HomePick of the Day1951 Pontiac Chieftain (and trailer)

1951 Pontiac Chieftain (and trailer)


1951 Pontiac Chieftain convertible comes with a trailer
1951 Pontiac Chieftain convertible comes with a trailer

If $59,000 sounds like a lot to pay for a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain convertible, this Pick of the Day also comes with a 2016-model-year Hull 18-foot tilt-bed trailer with protective bulkhead, four-wheel electric brakes and a 9,000-pound load capacity.

On the other hand, $59,000 might be a bargain price for this show-stopping convertible with its straight-8 engine and automatic transmission in Butter Cream Yellow paint with a tan/brown leather interior, the interior redone just two years ago.

“I bought the car in late fall 2014 with the plan that my wife and I would enjoy cruising around in our retirement years,” the seller reports in the car’s advertisement on ClassicCars.com. “Unfortunately, my wife passed away in 2015 from cancer.

“I have toyed with the idea of doing a full RestoMod on the car to make it able to do long car club trips, etc. But I stopped the idea for two reasons: first, the car seems to be completely original and I thought it would be a shameful waste of a beautiful survivor. And second, and most importantly, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago and I am no longer able to do the mechanical work on old cars that I have enjoyed my whole life, and trailering the car and traveling to events has gotten too hard for me to handle.”

Top-down cruiser
Top-down cruiser

The seller also reports two issues: “One is brake/tail lights work intermittently, and second, the car steers heavy and if I were to keep it I’d consider adding power steering.”

Instead, the owner has decided to offer the car for sale.

It wears its original color but has been repainted once, more than 10 years ago. The seller reports the paint, chrome and glass to be in perfect condition, and that suspension was inspected and repaired and new brakes, drums, master cylinder and lines were checked or replaced last year.

The car has a 6-volt electrical system, and the generator also was rebuilt in 2016.

The convertible top powers up or down. The car has a modern radio with a vintage looking face.

The car “runs and drives great,” the seller reports, adding the odometer shows 86,000 miles.

The seller adds that the car and trailer have been stored in a heated building. The car is located in Bloomington, Minnesota.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. That is a beautiful Pontiac. I agree with the decision to keep it original. I can relate to the statement concerning the heavy steering. I remember what a task it was to parallel park my dad’s Buick, even for an 18 year old kid that was in pretty good shape. I had a 51 Chevy Hardtop with the same color combination in the 1980s.

  2. I happen to know where a 51 Pontiac 2 door hardtop is sitting in the Everglades off highway 41 between Miami and Naples. It’s been sitting there since the 60’s, but it’s nearly complete minus the radiator. Would be really cool fully restored.

  3. Thank you for keeping this beauty original! Yes, it would be a shame to hot rod something so unusual and lovely. If anyone out there might know of a Palmetto Green/dark green interior/black convertible top ’51 Pontiac convertible (no matter what the condition) I have been searching for the one my parents brought me home from the hospital in when I was born. My Dad sold the car out of Ogdensburg, WI around 1973 (?) and it went to the Wausau, WI area. It sat for a year under a tarp until it was sold to someone who had a restoration shop in the Appleton/Fox Valley area of Wisconsin, supposedly with the intent of restoring it. My trail ends there, and I have done extensive research to find the car. I even have a set of spare keys to the car, so if anyone out there has any information that might lead me to this car please contact me by leaving a message for me (Denise) with Tim Dye at the Pontiac Oakland Museum in Pontiac, IL. The car had not been licensed since 1965, I believe, and was not in running condition. It had about 90k miles on it, with a worn/dropped wrist pin (common on these cars). It also had BLACK knobs on the dash, which helps ID the car because depending on the time of production there were two types on these cars. It also had an aftermarket Fram oil filter kit on it, installed by my Dad. It had the usual rust in the rear quarters from water sitting in them like many of these did. It was no beauty queen when it was sold, but I would give anything to find it! Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. It was originally sold from an implement dealer in Waupaca, WI.


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