Garage Find: 1955 Pontiac Star Chief

Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

One of the things I struggle with as a vintage car enthusiast is why some cars are placed on such high pedestals in value and reputation while similar but possibly less common models aren’t held in anywhere near as high regard. This 1955 Pontiac Star Chief is an example of that, because if it were a Chevrolet or a Ford, it would undoubtedly sell for much more than this will. It’s listed for sale here on eBay, with¬†an opening bid amount of $500, although there is a reserve. The Star Chief’s home right now is Flora, Mississippi.

The seller is apparently in the partially finished project unloading mode, as there is a Corvair convertible and a ’57 Nomad that they also have for sale. Some work has been done on this car as well, with the body completely reworked, stripped, and primered in preparation for repainting. There’s only one spot of rust, where water must have leaked in through the rear window and collected on the rear shelf. A plasma cutter and welder will make short work of it.

While I’m thinking of it, you’ll need to source a rear window and some other glass as well. Heck, if you’re refurbishing it, you might want to replace all of it. But what I notice here is how the silver streaks on the hood make this a very distinctive vehicle. You may be wondering about that gaping mouth? As it turns out, the seller has already done some work there for you as well.

I’m betting this was a pretty steep bill at the platers, don’t you think? Apart from the chrome headliner bows, the seller thinks all the chroming is done. I’m guessing the silver streaks on the hood are stainless steel–any Poncho fans know for sure?

The original V8 engine runs well and the car can be driven, although the seller recommends going through the brakes and giving the engine a tune up before driving it on the road. The original hub caps and fender skirts come with the car, and I should note that it was originally painted a very distinctive copper and ivory two tone, and the interior matched it. Frankly, I hope the eventual purchaser duplicates the scheme, because I think it would be gorgeous once completed. But I suppose you could drive it almost as is once the glass was replaced and the brakes were taken care of. In my opinion, that wouldn’t be doing this potentially gorgeous car justice, but you may feel differently–tell us in the comments what you are thinking!

 

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Comments

  1. Blyndgesser

    How hard is it to find missing parts? Is anything reproduced?

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    • LIL ABNER Member

      I have a great set of water fall hood moldings and yes they are stainless. I do not see the quarter stainless moldings any where, maybe I missed them not being with the vehicle. Looks like a solid Pontiac always a great looker.

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  2. Rustytech

    I agree, though I love the 55 Chevy’s. This was and is a much more distinct and stylish car. The seller must have spent a fortune on the chrome. There are a surprising number of restoration parts available for these poncho’s. It will be interesting to see what the values do on these going forward now that Pontiac is extinct. I bet done even now this would get more attention at the local car show than the dozen or so Tri 5 Chevy’s.

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  3. Vince Habel

    Rear glass should be the same as a Chevy.

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  4. David Montanbeau

    Nice

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  5. Dave Wright

    I had one of these in high school, have been watching for one for several years. This is a Star Chief whitch is the one I want. I saw it come on eBay, think it is the second time through. Sold last time for over 6,000 with the reserve not met. The Black primer is aweful on this car. It was a creme over bronze originally. I wonder what the paint is hiding? This is the long wheelbase version with a hydramatic. They ride great and are far superior to there Chevrolet cousins. Mine had leather interior, the hood ornament lighted up, wonderful cars. This is the engine that started the Pontiac V8 performance engines. The same block as the later 389. When I find the right car, I will build it with a very stock looking 389 4 barrel. Mine was creme and green 2 tone, the same as Lucy’s convertible on her sitcom. Everything about these cars was superior to the Chevy. The chrome was better, brakes, suspension, paint. These are very nice cars that sold well when new. It is the same body as the Chevy so many hard parts are interchangeable and available. This just isn’t the right one with an obvious price tag of over 7,000.00

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  6. Anthony Rodrigues

    Appears the car has power windows, rare for a 55 Pontiac

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  7. Woodie Man

    The only way restoring this makes sense to me is if it can be done for less than you can buy this one:

    Click here: 1955 Pontiac Other | eBay

    I don’t think so.

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    • Brendon

      are my eyes deceiving me, or did they misspell “Pontiac” on both the hood and the trunk. Maybe I’ve had too much to drink tonight, but I’m seeing “pontaic” on them

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      • kuzspike

        You are correct, it is misspelled at both places. I think the V8 emblem on the drivers side is also upside down.

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      • Mike H

        Yes, it’s misspelled on both the hood and trunk. That has to have been done on purpose, you’d hope. If the restorer couldn’t properly spell an iconic brand name, then what else couldn’t they do correctly?

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      • LIL ABNER Member

        Brendon, they misspelled Pontiac on the trunk and hood, the V/8 emblem is up side down on the driver’s rear quarter, what’s with the extra stars on the front fenders. there not even spaced properly. All the trouble to take 70 pictures and to leave this kind of stuff undone makes one wonder what else was done so quickly. A black spray bomb would have made the under fenders look a lot better. It’s the small things that make the difference.

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  8. Paul R

    Always wanted to build an old school gasser out of one of them.

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  9. Tyler

    That dealer in Florida has a quite a variety of interesting cars.

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  10. Rolf Poncho 455

    Pontiac made nicer looking cars than Chevrolet
    and that’s a fact pitty thy have gone extinct keep
    building Pontiac’s

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