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One-Owner Survivor: 1955 Pontiac Star Chief

After just one year of production, the Pontiac Star Chief got a significant redesign in 1955 and served as the top trim level for the company’s Chieftan.  The car shared some body parts with its corporate cousin ’55 Chevys but cost more than even the top-of-the-line Bel Air, with the stylish lines accented by the star trim along the sides.  This 1955 Pontiac Star Chief for sale here on Craigslist is said to be an all-original example, so if you’ve been in the market for a mid-fifties GM hardtop, this one’s probably worth checking out.  The car is located in the desert lands of Alamogordo, New Mexico, with an asking price of $29,900.  A big thank you goes out to reader T.J. for the great tip on this one!

The Pontiac is claimed to have only had one owner since it was new, with the 2-tone paint said to still be the original finish.  It’s not quite perfect, but the seller says there’s just enough wear to tell that it’s original, with no dents present and no known bodywork ever performed, although the front fenders look ever-so-slightly darker than the rest of the color in a couple of the photos, or maybe that’s just how the lighting is hitting them.  The chrome fender skirts are stated as factory items and the trim pieces are also original. plus a new set of whitewall radials will be on the car by the time the new owner takes possession.

Looking inside, the care this one has received is obvious, again not perfect but to be original a lot better than most with this much age.  The leather has held up quite well over time, and the back seat never had the factory plastic covering removed, adding to the time-capsule status the seller calls his car.  The armrests and steering wheel are a little ripe with wear, but the gauges and dash appear nicely preserved.

Some significant changes also happened at Pontiac under the hood in 1955, as the Strato Streak V8 became the new power plant.  There’s no word on whether or not the motor has ever had an overhaul, but the mileage is listed as just over 100k and the seller says it runs great.  This is one of those designs that looks great to me from every angle, and I love how even the gas cap door has trim around it.  What are your thoughts on this 1955 Pontiac Star Chief?


  1. Yblocker

    Nice car for a 100,000 miles. I really like the dash in these.

    Like 4
  2. Will Irby

    Beautiful car! I know these cars are heavy, but this one must really be a load if the Craigslist description of “two ton paint” is accurate.

    Like 7
  3. Will Fox

    For being a 1-owner, this `55 is in magnificent shape!! Star Chief’s of this era had leather as an option (My grandfather’s `56 Star Chief Custom Catalina 4dr. HT had it) and this car’s interior barely looks worn. Armrests sure, but the seats don’t look like they’ve seen 100K miles! I love it, and it’s in my favorite `55 color combo of beige/copper brown! GLWTA!!

    Like 6
  4. George

    I ran one of these for awhile about 10 years ago. Kingpin front end, and very little interchanges with Chevys outside of the obvious doors and glass. The horn ring is supported by a foam donut which deteriorates over time and isn’t available aftermarket. Beautiful cars, and definitely more interesting than a Chevy just not supported well by the aftermarket.

    Like 6
  5. Stu

    My second car was a 1955 Pontiac Cheiftan 2 door hardtop, white over green. Interesting feature that caused a little problem was the use of wing nuts to hold the rocker arms in place. One came loose on the trip through the UP in Michigan on the way to my last AFB. Sent some shocks through the car until fixed.

    Like 2
    • Tbone

      K I Sawyer AFB?

      Like 0
      • Stu

        Kinchelo AFB near Saulte Ste Marie.

        Like 0
  6. charlie Member

    By extending the trunk (but not the passenger compartment) it was longer than the Chevy, but the same room inside. The local rich kid had the convertible version, I was 14 and very envious.

    Like 1
  7. tiger66

    BF: “After just one year of production, the Pontiac Star Chief got a significant redesign in 1955 and served as the top trim level for the company’s Chieftan.”

    Nope. The Star Chief was its own top-line series, not part of the Chieftain series. It even had a 2-inch longer wheelbase to help set it apart from the lesser Chieftain.

    Like 0
  8. Jerry Bramlett

    This is a very nicely-preserved car. But I think it’s actually being sold by a flipper, not the “one owner since new”. The original owner wouldn’t say “no known bodywork”.

    Like 3
  9. Wayne from Oz

    I agree at that price it’s being flipped. Certainly a beautiful car but very much out of proportion with that long rear deck. As a 4 door the proportions would be perfect. IMO

    Like 0
  10. Jerry Bramlett

    I really like the condition of this car. It’s the nicest ’55 Pontiac I’ve encountered in the last 50 years, but that still doesn’t make it desirable to the general public.

    To me it’s worth $15,000. It will take a very special buyer to pay ~30 grand for it. The flipper may have to eat it.

    Like 0

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