1960 Pontiac Star Chief / Specs, Photos and More

The automobile featured in this article is a good looking 1960 Pontiac Star Chief. This Pontiac model was produced from 1954 to 1966. For 1967 the Star Chief name was replaced with the Pontiac Executive.

1960 Pontiac Star Chief

1960 Pontiac Star Chief

Pontiac made several model changes for 1959 which included dropping the entry level Chieftain model and essentially renaming it the Catalina. The Catalina was the lower priced Pontiac but compared to the Chevy Impala it was a step up. The Pontiac Star Chief which had been it's top of the line model was moved down to mid line level and was really powered similarly to the lower Catalina.

In the meantime, in 1958 the Pontiac Bonneville became the top Pontiac. At that time and for years afterward, Pontiac placed their attention on the top of the line Bonneville offering the car in many more body styles than with Star Chief.

The Pontiac Star Chief

Before the Pontiac Star Chief was introduced in 1954, Pontiac models had the same wheelbase length of Chevrolets. This changed with the Star Chief's longer 123.5 inches. The new Star Chief came with only a straight eight engine. The sixes were not available on this model during 1954. One year later in 1955 the straight eight was replaced with the V-8.

pontiac star chief sedan

1960 Pontiac Star Chief Sedan

The 1960 Pontiac Star Chief

The 1960 Pontiac Star Chief was part of the fourth generation of Star Chiefs (1959-60). The 1960 Star Chief received minor changes to the body from 59. The drivetrains were the same as in 1959. The instrument panel was changed.

The Star Chiefs actually began looking quite similar to the Catalinas. The Pontiac Star Chief models for 1960 included only hardtops,four door sedans, and two door sports sedans. A lack of a convertible model didn't help sales. Pontiac also brought out the well equipped Ventura model in 1960 but it lasted for only two model years. The Pontiac Ventura was a sportier alternative to the Catalina but ended up being replaced by the Grand Prix.

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The 1954 Pontiac Star Chief

The 1957 Pontiac Star Chief

References for this article included GM/Pontiac Archives, Complete Book of Collector Cars, Pontiac Star Chief Owners Manuals.

1960 Pontiac Star Chief Specifications

Pontiac's V-8 was introduced in 1955. The engine for the 1960 Pontiac Star Chief was a 389 cubic inch V-8. This V-8 was the main Pontiac engine through 1966 and was the GTO engine through 1966.

An interesting fact regarding Pontiac is that they produced their own V-8 engines which sets it apart from other GM brands. Those Pontiacs produced for the U.S. market had Pontiac engines. Those Pontiacs produced in Canada used Chevrolet engines.

Out of all the Pontiac Star Chiefs produced for the 1960 model year, almost all were with HydraMatic transmissions. pontiac star chief model historyOnly a few hundred had synchromesh gear boxes.

Front suspension was an independent ball joint with coil springs. Rear suspension included pivoted control arms.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Dimensions for the 1950 Pontiac Star Chief Sedan included a wheelbase of 124.0 inches...an overall length of 220.7 inches...a width of 80.0 inches and a height of 56.4 inches. Weight averages 3,995 lbs.

1960 Pontiac Star Chief production totaled 43,690 vehicles. Depending on the exact model, average new car price for the 1960 Star Chief was $2,900.

The 1960 Pontiac Star Chief Collector Car

As mentioned above, the Pontiac Star Chief by the late 1950's appeared somewhat similar to the bottom of the line Catalina. It's power also was close to the Catalina's. With that being said, the heyday for the Star Chief model was probably from 1955-57. By 1960 the Pontiac Star Chief were only seen as hardtops and two and four door sedans and that lasted until the model was discontinued.

pontiac star chief specificationsThe 1960 Pontiac Star Chief four door sedan is reasonably priced for someone wishing to start a collection. Values of course are dictated by originality, overall condition, restored or not and mileage.

The range for the 60 Star Chief is now generally $10,000 to $25,000. There are exceptions to these however depending on the model. As ,mentioned above, the 1960 Pontiac Star Chief was only produced in the hardtop, four door sedan, and two door sport sedan.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

Beautiful 1957 GMC 100 Half Ton / Specs and More

The vehicle featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1957 GMC 100 Half Ton Pick Up Truck.

1957 gmc series 100 specs

1957 GMC Series 100 Pick Up

GMC Trucks

GMC as a truck brand was created out of a merger of the Reliance Motor Car Company and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company within General Motors. GMC as a brand was officially introduced in 1912 at the New York International Auto Show. 

In 1912, GM built about 20,000 trucks.  Prior to the time of unveiling the GMC brand, trucks from GM were produced by both the Reliance and the Rapid companies. By 1913 all GMC truck production was performed at the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company plant in Pontiac, Michigan. Three years later in 1916 General Motors officially created the GMC Truck Division.

GMC trucks were usually sold by GM dealerships that also offered Buick, Pontiac or Oldsmobile models. The Chevrolet truck was sold exclusively by Chevrolet dealers. While the GMC and Chevrolet trucks may at times look identical there are differences in the trucks, some significant over during the latter years.

task force gmc pick up trucksBy the second decade of the twentieth century the Chevrolet brand and the GMC brand trucks looked very similar in appearance.  During those early years Chevrolet was marketing their trucks to individuals while GMC was targeted to commercial buyers.

GMC did quite a lot of business with the military during World War Two. An interesting fact from this period is that the first HydraMatic transmission GMC vehicle was made for the military in 1944. Another fact is that GMC frames were built with heavier gauge steel than Chevy trucks.

The Task Force 1957 GMC 100 Half Ton

The 1957 GMC light duty trucks were second generation called  "Task Force" models. These replaced the "Advance Design" trucks beginning in 1955. GMC "Task Force" generation trucks offered 12 volt electrical and the first V-8.

Design changes for the 1957 model year helped give the GMC 100 a family car look while still being a tough worker of a pick up. The new 57's featured a wraparound windshield, two-tone trim and clean lines that included a flatter hood than on previous year's models. GMC 100 models were available in step-side or smooth-sided models. The "step-side has a rear fender well bulge toward the outside of the truck bed.

Options included electric windshield wipers, Hydra-Matic transmission, power steering, tinted glass and four-wheel drive.

1957 GMC Series 100 Specifications

Standard in the 57 GMC 100 was a 269 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine delivering 130 horsepower. More muscle was available. Offered as an option was a 206 HP V-8.

Gearbox was a three speed manual with an automatic available as an option.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

The 1957 GMC Series 100 has a 114.0 inch wheelbase. New base price was about $1,950.

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1957 gmc light weight truckReferences for this article included the GM and GMC archive collection. For a good deal of additional GMC Truck information along with forums check out www.gmctruckclub.com

GMC Pick Up Collector Trucks

GMC Pickups from the post World War Two era have been popular collector vehicles and some fully restored examples, like the GMC 100 featured in this article, look absolutely stunning.

For the 1957 model year GMC produced three basic light duty pick up models. These were the Series 100 half-ton models like the one in this article. The others were the Series 150 three-quarter ton and the Series 250 one-ton. Major front end design changes occurred with the 1959 models. Also, the light duty trucks all took on the name Apache beginning in 1958. Among the front end design changes for 1958 were four headlights instead of two.

gmc series 100 dashboard

57 GMC 100 dashboard

Current price ranges for the 1957 GMC Series 100 run from $10,000 to about $25,000. Exact prices will reflect overall condition, mileage and original matching parts. Highest valued Series 100 for 1957 is the Suburban Pick Up. Here you may see prices ranging from $15,000 to $45,000 plus depending on the usual factors.

Highest prices are generally for fully restored, excellent overall condition, and highly original matching part models.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

The 1948 Packard Custom Eight / Specs, Photos

The automobile featured in this article is a beautifully restored 1948 Packard Custom Eight. This story really begins when Packard first introduced it's modernized Clipper model in 1941. The U.S. entry into World War Two halted all civilian car production and Packard began again producing it's Clippers after the war coming out with a 1946 model which for obvious reasons was extremely similar to the 41 model. This styling continued with some changes until 1948 when Packard introduced the all new Custom Eight.

1948 packard custom eight specs

1948 Packard Custom Eight

The Packard Brothers

Similar to some other automobile manufacturers, the Packard brothers, James and William, initially worked on motorizing the horse carriage. Packard Motors was founded in 1899 and successfully motorized a horse carriage one year later in 1900 with a one cylinder engine. Their automobiles were originally produced in Ohio (then known as the Ohio Automobile Company) but later moved the company to Detroit. Much later in the 1950's when Packard merged with Studebaker, production was moved to South Bend, Indiana.

Packard's New Streamlined Clipper...Prelude to the Eight Series and Custom Eights

The Packard Clipper's were lower and wider than previous Packards, and had the distinction of being the first streamlined Packard.This was no little change for Packard Motors. The modernization was a necessity. This was a company that stuck solidly with tradition. Up until 1941 styling was not Packards forte. In fact styling was considered an extension of engineering and the new 1941 design was a milestone for the company. Packard really had no choice but to update their styling considering that competitors like General Motors were doing precisely that.

The 1941 Clipper design had to suffice until a re-design could be done for the 1948 model production run. New styling had to start from scratch after the war and this took a lot of time. The 1947 Packard Super Clipper Eight Club Sedan (top of the line at the time) was built on a model 2103 127" wheelbase, 7" more than the lower-priced Packards. It featured wraparound grille extension bars, upgraded wheel trim treatments, a different looking rear deck and a single level door signature script reading.

packard series eight

New rounded look for 1948

In regards to interiors, Packard had it's finest interiors in it's Custom Super Clipper models.

Wood grain was used on the upper and lower portions of the dashboard and on window moldings. The Super Clipper's headliner was woolen and the seams ran front to back. This way of running the seams had the effect of making the interior seem longer.

Replacing the Clipper

The 1948 Packard Custom Eight replaced the Clipper as Packard's top of the line model.  No longer was the Packard Clipper name seen. Total restyling was done for 1948 since the Clipper had been around since 41 and required an updating. The updated model became the Custom Eight. Packard's Eight Series came as a Standard, Deluxe, Super and Custom.

Howard 'Dutch' Darrin

Bodies for the Packard Clipper were designed in a large way by Howard Darrin. As mentioned above, these Clipper automobiles were stylish for their time and were really the first modern looking Packards to hit the showrooms.

Darrin spent about forty years in the automobile business that spanned both sides of the Atlantic. Darrin had his hand in models from Renault in France to Packard and Kaiser in the U.S. One of Darrin's first efforts in the U.S.was a 1937 Packard 120 four-seat Victoria with a rear-mounted spare, designed for the film star Dick Powell.

Howard Darrin joined Packard Motors in 1935 and turned out some fine cars. His first effort with Packard, aside from the 37 Victoria mentioned above, were the popular 1940 Packard Darrins. As mentioned above, Darrin also is credited with major styling input of what became the first Packard Clipper in 1941 and of the war shortened model year of 1942 as well. When the war ended Darrin went to work for Kaiser-Frazer as a freelance consultant

1948 Packard Custom Eight Specifications

The 1948 Packard Custom eight received an in-line, 356 cubic-inch straight-eight engine. The engine was rated at 160 HP. This was Packard's largest engine and was reserved for the Custom Eight.

Transmission for the 1948 Custom Eight was a three speed column shift.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.

Suspension consisted of independent front suspension with coil springs, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs.

Wheelbase on this automobile is 127.0 inches. Curb weight is 3780 lbs.

Thed Packard Eight Series prices ranged from $3,700 for the lowest price model to about $4,900 for the Limousine model. The Custom Eight was the top of the line non-limousine and priced at about $4,200.

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References for this article include...Packard: A History of the Motor Car and the Company (Automobile Quarterly Magnificent Marque Books)...packardclub.org...packardinfo.com...

The Packard Clipper and Custom Eight Collector Cars

Immediately after the war Packard was hampered by a shortage of steel and for both the 1946 and 1947 model years the company fell short of production goals.

It's a fact that car collectors sought out these first post war models which were very similar to the 1941 and very limited production 1942 models. These post war models had low production numbers and are in good demand by Packard collectors.

1948 packard custom eight

48 Packard dashboard

When 1948 came around the first absolutely new post war design models were in dealer showrooms and the Eight Series including this Custom Eight were milestone cars for Packard and are excellent collector automobiles.

The Eight Series Packard's were really a modernized extension of the popular Clipper models. Prices will be all over the place depending on condition and degree of restoration if any, Depending on the Series Eight model you'll likely see asking prices today from the low teens for unrestored  to the $30,000-40,000 range for fully professionally restored vehicles.

Regarding the 1946 Packard Clippers, we see a Packard 7 Passenger Limousine Custom Super Clipper 8 Series with an asking price of $36,000...a 1947 Clipper Sedan in good condition for $37,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)