1957 Pontiac Chieftain

1957 Pontiac Chieftain Project

If you like the styling of the ’57 Chevy, but find that there are just too many of them at your local car shows, than this Pontiac might just be the car for you! Being based on the same A-body platform as the Bel Air means that its overall shape is similar and many of the styling cues are nearly identical. Of course the Pontiac version received different grille and bumper treatment, giving it a very distinct look all its own. While for most it isn’t as desirable as a Bel Air, this could be a huge plus for those that want the experience of owning a ’57 Chevy without the cost. Chieftains tend to sell for a fraction what a similarly optioned Bel Air does! This one has been parked for the past 32 years and while it needs lots of work, the seller is throwing in lots of extra parts to sweeten the deal. You can find this Pontiac here on eBay in Dallas, Texas with bidding at $2,800.

1957 Pontiac Chieftain

Being based on the same chassis means most of the Chevy parts fit on the Pontiac, which helps to reduce restoration costs. Unique trim pieces might be difficult to find, but this one looks to have all the important bits. With 252 horses, it even had more power than the Bel Air! I’m struggling to see why these cars aren’t more desirable. As a matter of fact, according to Hagerty a Chieftain Coupe like this one is worth between $10k and $40k. While a Bel Air with the 283 is valued between $45k and $88k. That’s a big difference in value! I know with a car like the Bel Air, you are buying it for the style, the memory, and the name, but wouldn’t it make more sense financially to just by a Chieftain and convert it to a Bel Air? Or am I missing something here?

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Comments

  1. Booya

    Most of the expense of restoration would be the same between a Bel Air and a Pontiac. The difference is that when you’re done, you have a 57 Pontiac in one case, and those don’t bring much at auction compared to the Chevy. I suppose if the lyrics to Don McLean’s “American Pie” had been slightly different, the roles might be reversed.

    Don’t look at me: I’d probably get an Oldsmobile.

  2. sir mike

    better looking than the chevy shoebox’s

  3. Kevin

    Rust pig.

  4. pontiactivist

    Me being a pontiac guy, I am kinda biased. I would love a tri-5 pontiac to build a gasser out of it. I like the chevy’s too, but like I have said many times before I am not a fan of belly button cars. I like the odd balls.

    Like 1
  5. MikeH

    The Chevy, in ’57, still had clean lines. Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick had a cluttered, over done look that presaged even worse excesses in ’58.

    • Ed P

      At this point in time, Harley Earl believed if you added enough chrome, any car would look good.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    I thought that Pontiac left something to be desired for ’55/’56 but pulled it back out for ’57. Compared to the Chevy counterpart I tend to go for the Pontiac but then, like pontiactivist, I’m not fussy about going to a car show and seeing a swarm of Tri-five Chevys and little else. My wife picked up a ’57 four-door last summer and it’s amazing how many people come over to look at the car and talk about one similar to it back in their past.

  7. roger

    I actually like the 57 pontiac better than the chevy.
    Don`t get me wrong I love 57 chevrolets,but I just like the pontiac a little better.
    Now 55 and 56 chevys are my favorite.

  8. Evan Allen

    I actually own a 57 chevy rustbucket. I bought it because it was cheap, it’s my first restoration, and I can buy reproduction parts for just about all of it. I would much prefer one of these beauties but as stated in the article trim and specialty bits are harder to find. I happen to live ~20 miles from a Cars Inc. warehouse so the Chevy is no problem. Once I finish that I’ll probably try to find myself one of these to restore. The state I buy it in is dependent on how much I liked fixing up the Chevy.

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