AJ’s Car of the Day: 1951 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe Coupe

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1951 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe Coupe

Car: Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe Coupe

Year: 1951

What makes it special: The Pontiac Chieftain was produced from 1949 to 1958. The 1949 Chieftain and Streamliner models were the first all new car designs to come from Pontiac in the post World War II years. Previous cars had been 1942 models with minor revisions. Chieftain was initially introduced with four models: Sedan, Sedan Coupe, Business Coupe and Deluxe Convertible Coupe. In 1950, a Catalina Coupe was added to the range while a station wagon was added in 1952, with the discontinuation of the top of the line Streamliner wagon.

What made it famous: Some of the more interesting optional items available for the first generation Chieftain included a radio with seven vacuum tubes, tissue dispenser, under seat heaters, and a Remington Auto-Home shaver. In 1951, the horsepower on the 248.9 cu in L-Head 8-cylinder rose to 116. The Chieftain came with a gas gauge, ammeter, oil pressure gauge, and a temperature gauge which had marks for 160, 180, and 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why I would want one: I like that it’s stylish, lots of chrome but not too over-the-top, and it’s different than other offerings of that era at car shows.

Fun fact: The horsepower differences between each of the 6- and 8-cylinder engines ( of which there were 4 choices total ), was due to changes in compression ratios.