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Tag: 1956 Pontiac Star Chief

Reviving the Chief

Its finally time.  I can’t put it off any longer.  If I don’t get the suspension rebuilt on the Chief, I doubt she’ll see the road again.  I parked her last a couple months ago and I really just can’t bear to take her out on the road anymore. The front suspension has deteriorated to the point where it shakes and jars you so badly that you can barely keep it on the road.  After 55 years of driving, the bushings have pretty much discintegrated, springs are shot, shocks are worn…pretty much everything that keeps the car off the ground is failing or has failed.  In the words of Mike Sorrentino, “We’ve got a situation”.

Luckily – there are some great Pontiac parts houses.  I called around to California Pontiac Restoration up in Santa Ana and inquired about their kit.  These guys were great when I was replacing the windshields and needed new rubber seals.  They had the right parts and shipped them down to me quick.  However, they were pretty expensive for the suspension kit, so I kept looking.  A quick stop by rockauto.com got me 4 new shocks for about $60!  Gotta love the Rock. (Its the best online auto parts shop out there)

So, I turn to the only place that saved me before when I was doing the brakes on this beast.  The only place I could find drums and pads for a ’56 Pontiac was Kanter Auto Parts, back in New Jersey (I think, maybe NY)?  These guys are usually pretty fairly priced and in some cases are my only option for parts as I try and restore this beast.  So now that I’ve got my tax return back from old Uncle Sam, I’m looking in investing most of it back into the American Economy to get me the Deluxe Front End rebuild kit and some replacement coil springs.  This complete overhaul and a quick alignment should have this bitch back on the road and riding like a cadillac rather than a dump truck.

I’ll keep some updates going out as I proceed with this project, but I’m excited to get the Poncho back on the road for summer!

Sweet – A New Hoodie

A good friend of mine from High School, we’ll call her by her nickname – Boa, always is posting pictures and stuff on her blog about the clothes she makes.  The stuff she has put together is totally awesome, she’s always got some crazy new design, and even makes stuff for her kids.  I got the idea in my head that I wanted an original Boa creation, so I left her a comment on her blog, and she wrote back and said she would make me one!

I can only imagine what she will dream up, but no doubt it will be bad ass!

In other breaking news on my life, I’m still waiting on the Chief to get done at Kenyon Machine over in PB. They are going through the brakes, replacing the front drums, checking out the hydraulic booster, fixing a couple oil leaks, and the exhaust leak (probably resurfacing the manifold, its probably warped).  I really want to get it back ASAP as its been over a month, and I’ve never had my damn car around long enough to just cruise and enjoy it for a while.  I guess I’m the type that’s never satisfied, and I have come across some good trade deals in getting it fixed, so might as well do it while the economy is down and I can trade my skills and services for those that other people possess.

I picked up an engine dress up kit for that Pontiac 316, so I’m excited to throw some new chrome valve covers on that bitch, as well as a new summit racing tach and a tri-gauge set (oil/water/charge)  Its going to be sick.  Don’t ask me why I deem it necessary to install a tach on a cruiser with a tired 316 and an automatic  trans, because, god damn it, I want one!  It changes colors too.  Badass.

I heard on the radio that the Mikey Show (Rock 105.3FM) that I listen to every morning is having a contest next weds (the 11th) where they want anyone with a sweet, loud ride to head up to their studio at 8am for a contest.  Whoever has the loudest car will win tickets to the premier and after party of the new Fast and Furious movie up in LA, plus a limo there and back.  With my Poncho running straight lake pipes, its the loudest damn car there is.  I’m going to try and go up there and uncap the pipes and blow them away.  This thing is slick.

Looking forward to a 3 day Mexico cruise with Evan, Moto Cam, and Kjo – leaving next thurs.  We’re going down to Ensenada to make some bad decisions.  more to come on that report – if there is anything appropriate to publish at all. ; )

I’m getting some insane traffic #s again – looks like stumbleupon is blowing up my 86 Rules of Boozing post yet again – I wish someone would read my current posts, but I don’t think they are all that interesting I guess.


Seems like I blog about the Chief a lot lately, but its my big project going on right now.  Finally got it back – the window shop finished sealing the front and back windshield, and the small rear side windows.  All the chrome trim is back on the windows as well.  The new white walls are mounted, and the side pipes are installed.  Its running exhaust dumped straight out of the manifold to the pipes – no mufflers.  I didn’t really intend for it to be this way, since I had a brand new set of flowmaster 40’s already installed, but I didn’t really specify the way I wanted it set up to the guys at SDRC,and just assumed they would split the exhaust so I could uncap the pipes and run them straight, or cap them and use the flowmasters.

I love the sound, but its so loud that I may be getting a fix-it ticket if a PO’ed cop hears me drive by.  Its definitely way louder than the legal limit!  When I get a ticket, I’ll just take it down to Bob Napolitano and have him throw the flowmasters back on and split the pipes.  Pretty much whats left is to put on all the chrome trim still missing, reinstall the door panels and handles, make some seat covers out of some mexican blankets.  Few things here and there, but this thing is ready to roll.  I got some sick crossbar hubcaps with a primered black background that matches the paint.  Its so badass!

Funny how girls don’t really understand cars.  Dani is always saying that I care more about my car than her, etc… but every girl I’ve ever met has been that way.  I have had a lot of old cars over the years, and I have loved them all.  But I grew up working on cars with my dad, and his attitude has always been about keeping the car stock.  I’ve never really done something custom like I have wanted, and this car was finally my chance.  It is wild, built like a classic hot rod straight out of the 50’s, and its exactly what I want!  I was getting kind of stressed when my plans for the car weren’t working out exactly the way I wanted, and Dani didn’t understand why it bothered me, she thought “its just a car”, but I guess to me, its not just a car.  Its way more than that.  It has years and years of history, its a reminder of a completely different time, different way of life, and one that I really appreciate.

don’t worry, pretty soon the excitement will wear off and I can blog about something else 🙂

From 1956 Pontiac Star Chief


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