1955 Pontiac – V8s rule!

The big news for 1955 was the introduction of the new V8 engine….

1955 Pontiac

1955 Pontiac

From John Gunnell’s book “75 Years of Pontiac Oakland“:

“This would be the first year in which more than 500,000 cars left the various assembly plants and, by model changeover on September 16, 1955, sales would be up more than 93 percent. New styling and a complete V-8 powered line of Chieftains and Star Chiefs were the elements of success. When the V-8s appeared in show rooms, few industy observers were surprised. Many considered this change long overdue, a view reinforced by the fact that straight-eight popularity had declined to just 4.7 percent in its final season.”

“The Strato-Streak V-8 had two versions initially (7.4:1 compression with 173-hp, for syncromesh applications and 180-hp 8.0:1 compression for the Dual-Range Hydra-Matic drive). In March, 1955 a 200-hp optional engine (referred to as the “Power Pack” engine) with a four-barrel Carter WCFB carburetor, heavy-duty air cleaner and special intake manifold was released for $34 extra.”

Total production was 554,090 cars. This was also the first year for the luxurious two-door Custom Safari Station Wagon (3,760 were produced). Visit POCI’s Custom Safari Chapter web site to learn more about the Safari wagons.


One Response to “1955 Pontiac – V8s rule!”

  1. charles coker 1953 pontiac technical advisor Says:

    when pontiac started building cars with the strato-streak 287 V8 engine, they knew that they had tested it far more than any other make had tested their’s. over one million miles of testing, and over three hundred thousand hours on test stands. chevy was allowed to use pontiac designed stud mounted ball & rockers for it’s new V8, breaking for the first time the internal GM rule that when one make invented something new, the other makes couldn’t use it for the first year. chevy would also use pontiac design lifters and pushrods. the 287 had the gusher cooling tubes in the cylinder heads, keeping the well proven idea that the coolest water go to the hottest part of the engine, the water jacket side of the exhaust valve seat. i was the only kid in my high school automotive shop class, that knew what a water distribution tube was. chevy would also borrow this idea decades later.

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