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Wheels in the Grass

'50 Pontiac Chieftain, Cambria, N.Y.

When I started Wheels in the Grass, what I had in mind were cars that were one day parked somewhere in the yard and left there. Really left there. Like this one. Sometimes the peripheral vision kicks in when I approach, from a different direction, a house I’ve passed by every day for months. That’s how, when I was in Cambria the other day, I spotted this 1950 Pontiac Chieftain w-a-y-y back in someone’s yard. Looks like, from the lack of trim and the script high on the front fender, it’s a business coupe, which was the least expensive car that year at a whopping $1,571 for the six-cylinder model, $1,640 if you were willing to spring for the straight eight. This one looks like it’s been sitting for a while — a bit rough but not yet a total write-off.

top of the line Catalina

business coupe brochure art

back seats had their own postal zone (no Zip Codes in 1950!)

— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know


  • Max

    Another stellar job of discovery, Jim. Let’s hope the owner – or some potential acquirer – sees the beauty of this ‘jewel in the rough.’

  • Joseph Coppola

    When I was a kid, I liked the Indian’s head on the hood.