Junkyard Find: 1950 Pontiac Chieftain With Flathead Cadillac V8 Power

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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junkyard find 1950 pontiac chieftain with flathead cadillac v8 power

Here’s a car that, were it to roll onto the grounds of any Billetproof show, would cause a vast wave of inked-up Lemmy Kilmister and Tura Satana lookalikes to drop to their knees in captive-bolt-to-the-dome-grade stunned worship. But that almost certainly won’t happen, because this fine example of how-they-done-it-way-back-then backyard customization is Crusher bound!

Upon first sight of the engine compartment, I thought: “Hmmm. I didn’t think Pontiac ever made a flathead V8… but I’ve been wrong about so many anorakian car facts in the past that I’m probably wrong about this one as well.”

Well, Pontiac never did make a flathead V8, as it turns out, and I’m pretty sure this one came from a Cadillac.

No, penny-pinching hot-rodders, this isn’t your chance to score a LaSalle 3-speed for 50 bucks; this car has what appears to be some sort of Hydramatic, probably the one that came out of a wrecked donor Cadillac in 1958 or whenever this swap took place.

This car, which came from the factory with a “Silver Streak” flathead straight-eight under the hood, appears to have been sitting for many, many decades. My guess is that it got the engine swap in the mid-to-late 1950s, drove for a few years, and has spent the last 50 years in a field somewhere in the Great Plains (or in a back yard in Denver).

In addition to the painfully vintage engine swap, this Pontiac has some interesting custom touches on the hood. At the leading edge, we see these two “nostril” scoops.

On the sides, these funky vents. Was this setup for looks, or an attempt to aid engine cooling?

Postwar Pontiacs were on the stodgy side, but some of these design touches belong in a museum of modern industrial design.

Some bits and pieces of this car might be suitable for someone undertaking a restoration project, but the glass and trim are mostly bad.

Right next to the ’50 Pontiac is Jacqui’s crypto-lowrider ’64 Chevelle, which has this amazing Aztec-themed hood mural. I think I may have to blow up this photograph and hang it in my office.

But why mess around with photographs? I need to buy the entire hood and hang it on my office wall!

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

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  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting#cite_note-auto-1][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriorshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
  • Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.