Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Restoring a One-of-a-kind 1958 Pontiac

Posted April 28, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: pontiac Star Chief

This car shouldn’t even exist. Every Pontiac collector who has encountered it has said so. Yet here it is, with three two-barrels atop its "Extra Horsepower," 300-hp, 370-cu.in. V-8; the basic M11 Muncie three-speed controlled by a column shifter; and Patina Ivory over Jubilee Gold paint. The manual transmission and Tri-Power are what draw in the casual observer, but it’s that paint that throws all the experts. It shouldn’t be on this car, yet the evidence is all there to say it was built this way.

Model year 1958 marked a half-century since the founding of General Motors. To commemorate the occasion, Pontiac produced a limited (sources indicate under 1,200 were built) run of Star Chiefs wearing Golden Jubilee badging and wearing Jubilee Gold paint. The only catch is those cars were all four-door sedans. This is the only two-door hardtop known in the color, and nobody was even aware of it until about 20 years ago, when owner David Rogalla of Grand Forks, North Dakota, bought it from the children of the original owner.

That may be surprising, given how well-documented Pontiacs tend to be these days, but those cars —the ones that can be verified via PHS Automotive Services—were all built from 1961 to 1986. The earlier records simply don’t exist—if they ever did. Henry Ford may have been the one to say, "history is more or less bunk" and that only the history being made in the present matters, but the idea pervades Detroit. It’s volume that matters, not record keeping.

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