1950's American Dream Cars
These were the iconic cars of the post WW2 American Dream
1955 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible
Sold for $66,000 on July 26, 2014
Body Style 2867DTX. 180 bhp, 287.2
cu. in. overhead-valve V-8 engine, transmission, independent
suspension with semi-elliptic leaf-spring rear suspension, and
four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124 in.
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By the mid-1950s General Motors had established
what was arguably its strongest product lineup to date. With Cadillac at
the top of the market and Chevrolet representing the entry level,
Oldsmobile helped to bridge the gap by offering a line of cars that
offered a unique combination of performance, contemporary styling, and
luxury for the upper-middle-class market.
The 1955 Pontiac benefited from more changes than any model since the Pontiac had first been introduced in 1926, as it had a reported 109 new features and three new bodies. The top-of-the-line Star Chief rode on a frame that was 11 inches longer than other models, and it was powered by one of the best engines ever used in a Pontiac, the 287-cubic inch “Strato Streak” V-8. This engine was smaller, more rigid, and better suited for the higher compression ratios that were coming into use after World War II. The Star Chief’s “Strato Streak” could produce 180 horsepower and was capable of propelling the car upwards of 90 mph, which was ideal for the long, modern highways being constructed across this country.
Helping to make the Star Chief Convertible an American icon was its appearance in several episodes of the classic television series I Love Lucy, in which one of the cars was driven cross-country by the Ricardos and the Mertzes in their move from New York to Hollywood.