Heavy Patina: 1956 Pontiac Star Chief

heavy-patina-1956-pontiac-star-chief

We love the look of patina, as it’s a look that only time can give a car. But there are plenty of cases where patina is nothing more than heavy rust. For this 1956 Pontiac Star Chief, the patina may have turned into a major rust issue, but it’s hard to tell for sure just looking at a couple photos. This black plate car has been parked in the high desert of Northern California for the past 20 years. It appears to be complete, but is in need of serious attention. If you’re interested in saving it or possibly using it as a parts car, it can be found here on eBay.

heavy-patina-1956-pontiac-star-chief-interior

The seller had his eye on this Star Chief for a long time, as it was their neighbor who owned it during its stay outside. They had big plans for it, but decided it is too original to be turned into a hot rod. While it may be original, it is in rough condition inside and out. The original white and blue leather interior is still in the car, but is shot and will need a complete restoration. The seller doesn’t state how the floors are, but we are going to guess they will need to be replaced as well.

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The original 316 V8 is still in the car and the seller has already got it running, but it still needs some work. The seller installed a new water pump, belts, and hoses, but the radiator needs some work. They also went through the brakes and the fuel system. With some work, this 200 hp V8 could be turned into a good runner. The engine is bolted to a Hyrdamatic transmission, which was apparently rebuilt prior to the car being parked, but reverse is currently not working as it should.

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While we hope someone saves this car, it is going to be a big project to get it safe to drive again. If the rust isn’t too serious, it shouldn’t be an impossible project and if the current patina can be kept, it would make for a mean looking cruiser. What do you think should happen to this Star Chief? Is it wearing heavy patina or is this heavy rust? Should it be restored, left as is, or turned into a Rat Rod?

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Comments

  1. Rick

    California’s high desert is a lot like the desert here in Tucson and the rest of the state. When a surface rust layer forms, like on this car, it stays at that point seemingly forever. I’ve been at cars which have sat out in the desert for perhaps 50 years. I’ll see one from the road and park and walk to it. Dinging on the panels you find they are solid, there aren’t any rust through spots and really the car just needs a good media blasting to prep most of it for paint.

  2. Chris in WNC

    this is not nearly bad enough to be made into one of those silly rat rods.
    the highly subjective line between patina and rust HAS been crossed here, i.m.h.o.
    would be nice to see some photos showing condition of floor pans and lower structural body areas.
    that is what determines if it is just a labor-intensive project or a monumental undertaking. if it’s not all swiss cheese, it could certainly be shaped up mechanically and driven as is.

  3. william Robinson

    If that car resided here in eastern canada it would be ROTTEN. This car looks to have surface rust and only a few problem aeras. Id give it a good cleaning and blast the body and get some black over red paint scheme on this thing. Then sort the interior with some repop covers and be on my way to a cruise in somewhere.

  4. Dale John Steltz

    Junk it or part it out not worth a restore

  5. Dolphin Member

    This is past patina. Better to try for the ’56 Buick hardtop from the other day. The reserve on that one is just under $30K, so if it doesn’t sell on eBay you could show up with cash and probably get it for less. Then, you will be ahead of this Pontiac because with recommissioning you could likely drive the Buick, but this Pontiac needs everything and will be an expensive multi-year job if you do it yourself. And you don’t want to know how much the complete resto that it needs would cost from a pro.

    Plus, the Buick has a great color combo, and a careful clean and waxing would probably save it.

  6. Anthony

    Restore it, thats a sweet car!!!

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’m not too concerned about surface rust; it’s the dreaded tin worm that I worry about. This car looks like it’s worth a refurbishing. I don’t know if I’d resort to a full body-off resto although experience tells me that often times a cosmetic restoration becomes a full restoration. If I had that car and it needed a full resto, I’d do it. But I’d do it as a driver, not a trailer queen. I expect all of my cars and pickups to be drivers.

  8. paul

    media blast the frame, then do the same for the body, this is a large job that could be done but is it worth all the effort to do all that & then all the mechanicals, many times you can find these done for under 20k, but it can’t be left as is before the holes will be everywhere.

  9. AMCFAN

    I think the Pontiac would make a better vehicle then yesterdays Buick. Both cars will need a proper wake up. That would mean engine, all fluids, rubber, wheel bearings, cooling systems. You may have another $5K to $7K in addition to the $30K for the Buick. If you had to pay $4K for the Pontiac and add $10K or less for a mild restoration there would be money in the bank.
    Here is the fun factor. Leave the patina on the Poncho. Add some custom wheels throw on a few Indian blankets (no pun intended) and you will still have a nice ride that will still turn heads. Get serious. Add a straight axle,pull the 316 in favor of a 421. Loose the front bumper. Install the pie crust slicks and magnesum rims and have some real fun.

  10. FRED

    I LIKE WHERE AMCFAN IS GOING.I HAD AN OLDER AUNT THAT WOULD ONLY DRIVE THE OLD PONTIACS. ALL MY UNCLES TIME WAS FOR LOOKING AND MAKING THIM FIT FOR AUNT SOOKIE TO DRIVE.AND SHE WAS NOT AFFRAID TO DRIVE THEM EITHER.SHE WAS KNOWN TO DO A LITTLE BURN OUT ON MAIN ST. CORNWALL NY AFTER LEAVING THE DR.S OFFICE.EVEN AFTER LOOSING A LEG TO DIABETIES .I THINK MY UNCLE MIGHT HAVE A COUPLE THAT AUNT SOOKIE NEVER GOT TO DRIVE.

    • Tricky Dickie Member

      Fred ……….. Its not best to type in all caps. This has been mentioned before,

  11. AMCFAN

    THAT IS OK FRED,TALK TO ME ANY WAY YOU WANT!

  12. Jesse

    Sold for $2,650.

  13. Cameron

    Patina? what patina I didnt see any. Just clearcoat it just like it is…..
    dont even fix the seats

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