1957 Pontiac Star Chief Two-door Hardtop
Chassis no. C857H9860
347ci V8 engine
Dramatic hardtop styling
Great period color combination
The most luxurious Pontiac of its time
As the U.S. automotive market matured in the 1950s, the upwardly mobile dreams of consumers began to be addressed more directly by Detroit manufacturers. "Longer, lower, wider" was the word and by the middle of the decade the low- and mid-priced brand offerings rivaled the luxury cars of a few years before. When 'Lucy & Ricky Ricardo' bade farewell to New York City to drive to Hollywood on the 'I Love Lucy' TV show in 1955, they did so in a 1955 Pontiac Star Chief convertible. It was sure proof that the brand had well and truly arrived and that it had been carried there by its new standard bearer, the Star Chief.
Resplendent in Kenya Ivory and Fontaine Blue, with matching blue and ivory leather interior, this 1957 Pontiac Star Chief hardtop makes it hard to believe that Pontiac was a 'mid-price' brand. The two-tone color scheme also helps to accentuate the long lines of the design, the blue color spear in the mid-section making the hardtop look sleeker. The level of workmanship of the restoration, with brilliant chrome, beautifully aligned panels with close, even gaps and stunning paint is plain to see even through a casual inspection. A closer look reveals clear, virtually unmarked lenses, including those in the signature illuminated fender-top ornaments.
Inside, this Star Chief is as dramatic as it is outside, with the asymmetrical sweep of ivory leather over the blue on the seats lending a sophisticated, almost European look to the interior. Those seats are just barely broken in, and the chrome accents on the door panels and dashboard shine like jewels in their blue and ivory settings. During a recent drive near the Southern California home of the current owner, we were able to sample the charms of an afternoon drive in this '50s cruiser, all side windows down, and an arm resting on the top of the drivers' door. In our experience this Pontiac drove beautifully - the V8 pulling confidently and secure-feeling ride and handling. Lots of people are seen in '57 Chevrolets and Fords - be different and set yourself apart from the crowd - with style to spare - in this '57 Pontiac Star Chief 2-dr hardtop.
- After going to press, we learned that the editors of Collectible Automobile magazine chose a photo of this particular Star Chief hardtop for their June 2010 feature article on "The Cars of 1957"; the photo appears on page 56 of that issue.