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Ongoing updates and restoration

Over the subsequent 5 years since importing I have been gradually refurbishing and updating the Star Chief to the point where in 2017, I decided to have it repainted to sort out a few paint issues.

As you can imagine this turned into a much bigger project than envisaged, with the end result that the body was stripped down to bare metal. The main issues were previous less than desirable repairs, along with small areas of corrosion in some of the body seams, but all in all it was in pretty good condition overall.

I stripped the whole car down myself and sent the bare body on chassis and wheels off to the repairer/painter. I then proceeded to repair all the dents in the considerable number of stainless mouldings before polishing them all as well. Although I had no experience in this at all, U Tube was my friend and it turned out pretty good in the end. Once the Poncho was back from body and paint, I reassembled it all over a period of 3 months. I also had the front 7 piece bumper rechromed, as it was too far gone just to polish up.

Since the Pontiac has been back on the road, it has been fiddling and adjusting things to get it to where I think it should be, but as you may well know this is an ongoing undertaking.

Sorry but can't seem to get photos right way up.

1957 Pontiac Super Chief 2 door Hardtop

1957 Pontiac Star Chief 4 door Hardtop

Not a very attractive engine bay, but it is functional. 5.3 LS based Vortec engine, mated up to a 4L60E trans.

Interior prior to adding new wheel

Reduced diameter '57 Bel Air steering wheel, with a Canadian Pontiac Indian Head centre piece.


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57timemachine on Feb 10, 2021 said:

What a beauty and to do the work yourself is just iceing on the cake. Are there many 57 Pontiac's in New Zealand. Yours is an American 57 Pontiac and do you know of any Canadian 57 Pontiac's in your area. Cheers.

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ChiefPontiac on Feb 10, 2021 said:

To the best of my knowledge and investigation, there are only 3 around in the North Island, with mine being the only Star Chief 2 door Hardtop with the longer chassis/body. The others are a 4 door Star Chief Hardtop, and a 2 door Super Chief on the shorther frame.

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ChiefPontiac on Feb 10, 2021 said:

I have posted a couple of shots of the other 57's that I know of, but they are both US cars. I don't know of any Canadian models here though.

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azmusclecar on Feb 11, 2021 said:

I'll take oen of each flavor you have posted..... Vanilla, Lemon and Orange.

Awesome work. Everytime I see a Poncho of this vintage it harkens me back to my uncle and his love of the Indian Head line.

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Mario on Feb 11, 2021 said:

Nice pics Russ keep adding them. How about the interior and engine too. Thanks, Mario

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57timemachine on Feb 11, 2021 said:

Have you guys ever thought of forming the New Zealand 1957 Pontiac Owners Club. Some fine looking machines there. It always amazes me where some North American vintage automobiles end up. For example I know of Canadian tri five Pontiac's in countries like England, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, France and Sweden. Cheers.

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57timemachine on Feb 11, 2021 said:

I like the way you utilized a 57 Canadian Pontiac steering wheel horn center, very nice touch. I have to know, how did you get that 57 horn center. It must be rare where you are because it is rare even here in Canada. Cheers.

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ChiefPontiac on Feb 11, 2021 said:

I am a member of Canadian Poncho, and when I was looking through some cars, I noticed the '57 Chev wheel on Can. produced cars. A wanted notice on the site turned up a member who had one, so I was in like a robber's dog. It is a unique piece, and looks very much factory in the 15" repro wheel.

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