Visionary Needed: 1955 Pontiac Two Door Wagon

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As one of the foremost practitioners of resurrecting lost automotive causes, I’ve come across a lot of cars that I can see good in where most folks don’t. This is one of them. However, unless you really want a two-door 1950’s General Motors station wagon that isn’t a Nomad, you might want to move along. But if you’re intrigued, read on and learn about this find that is located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is starting at $1,000.

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The seller tells us that a lot of the green paint came off when they washed the car (!), so the original light blue and white two tone paint is showing through. When I first saw the auction listing I thought the green was moss! I’ll have to admit that it would be pretty darn neat to leave the body like this for at least a little while while you got it running and driving safely.

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Most of the paint came off the passenger side, so you can get a better idea of what the wagon would look like. Honestly, this side doesn’t look all that bad! You will be replacing some glass, but as the seller says it’s available on eBay, and they also think similar Chevrolet panels will work for the sills if you want to replace them.

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Unfortunately, other areas (this is just in front of the driver’s side rear wheel) don’t look quite so nice. Repairable, though. Once I saw these ads I started to understand how this might actually be a bargain! Wow! These things go for a lot of money! Believe me, as anyone that has seen what I choose to collect knows, I don’t collect as an investment–but it is nice to know that your heirs can get some money back out if they want to.

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Here’s the interior for what it’s worth. A haz-mat suit may be in order before exploring it too much!

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The engine bay looks remarkable original and untouched compared to the rest of the car. It turns over freely and can certainly be the pedestal you start from. But what to do with it? Would you hot rod it, restore it, drive it cosmetically as is, or something else all together? Share, please, in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. 68 custom

    This one is not a Safari it should be noted but it is pretty cool. I did not even know you could get a Pontiac 2 door wagon other than the nomad equivalent Safari, plus it has a V8 and the turbohydramatic. very cool albeit very rusty. :(
    Barn finds is a great site thanks for finding all this cool stuff!

    • rich

      these are very cool car when done up or even rat rodded * I have 2 im selling * 1 parts car for other car * big projects * 3500.00 pair

      Like 1
      • Jesse Mortensen Staff

        @Rich – Please consider getting them featured here on the site: https://barnfinds.com/sell/

      • Jon

        @ Rich, lets see some pictures

  2. Fred

    Love the vintage, but hate the entirely new birthing required for a non-special vehicle. It hurts, but from my end, it’s crusher time…

  3. packrat

    You need to find someone with a “Project Binky” (see YouTube) level of dedicated patience and skill to deal with the bodywork on this one. Quite an opportunity to strengthen frame sections and cut out and replace exterior metal. “Pennsylvania Car” is one of those phrases that stabs at the heart when you see the pinholes along the hood and trim lines of this one.

  4. JCW Jr.

    Being from Pa. it takes a lot of rust to scare me. Would love to get this and evaluate what the course of action would be. Once you knew if the current drivetrain was d.o.a. or not, that would determine the direction to stay stock or update. Then body condition would determine minimal work and leave it “patina” or doll it up. Either way nice project.

  5. Woodie Man

    What pond was it pulled from?

  6. Alan Brase

    These a kinda rare birds because it was basically bargain basement model like a businessman’s coupe, yet a more upscale brand being a Pontiac. A Pontiac got a bigger torquier engine than Chevy, and the tried and true Hydramatic. This would be a good first project for somebody that wants to get practice at welding, and needs a swap meet vehicle when he/she is done. It will run forever pulling a small trailer, and fill the back with quite a few bargains. Or, unroll your foam and sleeping bag for a 2 day trip. Seller says the engine turns over. Yes, it’s a big project, not for a flipper. But a very unique utility vehicle.

  7. Howard A Member

    Scotty G is on holiday, but I believe his family had a car like this,( a 4 door wagon) and his dad cut the back portion off behind the drivers seat,( I forget why) and his mom drove it around like that for a while. Again, I’d call this an “ambitious” restoration, but it is all there, and again, Chevy stole all the thunder with their Nomad’s, and very few Pontiac’s were sold. 68 is right, this is just an 860 2 door, 2 seat wagon, as the Safari had different doors and chrome strips on the tailgate. Still, 2 door wagons like this are quite rare. Like the ’57 Buick earlier, this too will probably become a resto-mod, and I suppose that’s ok. Lot of work ( and money) here.http://classiccarcatalogue.com/P/Pontiac%201955%20Wagons-04.jpg

  8. Dairymen

    Leave it like it is, park it back where you found it and forget it’s even there.

  9. Mark S Member

    Your going to need a donor if one can be found which will likely be in better shape then this is in. The fact is the only reason to consider restoration here is its rareness. This is not for a rookie to take on your going to need a lot of skill and a lot of equipment. This car is worth about $80.00 in its current state as that is what it will fetch at the scrap yard.

  10. Robert White

    4 days to disassemble, and 3 days of sandblasting. I day to prime, and 20 days of body work.

    done!

    Bob

  11. kyle skiles

    I could see this as a nice mild custom.

  12. Vermonter1953

    I think this is very saveable, as a restomod. I was questioned on a Packard wagon when I said that I would rod it and really surprised to hear anybody say that this should be crushed. Fairly rare and would get lots of attention at shows.

  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Sold at the salvage yard auction Saturday…..on Ebay Monday….

  14. GRAY WOLF

    Mossey Oak Pontiac! 👎👎👎👎That is for the people that say scrap it. Don’t have the skill or fortitude to save.

  15. Alan Brase

    Uhh, it’s not a TURBO Hydramatic, just a Hydramatic. More properly DUAL-RANGE Hydramatic. This was a tour de force by General Motors introduced in 1940 Cadillac and Oldsmobile. An incredible milestone, the first mass produced automatic transmission for an automobile.
    It was a cast iron case, with 4 forward speeds and a fluid coupling, not a torque converter. It had two planetary gearsets with different ratios, so by using these in reduction or clutched to direct drive in different combinations gave nice ratios with 1st gear in the 4.+/ 1 ratio and 4th as direct.
    Very durable, it was even used in light trucks. You can still get parts for them. B&M began its career converting them to full manual control for racing clear back in 1953. Unless you had a big engine or a high duration cam, stock GM trans should be just fine.
    I suppose many of you have never heard of them? The 50’s were a great time to grow up in!
    Al

  16. Ck

    So I know that Chevy ,Pontiac, and Buick all made a 2dr wagon. How about Oldsmobile? This is a pretty rare car for sure.But I for one woulden’t take this on as a restoration project.This thing would take way to much time and $ for someone like me.Its not a Safaris,so I say hot rod it.

    • Alan Brase

      The rat rod boys have twice as much fun as any other group of old car enthusiasts. The sillier and more obtuse, more Rube Goldberg, the better. And who cares if it get scratched, if it gets muddy.
      I’m not that extreme in any direction. Best car I ever had was a 1970 Porsche 911 Targa that was kinda rusty and painted black primer. I took it from Iowa to California, drove 2 weeks up and down Pacific Coast Highway and a lot of other places, sold it at a profit and flew home out of LAX. The duct tape holding the headlight in bothered others, but it was all good from the driver’s seat.
      I’m well past enjoying the elements coming in thru holes in the floor, but I’d just patch the rust well, make it drive and maybe clean the black paint off and blend in color on the quarter panels. I like patina, just not extreme patina.
      I’d love one of these. Little v8, 4 speed hydro, great heater and AM radio, and doors that really thunk when they close. Doors that have felt channels all around the glass are way better for sound and wind exclusion that hard tops. That 287 motor made either 180 or 200hp and that was enough to move at modern speeds. At most, I would put a slightly newer 347 or 389 engine, but not right away.
      Al

  17. Jon

    Cool to restomod it…

  18. Rolf Poncho

    Clean it clear cote it fix it mechanicly and drive it
    “just do it!!”

  19. Canadian Critic

    Too Far Gone for me..

  20. tmc_61

    Looks like you could change the tail lights and a Chevrolet front clip, youd have a Chevy

  21. Alan Brase

    Something much better than a Chevrolet! I always marveled at that when I was a kid- apparently they figured tooling up a Pontiac specific rear quarter for the station wagon just was not cost effective for the few thousand units built, so they used Chevy quarters with special tail lights. Kinda like Ford and Chevy did with the Canadian models. Badge engineering.
    But underneath it is pure Pontiac. Bigger rear axle, transmission and engine and I think Chevy did not have an X-member in the frame like the bigger GM cars.

  22. Alan Brase

    I will mention that there is a pretty nice 1957 Pontiac Safari project up on Ebay right now.

    • Jon

      Could you post a link? Thanks

  23. Alan Brase
  24. goatman64

    The 2 door wagon style is very unique. The 287 engine is the same dimension as any other pontiac block made until the late 1970s. This would make a 389/400/428/455 swap real easy. Add a TH400 and safe -t track rear. Fix any structural & safety issues. Put on some disk brakes, rims, tires. Very cool sleeper rod.
    Unfortunately, this looks like at lot of rust and old paint flying is close formation.

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