Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43

Thread: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

  1. #1
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    i have owned this 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina since may or june of 1973, i was 17 years old then, paid $150.00 of my own money, this was my second car in my high school years, dad had bought me my first car, a 1962 chevy impala sport sedan (four door hardtop) 235 chevy 6 and powerglide trans, it lasted 6 months and 10,000 miles when the headgasket failed. dad sold it before i had the money saved to repair it. anyway, back to the custom catalina. i got the 1950's oldsmobile wheels back from being sandblasted and powdercoated, and i had the front brake drums done also, but in glossy black. the wheel's color matched the laurel green color of the catalina's roof. the wire wheel hubcaps i'm using are 1953 olds optional wire wheel hubcaps that i modified the centers so that i could install the 1953 pontiac rear fender indian chief emblems to match those on the catalina's rear fenders. my car is going through some major changes, but i like to make it appear that these changes looks like the factory did it. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	powder coated wheels 001.JPG 
Views:	153 
Size:	1.21 MB 
ID:	156650   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	powder coated wheels 002.JPG 
Views:	248 
Size:	1.21 MB 
ID:	156651   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	powder coated wheels 003.JPG 
Views:	137 
Size:	1.13 MB 
ID:	156652   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	powder coated wheels 005.JPG 
Views:	179 
Size:	1.19 MB 
ID:	156653  

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Atchison, KS
    Posts
    231

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    Looking good Charles. Can't wait to see the rest of the car. 40 years of ownership - wow. That alone, is an accomplishment! Many of us wish we could say the same about that special car we had in our teens. Keep up the good work and bring on the pictures!
    Thanks,
    Chuck

  3. #3
    Senior Member GaWajn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New-Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    267

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    A very tasteful mod if I do say so myself! Keep us posted.
    1952 Pontiac Catalina (In Restoration)

  4. #4
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    here are some of the rare 1954 pontiac factory air conditioning parts that i have restored, waiting to be transplanted into my 1953 custom catalina, so far, the only parts that are not original parts are the evaporator assembly - duplicated for me by classic auto air in florida, and the condenser, which is a modern style condenser. the bottom side of the air tubes that mount up under the right front inner fender still have some undercoating that was applied many years ago. the large sized blower motor has been changed to a nos 12 volt motor, and a nos squirrel cage fan was installed, both by me. in the third picture you can see the original metal air filter, that i had replated. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1954 pontiac ac inner fender parts 011.JPG 
Views:	48 
Size:	1.20 MB 
ID:	156946   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1954 pontiac ac inner fender parts 010.JPG 
Views:	51 
Size:	1.23 MB 
ID:	156947   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1954 pontiac ac inner fender parts 001.JPG 
Views:	47 
Size:	1.06 MB 
ID:	156948   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1954 pontiac ac inner fender parts 009.JPG 
Views:	55 
Size:	1.21 MB 
ID:	156949   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1954 pontiac ac inner fender parts 003.JPG 
Views:	56 
Size:	1.18 MB 
ID:	156950  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1954 pontiac ac inner fender parts 002.JPG 
Views:	50 
Size:	1.11 MB 
ID:	156951  
    Last edited by pontiac1953; October 5th, 2012 at 00:12.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    here's pictures of how my 53 catalina's dash looks with the 54 factory a/c outlets and control panel installed, you can also see the autronic eye, the magna-tray, and the nos compass on my dash as well. the nos oversized rear view mirror is 20% larger than the standard size mirror. i plan on removing the inside visors to make room for the nos tinted see-thru visors that i have. the nos factory foglight switch is installed. there's the traffic light viewer there too.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	rear ac pictures 006.JPG 
Views:	95 
Size:	1.22 MB 
ID:	156955   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	rear ac pictures 007.JPG 
Views:	107 
Size:	1.14 MB 
ID:	156956   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	rear ac pictures 008.JPG 
Views:	91 
Size:	1.18 MB 
ID:	156957   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	donnie 008.JPG 
Views:	83 
Size:	1.19 MB 
ID:	156958  

  6. #6
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    here are two used 1953 pontiac trunk handles, both with nos pontiac lucite trunk handle emblems. the one in front was just put together after buying both pieces on ebay, the other handle in the rear was also put together years ago by me, after buying both pieces of it too. both potmetal handles are in need of chrome replating. charles coker.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	two trunk handles with nos emblems 001.JPG 
Views:	548 
Size:	1.16 MB 
ID:	158406   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	two trunk handles with nos emblems 003.JPG 
Views:	466 
Size:	1.13 MB 
ID:	158405  

  7. #7
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    hi, today before the weather turned to wind and rain, i went out to the garage, cleaned the front wheel bearing parts, repacked the inner and outer wheel bearings with new high temp wheel bearing grease, got the right side back together, need to pick up some more cotter pins.

  8. #8
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    hi, i mailed off an nos 1953-54 pontiac optional exhaust extension to a lucky buyer, i went on ebay, and bought a 20 amp 12 to 6 volt reducer for my 53-54 nos pontiac chieftain seven tube radio and power supply to operate on, and i bought a neat little voltage reducer for the 6 volt gas gauge to operate with. i had a reproduction rubber bellow that stood straight up, but i needed it to be about 45 degrees, so i cut a slight wedge of rubber out of the base of it, and glued it back together, i think it will be good now to use.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0001.JPG 
Views:	114 
Size:	1.19 MB 
ID:	159211  

  9. #9
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    hi, with a 1955 pontiac 287 strato-streak V8 engine and dual range hydra-matic going into my car, and having two air conditioning units, i felt it was needed to change the electrical from six to twelve volts, the only items that will stay six volts are the 53-54 nos pontiac radio and the 53-54 nos pontiac clock. i bought off of ebay, a 20 amp 12 to 6 volt voltage reducer for the radio, and a smaller reducer for the clock.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    hi, i went today, and decided to buy a new 9X12 storage shed to clear out the two car garage, so i can have much needed room to work on my 53 custom catalina. i'll be building the shelves inside the shed to store everything needed. i'm glad that i can set the storage shed right next to the side of the garage.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    today the 9X12 shed arrived, so i'll start measuring to build 2x4 frame work for the shelves i'm going to build inside the shed. also looked over my 53-54 nos pontiac radio and power supply, here's some pictures of the radio.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nos 53-54 pontiac radio 006.JPG 
Views:	141 
Size:	1.11 MB 
ID:	160757   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nos 53-54 pontiac radio 005.JPG 
Views:	105 
Size:	1.15 MB 
ID:	160758   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nos 53-54 pontiac radio 004.JPG 
Views:	109 
Size:	1.06 MB 
ID:	160759   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nos 53-54 pontiac radio 002.JPG 
Views:	122 
Size:	1.14 MB 
ID:	160760   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	nos 53-54 pontiac radio 001.JPG 
Views:	87 
Size:	1.13 MB 
ID:	160761  


  12. #12
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    here's a speedometer and gauges cluster that i put together, 53 custom catalina's had a laurel green painted speedo bezel where as all the other 53 pontiac models had black paint on the bezel, i had a nos 53-54 pontiac speedo dial face, nos amp gauge, the fuel gauge is a 55 pontiac 12 volt fuel gauge with a 53-54 fuel gauge face, put together for me by fellow old pontiac nut and aaca member mike smith of wetumpka, al. thank you mike. i also had a nos 54 pontiac with a/c water temp & oil pressure gauge, the a/c water temp gauge were caliberated to show a slightly higher operating tempature as being normal. this assembly will replace my original speedo cluster, but the mileage shown on the odometer is almost the same.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	restored 53 custom catalina speedo cluster 002.JPG 
Views:	52 
Size:	1.21 MB 
ID:	160765   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	restored 53 custom catalina speedo cluster 001.JPG 
Views:	59 
Size:	1.21 MB 
ID:	160766  

  13. #13
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    today i got two of my four bf goodrich silvertown tires transfer from the pontiac wheels to the powder coated olds wheels.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wheels, tires, and wires coming together 002.JPG 
Views:	631 
Size:	1.20 MB 
ID:	160775  

  14. #14
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    today i got the rear two tires taken off the pontiac wheels and remounted on the powdercoated olds 15x6 wheels, got a workout pushing my 53 custom catalina back into the garage, whew !.

  15. #15
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    since my 53 custom catalina was built new with the optional continental kit, i decided to buy a nos pair of the longer 1954 starchief lower rear fender stone shield extensions, one picture shows the difference between the two.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pontiac 54 mouldings 099.JPG 
Views:	414 
Size:	1.10 MB 
ID:	162934   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	pontiac 54 mouldings 098.JPG 
Views:	454 
Size:	1.11 MB 
ID:	162935  

  16. #16
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    here are some better pictures of the 53 chieftain custom catalina's dash with the 54 pontiac factory air conditioning installed, i did all the work myself, installing all the options and accessories you see in the pictures.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	53 2537sd with factory ac 009.JPG 
Views:	90 
Size:	1.07 MB 
ID:	163081   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	53 2537sd with factory ac 010.JPG 
Views:	77 
Size:	1.09 MB 
ID:	163082   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	53 2537sd with factory ac 003.JPG 
Views:	77 
Size:	1.08 MB 
ID:	163083   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	53 2537sd with factory ac 002.JPG 
Views:	89 
Size:	1.12 MB 
ID:	163084  

  17. #17
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    the december/2012 issue of the pontiac oakland club international's magazine smoke signal feature a pontiac air conditioning history article written by me, and the smoke signal editor, don keefe, used two of the four pictures above to show my car with the 54 pontiac a/c dash pieces installed.

  18. #18

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    Hi Guy,
    I'm really enjoying your updates here. You have great skills on making those things look correct.

    Say, I want to thank you again for all your wonderful help while restoring the 1954 Delphi Air Conditioned Starchief.
    You are the man!
    Also a great knowledgeable source for anyone in the old car hobby. Your wealth of information is terrific.

    Regards,
    Dave R
    >>

  19. #19
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    thank you dave, the delphi 54 pontiac starchief factory a/c restoration was so much fun to be involved in. i am honored to have been a part of it. now that the car is done and on display at delphi's lockport, ny headquarters, the friendship between you and i goes on. it was here on the aaca forum where you learned about me, and got in touch with me for help. i hope soon you'll find a 54 pontiac starchief custom catalina to call your own. again i was glad to have been helpful with the restoration, and i am forever thankful for your friendship. charles l. coker, 1953 pontiac technical advisor.

  20. #20
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    as some of you may know, i'm an over the road truckdriver, next month makes 15 years, i have driven the semi in and out of 46 of the 48 states, montana and north dakota are left, i've been to libby, montana by car to see my sister. this morning, i delivered a load of milk & butter in carlisle, pa. what lousey timing, there's no swap meet for me to go see, lol. at home waiting for me to add to the collection of nos parts for my 1953 custom catalina project, is a nos 1955 12volt delco-remy horn relay and a nos 53-54 pontiac chrome plated dash face plate for the dash between the speedo and the front speaker. i'm hoping the dispatchers can get me a new load today so i can make it home in time for christmas, merry christmas to all here in the restoration forum. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.

  21. #21
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    hi, i got three more goodies off of ebay, and they were waiting for me when i got home today. a thick paper sleeve that the factory slip over the driver visor, with "how to operate and enjoy pontiac's dual range hydra-matic drive", the other side has information for push starting the car, towing the car, hydra-matic fluid, use premium fuel with the high compression head, and tire sizes, pressure, rotating tires for longer tire life. 2nd goody is a nos 53-55 delco remy 12volt horn relay, and the 3rd goody is a nos 53-54 pontiac chrome plated dash face plate. the visor paper sleeve will be a nice touch to display when showing the car. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	three more pontiac goodies 030.JPG 
Views:	79 
Size:	1.18 MB 
ID:	169664   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	three more pontiac goodies 027.JPG 
Views:	71 
Size:	1.20 MB 
ID:	169663   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	three more pontiac goodies 028.JPG 
Views:	55 
Size:	1.20 MB 
ID:	169666   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	three more pontiac goodies 029.JPG 
Views:	65 
Size:	1.13 MB 
ID:	169665  

  22. #22
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    i brought in from the garage, the nos 1953-54 pontiac power antenna to compare the nos motor with a used motor that was partly disassembled. over the years of bidding on ebay, i had gathered the nos power antenna switch, the wire harness, the fender mounting chrome bezel, and from aaca member j. mike smith, i got the nos power antenna motor and mast assembly. since i had it inside the house today (it was real cold outside today) i applied chrome polish to the fender bezel, the chrome nut, and to the antenna mast. i'm waiting to hear back from tucson packard - expert power antenna restoration shop, to hear if a 54-56 buick 12volt motor will interchange. if not, i'll have to get another heavy duty 12 to 6 voltage reducer so the nos pontiac motor doesn't get hurt. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	006.JPG 
Views:	327 
Size:	1.19 MB 
ID:	170136   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	007.JPG 
Views:	373 
Size:	1.12 MB 
ID:	170135   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	008.JPG 
Views:	175 
Size:	1.12 MB 
ID:	170134  
    Last edited by pontiac1953; December 29th, 2012 at 20:13. Reason: correction

  23. #23
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    here's a very hard little pontiac accessory to find, when new, it was the lowest price accessory, customer paid $1.70 for one of these. please don't ask me what i paid for it in 2012. my wife swears that nothing will ever hang on it, lol.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0009.JPG 
Views:	47 
Size:	989.9 KB 
ID:	170395   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0008.JPG 
Views:	54 
Size:	1.06 MB 
ID:	170396   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0007.JPG 
Views:	76 
Size:	1.11 MB 
ID:	170397   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0006.JPG 
Views:	56 
Size:	1.12 MB 
ID:	170398   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PICT0005.JPG 
Views:	49 
Size:	1.10 MB 
ID:	170399  


  24. #24
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    2,034

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    CHARLES, great thread. I love the work you're doing to build this car your own way. Nothing will look hacked or jerry-rigged, which will be a real puzzler for Pontiac experts.

    Notice how the purse hanger was meant to be installed on the passenger's side. Of course, hubby will do the driving...
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  25. #25
    Senior Member pontiac1953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    1,287

    Re: 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina restoration project, progress one piece at a time.

    thanks rob, i see that you have owned your roadmaster longer than i have owned my custom catalina, you have me beat by about four months, lol. the catalina instruction for the purse holder mention the driver's door too. happy new years rob, charles.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. 1953 Pontiac Chieftain won't start
    By GRA3377 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: April 17th, 2013, 13:44
  2. Restoration Progress on Project 65 Riv GS
    By Rob J in forum Buick Riviera - Riviera Owners Association
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: May 31st, 2011, 14:23
  3. FS: 1957 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina
    By 1957olds in forum Buy/Sell
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: September 23rd, 2008, 20:37

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •