The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 196
1955 Pontiac Chieftain Catalina Hardtop

Selling on Saturday

1955 Pontiac Chieftain Catalina Hardtop

CHASSIS NO: K755H20972

• Striking black and red paint with fine chrome accents
• Lovely two-tone vinyl and cloth interior
• One of the most popular Pontiacs in 1955
• Room for six and plenty of power

287 cid V-8 engine, 180 HP, automatic transmission, independent coil spring front suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes; wheelbase: 122”

The 1955 Pontiac Chieftain Catalina, also known as the Model 870 was completely new for 1955 - with a lower chassis, all new steel body panels, and fresh engine options, including Pontiac’s first V-8, the 287 that is present in this fine example. Pontiac benefitted from GM’s massive redesign for 1955, sharing much of its styling cues with contemporary Chevrolets and Buicks. The Chieftain had a compound curved windshield that was wider and lower, with straight-through fender lines and attractive two-tone paint jobs divided by bright trim. The hoods had wide stainless strips down each side and the massive front bumper was divided. The new look pushed Pontiac past 500,000 units for the first time and placed the company sixth on the sales list for the year.

This Chieftain was sold new with Pontiac’s new 287-cid Strato-Streak OHV V-8 engine, which developed 180 HP with the four-barrel carburetor. It sits proudly under the expansive hood, presented correctly just as it was from the factory, with the slight exception of an efficient aftermarket ignition system. Backed by an automatic transmission, it stands ready for any highway task you present it with. This lovely Pontiac is tuxedo sharp in a fine black and red paint scheme, accented by wide whitewall tires and full factory wheel covers. The chrome throughout is exceptional, with the split front bumper and grille looking brand new. Overall, the car has very straight body panels and accurate panel gaps, and with the shiny black paint, any flaws would certainly be obvious. The interior matches perfectly, with a crisp two-tone red and black motif. The painted dash has plenty of chrome and clean, clear gauges. Options include an under-seat heater, turn signals, back-up lights, clock, six-way adjustable seat, tissue dispenser, rear defroster, and the original AM radio.

Soon the Catalina name would be used for a very successful series of mid-sized cars for Pontiac but, in 1955, it was the Chieftain Catalina that was leading the way, and here’s a chance to own one of the very best.

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