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General Motors began producing unique cars around the 1950s. During this time, one of the most liked but undervalued cars was the 1955 Pontiac Chieftain. The Chieftain was in the shadow of the more popular GM models including the Bel-Air, El Camino, and the Nomad. The Chieftain didn’t have the “thrill or frills” some others in its class had, but it certainly delivered on aesthetics for that time. The standout feature of the car is the two-tone paint job changing from the top panels of the car to the rest of the body. There is a lot more that made the chieftain look and perform “like a Swiss Watch”, which are listed below.


Back in 1955, there were no roaring cars that produce incredible speed or handling as today’s cars do. However, that doesn’t mean the Pontiac was sluggish by any means. While its top speed tops out at 102 MPH, the 173 horsepower Chieftain was accompanied by 256 lb-ft of torque. During the 1950s, only performance cars could match or surpass that figure. This set of specifications combined with rear-wheel drive and a car that weighed in at under 4,000 lbs made the Chieftain a nice practical car with the power to boot. 

Exterior and Interior: 

As mentioned previously, the two-tone paint on the Chieftain made it stand out from the rest. While it wasn’t the first car to introduce or possess two-tone paint, the execution was better compared to most. Depending on the paint colors, stripes would appear on the hood of the car with the paint on the top of the car. For example, the red and black combination was the most popular Chieftain option. The black paint covered the top and b-pillars and scooped down the hood. 

Besides the exterior paint, the interior was classic. It featured levers and buttons that were deemed “timeless” in the 1950s. The silky black paint coupled with the chrome plating on the interior stereo and dashboard gave the interior a polished look. Chrome wasn’t only limited to the interior as the exterior boasted chrome around the door handles, body lines, and window panes.