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1954 Pontiac Laurentian


deac
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I am selling this car for a friend:

 

Billed as the top of the line Canadian Pontiac in 1954. The car brought to the states a few years back. This car drives very nice; powered by the original Pontiac 6 cylinder with a manual 3 spd transmission.  Car was resprayed in the original colors making for an above average driver. The interior is in good condition but does have a small rip on the driver's seat back. The owner repaired an exhaust leak, rebuilt the carburetor, replaced the clutch and front springs.  The car has been in a few movies in the recent past. $19,900 obo

 

Chris

(818) 404-9417
 

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Edited by deac (see edit history)
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Yes it is a sharp car. The paint is quite lustrous with very few imperfections. The chrome is very nice shape.  I have driven this car a couple times and was impressed with the way it goes down the road.  It will do well at a cars & coffee event or a local car show.  Owner says that he wouldn't hesitate driving this car back east and I believe him.  Him and I share the same building where we work on these old cars so I know the car pretty well.

 

Chris

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If I am not mistaken, only the engine is Pontiac. I suspect you will find a Chevrolet 3 speed (or Powerglide if it were an automatic), and a Chevrolet torque tube. Someone will know for sure. US Pontiacs of this age had Buick-related 3 speeds, Hydramatics, and open drivelines.

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2 hours ago, Dosmo said:

I’m very curious regarding how this car, which seems like a Chevrolet with a Pontiac drivetrain, performs as compared to the same car with a Chevrolet drivetrain.

 

Anyone care to opine on the subject?

These were built in Oshawa Ontario. The same as the Chevrolet Bel Air. The Chevy got the 235 OHV engine in 54. The Canadian Pontiac got the flathead 239 engine.  I know they both had torque tube driveshafts. No idea which was the better performer but the Pontiac had more trim.

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I still dream of owning a Canadian car someday. Wouldn't have to be a Pontiac like this, but this one is very pretty. When I look at this car, I see how good the styling of the '53-'54 USA Chevy could've been (no offense to Chevy owners..I love those cars too, they just needed trim that was a little more flowing.)

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11 hours ago, JamesR said:

I still dream of owning a Canadian car someday. Wouldn't have to be a Pontiac like this, but this one is very pretty. When I look at this car, I see how good the styling of the '53-'54 USA Chevy could've been (no offense to Chevy owners..I love those cars too, they just needed trim that was a little more flowing.)

Come on up there's still a few decent Canadian Pontiac's, Meteor's and Plodge's ( Dodge with Plymouth sheetmetal built in Windsor Ontario)

The Canada only Meteor's were built at the Oakville Ford plant.

 With the Canuck buck at .78 cents USA dollar there's deals to be had.

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Difference in the wheelbases of the Chevrolet versus the Pontiac:

 

1954 Chevrolet                    115"

 

1954 Pontiac Chieftain        120"

 

1954 Pontiac Star Chief      122"

 

And, that difference shows in the photos posted by 58Y-L8.  In this particular case, I think the orange-toned Pontiac is a Star Chief, as denoted by the 3 little "stars" just below the small kickup at the end of the quarter panel.  The Star Chief was a new model introduced for 1954, and one of the key features was the 2" longer wheelbase.  It does indeed make a difference in the overall proportions.

 

Here is a comparison of the blue & white Canadian Pontiac Laurentian with the 115" wheelbase versus a 1954 U.S. Chieftain with the 120" wheelbase.  Note the difference in length between the bottom of the front fender and the driver's door.

 

Even a difference of 5" in the wheelbase is quite noticeable.

 

 

 

 

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1954-pontiac-chieftain-custom-catalina-side.jpg

Edited by Dosmo (see edit history)
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Minor correction, from the Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975, Edited by John Gunnell:
Nameplate..................wheelbase....OAL (Overall Length)
1954 Chevrolet.................115"............196-7/16"
1954 Pontiac Chieftain....122"............202-11/16"
1954 Pontiac Star Chief...124"............213.7"


This is a good point to examine one of Harley Earl's latest, clever marketing ploys to sell more GM cars at higher price points i.e., the extended deck models and series.   It was completely based on how the body was mounted relative to the chassis.  To understand this, the X, Y, Z zero datum was Y, Z parallel to the firewall frontside, X parallel to the centerline of the chassis.  All layout mounting dimensions were from the zero datum.


The forward dimension was from the zero datum to the front axle line.  Accommodating engine length or portions thereof were allotted dependent upon engine to be installed.    Rearward were the hard dimensions of the Fisher body series to be shared, in this case, the A-Body.  From that, this section of wheelbase dimension, including wheel clearances etc. were added.   An overarching consideration was the price segment in which the make is sold.


Comparing the dimensions, the Chieftain gain seven more inches of front-axle-to-dash to accommodate the straight-eight, but overall length was six inches greater than the Chevrolet. That inch likely was in bumper/guards shape and mounting.  We can conclude all body dimension rearward of the zero datum are generally identical.


Harley Earl understood the American car buying mindset of the time was 'bigger was better' and impressive length sold cars.  Placing the proportional emphasis on the rear was just as effective in creating a more desirable, upscale model.   As he had done first for the '48 Cadillac 60 Special and follow-on Coupe de Ville and 62 convertibles, then extending the same treatment to the OB-Body '52 Olds 98, the '54 Pontiac Star Chief was created by the same method.   


The two-inch longer wheelbase was added rearward, the longer quarter panels can be seen on the sedan in the wider dogleg between the rear door edge and the fender skirt.   It's less apparent on the Star Chief Catalina and convertible though the long deck is obvious.    Since both the Chieftain and Star Chief are dimensionally identical through the passenger compartment, where was all that addition eleven inches of length? The extended deck/trunk, ideal to promote for family motor trips luggage capacity.


How well did this program work?  While the demand for the six-cylinder model waned, only 7.8%, the Star Chief amounted to 55% of total 1954 sales.   Even better the Star Chief was priced 8-10% over the Chieftain Eights.   This layout and marketing method continued into the Catalina/Bonneville era, contributed to the market domination GM achieved.


Make an astute observation...Get a dissertation...
Steve
 

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  • 1 month later...

So I ended putting this car on Bring a Trailer and it sold $15,250. Though that price was respectable it wasn't what I originally thought it would bring.  I don't post this comment to brag, rather to let you guys know what happened.  The comments on BaT were mixed from being a very pretty car to a unicorn; LOL

 

It took a few weeks for BaT to get the car into the 7 day auction; it's a process!  It ended with two buyers in a bidding war which yielded approximately the last $5000 of the eventual selling price. 

 

It's very interesting to me the way the final bidding process works on Bat. If the bids are being posted and the auction end time is met each bid will reset the end time by 2 minutes.  My auction ended at  1:54 and the 2 bidders weren't done bidding and a bid was placed at 1:53 that bid would reset the clock back 2 minutes to allow the other bidder to counter.  So even though the original end time was 1:54, my auction didn't actually end until a few minutes after 2:00.  That eliminates stealing the auction by a last minute bid by a bidder who used an app to snipe the bid.

 

Though it was a lengthy process, it was a pretty cool experience!

Edited by deac (see edit history)
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