When this wonderfully original 4-door sedan rolled into Chuggaboom last night, I just had to take it for a spin. An unmolested example in monotone Black with extensive history going back to 1950, this First Generation Chieftain drives as good as it looks with lovely road manners and plenty of performance from the small-block 239cui inline 6 cylinder engine. A perfect Sunday cruiser for all the family with great potential for earning its keep through wedding hire and Prom nights.
The Chieftain was really Pontiacs first all-new post-war car and was available initially from 1949 in either 2 or 4-door variants with a Catalina Coupe and Station Wagon joining the line-up soon afterwards. With the choice of either a 90bhp 6-cylinder or 103bhp 8-cylinder power, these cars came with an amazing range of options including a tissue box, under-seat heaters and even a Remington shaver!
Our car was first registered in June 1950 supplied new by Lynn Pontiac Inc. of Richmond, Virginia to a Mr. Brown residing at Lakeside Avenue. Supplying dealer literature suggests that Mr. Brown owned the car for many years selling to a Mr. McDaniel also of Richmond who in turn was responsible for selling the car to an Englishman in the Summer of 1992 with 84,100 miles recorded. Since importation, the car has had 3 long-term UK keepers and comes with a comprehensive paper-trail of work undertaken. Early work included a full carburettor re-build, new tyres, full exhaust system, new brake hoses and steering idler box. A stack of invoices from Rodley Motors and Castleford American Autos for the period 1995 to 2001 list extensive brake parts, replacement head gasket, starter motor, rotor arm, plugs and points as well as voltage regulator, new battery and hoses throughout. More recent work has included U-joints, new coil, engine mounts and a complete gasket replacement. Other than mechanical maintenance work, the headlining was replaced around 10 years ago but otherwise, the car is totally original. As such, there are some paint blemishes and the chrome-work is just starting to lift on the front bumper but this is the price to be paid for originality! Lovely straight panels, original paint and trim with 61 years of patina get my vote every time over an over-restored example. Come and see for yourself.
The car comes not only with a full file of maintenance bills but all the supplying dealer warranties from when supplied new in 1950, an original Pontiac Chieftain Handbook, every UK MOT Certificate from 1992 to date and a current MOT to October 2012. The current mileage of 90,400 is believed genuine.
On the road, the car is a delight with a surprising turn of speed, lovely positive steering and good brakes. An easy American classic to drive despite it`s size, the car would be perfect as a family cruiser and ideal for classic tours and motoring events such as the Goodwood Revival.
Great style with lovely provenance.