The Pontiac Star Chief: Bringing Lucy to California in Style
The Pontiac Star Chief was the luxurious convertible car that appeared in the popular show I Love Lucy during the fourth season, which took place during 1954 and 1955. Lucy, Ricky, Ethel, and Fred drive this classic 1950s car all the way from New York City to Hollywood. The comic foursome carried on their typical hijinks while they showed the world what the typical American road trip was like.
This car played a major role in the four episodes that involved the quirky couples taking the long ride to California. Because the television show was shown in black and white, the color of the car became a topic of conversation and continues to be one today. Fans of the show who collect memorabilia for these episodes can purchase a die cast 1:16 copy of the car; the toy car is painted white with turquoise blue accents and decorated with a lot of chrome.
It is important to remember that since the Ricardos and Mertzes lived in New York City, they did not need a car to get around town. When Ricky pulled up to the front steps with this car, it was an amazing event for the characters and for the viewers, many of whom were in awe of that sexy and fun vehicle. Having a brand new Pontiac Star Chief decked out in chrome with classy white-wall tires and a removable hard top was the best way to bring the stars of the show to Hollywood.
The Star Chief was not treated well during the I Love Lucy episodes. During one of the four episodes that the Star Chief was featured, Ricky unsuccessfully tries to teach Lucy to drive; then, Lucy shows the car to her best friend Ethel, only to end up crashing the car. In another episode, the Ricardos, Mertzes, and Lucy’s mother, Mrs. McGillicuddy, fill the car to the max. Along with five passengers, the car was loaded with luggage that was hazardously strapped to the sides of the car. Car collectors today would gasp at that type of treatment for such a classic, nostalgic car.