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1956 Pontiac Star Chief Safari Find

1956 Pontiac Star Chief Safari

While the Chevrolet Nomad is one good looking wagon, I’ve always like the Pontiac version better. The Star Chief Safari was built on the same platform as the Bel Air Nomad, but with enough visual changes to make it unique and different. I absolutely love the trim and chrome work on the Safari! Under the hood is Pontiac’s 316 V8 with power ranging from 227 up to 285 horsepower. These cars are exceptionally rare, with just barely over 9k built. For comparison sake, Chevy built over 20k Nomads in the same time frame! This example is rusty and looking sad, but this is one car that deserves to be saved, well at least in my book it does! You can find this barn find here on eBay in Mara, British Columbia, Canada

Pontiac Star Chief Safari

It might have rust issues, but it appears that most if not all of the important trim bits are here. The problem with saving a limited production car like this is finding all the trim pieces that are specific to it. Being based on a Nomad means most of the sheetmetal is readily available. This will be a big project, but wouldn’t it be an amazing car once finished?


  1. RayT Member

    Way beyond my skills and pocketbook, but I love it anyway!

    Unlike Josh, I prefer the Chevy version, but would never convert this one. It should be original and shiny. I suspect the rust looks far worse “in person,” but for someone who is bucks-up and/or skilled at metalworking, this isn’t impossible. In a way, finding all the small bits (knobs, etc.) that look worn-out might be the most difficult part.

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  2. Michael Jacobs

    I love them as well….just went on Hemmings…a 1955 model for $75 large…they do look pretty when done up…but you would have 40 grand sunk in this sooo fast..but..if there was only 1 or 2 left in the world someone would tackle it…and the 55s are far more collectable…and prettier..smaller front end..

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  3. Mark S

    I’m currently restoring a 1951 dodge hard top. The way I have approached it is to brake the project down into smaller projects. I started with the the most difficult stuff first which mostly involved under carriage and mechanicals. I find the most difficult part of the restoration is staying motivated, the way I handled that was to do something every week even if it was small and to read about the history of the car and the peaple who were involed in its design and production. Reading barn finds helped too. Cheers.

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  4. Vince Habel

    I like these better than the Nomad.

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  5. Darren

    Seen a bunch of really nice Nomads over the years but never seen a Safari in person . Really sharp looking car . Def way out of my skillset and budget but I hope somebody restores her!

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  6. Woodie Man

    Seriously roached. Sat aside with the windows down in a humid climate. Too bad.

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  7. Charles

    This will find a home.

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  8. Dave Wright

    Far superior to the Chevrolets in many ways………better engines, hydromatic transmissions, better fit and finish. I am still looking for the right 55 Star chief to replace the one I had in high school. The hard tops also have an extra 4 inches in wheel base that improves the ride greatly. I suppose the nomad has the same wheelbase?

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  9. LD71 :D

    Love this coupe design on the big wagon Agree Pontiac is better than Chevy especially when you can see the bright work like this version from Greenwich Concours 2015 LD71 :D

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    • DENIS

      LD71….Love that pic of the ’57…..would not tackle this project…. :-(

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  10. Vince Habel

    57 was my favorite year. Rarest year for them.

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  11. '59FORDfan

    I do like the Chevrolet but, the Pontiac would be my choice. Yes, great picture, LD71 :D!

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