For 1942, Pontiac built about 84,000 cars, all except 15,000 produced in the closing months of 1941. Again Pontiac followed GM styling practice: long front fenders blending into the front doors, rounded "drop-off" rear fenders, and a gaudy grille. Considerable del Shuffling occurred. The '42 line included only the Torpedo on the 119-inch wheelbase and Streamliner o the - n 122-inch wheelbase. Each was available with either a six- or eight-cylinder engine. Streamliner was broken down into standard and Chieftain sub-series, each of which offered a coupe, sedan, and wagon. Chieftains cost $50 more than the standard Streamliner, which was priced higher than the Torpedo. The eight-cylinder op-tion cost only $25 more than the six. Production split about 50/50 between sixes and eights.
While marking time with prewar body styles for 1946-48, Pontiac stylists made each succeeding edition look a little different. The 1946s, which began rolling out of the plant in September 1945, were distinguished by triple chrome fender strips and a massive, full-width grille composed of vertical and horizontal bars. The grille was simplified for 1947, but became busy again for '48: vertical grille bars returned, and a small upper grille carried the Pontiac name. The 1948 was the first Pontiac to bear the Silver Streak nameplate, though the term had been used earlier in reference to styling. Despite name changes and minor appearance alterations, however, these early postwar models were entirely prewar in design and specifications. They used the same engines, the same conventional ladder chassis, the same suspension. Inexplicably, the eight was listed at 104 bhp in 1948 instead of 103, the only change from 1942 specifications. Pontiac offered just four series in '46: the 119-inch wheelbase Torpedo and the 122-inch wheelbase Streamliner, each available with six- or eight-cylinder engines. There was no Chieftain sub-series as in '42, but body styles were the same as before. The eight cost $30 more than the six throughout the range. Torpedo styles included two- and four-door sedans, business and sport coupes, and the coupe sedan, a five-passenger fastback. Wagons had wooden bodies and were costly to build. All models came only with three-speed manual transmissions as Pontiac had decided to stay away from GM's popular HydraMatic for the time being.
All body styles were carried over for '47 except for a deluxe convertible added to the Torpedo line. For the 1948 model year, there was a model realignment. With-out altering engine or chassis specifications, Pontiac offered most of its body styles with a choice of "standard" or "deluxe" trim. A deluxe sold for $90 to $120 extra. Chrome fender moldings, gravel guards, and wheel discs were part of the package. All models were available with either six or eight cylinders for a record 30 separate body/engine combinations. The division finally added HydraMatic as a $185 option in 1948, and this undoubtedly contributed to Pontiac's 235,000 sales that year. HydraMatic was especially important to eight-cylinder buyers who were gradually coming to dominate the ranks of Pontiac customers. Eight-cylinder sales surpassed the sixes in 1947, and were far ahead in '48. Only 50 percent of the sixes were equipped with Hydra-Matic, compared with 80 percent of the eights. The increasing sales of Pontiac Eights indicated the division was moving away from the "big Chevy" class and toward the upper-medium-price bracket. In those days, strict market placement was still the rule: each GM make carved out its own price territory. Although Pontiac continued to build sixes until 1955, its eight-cylinder models had become the top sellers long before that. When the division switched to a new overhead valve V8 in 1955, it simultaneously dropped its six-cylinder engine. In the corporate-wide restyling of 1949 Pontiac fared extremely well. For the new 120-inch-wheelbase chassis, GM styling chief Harley Earl developed a smooth body for the Silver Streak Six and Silver Streak Eight, each offered in standard and deluxe form as Stream-liners or Chieftains. The latter had notchback instead of fastback styling. Deluxe models had extra chrome, including side moldings, rear fender gravel guards, chrome wheel discs, chrome vent wings, and bright windshield trim. Engine displacement remained unchanged from 1948, but a new high-compression head boosted horsepower to 93 bhp for the six and 106 for the eight.