My father-in-law dropped this little treasure into my hands yesterday evening. He had found the token while cleaning out an drawer in his father’s desk. Pontiac’s advertising department coined the phrase (pun intended) “Chief of the Sixes” in 1926, and the slogan was a stamped on the company’s Indian Head radiator / grille emblems used from 1926-1929. The slogan passed from prominence after Pontiac launched their first V8 engine in 1955.
The pocket token or coin was minted for Pontiac by the renowned advertising company Whitehead & Hoag of Newark City, NJ, from 1953-1956. The coins features the Indian Head Pontiac logo with the “Pontiac” and Chief of the Sixes” on the front side and “Product of General Motors” on the inverse side. This fun piece of post war automotive memorabilia currently retails for $19-$59 apiece.
Founded in 1892 Whitehead & Hoag was one was the largest advertisement firms in the world for nearly a century. They printed promotional materials and manufactured buttons, coins, banners and bookmarks for the likes of: Boeing, US Government, Guinness, Bud, Bass Ale, Starret, Bartels, World’s Fair and several presidential hopefuls.
Photo Credit: Kurt Golgart