Great Dale! 1957 Pontiac Super Chief Camper

And now for something from the “What ‘da hey?” department, a 1957 Pontiac with a thing that looks like some sort of camper appended to its hind-side. And this listing is essentially a listing about nothing as it states, in its entirety, “Needs restored, original engine. See pics…firm on price…” And it’s also referred to as a “Great Dale” house car, which I just learned is a camper body that has been perched upon a passenger car body and frame. This thing is located in Pueblo, Colorado and is available, here on craigslist for a “Firm”  $1,500. Thanks to Gunter K for this most unusual discovery!

NOT the subject car!

According to the trim tag, this 1957 Pontiac started life as a “Super Chief” four-door station wagon. And before it was messed with, it looked like the image above but that is not this car. How, or when, it was converted is unknown. The camper body could have been built from scratch or maybe it was one that was designed and sold for this specific application. The body appears to be aluminum in structure but it’s hard to tell with any certainty. As for the Pontiac itself, what you see is what you get, and there is little of it that is visible.

Being a “Super Chief” means 270 HP of Pontiac “Strato-Streak” 347 CI V8 power – no word on the transmission, it’s either a three-speed manual or a Hydramatic automatic unit. Whatever the case, it’s a safe bet that the ole Chief here hasn’t done any streaking in a very long time. Underhood looks complete and untouched, very original, but that’s about the only assessment that can be made with what little we know.

Mechanically, it would be interesting to know what suspension modifications have occurred, springs, air-shocks, even brake modifications. And, how about a power source, as in generator equipped, or is this truly a PHEV, extension cord style, ala 1957? There are no included images of the interior, and I for one, am thankful for that, there may be more there than any of us really want to see. But it would be nice to know what, if any, amenities are included.

You know, there’s something for everybody and someone will see this and think, “What fun!” and “It’s only 1,500 bucks!” As for restoring it? It’s whatever you want to do; gotta love a sense of imagination, that’s what keeps the old car hobby moving along, right?

Fast Finds


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    “gotta love a sense of imagination,” a history metal work and a dash of masochism-traits all British/Italian bike/car aficionados have in quantity!
    It’d be a hit at the RV shows I’ll bet.

    Like 5
  2. Miguelito Loveless

    Zees ees an outrage !

    Like 2
  3. stanley kwiecinski

    1957 bucket included? I hope not.

  4. Daniel Wright

    You might be able to salvage the engine and front sheet metal but is there really anything else here worth keeping.?

    Like 2
  5. Steve Bush Member

    Could see this as the home of someone in a movie about the dystopian future after a nuclear war or climatic disaster or even a goofy road trip comedy.

    Like 5
  6. Arby

    Outward visibility doesn’t seem to be its long suit…

    Like 3
  7. PaulG

    A sure fire way to piss off your wife, HOA, and everyone but your best drinking buddies!
    I am (almost) tempted…

    Like 11
  8. Rick



    I have seen these camper conversions before. When I was a kid saw a 1959 Cadillac camper and it was still being used and enjoyed in the early 1970’s.

    Since the first car was was introduced to go from point A to B staying in your car while traveling was very important. There were not apps on your phone directing you to the nearest motel. Nash/Ramblers all had fold down front seats that were flush with the rear seat bottom. Also had screens for the side windows. Staying in your car was popular.

    There were many companies making campers of all shapes and sizes. This is combining the family sedan to a house car. It’s not a new concept. People are making living spaces out of cars and truck today. Cool find

    Like 6
    • Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

      Here’s another one (in better condition) that I spotted at the Charlotte Spring 2009 show in the upper vendor area outside the speedway entrance on the east side. A 55 Mercury conversion.

      Like 4
  10. BR

    I’d take the engine and tranny (if it was the Hydra-matic) and stuff ’em in a ’57 GMC pick-em-up-truck. The rest would have to be disposed of according to HAZ-MAT regs. Betcha there’s a needle or two in there.

  11. Gerard Frederick

    Every time I think things couldn¨t get any worse, something like this shows up, good grief, what a perversion.

    Like 2
  12. GOM

    I’m quite certain that this could well have been a commercially produced product–I’ve seen others advertised which have evidently been manufactured, not just cobbled up in someone’s backyard or barn. Remember, this was the pre-miniWinebago era, and also the post-war “we can do anything” era.

    Like 3
  13. Jay Bree

    This would be a fun thing to own.

    Like 2
  14. Tony B

    Love it!!

    Like 2
  15. Howard A Member

    This unit should make one more trip, on a flatbed, and park it on a piece of land, and make it a “tiny house”, very popular here( mostly because it’s all people can afford). Maybe spruce up the outside of the Pontiac part, make it sharp, but to think of putting a relic like this on the road, is foolhardy. I’d take it for free,,,

    Like 2
  16. Bill McCoskey

    If I’m not mistaken, this was on Barn Finds about 6 months ago.

    Like 1
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Before I write anything I do a search. I went back to 2012 and couldn’t find this or anything similar to it. There are several 1957 Pontiacs but not a “Great Dale”.


      Like 1
  17. Derek Lamoreaux

    So I bought this thing, slapped some wheels on it. Winched it up in the trailer and got it to my shop, 4 hours from Pueblo. I cleaned it out, got all the windows prepped for new glass and put marvel mystery oil in the cylinders. The size of this thing is so awesome. It’s roomy yet compact and is towable on a car hauler. I’m going to put a rear door on it so I can load motorcycles and get this thing back on the road. The structure is really sound and the craftsmanship that went into this build is amazing. For $1500 and some elbow grease I’m gonna have the baddest thing at the car show. Not that I’m trying to enter car shows or whatnot, but I am trying to have a whole lot of fun for not that much money. Yee

    Like 1
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Fantastic! Take some pictures when you get it where you want it to be and send them to me care of Barn Finds. I’ll write a follow-up.

      Best of success with it!


      Like 1

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