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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm considering buying this 55 Pontiac, and turning it into a gasser.
I want to know any and all differences between a 55 Pontiac Chieftan two door post and a 55 chevy two door post.
From core supports to firewalls, to brake assemblies to rear axles to entire frame differences and suspension parts.
Please help if you can.
Heres the photos again.





 

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Here are the parts that are the same as a Chevy, body styles must match:

Front windshield, doors, side glass, rear windshield, trunk lid, seats.

Different: everything else.

The wheelbase is 7" longer, all in the front. So the front fenders are different too. The frame and suspension, wheels, rear axle, and obviously the rest of the trim.

This applies to US made/sold Pontiacs. Canadian Pontiacs are essentially a Chevy with Pontiac front sheet metal and trim. They use a Chevy frame and drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Rick,
Should I measure the wheel base to check for sure if it matches or not with a 55 Chevy?
Only interior shot I have right now,,,
 

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Your car is a US Pontiac with a 122" wb. 55-57 Chevys are 115". No need to measure.

A Canadian Pontiac will have a front fender opening shaped like a Chevy. The US Pontiac front wheel openings are round like yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heres a quoate from www.pontiacsafari.com
http://www.pontiacsafari.com/L1EarlyV8Pontiacs/ModelStyleNumbers/1955_models.htm
'
Trivia:
1955 Pontiac production began Oct 4, 1954 and cars were introduced to the public 15 days later.


Except for station wagons, Chieftain 860 and Chieftain 870 models were the same except for trim and price.


Star Chief was the "high end" model. Except for the Safari wagon they were approximately 7" longer (all in the rear overhang) than the Chieftain models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I read that the U.S. built 55 Pontiac frame is a perimeter frame with an X middle or something and is way different than the 55 Chevy frame.
;
These differences are making me not want to buy that car, I was hoping it was just skin over a 55 Chevy setup, so all running gear would interchange, or possibly just buy an aftermarket 55 Chevy two door gasser frame and plop it on there, but I don't want to buy a one off 55 Pontiac gasser frame, probly be expensive as heck.
 

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I read that the U.S. built 55 Pontiac frame is a perimeter frame with an X middle or something and is way different than the 55 Chevy frame.

These differences are making me not want to buy that car, I was hoping it was just skin over a 55 Chevy setup, so all running gear would interchange, or possibly just buy an aftermarket 55 Chevy two door gasser frame and plop it on there, but I don't want to buy a one off 55 Pontiac gasser frame, probly be expensive as heck.
Some interesting info here in Curly's post on the HAMB thread you linked......

Curly said:
Cool so a pin on trunk lid is in the future as well as a set of fiberglass doors.

I found that 55 Chevy 2 door sedan outer rockers are the same as 55 2 door sedan pontiacs. inner rockers are different.

Poncho (American) frame is a perimeter frame and an X frame combined, and wider than a Chevy (ladder)frame. Chevy frame is also the Canadian Pontiac frame.

The 55 front clip will mate up to the cowl and doors but the wheels will be 7" forward in the wheel wells, but since I'm going to stub the frame and straight axle it I could shorten the wheelbase by 7" and use a 55 chevy front end or a set of 55 Canadian Pontiac fenders.

A lot of good info out there. The search function revealed some neat pics too notice how they are all Canadian Ponchos??????
If you want to build a gasser and retain the Pontiac front sheet metal, you can cut off the frame rails near the firewall and then extend rectangular tubing to match the longer wheelbase.

And if you want to use Chevy or Canadian Pontiac front sheet metal, you can do the same, only the wheelbase will be shorter (115").

Regarding using a pre-fabbed Chevy gasser chassis...... It sounds as if the Poncho body mounts may be in different locations, so you would likely have to make some brackets that fit the Pontiac body so you could mount it.

If you decide to use the Pontiac front sheetmetal, you could have whomever you get your chassis from build it to suit the longer wheelbase. FWIW...... Extending the wheelbase ahead of the firewall should have the same effect as moving the engine rearward, aiding in weight transfer off the line.

Good luck with your gasser project,

Harry
 

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The Pontiac hood and rear fender straps are worth their weight in gold it seems. Don't lose them because they are not reproduced and if they are undamaged Pontiac collectors/re-builders offer a lot of money for them. We found this out when my buddy with his inherited '56 StarChief was searching for information about vintage Pontiacs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for the replies.
I love the look of this car and the old metal flake paint and even the rust the dash is just plain cool.
I'd hate to part it out though, but yes I've seen that these parts are hard to get, not many repro parts made for these cool old rides.
 
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