NEW! Award 99: 1955 Pontiac Chieftain Wagon – Sold?

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, NEW Award, Wagon Wednesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

May 3, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

April 1, 2022 Update – A lack of buyers at the original lofty price has the seller of this ’55 Pontiac Safari lowering their asking price by another ten large to $47,500. That twenty thousand dollar reduction from the original ask now puts the asking price closer to, but still above, our typical syndicated pricing sources.

March 28, 2022 Update – The seller must be getting feedback similar to our take on their car as they just lowered their asking price by a substantial ten large from $67,500 to $57,500.  Unfortunately, that’s still substantially higher than what the cars are typically worth.

When it comes to restored mid-century classics, if you expect someone to pay a premium for your mildly customized restored car, it better be completely done with zero excuses. As good-looking as this restored 1955 Pontiac Chieftain Station Wagon originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Anaheim, California is, the seller hints the restoration is not complete.  Specifically, stating “We are still only left with redoing color match on the front bench seat and trim for front door panels and a few minor items for the complete restoration” is a clear sign they are expecting to recoup much of their investment in the fifteen-year restoration and mild customization.

Don’t get us wrong: we love this car and the surf wagon design theme. Unfortunately, ’55 Pontiacs simply do not bring the big money their Chevrolet counterparts do and the price asked for here appears to be based on the costs of restoration rather than what the market will bear for a restored example.  Currently offered for $67,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Chieftain twenty-two thousand higher this guide’s #1 “Concours” appraisal of $45,300 for a stock example. Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is double this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of only $34,000 for a stock example. Only time will tell whether someone will be willing to pay such a premium for what is a restored mild custom rather than an all-out restomod.

Both Chevrolet and Pontiac redesigned their car lineups for the 1955 model year based on GM’s redesigned “B” and “C” architecture.  Pontiacs now came in two main trim lines. The Chieftain was the entry-level Pontiac. 1955 represented the start of the second-generation Chieftain that featured a completely new chassis, body, and engine.

Pontiac launched its very first overhead valve V8 called the Strato Streak. The 287 cubic inch V8 engine in either 173 or 180 horsepower configuration depending on the model.  Unlike sister division Chevrolet, Pontiac no longer offered an entry-level full-size, six-cylinder model beginning in 1955.

The U.S. Auto Industry YouTube Channel features this classic 1955 Pontiac new model reveal. Unfortunately, the record album containing the sounds track was not available to accompany this video:

If this car was a Tri-Five Chevrolet restored to a similar standard, the amount asked for would likely find a buyer. We also think if you’re going to such great lengths and expense to restore and mildly customize a classic car, why would you not update it with a vintage A/C system to improve the car’s curb appeal. Additionally, the sellers made the mistake of featuring pictures of family and friends enjoying the car rather than providing buyers pictures of the engine, chassis, and interior to give a sense of the quality of the restoration.

Here’s the seller’s extensive description:

“Outrageous Classic ’55 Ultra Rare Surf Wagon!
1955 Pontiac Chieftain 4 Door Wagon 870 Model!
This Chieftain is Truly One of a Kind!
So much to list that I am sure I will not put All that has been done
or needed to be presented on the list I have made!
This Beauty was Restored from the Ground Up!
There are 98,375 Original miles without odometer rolling over!
All Work on Her since Restoration, has less than 2000 Easy Driven Miles!
287 V8 Crate Engine with All 100% New Parts!
Newly Rebuilt Tranny that shifts super smooth!
Brand New Waterpump with Cooling System completely
gone through with All-New Hoses and Hardware!
New Exhaust and Chrome Extension!
Brakes are New and Brake System Fully Rebuilt!
Rebuilt Suspension, everything underneath is all done with new parts!
New Coker Wide Whitewall Tires!
Super Rare 1962 Mickey Thompson Chromed Radar Rims that are like Brand New,
these Rims are a Priceless addition and look Spectacular!
4 Original Rims with New Tires on them and 3 Original
Pontiac Hub Caps like New included!
This Girl Cruises Soooo Sweet!
Rare Original 1955 Flying Chieftain Hood Ornament that is
like New and Lights Up!
All Trim is Complete, Every Single Piece is On and like New!
All New Weather Seals for Doors, Front Hood and Back Gate!
All Electrical on Her works Perfect!
All Gauges are Original from 1955 with an added New Tach!
All Lights are in Perfect Working Order!
Front and Back Lights and Lens are New!
All New Side and Back Door Hardware, all Doors close Softly!
Custom Paint with Best available Paint – Exterior, Interior,
Engine Compartment and Undercarriage!
Very Rare Original 1955 Roof Racks!
Interior has been left as Original as can be!
Original 1955 Steering Wheel left on!
Comes with a 40 Gallon Custom Gas Tank!
New Door Handles and Mirrors,but have Originals!
Alpine CD Stereo, but also comes with the Original 1955 Radio!
All Glass is Perfect with a New Front Windshield!
Front Wind Wing Windows work Perfectly and Lock!
Over 15 Years of Restoration involved with almost Every Single Item on Motor Train,
Brakes and Suspension for Our Beauty are Brand New or Rebuilt!
We are still only left with Redoing Color Match on Front Bench Seat and
Trim for Front Door Panels and a few minoritems, for the Complete Restoration!
Estimate for Restoration, without the Price of the Chieftain itself or the
Coker Tires and Radar Rims, as legit as I can add up, is Over $25,000
for Parts and a Priceless Labor Cost, that I can’t even estimate!
As You can tell from Pics, She looks Brand New and People flip out over Her,
wherever We Cruise Her to!
Have Original Pontiac Owners Manuals, Shop Manuals and Parts Catalogs!
Original California Black and Yellow Plates come with Her!
She comes with Thousands of Dollars of Original Brand New Parts and Trim!
Have Pink in Hand and Registration is not due till September/22!
Also have Best Connection in the U.S. for this Wagons parts
that is right here in the O.C.!
We are Retired Couple and a Real Estate Retirement Opportunity
has been Blessed to Us!
So We are letting Our Chieftain Go with Sadness to a Lucky and Blessed New Owner!
Call or Text Anytime, Text if I do not Answer, will get back to You ASAP!”

Yea or Nay: Do you agree with our pricing assessment about this 1955 Pontiac Chieftain surf wagon?  Please comment below and let us know!

  1. Anonymous

    I would love to be able to print this on my computer because I purchased this beautiful Pontiac Chieftain Wagon and would love to have all this information please!! Thank you so much 😊

    • Guys with Rides

      Hi David, thank you for reaching out and asking for a print out of the cool wagon you recently purchased! We’ve printed a copy and have mailed it to the address you provided over the phone. Enjoy!


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