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Lot 95
1956 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Convertible

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CHASSIS NO: K856H11604

• Multiple award-winning car including SEMA, Autorama and Goodguys
• 'The Chief': One-of-a-kind build from Customs by Kilkeary
• High performance 418 cubic-inch V-8
• Award winning paint, stunning design


Chevrolet Performance 418 cid V-8 with Whipple supercharger rated at 853 HP, TCI 4L80E six-speed automatic transmission, front and rear air bag suspension, four-wheel power disc brakes; wheelbase: 124”


As the airplane made the transition from propeller to jet power the effect was not lost on Detroit’s car builders. Smooth and sleek styling cues from jets like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and the North American F-86 Sabre pointed the way for the American automobile. Never was this more so demonstrated than with Pontiac in 1956. Pontiac’s cars were low, long, and sleek with a hood ornament that pointed the way to the future. Even the name Star Chief told the world that Pontiac was going to higher places.

Offered here is a modern interpretation of Pontiac’s Star Chief for 1956 that has taken Detroit’s design to the next level and beyond. Built by Customs by Kilkeary this amazing work of art has been recognized for its outstanding design and craftsmanship as a 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders Top 10 finalist. It also received the 2018 SEMA AccuAir "Best of SEMA" Award, the 2018 SEMA Goodguys Gold Award, the 2018 Detroit Autorama Best Custom, the 2019 Goodguys "Custom Rod of the Year" finalist, the 2019 Goodguys Nationals "Builders Choice," and the 2019 Goodguys Nashville "Builders Choice." All these awards can’t begin to do justice to this Pontiac that not only represents the best from Kilkeary’s fine craftsmen but is also a superbly engineered car with great care and detail taken in its mechanical build.

“The Chief,” as it’s known, started with a one-off Roadster Shop custom fabricated chassis complete with front suspension modeled from the C6 Corvette and Wilwood Aerolite 6R 15-inch disc brakes with vented rotors. At the rear, stopping power comes from Wilwood 14-inch disc brakes. Suspension and ride height are controlled through airbag springs and the Chief rides on Toyo Proxes tires with Evod custom wheels. Finished in a custom mixed BASF 90 Line Carizzma Navy Blue with a convertible top that was custom dyed to match the paint, this classic cruiser from the 1950s is a perfect restomod that still carries all the chromium laden styling for which GM was known. The emblems were shaved and front fenders reshaped to accept one-off machined headlight bezels. Both front and rear bumpers were tucked, and a custom-made rear bumper was fabricated. Its huge wraparound front bumper exhibits a commanding presence up front and is nicely tied into its dual “Silver Steak” hood pendants that run all the way to the windshield. Chrome trim spears run down the sides and the rear is tastefully executed with upper trim spears that blend with the tail lamps. Lest anyone forgets that this is a jet-inspired cruiser there are three trim stars riding on the trunk. The quality of Kilkeary’s work continues in the interior with a tan leather theme from the finest hides and a unique custom center console. The Chief carries all the modern comforts one would expect with air-conditioning and power steering, power brakes, power windows, and power convertible top. The hand fabricated dashboard features Dakota digital gauges and a custom-built sound system gives incredible high fidelity. Power for the Chief comes from a Chevrolet Performance 418 cubic-inch with a Whipple supercharger and generates 853 horsepower. Customs by Kilkeary also fabricated a custom air cleaner and the entire appearance of the engine bay resembles artwork with smooth surfaces and all wiring neatly hidden.

The restomod version of a classic American cruiser can never be taken lightly as improvements must be made with the original concept in mind. To this end Kilkeary has taken this Star Chief to a level that is seldom seen in the current market. The attention to detail in this build is something that will remain a trendsetter for years to come. Prospective buyers and collectors of unique one-off custom cars should look this one over carefully in order to fully appreciate its multi award-winning design.

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