1957 Pontiac Hidden In A Barn For 50 Years Is An Original Survivor With A Rare Option


Initially used to describe rare and valuable classic cars found in derelict condition, the term “barn find” is now more loosely applied to all sorts of vehicles that sat for as little as ten years. It’s not necessarily wrong, but it dilutes the whole thing. Because let’s face it, a 1955 Chevrolet Tri-Five is no match for a 1931 Duesenberg Model J in terms of rarity and value.

On the other hand, whether it’s a 1950s Ferrari or an AMC Gremlin, every single historic car that spent decades in a barn, shed, or carport is eligible to be included in this category. However, not all barn finds that appear commonplace at first glance are in fact uninteresting and worthless. The ideal example is this 1957 Pontiac Star Chief.

Initially introduced in 1954, the Star Chief arrived as a pricier version of the Chieftain. Slotted right below the Catalina, it used the same A-body platform as the Chieftain but sported a longer wheelbase for enhanced comfort. The second-gen version (1955-1957) was Pontiac’s take on the Tri-Five-based Chevrolet Bel Air (but limited to V8 power).

The Star Chief was nowhere near as popular as the Bel Air. In 1955, for instance, Chevrolet delivered more than 800,000 Bel Airs (all body styles), whereas Pontiac sold only 203,404 Star Chiefs. The gap remained similar through 1957 when both nameplates were redesigned. But that’s not to say that the second-gen Star Chief is a rare classic.

Sure, a number of them were scrapped or sent to the crusher before 2023, but 433,941 vehicles is a lot of automobiles for three model years. Between 1955 and 1957, so many Star Chiefs were constructed. One of the 103,212 four-door sedans sold in 1957 is the one you can see here. The catch is that this Star Chief is a Custom Sedan, which is significantly less common than two- and four-door Hardtop variants.

While the four-door Hardtop was the most popular iteration at 44,283 units made, the Custom Sedan didn’t draw as many customers into showrooms. This body style moved only 8,874 units, which is less than nine percent of total Staf Chief production in 1957. Sure, it’s nowhere near as rare as the Bonneville Convertible, built in 630 units, but you’d have to be very lucky to see a four-door post car in the metal nowadays.


And that’s not the only spectacular thing about this 1957 Star Chief. You’re also looking at an all-original survivor put back on the road after several decades in storage. Specifically, this Poncho was parked in a barn sometime in the 1970s and spent about 50 years on cement blocks and covered in dirt. And yes, it’s a low mileage example, too, with the odo showing only 16,478 miles (26,519 km) as of this writing.

And check out that gorgeous shade of green, the kind you don’t see on American production cars nowadays. It’s called Limefire Green Metallic, and it was exclusive to the 1957 model year. Making things even better, the interior is the same color, including white accents matching the roof and the side trim.

The owner shares that he spent a couple of years putting it together again. But while he had to fetch a few replacement parts, he had only one rust hole to sort out. And that’s mighty surprising for a car that sat for 50 years in Indiana.

The Poncho isn’t quite finished yet. This Star Chief is especially unusual than the typical four-door sedan because the rear bumper is still missing, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. This is as a result of the hauler having a continental kit specified by the original owner. If this feature is new to you, it consists of an extended rear bumper with a spare tire to provide the trunk more space. Although the number of Star Chiefs purchased with continental kits is unknown, it is most likely less than 500 vehicles for the 1957 model year.

Add in the fact that the original 347-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8 is still under the hood, and you’re looking at a fine piece of Pontiac history. One that’s highly original and an authentic barn find.