-body shared with Oldsmobile, LaSalle and small Buicks. New stronger X frame had Hotchkiss drive using a two part drive shaft. The eight-cylinder had a 122-inch (3,099 mm) wheelbase, while the six-cylinder had a 117-inch (2,972 mm) wheelbase. Both engines had increased displacements, the six going to 222. 7 cubic inches for 85 HP, the eight to 248. 9 for 100 HP. In 1940 & 42, Pontiac was built on three different bodies. The "A" body with Chevrolet, the "B" body shared with Oldsmobile and Buick and the "C" body shared with the large Oldsmobile, Buick and the small Cadillac. The "C" body for 1940 was called the Torpedo. In 1941 all Pontiac's were called Torpedoes. On 2 February 1942, a Pontiac was the last civilian automobile manufactured in the United States during World War II, as all automobile factories converted to military production.

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