Two-Door Wagon! 1955 Pontiac Safari

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

Two-door station wagons became less prevalent in later decades but nearly every wagon in the 1950s came with either two or four doors. Why bother to make a two-door wagon? The two-door models typically had a shorter wheel base for more maneuverability, cost less, look sportier, and served owners with a use-case for wagon utility who infrequently carried more than two or three passengers. This 1955 Pontiac Safari, listed on ClassicCarValues.org, appears to be the more upscale Star Chief Safari. This model featured available leather interiors, two-tone interiors and exteriors, a swept B pillar and abbreviated C pillar compared to the two-door 860 wagon’s vertical B and C pillars and monotone paint options (some details courtesy of PontiacSafari.com.)

The Safari clearly shares much with its Chevrolet Nomad stablemate and indeed, both were produced from 1955-57. Which is prettier can only be debated by the splitting of hairs; both are among the best ’50s designs, and look great in stock and modified form. The car’s location is not disclosed, but help with shipping is offered.

Stripped bare with little to hide, this Safari appears mostly solid. The seller does not describe this car as complete, but a cache of trim and other parts comes with the sale. The rear seat folds flat and, with 48″ of width and the tailgate down, this utility vehicle can accept a load of plywood or drywall – something few pickup trucks can accomplish these days. There’s also plenty of room for bricks, brush, or that wildebeest you just dropped with your .30-06.

With the Strato-Streak V8, transmission, and other components recently overhauled and reassembled, this Pontiac is well down the restoration trail. Thankfully the seller did not make one of my favorite claims… “All the hard work is done!” The first Safari hunter with $16,950 and a trailer can poach this upscale two-door wagon. What do you think of this Nomad alternative?

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Comments

  1. Fred W.

    This is actually not a bad price based on what I see. When you compare the usual rustbucket needing a drivetrain for not much less, this one is a no brainer. Unless you want to go the restomod route, in which case the engine/trans does you no good.
    I do wonder what that black thing is on the floorboard. Underseat heater?

    4+
    • Andre

      Ya I think it’s a heater. Only on poncho’s.. Not the Chevs IIRC

      1+
  2. 68 custom

    Looks like a almost finished Safari with most if not all parts included. note the original generator had been replaced with an alternator, thus I am pretty sure this one does not have power steering.

    0
  3. Chris Kennedy

    I have preferred the look and details of the Pontiac’s. This one would be a more rare and I think valuable car when done over the Chevrolet counterpart. Could be a great investment!

    2+
  4. Nrg8

    Alot of nice finished rides for sale where this car is.

    0
  5. Randall

    as a barn find archaeologist I did find one of these nomad style safari Pontiac in a drive under house garage in western my owner wasn’t ready to sell but had some other great cars

    0
  6. AMXSTEVE

    Is it me or is it just screaming to be tubbed out with some monster slicks. BTW no one is EVER going to buy this to haul plywood or drywall dude.

    2+
    • Mountainwoodie

      its just you

      2+
  7. Bob

    I have always loved the look of the Nomad and the Safari. I have too many projects to think about buying it, but I believe that if all the parts are there, that this is a reasonable buy.
    Bob

    0
  8. Doug

    One reason folks bought the 2 door wagons vs. the 4 doors was so small kids couldn’t open a door and fall out…. Also, other than the fancier Safaris and
    Nomads, the 2 doors base models were cheaper. I think the price for this one is reasonable for someone with the skills to do most of the work themselves. One reason is a lot of car guys want something they aren’t likely to see another of when they go to a meet or show, and most of the parts can still be found, due to the popularity of the tri-5 Chevy’s, which share most of the chassis components.

    If I were doing this baby, I’d probably go the resto-mod route- upgrade to an overdive trans, disc brakes, power steering, a suspension upgrade, maybe a tilt column , but leave the body looking stock Could be a sweet ride !.

    1+
  9. Rolf Poncho 455

    Cool wagon if it wasn’t this far finished it will make a nice gasser

    0
  10. Al

    At last, a vehicle I can drive. At 6’7″, most cars just don’t fit.

    0
  11. JohnD

    I second the resto mod idea. Perfect family-friendly cruiser. Safe, powerful, stylish air conditioned comfort.

    0

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