Reasonably Priced:1953 Pontiac Chieftain

There is not much original blue paint left to this Pontiac Chieftain after 64 years. Solid, complete, and potentially having “low miles”, this Pontiac looks to be a fair project for the price. In need of some further tlc to return to road duty, this Chieftain is offered at $3,800. Find it here on craigslist out of Carson, Washington.

Nestled under the hood is a 248 cubic inch straight 8, with an automatic transmission. With no real information on the drivetrain other than the possible 88,000 miles, this Pontiac is not a runner. It would seem that the seller has high hopes for it needing little to be a driver again. Wearing some rust, the inline 8 looks to be in suitable shape after a lifetime. Appearing very stock, hopefully all this Pontiac needs is some fresh fluids, and a rebuilt carburetor to run.

The lovely blue dash stands out wonderfully, and is in very nice condition. Looking at the gauge cluster, you would almost think that the dash, and cluster were in a restored Chieftain. The door panels and seats are in fair shape, with some wear, and discoloration to the front seat. The interior overall appears very original, and clean, despite some minor issues with the headliner. The headliner is discolored, and has ripped in the “C” pillar areas.  The door panels have some mild staining, but overall the condition is nice, with no missing hardware, or heavy wear to the upholstery.

Beginning life originally in a blue and white configuration, this Pontiac’s paint has seen better days. The only evidence of the blue is on the front portion of the hood, as it would appear someone took it upon themselves to spray paint this car white. With wear to the paint, there is some surface rust present. All of this rust looks to be “superficial” with no serious condition issues. Overall this sedan looks rather solid and rust free. Looking at the pictures shows what look to be very solid rockers, and quarters. The glass is in nice shape, and the chrome work is all there with some minor surface rust present. The fenders skirts are present with the car, as are all of the factory hubcaps, plus a few extras like a visor vanity mirror, and owners manual.  Reasonably priced, I think this Pontiac has potential. What would you do with this Pontiac Chieftain?


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  1. Moe G

    This brings back fond memories for me, my brother had this exact car growing up. Driving around town with the Indian head lit up, the unique sound of a straight 8 with a glass pack. Even becoming a man on prom night in the back seat. Great to see this, it’s like seeing a picture of a old but not forgotten friend.

  2. Dave Fleming

    My mom had one of these. Two doors, white will a charcoal roof. Complete with the skunk stripes fore and aft. Gr8 memories.

  3. Dave Wright

    I had a 53 Star Chief convertible that was one of the finest cars I ever owned, from the incredible chrome to the leather interior and one of the smoothest running engines ever. Mine was red with a red and white leather interior. I also had a Mercedes 300SEL 6.3 and a Maserati Mistral at the same time. The Pontiac had Mercedes like quality and I put more miles on it than the other two combined.

  4. Brad C

    Fun stories, both of ya. We picked up a ’53 Chieftain this summer; someone hot-rodded it years ago with a ’68 Chevelle drivetrain, and it’s in great shape. We’ve added EFI, front discs, rear air shocks… and plan tow our ’57 Airstream with it this summer.

    • Dave Wright

      That’s a beauty but you should have had a chance to experiance the straight 8……it is an incredible engine.

      • Brad C

        I’ve heard those straight 8s (late 40s Lincoln maybe) as they pass by. Insanely smooth.

        I’m an artist, history buff and design fanatic though, unfortunately never been much of a gear head – so a small block that any garage can work on during our cross-country road trips was imperative. Someday I’ll give into my purist side and get a stock ride.

    • Moe G

      What a beautiful Pontiac! That color on white walls looks amazing!!

  5. charles l.coker

    the engine is a 268.4 straight eight, not a 248.

  6. mike d

    My parents had a 53 Pont. in the mid fifties, apparently they didn’t keep it long, traded it on a ( then new) 58 Ford apparently there was a concern that it was a taxi at one time.. really don’t remember the details , just remember they had a Pontiac at one time

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