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Only Two Owners: 1957 Pontiac Chieftain

There is a lot of common ground between the 1955-57 Chevies (150/210/Bel Air) and the Pontiacs of the same period (Chieftain, Star Chief, Super Chief) as they were all built on the GM A-body platform. So, when you look at a ’57 Bel Air and a ’57 Chieftain, for example, you can see the family resemblance. The Pontiacs sold in smaller numbers than the Chevies, which includes this 1957 Chieftain that’s said to only have 13,000 miles on the clock. From a garage in Paonia, Colorado, this Pontiac is available here on craigslist for $8,000. A tip of the hat to Gunter Kramer for this tip!

The Chieftain nameplate was used by Pontiac from 1949 to 58. It was the first completely new car built by Pontiac after World War II. Its second-generation would be produced from 1955 to 57, the same as the now-famous Tri-Five Chevies. Pontiac gained a V8 engine for the first time since 1932 and in these three model years, it grew from 287 to 347 cubic inches, consistently one-upping its Chevy cousins. As with the Chevrolets, the biggest update in the generation occurred in 1957 and Pontiac referred to the look as “Star Flight” styling with missile-shaped side trim, extended rear fenders with V-shaped tips, lower hoods, and much bigger bumpers. The Chieftain dominated Pontiac sales in 1957 at 58% of overall production.

We’re told the seller’s car has only had two owners and he/she suggests the mileage is real and original. But no mention is made if the 4-door sedan runs, which was one of 35,671 built in 1957. The two-tone paint may or may not be original, but it has the patina look that some buyers like. There is “one spot of rust” on the car, which appears to be on the rip of the left front fender by the bumper. Photos of the interior are rather dark so it’s hard to tell the condition of the passenger compartment, but is probably on par with the rest of the automobile. Hopefully, the fuzzy dice are part of the deal!

New tires have been installed, so at least efforts have been made to get the car ready to move on. In running order, this would be a cool car to show off in its current shape as you’re more likely to see a ’57 Chevy at a car show than a Pontiac of the same vintage, even if it does have four doors.


  1. Sparky

    There are no “platforms” in the ’50s. If what was meant was ‘chassis’- they are unique to each marque. Body shell greenhouses did have similar/the same structures, but the body below the belt line was unique. Of course- the complete powertrain/axle is unique too, so, really, there’s ‘very little common ground’ between ’57 Pontiac & Chevy.

    Like 4
    • Glenn Schwass Member

      The doors were the same on Chevy’s, Olds and Pontiac if I remember correctly. ( Buicks were different) I had a 57 Chevy so read everything I could find on them all.

    • Dave

      Wikipedia supports the author’s claim that this car shared it’s “platform” with GM sister makes. With that said, I have always had doubts about Wikipedia’s accuracy.

    • Lou Rugani

      Likewise with the concurrent Nash and Hudson, but too many assume they’re nearly identical when in actuality almost nothing interchanges.

  2. Greg Gustafson

    The person posting this sure has a marvelous economy with photographs. This car could be a stretch limo with six doors down each side and no one would be the wiser. My parents bought one of these new in 57, a four door “Chieftain” of the same color and I was hoping to relive the memory.

    Like 4
    • DON

      There posted pictures of the car from both sides clearly showing its a 4 door sedan. The pics also show the car looking more like a well maintained 117,000 miles IMO

      Like 4
    • RKS

      If you click on the link it clearly shows this is a four door.

  3. DON

    There posted pictures of the car from both sides clearly showing its a 4 door sedan. The pics also show the car looking more like a well maintained 117,000 miles IMO

    Like 4
  4. GitterDunn

    Safe to assume it’s NOT a running and driving car, or he would have pulled it out onto the driveway so he could take some side views, and open the doors to photograph the interior.

    Like 5
  5. Jeff

    Pontiac and Chevrolet shared doors and everything above the belt line on the same body style from 55-57.

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