We got distracted this weekend--1958 Pontiac

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pvfjr

Active member
Oct 4, 2019
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Aumsville OR
We were supposed to finish the second half of the floor in the GMC, but instead, I found this baby out in the desert and dragged it home. The wife has been wanting to fix up a classic car since forever. Of course, everyone loves Bel Airs, but they're always too expensive or too far gone with our budget. She also likes 69 Camaros and 60's Corvettes, but those obviously won't come cheap, nor will they fit the kids. I also tend to lean toward the choices that are a bit less cliche anyway, so I wanted something a bit less popular.

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This 1958 Pontiac Star Chief popped up on Facebook Marketplace, and after some discussion, seemed to fit the bill pretty well. We're very excited about it. It's all original on the inside, and absolutely complete (minus one wiper arm--I have two driver's side arms for some reason). There is relatively little rust repair to do, and the windshield is the only glass that needs replaced.

After giving the starter/solenoid a light rebuild and getting its one-way clutch to work again, replacing some wires, priming the oil pump, etc, I got it to fire up for the first time since 1993 off of starting fluid. The motor isn't junk, which is great news.

We're still not sure what engine is in it. We know it's not the original 370 due to casting numbers. It's probably a 61-62 389, but we actually can't rule out the 421 quite yet. The radiator and brake reservoir were surprisingly still full of fluid, so we'll probably be doing a lap around the block before too long.

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JSanford

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Oct 4, 2019
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Sacramento, CA
Sweet, if you are going to have a sedan at least its a hard top! I love GM '58s, Harley Earl's last stand. I had a '58 Olds long ago, jukebox on wheels.
 
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Matt Colie

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Oct 25, 2019
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Paul,
I have owned several vehicles of that period. Most I managed to convert to a dual master cylinder. On my '65 Gladiator this was an important upgrade.
Oh, and good finding anybody to service that generator. The youngest is in a retirement home.....
Matt
 

pvfjr

Active member
Oct 4, 2019
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Aumsville OR
Paul,
I have owned several vehicles of that period. Most I managed to convert to a dual master cylinder. On my '65 Gladiator this was an important upgrade.
Oh, and good finding anybody to service that generator. The youngest is in a retirement home.....
Matt
I was glad to find this had a firewall mounted brake system for that reason. I may even go with a dual diaphragm booster since there isn't much space.

I'm not huge on generators either. I'll either service it myself or convert to an alternator. I've got the 400+ page shop manual on the way. The starter is already undergoing a rebuild, but I found its insides self explanatory. And I found a NOS drive gear and clutch for $9.95 shipped!
 

JBurt

Member
Oct 8, 2019
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Fresno. CA.
Great find. I had a 58 Belair 2dr. hardtop with a 348. Loved it. Unfortunately, it was totaled when a TR-4 lost control in the snow and center punched it head-on. Took the 348, rebuilt it with goodies and added tri-power. Put it in a 56 2-door wagon B&M Powerglide and 12 bolt. Made a nice sleeper way back in the day.
 
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pvfjr

Active member
Oct 4, 2019
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Aumsville OR
Great find. I had a 58 Belair 2dr. hardtop with a 348. Loved it. Unfortunately, it was totaled when a TR-4 lost control in the snow and center punched it head-on. Took the 348, rebuilt it with goodies and added tri-power. Put it in a 56 2-door wagon B&M Powerglide and 12 bolt. Made a nice sleeper way back in the day.
Sorry to hear about what happened with your 58, but how many Americans can say they were t-boned by a TR-4? That's gotta be a small group.

This one was supposed to have the 370, but casting numbers indicate it is either a 389 or a 421 (more likely the former). We can't pin it down for certain.