1956 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible

'Come aboard for a flight into the future in the fantastically beautiful Strato-Streak V8 powered 1956 Star Chief Convertible' , was how this car was described in Pontiac's sale literature for the new '56 models.

There was new styling for '56 including newly styled interiors, new rear fender ornaments, hood ornament, grille and bumpers. The front and rear name plates were revised too and were more script-like rather block letters. Essentially this new styling gave a fresh look to the fantastic selling 1955 cars without changing the body. The bodyside trim was placed in such a way as to emphasize the frontal length of the cars.

1956 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible rear view

Rear view showing the ornate upper rear fender moldings

Star Chiefs have three stylized stars on the deck lid so are easy to spot.

This Star Chief is presented here in a lovely paint combination of Mandarin Orange and White but looking at the cowl tag it was originally Bolero Red and Nimbus Grey.

1956 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible interior

Matching interior

1956 saw a new, larger engine for Pontiac car. Displacement was now 316.6 cubic inches, up from 287 cubic inches the year before. The Star Chief now had 227 horsepower - up from 180 horsepower. This could be paired with a Strato-Flight Hydra-Matic transmission (something else that was new that year) for a further $205. However, this car has been fitted with a Pontiac 389 V8 - an engine that was launched in 1959.

Pontiac 389 V8

Pontiac 389 V8

The 1956 Star Chief has a wheelbase of 124" with an overall length of 212.6" and is 75.1" wide.

Sales competition for the Star Chief would have come from cars like the Dodge Custom Royal, Mercury Custom, Oldsmobile 88 and the Buick Special etc.

Pontiac built 13,510 Star Chief Convertibles for the 1956 model year with a base price of $2,853.

In addition to the optional automatic transmission highlighted above, this car is also equipped with and AM radio costing $90.  If you wanted power steering or power brakes that year they would have cost $108 and $38 respectively.

Despite the cosmetic revisions on their 1956 models, the Star Chief Convertible sold 30% less and Pontiac sales totals were around 150,000 less than the previous year.

This car is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for even more photos´╗┐)

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