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.
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.
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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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.
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.
The 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)