Posted on August 14, 2008
1956 Pontiac Star Chief
Everyone knows of my love for classic cars, and craigslist. The two met again recently when I sold my 1995 Yamaha FZR 600 (that I picked up for $2000 and resold for $3000). Turns out, investing in that old street bike let to a hell of a payout, with gas prices being what they are, affordable, high mpg motorcycles are in high demand! WIth some extra cash in my pocket, I started looking for another classic car to cruise around in. Since Evan and I sold the ’59 Ford almost a year ago, I have been missing having a car that would turn heads…and after a couple weeks of searching – I found just the thing.
I was searching through the San Diego Auto Trader a couple weeks ago, and came across this beauty, it was listed for $4500. When I talked to the owner, it turns out the car was actually being stored in a warehouse in Upland! (I grew up in up Upland until I was 18, its a couple hours north of SD, and my parents still live there). So I asked the guy if my parents could go take a look at it, and he said that would be fine. They went and took it for a cruise, and my dad called me the next day and said the car was sweet and to get it. So I worked out a deal with the owner, for $3500 cash he would tow it down to SD on a flat bed and drop it off at my house. Everything worked out perfectly, and last weds he pulled up with my new ’56 Pontiac!
I have been driving it almost daily, put nearly 100 miles on it. It always takes a while to get to know a new (old) car, and find out its strengths, weaknesses, and pain points. There are fairly new tires on it, and everything else (Paint, interior, etc) seem to be original. There are about 101,000 miles on the original Strato-Streak 316 v8, and the 4 speed Auto Hydramatic Trans has had some work done recently (the guy I bought it from purchased it from the original owners widow in National City who sold off all of his stuff when he died a few years back. When he got it, it ran well but wouldn’t shift out of first gear).
It seems to be in fairly solid shape, except for a problem with the power brakes. I don’t know if its an issue with the booster or the proportioning valve, but the brakes are Extremely touchy! Regardless, its in good shape for its price and age, and I intend to hold on to it for years to come. It has developed a extremely annoying metalic vibrating/ringing noise that I am trying to troubleshoot, with some help from the guys on the HAMB:
anyway, enjoy the pics!