HarleyEarl

Pontiac's 'Nomad'

12 posts in this topic

From 1955-57, Chevy had the famous Nomad and much has been written about it to the point of iconic status. But another General Motors product also had a version. The Pontiac Safari. It is relatively rare and rarely mentioned.

1955
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1956
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1957
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For some reason this post went twice on the board.....can someone remove one for me?
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As a Pontiac/GMC slesman I sold a GMC Safari onec and mentioned casually how I'd love to own a '50s Safari Pontiac and the guy just looked at me like I had three heads. But he was a baby boomer so I thought he'd get the referance.
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An interesting note regarding the 1955 and 56 Pontiacs in general..for some reason they were almost identical...virtually no changes. The only thing changed from what I can see were the silver streaks on the hood and some chrome details on the side. It's curious in a time when vehicles changed annually that it was a carryover. The Chevy Bel Air had all new sheet metal in '56.
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Also, the Pontiac Safari was longer than the Chevy Nomad (lengthened in the rear) and used real leather on the seats. So while sharing the roofline, the Pontiac is not just a '50s rebadge of the Chevy version. I like the '57 model the best, btw. And the Safari name continued after '57, but it was on a 4-door station wagon body. I beleive 1990 was the last year for the Safari name on a Pontiac wagon (yep, GMC & Pontiac both sold vehicles named Safari at the same time).
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'56 Chevy is a carry-over body, the 2nd of the then 2-year cycle. Pontiac is the same way: same basic body, brand new nose.
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And by 'nose' I mean other than the sheetmetal... ie: new bumper & grille & trim. Silver Streaks look the same to my eye '55 vs. '56. GMTruckGuy74: '89 was the last model year for the Safari- the TranSport debuted for '90... I guess "replacing" the Safari as the utility model. :(
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The 56 Chevy comes across as considerably different than the 55, although I agree they are quite close. The 55 and 56 Pontiacs are virtually the same, visually. Edited by HarleyEarl
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See, to me, it's the same degree of difference, and that's after seeing a few dozen of each over the years. The '56 is so flashy & heavy and the '55 is still simple.
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Balthazar, I discovered that the silver streaks on the hoods of the '56 were further apart than those on the '55s.
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One other major distinction - rear wheel openings. The '55 & '57 Nomad had teardrop wheel openings. The '56 had round wheel openings. The Safaris' had half-flattened openings.
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