Sleeping Beauty: 1954 Pontiac Star Chief

Perhaps worthy of a good kiss, this 1954 Pontiac Star Chief is described as a “sleeping beauty” by the seller. Apparently tucked away for many years, this Pontiac is a solid condition driver with a lot of recent maintenance. With fine styling and factory tinted windows this Star Chief survivor is offered for $5,175. Check it out here on craigslist out of Independence Ohio.

Wearing a fair amount of paint the straight 8 engine has received a fair amount of maintenance. A new 6 volt battery has been installed, as well as fresh tires, and shocks.  Also the radiator, starter, generator, and brakes have been rebuilt. Although missing in the photos, hopefully the seller has the factory air cleaner. The seller says the engine purrs, and I would assume the automatic transmission to be in solid operating order as well. There is little in the way of corrosion in the engine bay, and there is still a lot of what appears to be the factory yellow.

Although the odometer reflects 76,400 miles, the seller is unable to verify if the mileage is actual. Also there aren’t a lot of photos of the interior, but from what can be seen, it seems to be in fair condition. Plastic slip covers have been fitted to the seats, but the seats apparently still have some wear and ripping present according to the seller.

Wearing a custard yellow type of color, this American sedan appears rather solid with no major rust concerns visible. You will notice that most of the stainless trim has been removed, where the seller claims to have most, if not all of it with the car. A good buff and installing the trim would really breathe some life into the appearance of this Pontiac. One thing that is wonderful to see is the Indian face hood ornament. These ornaments often succumb to UV exposure suffering from cloudiness, or cracking. Thankfully this Indian looks to be in very reasonable condition really adding to the overall appearance of this sleeping beauty. Ready to roll with a great classic appearance, would you kiss this sleeping beauty?

Fast Finds


  1. Bob

    The color is maize yellow and it was one of the feature colors of the Custom Star Chief series. My dad bought one like this new with factory air conditioning. The Star Chief Customs had a full leather interior. The 1954 Pontiac was the first G/M car to have the factory A/C completely in the engine compartment.

  2. Dave Wright

    I had a convertible version of this car years ago…… absolutely magnificent vehicle in all ways, leather, great fit Finish and chrome. If this was a hardtop or convertible I would be a player. I love the one piece windshield.

  3. Howard A Member

    Got a couple wheel weights on that left front,,,,I’d believe the mileage. This is a great car for someone starting out in the hobby. I remember, this was like the most basic Pontiac your friend’s parent’s had. A notch above a Chevy, but not quite an Olds or a Buick. Pretty sure, that hood ornament lights up. Something you could drive 55-60, no problem, could feed it anything. Great find.

    • Dave Wright

      Howard, This is a Star Chief….the top of the line Pontiac. The Indian does light up. The Chieftan was the more plain car.

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks, Dave. That’s the trouble today, too many “Star Chief’s” and not enough, “Chieftain’s”. :)

      • Dave Wright

        You are probably correct……..the Chieftan could be bought with a 6 cyl, cloth seats, still better than a Chev but not a Star Chief. I am still looking for a 55 Star Chief 2 door hardtop (or convertible) like the one I drove in high school. Off course, I didn’t appreciate it then. I had owned a 57 Chev Belair before I got the Pontiac, the Star Chief was a far better car than the Chev.

  4. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Anybody know if the screws holding the gauge cluster was a styling thing or are they loose? And if you know that, can you tell me what the red idiot light to the left of the gauges is for? Thanks, Mike. Cool car but just a little before my time.

    • Speedy D

      The large red ‘Idiot Light’ is to tell when the emergency brake is activated. The bezel screws are indeed loose!

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Thanks gang!

  5. Bob

    The screws appear to be loose. The red faced lens is the emergency brake indicator.

  6. Ben T. Spanner

    The competing Chevrolets had Powerglide. Buicks had Dynaflow. Fords etc had Fordomatic. Mopars had Gyromatic under varoius names.

    Pontiac and Oldsmobile had 4 speed Hydromatics. That had to be an advantage, even with the flathead. I grew up in Norheast Ohio in the 50’s. This is rust free for the saltbelt. The 1955’s and up disolved after a few Winters. I believe 1954’s had thicker sheet metal.

  7. GaryMc

    My first car was one of these that I paid $25.00 for. As a kid in high school, I hated it. I would put a dollars worth of gas in it at a time and drive for several days. At least I had wheels. I was really happy to replace it with a very nice ’52 Chevy.

  8. PatrickM

    I’d like to have it. Yes, nice car. But, not for $5k. $2,500.00 tops. All the work…
    If I were to get it, I would do a full resto plus a few upgrades: suspension, brakes, 3 point seat belts all around, etc.

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