In 1958, Pontiac definitely had fast cars. Case in point: The 1958 Pontiac Star Chief four door sedan came standard with a 370 cubic inch eight-cylinder engine with six different levels of tuning.
And these beauties, with more chrome than a Peterbilt conventional semi truck cab, were fast. Ask Larry Buschmann of Pequot Lakes who owned one of these cars, which was last week's Guess the Vehicle.
He said he drag raced his brother-in-law's vehicle, a Chrysler powered by a 383 cubic inch V-8 engine, several times and won.
He said his Star Chief with its Hydramatic transmission was slow off the line but at 60 mph "it was bye bye Chrysler."
This 1958 Pontiac Star Chief four-door sedan was last week's Guess the Vehicle.
Buschmann's vehicle also created a flurry of guesses, but only three readers were correct. They were Larry Roscoe, Ted Toensing, and Harry Austin. Larry Mongan guessed the car as a 1958 Pontiac.
There were several readers who guessed this vehicle to be a '58 Pontiac Bonneville or Chieftain. Larry Olson guessed it to be a 1958 Laurentian and Tom Erickson guessed this classic to be a '58 Star Chief Custom.
All of the '58 Pontiacs were restyled. But these designs only lasted one year.
Roscoe wrote that the Star Chiefs were distinguished by funnel-like markings on the rear insert, the script on the front fender and tapered diagonal accent slash moldings on the front doors.
Star Chiefs also had four stars compared to the Chieftain, which had three.
One of the Bonneville's distinguishing factors was its side emblems that looked like a rocket ship. The Pontiac Chieftan was the entry level in 1958. A Pontiac Super Chief also was made in '58.
The Bonnevilles and the Star Chiefs did share a common way of filling their gasoline tanks. A motorist had to swing open the left back up light to access the gasoline tank filler.
This photograph was taken last week. Can you guess the year, make and model as well as any other information about this vehicle? You can respond by e-mailing Clint at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 855-5888 and leaving a message.
These two vehicles also wore exclusive die-cast chrome grilles.
Buschmann said he racked up 120,000 miles on his 124 inch wheelbase Star Chief. "It was one of the best GM products I ever owned," he said. "That was a good car."
Austin said Imgrund Auto was selling these Star Chiefs when he was working there as a high school student. He said Star Chief was Pontiac's top of the line until 1957 when the Bonneville was introduced.
"The Bonneville was a touch above the Star Chief, as it was a sportier model whereas the Star Chief was just big," he said.
What year did Chrysler
and Dodge merge?
This week's trivia question is "What year did Chrysler and Dodge merge?"
The answer to last week's trivia question "What year was the Ford Falcon introduced?" is 1959. It was introduced to the press Sept. 9, 1959. Correct guessers were Toensing and Larry Goshey.
Several readers guessed 1960 was the year the Falcon was introduced. This was the first year of the Falcon. They included, Russ Moore, Erickson, Roscoe, Rosemary Petrich, Austin, Olson and Mark Kargel.
Surfing the Internet, I learned that both Ford and Chrysler introduced a Falcon. Ford registered its Falcon with the Automobile Manufacturers Association 20 minutes ahead of Chrysler.
Toensing wrote that a Falcon cost about $2,000. He said that there were 193,470 two doors and 167,896 four doors made in 1960. A convertible, station wagon, and Ranchero pickup also were made in that year.
Toensing also said the first Ford Mustangs were built on the Falcon platform.
Moore said the first Falcons cost $1,912 and came with a standard 144 cubic inch six-cylinder engine.
Kargel said the 1960 Falcon set a sales record of 417,000 units in one year.
Think about this
With gasoline more than $2 a gallon, here are some facts to ponder:
Fifty years ago, a gallon of gasoline cost 23 cents, a gallon of milk cost 92 cents, a loaf of bread cost 18 cents, the minimum wage was 75 cents and you could purchase a new Ford anywhere from $1,606 to $2,944.
By the way, the 1960 Ford Falcon's advertisement stated it made 30 miles per gallon.
clint wood, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5869.
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