Out for a cruise with the Chief

General Non Automotive Discussions

  1. old yellow 78

    old yellow 78 Well-Known Member

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    Took my old '50 Pontiac Silver Streak Chieftain Deluxe out for a cruise. Runs and drives much better than it looks. The ancient Hydromatic four speed shifts beautifully. It's slow, but smooth - like cruising around on a sofa. This is OY's garage-mate. Just under 41K original miles, and I'm the second owner.

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  2. old yellow 78

    old yellow 78 Well-Known Member

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  3. Darth-Car

    Darth-Car Well-Known Member

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    Far more reliable than a 2000 Pontiac. :) I especially like the optional windshield sun-visor. That car will look wonderful with all of the chrome polished up. On the sales brochure that car just looks like it is going fast.
     
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  4. old yellow 78

    old yellow 78 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Darth-Car. That is actually the cover for the owners manual. I've owned the Chief since 1980 I think. It's cool, but needs paint badly. I have been casually trying to sell it for a while, but I think this summer is when I am going to get more serious about it. I much prefer to drive and work on OY than the Chief, and I want to "downsize" my stuff in general. I also have a red '67 VW beetle that my father bought new. That has been sitting in my friends barn for years now, and one of these days (years) I'm going to either sell it, or do something with it. It looks just like this one (internet pic) except a lot dirtier and rustier. It did run when it was parked (as the saying goes!) :rolleyes:

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  5. Darth-Car

    Darth-Car Well-Known Member

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    Sell that little buggy thing, and get some extra cash for OY. He will thank you for your financial support. :)
     
  6. old yellow 78

    old yellow 78 Well-Known Member

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    The Beetle is comatose behind a bunch of tractor implements, so I don't think it is going anywhere soon.
    OY is currently at my mechanic neighbors and getting his undivided attention. I got frustrated with it and decided to let him figure it out. OHMs at the coil pickup in the distributor While he has it, he is also putting on the new leaf springs and shocks. I can't wait to get it back.
    Here is a pic of the Chief's trunk. It was never really used, and is nicely preserved. I am not sure, but the spare tire may be original.

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    The seats had seat covers put on when it was new, and I took off the front one to find perfect upholstery underneath. The rear seat still has the cover on it, so I assume it is also like new. The prior owner who bought it new was an elderly woman who never married and had no children, so I doubt that anyone ever sat back there. I actually bought the Chief from my good friend whose aunt bought it new, so I know it's entire history first hand. She bought it off the lot of Freed Pontiac in Lansdale, PA and was in her 80's when she stopped driving it in 1977.

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    The steering wheel is as big as a hula hoop. No need for power steering here. The horns are fantastic! LOUD and deep! I took the radio out to have it fixed, and have never put it back in yet. The ashtrays have never been used. The glove box still had the owners manual and the various new car tags in it, from the one that hung from the cigar lighter, to the paper sleeve that slid over the sun visor to tell the new owner how to use the "New Hydramatic Transmission". I also found a piece of wire in there that had the knock outs from the original keys on it with the numbers on them to have duplicates made.

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    Not bad for almost 70 years old. 40928 original miles / 69 years = 593 miles per year. But that is misleading, because I have owned it since about 1980, and I doubt that I have put more than a few hundred miles on it total.

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  7. Darth-Car

    Darth-Car Well-Known Member

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    That car has some lovely minty quality to it all around. Knowing the history is worth its weight in gold!
     
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  8. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    That is so cool! Even though it may have some "patina" on the body and trim, a car is only original once. Perfectly restored may look nicer but it's just not the same.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the spare is original. Sitting inside the trunk where the sun can't get at it, it very well could survive 70 years. I don't know if I'd want to rely on it for an actual spare tire though. One of our customers at work has a '69 Cadillac that he bought brand new. A couple months ago we replaced the original spare that as far as he can remember, has never been out of the trunk even once. It blew up inside the trunk. Literally shredded, half the tread rubber came off and nothing but a bunch of cords and belt material hanging in frayed threads. He said the sound it made was a heck of a thing, lol.
     
  9. old yellow 78

    old yellow 78 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I like that I know about the Chiefs history, and almost as much about OY. The story of the Chief is so cliche that some might not believe it. My friends aunt bought it new as I said, in Lansdale PA, and I still have the little leather case with "Freed Pontiac" embossed on it. I have a picture of her standing next to it with her elderly mother that appears to have been taken when the car was brand new. I tried to scan it and download it but it doesn't work for some reason. She likely traded in a car, but we don't know what it might have been. She was never married, and lived all her life with her sister, who also never married, in the family home in Ambler. She was a elementary school teacher (I know, unbelievable, but true). The car was last inspected in 1976, and expired in 1977. The story that my friend recalls is that she was in her 80's then and not driving so well anymore - hence several bondo fixes on both sides. In that last year on the road, the transmission mounts failed, and it was towed to Freed Pontiac to be fixed, but they told her the mounts weren't available anymore, so the car was towed back home, put in the barn (yes, an actual barn - I told you it was cliche but true) and there it sat. I think she died in '78 or '79. I bought the car from my friend and pulled it out of the barn in '80. Somewhere I have pics of this, but I haven't seen them in years. He isn't sure, but my friend thinks he remembers that it may have been the case that it was deliberately not repaired due to her age and fading driving skill. I didn't have any trouble finding the transmission mounts, and replaced them soon after buying it. I haven't done much to it though over the years as other obligations and life in general took priority. At this point, I have lost a lot of interest in it and keep going back and forth about selling it.
    True. However, I doubt that she EVER washed it, and I am certain that it never was waxed. It simply wasn't used much. So, after 70 years... The chrome is fair to good, and I have duplicates of almost every piece from bumpers to trim and grille off of a much better parts car that I brought back from Durango Colorado years ago. The paint is really bad though. There is surface rust and some pealing bondo on the door. The only actual penetrating rust is a small area over the one fender skirt. The tires however, are ancient! They are a set of matching Firestones, likely from the 60's, and still have tubes in them. At least they hold air, but I obviously don't trust them at all, and that is why I really don't drive it very far, very fast, or very often. I could replace the tires, but I can never decide whether I am going to keep it or not, and would rather work on OY. Seems like everything I own needs tires. The engine is a straight six, and it's a shame that it wasn't the straight eight. It's fairly slow, but quiet, and S M O O T H! It's mated to a four speed hydramatic automatic which works amazingly well.

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  10. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    I always get a kick out of the battery in those cars. Not exactly one you can just get off the shelf anywhere.

    My dad had a '57 Dodge Coronet 6 with a flathead 230 ci 6cyl and a 3 on the tree. It was quick from 0-20 but, once you shifted to 2nd gear,,,,,,,,,,,all done. It had 4.11 rear gears and the max rpm according to the service manual was 4,000, not really a highway car. It idled at 400 rpm and the only way you knew it was running is look at the fan blade. Not even the slightest vibration with it's whopping 7.0:1 CR, it wasn't enough engine for a car of the Coronet's size and weight.
     
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  11. Darth-Car

    Darth-Car Well-Known Member

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    Oh that is a funny engine bay picture. Just the way that it is angled, and taken, it threw off my perception, and just for a moment I thought that engine was transverse mounted. I said wait a minute that car is not front wheel drive! Then I got my directions sorted out, but it still made me smile. :)
     
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