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New Project: 54 Pontiac Chieftain, "Viola"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Skankin' Rat Fink, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. And I'll give a sneak peek at some things I've got in the pipeline ... some of them to be finished sooner than others

    fenders.jpg fenders2.jpg door.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  2. Schnitz
    Joined: Nov 30, 2011
    Posts: 18


    Any updates?
  3. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,867


    I've got all the side trim for that car if you're interested. PM me if so.
  4. Well, there's really only one update I have to share ...

    The roof is a total loss and needs a do-over. As early as September it was starting to crack and chip. (only 2 months after spraying it)

    I blame excessive thickness in the clear ... maybe adhesion or flash times contributed too. A little expert advice couldn't hurt, if someone wants to chime in.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  5. But on the plus side .... I have been getting some driving in too

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  6. Did my tax return today ... things are looking good for a springtime engine rebuild.
  7. I went and bought a 287 out of a 55 Chieftain because it was a bargain. Supposed to be in good shape, I'll report back after I pull the heads and pan!

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  8. Madmax814
    Joined: Jan 17, 2014
    Posts: 10


    When I bought my 54 bel air hardtop project the trunk came full of different trim I know some of it is for a chieftain . Not sure which years . Hood and trunk ribs , pontiac emblem off trunk etc... If you are in need of any stainless for your project ill be happy to did through it all and see what's all in there .

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  9. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,990


    Great project! At the outset you made two very important points about successful customs: "take stuff off, don't put stuff on"; and "stance is everything". Here's one example of that philosophy applied to a car much like yours back in MY day. This car is, in my humble opinion, pure custom car elegance. Good luck with yours!

  10. The roof called for a do over ...

    1408110443469.jpg 1408110461591.jpg 1408110511218.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  11. You never can do one quick job. I pulled the windshield out to make sure I have paint on the pinch weld when I do the roof--little crack turned into huge cracks.

    One thing led to another, and the new windshield ended up being on back order. I figured now is the time to paint the dashboard!

    Pinstriping was done by Johnny A, local Long Island guy. I'm very happy with how it came out.

    1409520871153.jpg 1409520886158.jpg 1409520900677.jpg 1409520913907.jpg 1409520924899.jpg 1409520936797.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
    treb11 likes this.
  12. I have a backlog of update posts to make.

    Gold flake roof, take 2. August - October 2014





    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  13. A little more of the dash, the garage I spent the winter in .. and some of the driving I've been doing


    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  14. GMAN55
    Joined: Jul 18, 2015
    Posts: 11


    I just acme across this forum and will be following with interest.
    I have a 54 Pontiac imported fro Texas. I am in the process of doing a bit of an upgrade. Keeping the exterior as is except fro a bit of a colour change.
    the poor straight 8 had to go because to the cost and process of machining in Australia is ridiculous.
    That motor has been donated to an enthusiast who is going to get it going as a working talking piece in his workshop.
    The Pontiac from Victoria pictured at #15. I looked at this car when I was in Victoria but let it go.
    Passenger side.jpg
    Skankin' Rat Fink likes this.
  15. I like it! What engine are you planning?
  16. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438


    Great thread. I love them old Pontiacs. A thought on the roof. Did you use a primer after you brought it back to bare metal? If you just sprayed your top coat black on the bare metal that's why it flaked off.
  17. First attempt: black lacquer primer, lacquer clear with flake. It flaked off in tiger stripes, like it was laid on too thick, too fast.

    Second attempt: white epoxy primer, black enamel, blender with flake, clearcoat.
  18. This is a couple months from being on the road - '52 Chieftain Super Deluxe.
    (gave away the straight 8 to an enthusiast also) 0312151739.jpg
  19. GMAN55
    Joined: Jul 18, 2015
    Posts: 11


    To make things simple. I am going the 350 with triple 49s.
    I have bagged it also.
    Try and get power steering for the old girl here in australia or by the net. yeah right.
    Steering is now by SAAB rack and pinion.
    We think now it may have been easier on the pocket and the brain if we had either done the usual jag front end or mustang.

    Upgraded the front to discs, installed a booster where the heater radiator used to be under the front seat and modified the brake pedal.
  20. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438


    Great looking car.

    Ok I'm no help here then. I don't know squat about lacquers. Hope this time it holds up.
  21. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438


    Good looking car. What engine is that in front of it? I assume that is what you are going to use.
  22. Thanks, that's a Pontiac 350/th350 from a '70 Gran Prix.
  23. GMAN55
    Joined: Jul 18, 2015
    Posts: 11


    I am going to try a suede black on the body. A bit more gloss and depth than matt black.
    Its black already but that was a rush job from the seller. I will be putting my own mix (Australian jeep colour Mango Tango with a small amount of gold pearl added) on the roof with a bit of lace.
    I like the lace idea but trying to decide on the final layout is a bit of a challenge.
    I am also going to try and rub the chrome to give it a matt look rather than shiny (except for the bumpers)
    I was surprised to see the main man (skankin rat fink)who owns the Pontiac project car looks a hell of a lot like myself when I was younger.
    The car gives me a rough idea of what my roof will be similar to.
    The pics attached. The roof will be a similar colour to the gold and white Pontiac and the base is going to be similar to the chev

    Attached Files:

    • 2a.jpg
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    • paint2.jpg
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      250.3 KB
  24. I love that color. That's going to come out nice.
  25. Last year I made a very short post that I bought a 1955 287 V8. Since June 2015 I've been working on the engine to prepare it for a swap into my '54. Time for some pictures.

    First thing -- pull the intake, valley cover, & oil pan to clean this thing out.




    The timing chain had so much slack it was scary. Most catalogs will tell you that a 1955 timing set is out of production, but it turns out any Pontiac timing set will fit. This was replaced with a basic Cloyes timing set.


    After cleaning, I put the motor back together to run it. There is some fresh paint on the motor---I painted the valley cover and the bottom of the intake while the engine was apart.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  26. GMAN55
    Joined: Jul 18, 2015
    Posts: 11


    Looks like a nice old school motor.
    I have trimmed mine a little bit and by installing the 350 with a turbo 700 for the over ride and economical
    The old girl will look like a bit of a sleeper. the only thing to give it away will be the gold roof.
    The next surprise will be the view when they open the hood.
    It is almost ready to fire up.
    The roof colour is going to change from the practice coat.
    It will end up the same as the motor.
    How has yours ended up. IMG_0152.JPG IMG_0098.JPG IMG_0149.JPG

    Attached Files:

  27. Did an engine test run and the compression was bad on the right bank of the engine. The engine work expanded to include a valve job. More to come ...
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  28. Just saw this thread.
    No 350's in 70 Grand Prix's..400's and 455's. No T350's either..Wonder if you figured out what you've actually got there, by now.
  29. And so we dive deeper ... valve work ahead. I pulled the right-side head off that same day.



    Got some carbon in there. Who doesn't? Let's have a look at the valves ...


    A little pitted, you might say. These valves cost $16 each. To replace them all would almost cost more than the motor. I have a buddy who helps me out with valve grinding ... so I sent the heads and valves to him and hoped for the best.


    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  30. The valve man comes through. Very pleased with the results. I didn't have to replace a single valve.


    Heads went back together ...


    The straight 8 was given a proper sendoff at the annual car club party.


    And the car waits nervously.

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016

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