Curbside Classic: 1955 Pontiac Star Chief Coupe–Endangered Species

Traveling along one of the older streets of Boonton, New Jersey I happened upon this 1955 Pontiac parked at curbside.  I took out my phone and snapped this photo which almost looks like it could have been taken circa 1960!


It’s a Star Chief coupe in what appears to be White Mist over Corsair Tan.

This car has lots of sparkly, solidly crafted details on it–like these cool stars which let the buyer on the showroom floor know this car is something special–a Star Chief!  (Great name for a car!)

One of the first cars to sprout fins.  Twin, swept-back radio antennas a la Packard.  (To the right, 19th century sidewalk is made from solid blocks of blue slate–built to last centuries).

Close-up of tail light.  (Turret of Victorian house in the background.)

Here’s a strange combination of the ancient and the modern–an Indian Chief’s head morphed onto a jet aircraft.  Who comes up with these ideas?  The Chief’s looking a little crackled and wrinkly–this plastic wasn’t made to last 60+ years.  I think it’s supposed to light up.

I’m not a big fan of this extra orthodontia on the front.  The 1955 Pontiac grille was actually a very sleek and clean design, and this gaudy grille guard clutters up things.  (I don’t care if it’s a “genuine factory accessory”–it still mommucks things up!)

Here’s the ’55 Pontiac front end in its pure form–so much nicer!

This is the ’56.  It looks like MAD magazine’s version of the ’55.  I still like it though–call it “barbaric beauty”.

Ah, those glorious 1950s dashboards and steering wheels–some of my favorite things about cars of this era!

With air conditioning!  The emblem says “PONTIAC Cool Pack”.

All these options/accessories–and those naked wheels . . . Get some hubcaps, man!

A block away from the parked ’55 I found another Pontiac–a Solstice I believe–in a junk pile.  It’s been 13 years now since the last Pontiac was made.  I think that we have to face the fact that anything with the PONTIAC name on it is becoming an endangered species.  More and more of the remaining cars will be junked, and the Pontiac name will fade from the public’s consciousness.  So keep an eye out for surviving Pontiacs!

P.S.:  The last Pontiac ever built (assembled in January 2010) was recently totalled and sold as junk for $450.

A prophecy:  50-100 years from now, someone will pay $1000 for that Disney toy Pontiac Solstice.  Today it’s considered worthless junk.