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Perhaps the better way to look at the question is: 1955-1957 was a unique and dare I say - magical - time for American cars.

The '55 Chevy introduced a V8 to compete with Ford's longstanding history of V8s. The '56 introduced the dual 4 barrel V8. The '57 Chevy continued the dual 4 barrel carbs and introduced the fuel injection that hit the magical 1 horsepower per cubic inch.

The Corvette was nearly cancelled, but the V8 made it a performer. No more 6 cylinder Powerglide 'vettes.

Over in the land of Ford, the 2 passenger Thunderbird was going head-to head with the Corvette. The '55-56 Crown Victoria is to Ford guys what the tri-five Chevy is to Chevy guys. And, a '57 Ford was featured in the moonshiner movie "Thunder Road".

Chrysler was experimenting with their "Forward Look" - styling you either love or hate. Their first generation hemi engines were making news of their own.

The late '40s and early '50s cars tend to look a bit dull next to '55-57 cars. Many '58 and '59 cars were overdone styling-wise. So, '55-57 was the sweet spot of the decade.

Yes - the '55-57 Chevy overshadows the Pontiac, and the phrase "tri five" has been more or less commandeered by the Chevy guys. But IMHO, real car guys appreciate the Pontiac for what it is.

Let's not forget - Pontiac made fuelies, too...
 

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Perhaps the better way to look at the question is: 1955-1957 was a unique and dare I say - magical - time for American cars.

The '55 Chevy introduced a V8 to compete with Ford's longstanding history of V8s. The '56 introduced the dual 4 barrel V8. The '57 Chevy continued the dual 4 barrel carbs and introduced the fuel injection that hit the magical 1 horsepower per cubic inch.

The Corvette was nearly cancelled, but the V8 made it a performer. No more 6 cylinder Powerglide 'vettes.

Over in the land of Ford, the 2 passenger Thunderbird was going head-to head with the Corvette. The '55-56 Crown Victoria is to Ford guys what the tri-five Chevy is to Chevy guys. And, a '57 Ford was featured in the moonshiner movie "Thunder Road".

Chrysler was experimenting with their "Forward Look" - styling you either love or hate. Their first generation hemi engines were making news of their own.

The late '40s and early '50s cars tend to look a bit dull next to '55-57 cars. Many '58 and '59 cars were overdone styling-wise. So, '55-57 was the sweet spot of the decade.

Yes - the '55-57 Chevy overshadows the Pontiac, and the phrase "tri five" has been more or less commandeered by the Chevy guys. But IMHO, real car guys appreciate the Pontiac for what it is.

Let's not forget - Pontiac made fuelies, too...

Ironically, that first generation hemi engine's biggest news item was being the first production engine to hit 1hp per cubic inch in 1956.
 

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I am happy to be a little more inclusive with the Pontiac cars. the 57 rear is a direct bolt in to our beloved chevies, Pontiac of Canada used the chevy motor, including the 261 chevy truck motor, as the power plants in the Canadian Pontiacs, fuel Injection, some parts swap over, styling cues. And lets face it, more then a few Pontiac tri power carbs have ended up on trifive chevies over the years. That and I don't think there is a Pontiac site near as good as ours so a little benevolence would be a good thing, keep it in the family and all.
 

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55’ Pontiac station wagon Chevy 350/350
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I very much appreciate being apart of the TriFive community and this site, being a Poncho owner.
I tried out the Pontiac forum a while back and they were pretty lame when I told them I had a 350 under the hood. Stuck up poncha idiots if ya ask me. I like all sorts of different cars but,
ive been a Chevy guy my whole life. I love my Pontiac a lot because it’s different. It’s not a Chevy.
and even though it’s still not running yet, it brings me lots of joy.

Everybody and their mom has a Chevy. That’s why I dig the Pontiac 🍻😉 it’s different.
 

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Lots of the same styling cues. The main difference is the wheel base (115 for the Chevy and 122 or 120 -can’t recall which- for the Buick, olds and Pontiac). I like all the cars of that era. I’ve always thought a hot Rod Olds would be awesome!
Wow, I never knew the wheelbases were not the same! I've always noticed the styling similarities between Chevy, Buick, Olds, Pontiac and thought they were all essentially the same platform. I always loved the fact that the tri-five Chevy's were 115 inch wheelbase which was the same as Chevelles. So in my mind, even though the tri-five Chevy's were full size cars for their day, they really were the equivalent to a 60's mid-size car and not "boats", like Impalas, Bonnevilles, and all the other full size models.

However, I remember hearing from Old School Hot Rodders that the Chevy rear ends were the weakest part of the car (next to the trunk sheet metal shock mounts), and that they were often replaced with Buick, Olds, or Pontiac rear ends because they were more heavy duty. Long before the Ford 9 inch thing took over. So, in that sense I guess it's fair to consider them kin.
 

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Wow, I never knew the wheelbases were not the same! I've always noticed the styling similarities between Chevy, Buick, Olds, Pontiac and thought they were all essentially the same platform. I always loved the fact that the tri-five Chevy's were 115 inch wheelbase which was the same as Chevelles. So in my mind, even though the tri-five Chevy's were full size cars for their day, they really were the equivalent to a 60's mid-size car and not "boats", like Impalas, Bonnevilles, and all the other full size models.

However, I remember hearing from Old School Hot Rodders that the Chevy rear ends were the weakest part of the car (next to the trunk sheet metal shock mounts), and that they were often replaced with Buick, Olds, or Pontiac rear ends because they were more heavy duty. Long before the Ford 9 inch thing took over. So, in that sense I guess it's fair to consider them kin.
The good Olds/Pontiac 9.3 rear came out the same year as the inferior 9 inch Ford 1957. The fine folks at Buick were still using torque tube driveshafts in 57.While Chevy had their little 8.2 drop out and know Caddy had their own deal too. As I prevously stated, and belive a tri five Chevy is not that much like its BOP cousins.
 

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1957 Bel Air sport sedan
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Rear doors on the 57 Pontiac and 56 Chevy sport sedans are the same. Ask me how I learned that the hard way. Lol.

While there were a bunch of differences between Pontiac and Chevy, they’re more alike than Buick, Olds, and Cadillac. They’re like half-siblings instead of step-siblings or full siblings. Same Momma, different Daddy.
 

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1957 Bel Air sport sedan
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If I really cared to know similarities of the GM models the easy whay to do it is sit down with my late 50s Hollander Interchange Manual. A much more accuaate source if information than the internet.
Well the fact that those two doors are interchangeable come from the Hollander manual.
 

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very few people realize that with out pontiacs help the small block chevy would prolly not have arrived when it did....you see the stamped rocker arms were a pontiac innovation at the time......and were givin to chevy...so pontiacs 287 and chevys 265 could debut at the same time in 55.
I love BOTH the Chevy at pontiacs from the tri-five era....just love them

IMO If you love the powerpack 283/powerglide in the 57 chevys....maybe take a 57 pontiac powerpack 347/4speed hydro for a ride.........its little wonder why back in the day pontiac was really the one to beat
 
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