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Limited Production! 1957 Pontiac Safari Transcontinental

Anyone who’s a fan of 1950s automobiles will remember the Chevrolet Nomad, the 2-door “sport wagon” decked out in Bel Air trim. But they sometimes forget the Nomad’s GM cousin, the Pontiac Safari which sported Star Chief appointments. Unlike the Nomad, there was a 4-door Safari called the Transcontinental. The seller’s ’57 seems pretty rust-free but sports an ample amount of patina for those so inclined. Needing a complete makeover, this Pontiac is in Leeton, Missouri, and is available here on craigslist for $9,500. Another great tip brought to us by Barn Finder Gunter Kramer!

Presumably for economies of scale, the Nomad and Safari were produced using the same basic bodies but with front and rear sheet metal unique to the cars they borrowed from. While just shy of 23,000 Nomads were built from 1955 to 1957, only about 9,000 Safaris saw the light of day during that same period. But also badged as a Safari and only in 1957 was the Transcontinental, a 4-door wagon akin to the Bel Air transport. At 1,894 copies (besdies the 2-doors), you don’t see many of these anymore, either.

For each of the three model years the Safari was built, its V8 engine had a different displacement. For 1957, it was 347 cubic inches and came with either a 270 hp 4-barrel or a 290 hp “Tri-Power” engine. That would have applied to the Transcontinental, too, but the seller doesn’t mention the setup in this Pontiac nor is the hood popped for any photos. We assume there is a motor and transmission in the vehicle, just not operable.

Not much history is offered on this wagon. We’re told it has 86,000 miles, but we don’t know when the last one was put on it. Its Arizona roots have perhaps helped keep the rust bug in check. The interior will need a complete workover, but the lack of carpeting shows clean floors. There seems to be a bunch of stuff stored inside the vehicle which may or may not apply to it and may or may not go with the sale. If you’re looking for a seldom-seen automobile to bring back to life, how about this vintage Pontiac? Or does it have too many doors?


  1. Avatar photo Fahrvergnugen Member

    Must not be driving condition. That wheel is impossibly deteriorated down to the wire core.

    Beyond that, only contact with seller will fill in the many blanks on this item. It’s kinda intriguing!

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo RMac

    Cool even a trailer hitch to pull a vintage camper!

    Like 5
  3. Avatar photo ron chapin

    I don’t believe that is a transcontental. Transcontenentals had a chrome cladding on the lower quarter behind the wheel, and other chrome trim. They also had reclining front seats, and headrests.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Will Fox

    For those not familiar with this model, they were fairly exclusive. The claim to fame on these was a reclining pass. seat back, and head rests. The interiors pretty much followed Star Chiefs that year, like the 2dr. Safaris did, with leather an option. If the rest of the floors look as clean as the LF does, you have a solid foundation to start with for the most part. Well worth restoring, and Pontiac-Oakland club owners are an excellent source for help.

    Like 10
  5. Avatar photo Carl

    This car is not a Transcontinental.
    Its a Superchief.
    You can see the script on the passenger front fender.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Mike

    This is no transcontinental, this is a low end wagon . Transcontinental had aluminum lower panels behind the rear tires on the lower quarter panels . It’s a cool wagon but don’t list it as something it isn’t

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Brian Wittman

    I am not sure this is a Transcontinental. The transcontinental would have four stars on the side and stainless below the bottom trim from the rear wheel cutout rearward. I believe it says Superchief on the front fenders.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo CCFisher

    This is not a Transcontinental. The seller makes no such claim, and the side trim on a Transcontinental is very different from what’s on this car. Someone would have had to remove the Transcontinental trim and substitute trim from a lesser wagon. I believe the trim on the front fender reads “Super Chief.”

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo TaDah Member

      The sign behind the three stars on the left side of the vehicle says Safari.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo CCFisher

        All 1957 Pontiac wagons were called “Safari.” The Transcontinental had a “Safari” emblem that was much closer to the taillights.

        Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Russ Ashley

    I was curious as I had never heard of a Pontiac Transcontinental, so I searched and this one is definitely not one. A real one is nice but a little over done almost to the point of being tacky. It would be nice to own a nice one because it’s a one year only model and very rare. Even so, any 57 Pontiac station wagon is rare now so I hope this one will be purchased by someone who will restore it. GLWTS

    Like 4
  10. Avatar photo Richard Wells

    Why is it so many folks wanting to sell a vehicle cannot manage to take just a few more photos? Engine compartment, interior, trunk , rocker panels, VIN tag, etc. My wife says I expect way too much from everyone. I think I am being reasonable.
    It’s probably because I’m older than everyone else! Sorry for the rant.

    Like 27
  11. Avatar photo HC Member

    Barnfinds has been on a roll with classic wagons lately, and I love it! You featured a 62 Newport 4 dr hardtop wagon, and a 64 Country Squire 4dr recently and both were in driver condtion and fairly priced. Doesn’t appear that this one is in driver status yet. But still great to see it here.

    Like 2
  12. Avatar photo Timothy Hanson

    I like it, but sure would have been nice to see more pictures and some more information on the motor. It’s going to take a lot of green backs to make this a decent driver.

    Like 2
  13. Avatar photo Tom

    This is a SAFARI
    The model like the Chev Nomad was called a Custom Safari

    Like 1
  14. Avatar photo HC Member

    Most 1950s Pontiac wagons, especially these years, were Safaris, maybe the Transcontinetal was a one year only sub model, or something, because I dont remember that name.

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo Michael Gaff

    I remember my dad’s Safari and trying to sneak all five of us kids into the drive-in theatre. Not too obvious.
    My dad was a low wattage bulb.
    I always paid the $5 or so fee with my paper route money.

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Kenneth L Gaar

    Don’t know but there’s a chance the seller was paid $500 to haul it off the Arizona land that was purchased by some big farm co-operative.! Anyway, certainly not worth the asking price. Probably doesn’t have an engine or transmission either. Why not some pictures?

    Like 0

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