1951 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe
Sorry in advance to Mike Burroughs and Stance|Works for stealing these pictures but I wanted to make a post about this.
Having just gone through this whole article on Stance|Works I am completely blown away. It is not often that I go through a build thread or article and go “That’s a desktop background *save*….that’s a desktop background *save*….that’s also a desktop background *save*…”
I must have saved just about every picture from this article. If you haven’t heard me ramble on about 30s-50s American cars yet allow me to fill you in.
In short I love them. They are so elegant and purposeful looking. Do people realize that everyday family cars and things used to look like this? All chrome and swoopy lines and fins. These cars have a sense of occasion about them. It was special commuting in these. I’m sure it probably didn’t feel that way back in the 40s, but at the same time a lot of these cars must have felt like a space ship, especially emerging from the pre-war era of Model Ts and Model As which were utilitarian and nothing else.
Having just this past weekend had a conversation at a car show with a woman who had a Lincoln Zephyr Coupe and a guy with a totally original 1938 Pontiac Silver Streak Sedan as well as several others with pre-war cars and hot rods (including an obscenely well restored Ford Model T) there is a general consensus that there is something truly special about driving and owning these cars. And hot rodding them. The Zephyr didn’t have its original flathead V8 or V12, instead sporting a Chevy 350. But it did look very original on the outside and inside, aside from the Mercedes color. The ‘38 Pontiac though was totally stock, just in really well kept condition, and that’s the way it is going to stay.
I love the different ways people go with cars of this era. While I love seeing a chopped Mercury or Shoebox Ford with wild paint scraping along the ground, I’m more impartial to subtle upgrades to none at all. This Chieftain is everything I want in one of these and more. Subtle visual updates and changes like the eyelids, wheels, big whitewalls, skirts, sunshade, front bumper, lake pipes, and the pinstriping. It’s not overboard, it’s not a pastel color, it keeps with the design influences of the period and it doesn’t distract from the overall look of the car. The ride height is perfect. The color combination is fantastic. It’s just amazing looking. And I absolutely want one. I’d drive it everyday because I couldn’t live with letting something like this sit and not get out to stretch its legs. The lady with the Zephyr used it extremely regularly. The guy with the 1938 Pontiac was planning on road trips with his. They’re usable, comfortable, and as I said earlier have a sense of occasion and purpose when you’re out in one. It’s a car to be driven, not kept on a pedestal.