Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.
Luxury automakers are getting into the trend of offering illuminated front emblems as a symbol of status and sophistication. Mercedes’ website for the new GLC-Series states, “Let your star shine. Thanks to fiber-optic cables and LED technology, the central star emblem in your Mercedes’ radiator grille lights up.”
This type of feature is nothing new or exclusive, however. Pontiac was using similar equipment on its models as far back as the 1950s.
The Pick of the Day is a 1955 Pontiac Star Chief listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Reno, Nevada. (Click the link to view the listing)
Prominently poised at the front of the hood is an ornament with a plastic figurine in the shape of an Indian chief. This hood ornament would illuminate when the headlights were turned on.
“The car was treated to a no-expense-spared frame-off restoration. This car was meticulously restored by the owner who restored multiple cars during his lifetime,” the listing states.
The full-sized Star Chief was sold between model years 1954 and 1966 as a high-end trim package on the Chieftain. It shared the General Motors A-body platform with the Chevrolet Bel Air and was characterized by having stars along the side panels. Another key characteristic of Pontiacs of this era were the dual “silver streak” chrome accent strips running across the hood. Body styles over the car’s lifespan included coupes, sedans, convertibles, and station wagons.
This Star Chief example comes in Nautilus Blue from the model’s second generation which launched in 1955. This car was reportedly sold new in Salt Lake City, Utah. Later in the life, the car went through a complete cosmetic overhaul in which the frame was stripped and powder coated. The two-tone black and white vinyl interior has been similarly refurbished and looks factory-fresh in the photos.
The seller does not specify whether the car’s drivetrain is original, but the Star Chief would have come from the assembly plant with a 287cid “Strato Streak” V8 motor in 1955. Motor displacement was increased in the years that followed.
It is also not mentioned in the ad whether the illuminated hood ornament works, but that would be the icing on the cake of what appears to be an already exceptional build!
The seller is asking $89,900 or best offer for this double-nickel Star Chief, which we think has front-end ornamentation even more special than a late-model Mercedes-Benz.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.