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Old 02-15-2020, 05:09 PM
G.I.Joel's Avatar
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New to the forum with a 1952 Pontiac Chieftain

Hello everyone. I am excited to be a part of the forum and share my project with you as it goes along as well as read about all of your own. My name is Joel and I manage an auto repair shop in Florida. My wife and I just recently bought our first classic car project to build together as I am turning 50 early next year. We currently live in Florida and have attended a lot of car shows and have been dying to bring one of our own. After months of searching we finally decided on this:

1952 Pontiac Chieftain 2 door sedan
Black w/ Flame job

Previous owner said it is on its 3rd engine, the stock 4.4 liter straight 8.

I am considering doing a turbo'd GM 4.8 V8 swap along with a 700R4 trans. Or maybe going with its larger 6.0 liter cousin.

The paintjob is nice but not what we initially had in mind so later on it might get changed, maybe reverting back to just plain black but I don't know, it could grow on me. What are your guys opinion? The wheels are okay but will be changed for something more vintage style with chrome hubcaps and some nice white walls.

But for now the first job I have in mind is to do a disc brake conversion and some sort of power brake upgrade immediately. During the same time period I am also going to rebuild the king pins, and replace all the control arm and leaf spring bushings and inspect the rest and do the alignment. Then sometime next year I will do a power steering conversion.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:31 PM
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Like this maybe?
https://www.oldcars.site/pontiac/1952-chieftain-deluxe/

I don't know, I think I like it better with Centerlines, blackwalls and flames.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:32 PM
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Nice choice

Welcome to HRF. Black is never the wrong color to paint a car if you ask me.
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:51 AM
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What flames....err.....oh, behind the babe you mean.
Looks good to me. Love the wheels.


Drive it as is. If you go LS/VORTEC swap, a turbo'd 4.8 would be real nice and get great mileage to boot when you're not into it.
6.0 will really fly though.


Anyhow, keep us posted on the mods.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:11 AM
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First off, that isn't a sedan, it is a hardtop and a rare car...
Sedan would have a post behind the door.
I don't mind the flames, as it appears to be an older rod, but I'm with you on better wheels. I'd also, consider losing the visor for a street rod.
Engines and transmissions are all over the map. A modern V8 can be a tight squeeze in the pre 54 years, as they weren't designed for them. I'd be tempted to locate a mid eighty's Buick V6 and turbo that. Plenty of power with less bulk to fit under the hood. The GN's were very quick. I recently completed a frame mod on an '87 GN with a highly modified engine that is rated at ~ 950hp. Something different under the bonnet. Seems every other brand of vehicle on the road has a sbc of some flavor powering it.
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Old 03-09-2020, 06:23 AM
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As for the front suspension/steering, have you considered just moving to an MII conversion to get the PS and power disc brakes ? Not certain how many conversions are out there for your model to retain the original knee action suspension.

The frame is also what is known as a "top hat". One of the best MII conversions for that frame came from Chassis Engineering and was a bolt on with a ride height adjustable feature. CE was closed and the tooling bought by Heidt's, who still sells that product, as far as I know. All others are weld on and can produce cracks at the welds down the road, so to speak.

You could, also, do a front frame swap from a later Nova/Camaro to get all the features you are wanting, but that is a big project too. John Long did that on his '53 Bel Aire and it is a very nice conversion, but requires extensive sheet metal modification, which the MII conversion wouldn't require. Only the inner wheel houses would need clearanceing.

See ? we'll gladly help you spend your money and time on that beautiful car...
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