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Projects 56 Pontiac Safari Wagon.. should I?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by J.Fishbeck, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,552

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Forty years ago in my home town of Tulsa, OK, a guy drove around in a '56 Safari with "Never So Few" lettered on the rear quarter panel. It was a rare car then and even rarer now. GET IT!
     
  2. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    If the price is right.... I have some aftermarket, ebay, floor pans that i didn't use. Or I have the templates for my floor pans that I made for mine. It looks like it will be a lot of work, but the bones look good!
     
  3. robertsregal
    Joined: Oct 2, 2008
    Posts: 743

    robertsregal
    Member

    Sweet wagon- Go for it!!
     
  4. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    safari-wagon
    Member

    RustyNewYorker is right. Nothing below the beltline interchanges with the Chevy, except the Doors & Tailgate. Even the Gas Tanks were unique to the Poncho.

    Everything above the belt is Nomad.

    ANYBODY can have a Nomad, but only a few can say they have a Safari!
     
  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,056

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yuppers, the only thing that would concern me would be a realistic asking price.
    I missed buying a Nomad at a somewhat reasonable price years ago and actually like the Safari better. I still want a 57 Buick Estate wagon though as that is my favorite wagon.
     
  6. dmw56
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 709

    dmw56
    Member

    Safaris are 10X cooler than Nomads!
     
  7. Dan in Pasadena
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 862

    Dan in Pasadena
    Member

    No they're not....BUT I would totally buy this wagon and never look back.
     
  8. 77salon
    Joined: Oct 19, 2011
    Posts: 129

    77salon
    Member
    from RI

    yes they are.my dads safari's beat nomads all the time
     
  9. metalix_421
    Joined: Mar 24, 2010
    Posts: 890

    metalix_421
    Member

    go get that thing!!!!!!!!
     
  10. studhud
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,403

    studhud
    Member

    I dunno how someone could say a nomad is a better car? Seems like alot of nomads were 6 cylinder cars/safaris were 8 cylinder cars they also were appointed with more trim,and options like leather, power windows, manual or power seats, power windows and A/C they were a Cadillac and a chevy might as well be a chevette. Pontiac safaris are Awesome!
    I have a 55 now and have owned several over the years the last one I had was rusty and didnt run I got 5k for it so hope that helps.
    BTW keep the 347 motor or do a later pontiac motor for it the early v8s are OK but the 57 and up motors are killer!
    Dave Hitch
    FBBF
     
  11. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    And you're saying this is not on the trialer on the way to your garage right now?
     
  12. LabRat
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,551

    LabRat
    Member

    Where is the build thread ....




    You have already bought it , who's opinion are you worried about !
     
  13. OK, I'm back.. Thanks for all the responses! I am going to pick this up this thing up, though not literally! I only hope the other '56 engine/trans is kosher! I don't wanna rebuild it, just 'Ride-Clyde'
     
  14. No I haven't purchased it.. but a friend owns it! So I have dibs on it, tho the price could be nicer. I don't wanna talk money, but I have more time than anything!
     
  15. Congrats! I agree, hopefully the other eng/trans is good to go.
     
  16. That would definitely, be a nice change!
     
  17. LabRat
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,551

    LabRat
    Member

    I was just pokin fun ... Now seriously , go get it . I have always felt these fall into the factory custom catagory , just lower it maybe change a couple of details and cruise ...
     
  18. Hahaha.. I agree! 100%
     
  19. So what's going on with the back window??? Is the glass just busted out???
     
  20. It's actually in the garage, it was removed so the upper hatch could be fixed. Nomads/Safaris have issues with the upper hatch. The only broken glass is flat.. definitely a plus in my book!
     
  21. Oh yes.....
     

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  23. You might look at the Pontiac engine tech thread, I can't remember if the '57 intake will work on a '56 motor but if it's the 4bbl it will take an AFB or the Edelbrock repro as a bolt on, which saves you some hassle. The '56 4bbl intake is kind of wierd, I have one floating around, it only takes an early Rochester 4GC I believe. Of course, they do run good with the 2bbl, I never had any complaints with my '60's performance with one, and it got decent gas milage while I was at it.

    Bearings to rebuild either will be a little tougher; I'd try and track down a '59 389 block and build that if I had to build a motor and wanted to keep the stock mount setup. Reason being it's the same bottom end as a 400, so the parts are cheap, if you sonic check the block and take it out about .055 you can even run stock 400 pistons in it. And '59 is the last year that's drilled for the bolts on the chin type mount.

    The main journal diameter changes 2 or 3 times along with the bore between '55 and '59, which is what makes the older parts harder to find and liable to be more expensive. I'd have to go back to one of my books or the engine tech thread to be more specific, going from memory.


    If you wanted to dump the wraparound exhaust deal, a '59-'60 left manifold might help, they drop down in the middle; but with the D-port heads anything bolts up, so headers for say a late Trans Am will fit the block, and a flange to make your own should be easy to come by. Or something like a late 301 left manifold for the downsized Gran Prixs might do the job, too. The '57 heads are D-port. I can't imagine why they wouldn't be rebuildable unless they've had new valve guides installed and worn out a couple times already, or there are cracks in them (I had one once that had a crack in an exhaust seat).


    One other thing I'll throw out just for the heck of it... I parted out a rough '56 Safari years ago and the grille bar had some teeth on it... they turned out to be '60 Chevy rear bumper accessory guards... fit it just about perfect. Just have to not be afraid to drill holes in the grille bar to mount them -
     
  24. xlr8er
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 136

    xlr8er
    Member

    A friend of mine bought a 56 Safari from another guy I know. Really neat car. That car gets more attention than his 69 GTO Judge!! EVERYONE asks questions about that car when it's out. He just got a surf board for it and I cant wait to see it mounted inside!! Go buy this car!!! Best of luck!!
     
  25. jbh
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 114

    jbh
    Member

    Safaris are cool cars. This 55 just left Delaware for it's new life in TENN yesterday. Do like my Nomad better. Jay
     

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  26. Inmate85031
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 35

    Inmate85031
    Member

    Great find! Hope you're going to keep us updated on the build / rebuild.

    Newbe question: Where did the term "Poncho" come from?
     
  27. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,152

    Bigchuck
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    Great find. Don't sweat the bad engine. Building an engine is a walk in the park compared to sheet metal /body work.
     
  28. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,053

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I was watching "100 years of Chevrolet" on cable the other night, and I almost choked when some gal was pointing at her Nomad and said, "This is the only station wagon ever built with thos strips on the tailgate!"
    Guess she'd never seen a Safari Wagon!
     
  29. You've been a wealth of info.. Thank you, for that! I appreciate it

    Yeah, it's time to save it!

    Looks like another solid Safari

    Poncho? IDK where that came from actually

    I agree!

    I saw that 100 Years.. A lot dumb things were said! A 55 was refered to as a 56- or vice versa. Great show, though! The 59 El Camino segment was great, but too short!
     

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