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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!

A Chopped ’56 Star Chief

Was browsing around for cool cars like I normally do, and looked around for some shots ofcustomized star chiefs.  Since I think I’m restoring a fairly rare car, its interesting to see what other people have done with them.  I came across this heavily modified and chopped ’56 Star Chief.  Gave me some ideas for possible mods to my ride down the line.  I don’t like the looks of super heavily chopped cars, sometimes they go so far overboard you can’t see through the mail-slit window – but these guys seemed to do a pretty good job getting it right.  What do you think?

They did some pretty cool stuff with the bumpers painted black.  I know guys typically go with stripping the chrome from these things, but the cool thing about the Star Chief is the dual chrome strips running down the hood.  One of the few things that sets them apart from the ’56 Bel Air.

Check out the attached .pdf file from the ebay auction when this thing was sold.  They got rid of it for $4k!  Damn – that chop alone probably would have cost a couple grand to have done, and its got a decent engine in it too.

(Click on the link below to open the .pdf)


Some Scallops on the Chief

I went by SDRC yesterday and took a few pics of the Chief in the paint booth.  They were starting to lay out the scallops…this thing is going to look awesome!  It should be done on monday, I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Slideshow Here:

More Pics Here:



From 1956 Pontiac Star Chief
From 1956 Pontiac Star Chief
From 1956 Pontiac Star Chief
From 1956 Pontiac Star Chief


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