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1951 Pontiac Chieftain - I'm picking up bad vibrations

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Thanks for all the kind remarks. The pictures flatter it, honestly!


The scene calls for 2 doors, but in this case the difference in shape is negligible. Plus, the two door versions don't get rear quarterlight windows.


Honestly, from pictures the block in this looks similar to Packard's engine. It may be the same, it can find its roots back in the thirties. For the age, it's a fairly advanced design, all bearing surfaces are pressure fed with oil, the weak points are the conrods if you over-rev it. Cast iron pistons, coated with tin see this to being a low-revving but torque-laden lump.


Busman: $5300, or by today's exchange rate £4074.


I believe this to be the original color scheme. I quite like the sky blue, so it's going to hang around.



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That's a '52 or newer with that gearshift. Very similar inside though!


It's sitting at standard ride height as far as I can tell. The wheels are tucked down deep into the arches and the front overhang gives an impression of being lower than it is.



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Are we going to see your Fuelly Sig change to the Chieftain and single figures Phil?

Book is 12 city, 19-25 highway.


Research on comments on Pontiac internet fora suggests 15-18 MPG is realistic for everyday pottering (so in the low 20's UK MPG).


Considering it's 6.5:1 compression, it will probably run on anything and return about the same economy figures.



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5300 dollars for that beauty or 4995 for that pile of crap next to it in the first picture. I'd have done the same.

But, that's down from $12,995.


A stack of paper with Benjamin Franklin on each one spoke out to the guy, who in all fairness was most excellent and wonderful to deal with.



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Excellent, I can totally see the appeal behind this. Sad to hear the Renault go but it sounds like domestic bliss will be restored with your new car, which is not an element to be underestimated. 


That's also quite a discount you got there! Looking forward to more photos and project progression. Imagine not having to deal with American-French bits anymore!

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That is very lovely.  I love American cars and have a 30 plus fleet in 1:43 scale!


Remember my wee daughter being engrossed by an early 50s Packard at Northampton about ten years ago.  Might have been a '51?




Has it been lowered?  Looks quite low to the ground

I think that is a Pontiac. Amazingly the more expensive Packards were much plainer inside.

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I think that is a Pontiac. Amazingly the more expensive Packards were much plainer inside.

You are right. Zoomed in on a big screen you can clearly see the Chieftain head and the word PONTIAC on the center of the steering wheel...

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Ace, nice find. Were you particularly looking for one of these, or just looking to spend some money?

Well, that's an interesting question. What began the ball rolling was actually the wife. Understand that she has an innate hatred for the styling of the Renault, so when her Facebook feed showed up a '65 Pontiac Catalina for sale locally for a very good price, she showed me and said that It Was A Car That She Did Not Mind The Look Of.

Circumstances however caused someone else to buy it before I could. Therefore, I did what any sane person would; I had a quiet sulk and started looking at cars on Craiglist. There was very little in my interest range on the New Orleans subsection so I broadened my search to center on Baton Rouge. Up pops this in the search, already reduced to $8k after 24 days of having been posted.

It was shown to the wife. She agreed that indeed, it was a fine looking automobile (Yeah, that one is okay).

To stop me nagging about it she agreed to take the road trip to go view it. Once I was certain it was not a complete basket case, that was it. It had to be mine. Ever since I got to drive a 1947 Humber Super Snipe about 20 years ago this era of vehicle had been etched into my mind. The price was reduced, reduced again.. a call was placed and the age-old question "What's your best price if I bring cash today?" was asked.


The rest is in this thread.



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All kinds of cool - I'd pay more than that just to have it sit outside my place and drool on it at regular intervals........ I know it's a cliche - but they really did do it with more style back 'in the day' didn't they.... I like the looks of some modern stuff too - but it just doesn't compete with the whole package. 

That thing gives me wood - even just looking at the photo's on here...... WOW

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  • PhilA changed the title to 1951 Pontiac Chieftain - Twin Points
  • PhilA changed the title to 1951 Pontiac Chieftain - I'm picking up bad vibrations

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