1956 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina

Did you hear that sigh?… that was thousands of others just like you reacting to ther first view of the breath-taking ’56 Star Chief Two-door Catalina‘ , was how this car was described in Pontiac’s sale literature for the new ’56 models.

There was new styling for ’56 including newly styled interiors, new rear fender ornaments, hood ornament, grille and bumpers. The front and rear name plates were revised too and were more script-like rather block letters. Essentially this new styling gave a fresh look to the fantastic selling 1955 cars without changing the body. The bodyside trim was placed in such a way as to emphasize the frontal length of the cars.

Star Chiefs have three stylized stars on the deck lid so are easy to spot (you can see just one here as the others are obscured by the continental kit).

1956 Pontiac Star Chief Catalina rear view
rear view
This Star Chief is presented here in a lovely paint combination of Nimbus Gray and Avalon Blue.
1956 Pontiac Star Chief interior
Seats are reupholstered in Teal Blue and White vinyl

1956 saw a new, larger engine for Pontiac car. Displacement was now 316.6 cubic inches, up from 287 cubic inches the year before. The Star Chief now had 227 horsepower – up from 180 horsepower. This could be paired, as it is here, with a Strato-Flight Hydra-Matic transmission (something else that was new that year) for a further $205.

Pontiac 316.6 cubic inch V8 engine from 1956
Pontiac 316.6 cubic inch V8

The 1956 Star Chief has a wheelbase of 124″ with an overall length of 212.6″ and is 75.1″ wide.

Sales competition for the Star Chief would have come from cars like the Dodge Custom Royal, Mercury Custom, Oldsmobile 88 and the Buick Special etc.

Pontiac built 43,392 Star Chief Custom 2-door Catalinas for the 1956 model year with a base price of $2,665.

In addition to the optional automatic transmission highlighted above, this car is also equipped with and AM radio costing $90 and power steering at $108. If you wanted power brakes that year they would have cost a further $38.

Despite the cosmetic revisions on their 1956 models, the Star Chief 2-door Catalina sold 56% less and Pontiac sales totals were around 150,000 less than the previous year.

This ’56 Pontiac Star Chief is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for more photos)

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