Edward M. Murphy incorporated the Oakland Motor Car Company in 1907, which was an offshoot of his Pontiac Buggy Company that Murphy started in 1893. Murphy could see that his traditional buggy company’s days were numbered and auto cars were the wave of the future. Former Cadillac designer Alanson P. Brush, joined Murphy to as co-founder and designer of the first Oakland. Murphy is said to have chosen the name “Oakland” for his car venture, which was located in the city of Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, because cross-town rival Pontiac Spring and Wagon Works was already making a high-wheel motor wagon under the Pontiac name.
In 1908, the Oakland Motor Car Company and the Pontiac Spring and Wagon Works merged under the name of the Oakland Motor Car Company. Later in that year, the first Oaklands motor cars went to market.
In 1909, Murphy sold 50% interest in the Oakland Motor Car Company to William Durant. The Oakland found itself as a charter member of Durant’s newly formed General Motors empire.
In 1909, Oakland introduced new engines, new body styles and new models, which greatly increased sales, but unexpectedly during the summer of 1909, Murphy died and a few months later General Motors purchased full control of the Oakland Motor Car Company.
The Oakland brand was produced thru 1931 by the Oakland Motors Division of General Motors, but in 1932 the Oakland name was dropped and the Oakland Motor Division became Pontiac Motor Car Company.
America’s Car Museum’s 1913 Oakland is a Model 35 3-Passenger Runabout. It sports a 4 cylinder engine and three speed manual transmission. This year, Oaklands were equipped with a self starter, electric headlights and sporting a “rounded-vee” radiator. Almost 9,000 Oaklands of all models were produced in 1913. The car was donated in 2003 by Nancy LeMay and is was proudly displayed at the Museum's 2012 Grand Opening in the Harold E. LeMay Exhibit.
Serial No: 63658
Engine Cyl: 4
Engine HP: 42
Trans: Manual 3-Speed