Pontiac, a division of General Motors, took advantage of the post-war era that quickly followed the end of World War II. As troops made their way home and young families began to grow across the United States, there came a need for a fresh look on automobiles. The division worked hard and fast to produce a car that was all new. During the war years, only minor changes had been made to existing models for various reasons. Once those years were over, Pontiac, along with other manufacturers, developed very different-looking cars. For Pontiac, the Chieftain was the perfect vehicle to usher in the post-war era of vehicles.
The Pontiac Chieftain was a staple on production lines from 1949-1958, thus effectively hitting some of the prime years following the war. Though this model year was largely unchanged from its 1952 counterpart, it still represented a cool new look for automobiles. To drive the model, a 3-speed manual synchromesh or automatic transmission was available. One of the engine options, the I6 engine, was a 239.2 cubic inch which produced 115 horsepower at 3800 rpm. Weighing in at 3545 pounds, this rear-wheel drive vehicle had a starting price of $1960. Taking inflation into account, that price would amount to about $16,818 and change today, which will often only buy a nice used car in this market.
Production on the Pontiac Chieftain would eventually come to an end five years later, and the 1958 model year became the final version of this classic car. The Pontiac Catalina would replace the Chieftain beginning in 1959, and would continue on for several years. The Chieftain helped to bring forward a new type of car which was focused on looks, and eventually on power, and for that, classic car lovers are grateful.