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Pontiac Safari

Year: 1955|Miles: 336|Ext: Bolero Red/Mist White|Int: Red/White|

In the early 1950?s Pontiac was getting desperate to find a way to spice up their rather conservative lineup and attract new buyers to their showrooms. GM?s head of design, the great Harley Earl, was called into action to freshen up Pontiac and add a bit of sporting flair to the brand. One of his ideas was to take the all new Chevy Nomad, a stylish two door sports wagon, and give it the full Pontiac treatment, moving it upmarket with sporty trim and engine options. He gave the new Safari, as it was called, an all-new front-end treatment with a big bold grille, distinct ?eyebrows? over the headlamps and a pair of broad chrome deco strips down the hood. The body sides were broken up with a bold ?hockey stick? trim that lent a distinctly sporty look. The Pontiac treatment continued under the skin as well, with an optional 287 Cubic Inch Power Pack V8 and luxurious interior with a comprehensive list of accessories and options. In spite of its beauty and punchy performance, because of the high price (the Safari was the most expensive Pontiac), only 9,094 Safaris were produced from 1955-1957 compared to over 22,000 Chevrolet Nomads over the same period. Thankfully, the rest of the Pontiac line sold well, paving the way for Pontiac?s resurgence as GM?s performance brand.

This magnificent 1955 Safari wagon is a beautifully restored, high quality example in the striking color scheme of Bolero Red with White Mist accents. One of only 3,760 Safaris built in 1955, this example features many rare and desirable options and accessories from sun visor to exhaust tip. It started life as a very solid and complete California ?black plate? car and has since been treated to a high quality restoration with invoices totaling over $75,000. Nearly all of the original metal was reused, so the body work and panel fit are exceptional, the doors giving a satisfyingly solid feel when closed. The complex tailgate assembly was restored by a specialist who only works on Nomad and Safari tailgates, thereby ensuring a precise fit. Exterior chrome and stainless trim is in very nice, restored condition. Under the hood rests a rare and highly desirable Power Pack 287 Cubic Inch V8 breathing through a 4-barrel carburetor. The engine is very pretty and well detailed with correct finishes, tags and markings. The chassis and undercarriage are also in excellent order, showing only light signs of road use (339 miles) since the restoration.

More than simply a trailer queen, the current owner commissioned some sensible upgrades to make for a better driving experience including front disc brakes to improve stopping distance and feel and seatbelts. The brakes have been discreetly installed, and cannot be seen behind the correct original steel wheels which wear proper bias-ply whitewalls and an original set of the coveted optional wire wheel covers.

The same level of quality continues inside with classic 1950?s interior. Striking red and white upholstery has been expertly trimmed and there is plenty of quality chrome, a beautifully fitted headliner and plenty of options. Even the factory accessory tissue dispenser is mounted on the passenger side. This Safari also features the new optional tinted glass all around. It is probably the very best Safari available today. Most recently in the possession of a passionate collector, it has been shown at various events including the highly competitive Radnor Hunt Concours d?Elegance and also featured on the cover of ?Smoke Signals? Magazine ? June, 2012 – still presents in fresh, beautiful condition.

  • One of only 3,760 Safaris built in 1955
  • Mint Condition
  • 287 Cubic Inch Power Pack V8