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Old 12-01-07, 12:44PM   #16
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my dad bought a 56 pontiac chieft. catal cpe new in 56 with the vin #p756h 15920. we just bought a 56pontiac chieftain vin # k756h19783 want do the vin # numbers mean. also i need a front bumper and grill.i need to know more about 56 pontiac so i can restore this car back to the way it was in 56 and a good place to get parts thanks william
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Old 12-02-07, 11:03PM   #17
Bill Eveland
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Originally Posted by French paradox View Post
Hi all,

I start to collect informations about my Starchief 2 dr ht so my first question is about the VIN number : C857H.

What I already know :
8 = series 28;
57 = 1957 ;
H = Hydra-matic....

but what about the first letter "C" ?

South Gate, California (C) was the plant the car was produced.
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Old 12-02-07, 11:11PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dads56 View Post
my dad bought a 56 pontiac chieft. catal cpe new in 56 with the vin #p756h 15920. we just bought a 56pontiac chieftain vin # k756h19783 want do the vin # numbers mean. also i need a front bumper and grill.i need to know more about 56 pontiac so i can restore this car back to the way it was in 56 and a good place to get parts thanks william
K= Kansas City , Kansas
7= 27 series
56=Model year
19783 = serial # at that plant
also the 18783 to roll of the line with a Hydramatic at the Kansas City plant
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Old 05-22-08, 03:22AM   #19
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Where on the '57's is the VIN number?

I have this Data plate on the firewall. what does it all decode out to be?
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Old 06-08-08, 01:18AM   #20
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If it's like my 55, in the drivers door jamb just above the light switch. Well at least the drivers door here is the left, could be either jamb than?

All this info I got from here


under Pontiac info and than identification tags

57-2719D - 27 Superchief 4 dr sedan
Body P - Pontiac MI assembly plant
3188 - #of this body car built at this plant
trim 217 - Dk green pattern cloth and lt grn imitation leather
Paint EKK -lower body Chateau Gray
upper body Sheffield Gray
insert - Sheffield gray
wheel color - Chateau gray
acc KIKX- i'm not sure how this brakes down exactly- here's a list of acc for 57 if that helps

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Old 06-16-14, 01:53PM   #21
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Default 1957 Pontiac Cheiftain

I had a '57 Pontiac Chieftain before I went into the Army and another one after I got out. It has always been #1 on the list of classic cars I'd want to have if I ever got a classic car.

Well, recently I decided to look for a hot rod or classic car and got very lucky. This car became available right here where I live. The seller had a frame-off restoration done nearly 20 years ago (Still looks new.) and the frame and other components were powder coated. When I saw it, I just couldn't pass it up. It has just under 5,000 miles on it since the restoration.

It being a small world, it turns out the seller and I both had the same job at one time in the US Army Security Agency: Morse code interceptor. We were even stationed at the same post, Rothwesten, outside Kassel, Germany. He was stationed there not long after I left.

What surprised me when reading the owner's manual is that the new car warranty was for 90 days or 4,000 miles, whichever came first. A little different than today's warranties.

I put six pictures in the PZ Gallery, but you can see more pictures at: http://tinyurl.com/1957PontiacChieftain

The only differences between the pictures and the car now are that I have not yet put the "57 CHFTN" license plates on it as it is in the shop having a transmission leak repaired. I also have put Coker Classic wide whitewall radials on the car as it had bias ply tires on it that were on it since the restoration. Interestingly, the seller had "57 CHFTN" plates on it when he lived in CA. He got a charge out of it when I ordered them when we were getting the paperwork and registration done. He pulled out a picture he had of it with the CA plates on it.
1957 Pontiac Chieftain
2012 Honda Pilot
1995 Volvo 850 Turbo
1997 Piaggio BV 500
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Old 10-29-14, 06:22PM   #22
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Default 1957 Pontiac Star Chief

My journey began after Christmas 2012 when I started looking on the internet for classic cars for sale in the US, as you do. I had done everything I wanted on my much loved í56 BelAir after 10 years of ownership, and was looking for something new and different. Having long been a fan of most American 1950ís models, this is where my search began, but after a while your eyes begin to glaze over as there is so much choice available, and itís difficult to pick something that stands out at a reasonable price.

During my search I came upon a í57 Pontiac Safari, which is the sister to the famous Chevy Nomad, but they only manufactured 1292 that year so it was a very rare car. I really fell in love with this vehicle, but after numerous phone calls to the private owner in Davenport Iowa, it all came to naught as he was very reluctant to sell to an overseas buyer and wouldn't proceed any further.

Now that I had the Pontiac bug, and really only liked the í57 I was able to narrow my search down. Believe it or not there were only two í57 Pontiacs for sale in the US that I could find which were desirable versions (discounting 4 doors, as I had already been there), a US$85k black Safari fully restored and hot rodded, and a 2 door Hardtop, also rodded, but about a third of that price.

After numerous phone calls to the dealer in Georgia that advertised on behalf of the aging and ill owner who was selling his collection, a price was finally agreed on subject to an inspection. The dealer was very helpful and recommended three independent inspectors, one of which I chose because his credentials stacked up better. His report was a little disconcerting in that there were a number of things missing from the car such as horns, wipers, stereo, and various screws, etc. The body, boot and floors were solid, the transplanted fuel injected 5.3 Chevy Vortec V8 and 4 speed electronic trans. were in good order, the interior trim was good, but the paint was not that great but looked OK from 3 feet away.

A further negotiation through the dealer resulted in a better price, and the deal was done. It took about 8 weeks for the Pontiac to arrive in NZ in May before all the fun started with compliance and registration issues.

I contacted a certifier direct and he came to my home and did the inspection, which was reasonably comprehensive much to my surprise and agitation. He identified a welded steering shaft (from column to power steering box) that had to be replaced, a welded brake pipe, engine mounts that he didnít like the look of (even though they had supported the engine for a number of years), fish plating of the chassis where the Chevy Malibu front end had been grafted on (again because he didnít like the look of the welding), all brake and fuel lines to be secured to the chassis every 30cm, and rebalance drive shaft (even though it had been done in US) as the major changes.

After about four weeks at a local rod shop the Pontiac finally came home, and I could start all the jobs I needed to do. I had to import from the US an electric replacement 2 speed wiper motor (same as Chev) which bolted onto the same linkage, a pair of horns, an electronic converter which reads the signals from the transmission and changes them to drive an electric motor for the original Pontiac speedo. It obviously hadnít worked since the engine and transmission were installed, so I was very lucky that Customs hadnít found this because I would have had a real headache on my hands. But what it has enabled me to do is set the speedo to read in kilometres, so no more calculations to do in my head when driving.

Finally the day arrived in July to take her (it is a she I have decided as no male would cause me this much grief) down for registration. Apart from the usual wheel cylinder leaking, play in lower ball joint and drop arm knuckle, rear brakes uneven and hand brake (a foot brake actually) not working properly, the major issue was that the front rotors had been ground down to undersize in the US, and had to be replaced.

The wheel cylinder, ball joint and drop arm were all rebuild, and the handbrake freed up. However my search for new rotors came up against a brick wall, as there were none on the country for the 1978 Malibu front-end graft, but a quick trawl through the internet found a supplier in the US who had them airfreighted to me within a week.

Then straight back to VINZ for the inspection, and Wahoo! we are registered and legal on October 18th (also our wedding anniversary) so much cause for celebration.

Iím now just onto fitting a stereo, replacing window rubbers and felts, and a host of little enjoyable jobs.

Now that Iím at the blunt end of all the hard work, I ask myself if I would still have gone ahead and imported the StarChief had I known that it would take 6 months to be fully legal and come with all the dramas and worries, or just purchase something locally that was ready to roll. A couple of monthís ago I would have said to myself that I had done the wrong thing, but now that all the hard work and pain is in the past I am happy with the car and the way it looks. I have a vehicle that is very rare and unique, and to my knowledge it is one of only two in the country, the other being a Super Chief with the painted side rockets instead of stainless steel.

So yes, it was all worth it in the end.

cheers Russell

My 1957 Pontiac StarChief powered by a 5.3 LS with a 4L60E transmission, on 18"/20" Coys wheel combo.
Editor of the club magazine (the Cruisepaper) for the American Classic Car Club Auckland, and Webmaster.
Visit us at www.americanclassiccars.org.nz
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