1950 Pontiac Chieftain De Luxe Convertible - “star” of movie “Pontiac Moon”

Price: - Item location: Santa Monica, California, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Chieftain De Luxe
  • SubModel: Convertible
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: Convertible
  • Year: 1950
  • Mileage: 99,796
  • VIN: P8TH119299
  • Color: San Pedro Ivory
  • Engine size: Straight eight
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Tan/Brown
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1950 Pontiac Chieftain De Luxe Convertible

Up for auction is this stunning example of mid-century automobile design. I acquired this gorgeous convertible at auction twenty years ago and it’s been garage-kept under a car cover ever since. Aside from the striking design, a main feature of this car is that it was the “star” of “Pontiac Moon”, a motion picture featuring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen (not a particularly great movie, but very cool to see the “old chief” tooling around the desert against beautiful backdrops).

Because of its historical status as a starring picture vehicle, I decided not to restore it. Hence, the condition that it’s in is almost exactly as it was in the movie. Obviously I had to have some mechanical work done, but just enough to keep it running smoothly and safe (list of repairs and modifications below).

While no expert in vintage cars, I’ve heard you could call this vehicle a “driver” or a “fifteen to twenty-footer”. Mechanically it runs very well, just needing the occasional tune-up. Electrically, all the important lights work (headlights, turn signals, brakes, etc). From a pretty close distance (as you can see by the un-retouched photos and soon to be posted video) the car is a head-turner, stopping people in their tracks. Upon a close critical inspection, you can see where there are some small dings, some paint chipped off here and there, and some work that was done by the studio (a little modification above the trunk lock, some kind of welding done on the front bumper).

Upon close inspection, you can also see that the carpets are soiled in places and that the vinyl upholstery doesn’t match. Things like that (again, I wanted to preserve the “stock” nature of this star car).

Vin: - P8TH119299

• Style No.: 50 2567 DX

• Body No.: L18731

• Engine: Straight eight

• Trim: Convertible

• Paint: 5007

• Shipping weight: 3704

ENGINE: Eight Cylinder: L-head. Cast iron block. Displacement: 268.2 cid. Bore and stroke: 3-3/8 x 3 3/4" inches. Compression ratio: (standard); 6.5:1 (optional) 7.5:1. Brake hp: (standard) 108 at 3600 rpm (optional) 113 at 3600 rpm. Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetor: Carter WCD-719-S two barrel.

CHASSIS FEATURES: Wheelbase: 120 inches all lines. Overall length (all cars) 202- ½ inches. Front tread: 58 inches. Rear tread: 59 inches. Tires: (standard) 7.10 x 15 (special equipment) 7.60 x 15. Tube type.

Also included: A very thick “Pontiac Maintenance Manual 1950”, a full color fold-out brochure with beautiful illustrations entitled “Dollar for Dollar, you can’t beat a ’50 Pontiac”, a paint chip card showing original colors, PR stills from the movie, and a Pontiac Moon color poster (27”x39”).

Here are the disclaimers and the “issues”:

A main issue is probably the convertible top. While the top itself is in very good to very fine condition, the hydraulic mechanism doesn’t work and you have to close (and open) the top by hand (was never a big deal for me as I almost always kept the top down). In addition, the window needs a new zipper. As well, the tonneau (?) cover needs to be replaced.

Here are the other main issues: the radio and clock do not work (I’ll include a replacement radio I bought, but never installed. Think I have a spare clock too). The antenna has broken off. The sun visors need replacing. The hood lock is missing (the hood stays tightly closed though, due to its weight). While most of the gauges work, the odometer has been stuck since I acquired the vehicle, and it was sold as “TMU” (true mileage unknown). Probably had something to do with the storyline of the movie, which has the odometer click over to something like 287,000 miles (you have to watch the movie to get that part). The heating system in the dash doesn’t work, but there are manual controls that produce heat from under the seat.

Possibly the biggest issue is that the doors don’t close all the way. They latch shut, but just don’t close all the way (see photos). It’s not a safety issue, but you have to “baby” the doors to get them to open from the inside.

That’s about it in terms of issues. In terms of repairs and maintenance I’ve had done over the years, that includes an entirely rebuilt brake system, new wide whitewall tires (spare is included in trunk) wiring and fixing some of the gauges, new or refurbished radiator, new leaf springs, new (or flushed out) gas tank, new rear view mirror, new muffler, rebuilt starter, yearly tune-ups—those types of repairs and maintenance.

More photos and video to be added.

On May-29-16 at 15:04:31 PDT, seller added the following information: