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1956 Pontiac Chieftain

Ozzie & Harriett's 2014 Dallas Autorama First Place Chieftain Wagon PS PB A/C
Stock #
Body Style
Station Wagon
316 cu in V8
Exterior Color
Green & White
Interior Color
Green & White

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Why Buy
1956 Pontiac Chieftain Green For Sale
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  • Original 316 cubic inch Strato Streak V8
  • Factory-optioned power drum brakes
  • Originally owned by Ozzie and Harriet Nelson
  • 52,280-mile mostly original survivor
  • Original Hydramatic 4-speed automatic transmission
  • Factory-optioned air conditioning
  • Featured in “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” HBO’s “A Private Matter” and an MTV interview
  • Factory-optioned power steering
  • Revised Glendale Green and bright white color combination
  • Awarded ’49-’57 Restored Cars First Place at the 2014 Dallas Autorama


  • 52,280-mile mostly original survivor
  • Originally owned by Ozzie and Harriet Nelson
  • Featured in “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” HBO’s “A Private Matter” and an MTV interview
  • Awarded ’49-’57 Restored Cars First Place at the 2014 Dallas Autorama
  • Our sale includes both the car’s magazine feature and Dallas Autorama plaque
  • Original 316 cubic inch Strato Streak V8
  • Original Hydramatic 4-speed automatic transmission
  • Factory-optioned power steering and power drum brakes
  • Factory-optioned air conditioning
  • Currently wears a revised Glendale Green and bright white color combination

Whether it’s a ‘58 Edsel or a ‘63 Corvette, all collector cars have dedicated fans and admirers. But not many of those vintage machines can claim both exclusivity and star status. Sold by a north Hollywood Pontiac dealer, and used both on and off the set of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, this 52,280 actual mile Chieftain is a national award winner that’s split most of its time between the screen, the radio and the museum floor. Benefiting from new paint, a reupholstered seat and freshened chrome, it’s a mostly-original survivor that’s still humbled by vintage camera mounts installed during its sitcom debut. And, accompanied by a roster of old school literature, the car’s history is delightful and well documented. If you like cool classics that tell a good story, this incredible Poncho is your next cruiser!


Serving double duty as Ozzie and Harriet Nelson’s on and off screen transportation, this Pontiac tells a storied history of low mileage, TV appearances, museum appearances and, eventually, a Cincinnati radio appearance. It’s 50K mile journey started around the set of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” where the car, in addition to being rigged for camera work, often served as a prop that began Ozzie’s scenes. When the Nelsons moved on to newer metal, the wagon sold to Don Bruker’s Cars of the Stars museum. And, when the Car’s to the Stars museum went out of business, it found residence with California collector Ray Ostrander.

Since the Chieftain had been in museum mode for quite some time, Ostrander decided to conduct a minor restoration that included freshened chrome, some new upholstery and a wholesale swap of original Glendale Green and Nimbus Gray pigment for a pleasing combination of pearlescent Glendale and bright white. With that work complete, the Pontiac landed two more TV roles, appearing in HBO’s “A Private Matter” and MTV’s interview with actor Aidan Quinn. And, in 1993, its short and sweet radio career began when Cincinnati’s 103.5 WGBH bought it as a giveaway prize.

As part of WGBH’s promotion, the car was towed all over Cincinnati to glean listeners’ personal information. One of those listeners, Don Furnish, was a bonafide Pontiac enthusiast who was planning to offer the car’s winner substantial money to pass him the privilege of ownership. When the time came to draw names, that winner was given 10 minutes and 35 seconds to call and claim their new wheels. And, after that winner’s time ran out, Don’s dreams turned to good fortune, as WGBH DJ Chris O’Brien announced his name as the second winner. After a prompt call to the radio station, Don spent the next several years enjoying his unrestored, mostly original classic at summer cruise-ins and weekend car shows. And, in 2014, the car claimed First Place in the ’49-’57 Restored Cars class and the Dallas Autorama in Dallas, Texas.


Raise this Chieftain’s domed hood and the first thing you’ll notice is an original Strato Streak 316 that, according to the car’s previous owners, has never been removed or rebuilt. Less obvious, of course, is that stalwart engine’s correct 521560 casting number. Tested for over 1 million miles, and found throughout the 1956 Pontiac line-up, this mean, green mill was Pontiac Motor Division’s creative answer to Chevrolet’s red-hot 265. Behind that block, an original 4-speed Hydramatic transmission, which wears a correct “D56” prefix stamp, transfers power to a factory-spec rear end. In front of that drivetrain, correct control arms employ optional power steering and fresh shocks. Optional power drum brakes are a welcome addition and big performance upgrade. There’s a traditional, true-dual exhaust system that appears to have been patched with new turbo mufflers. And everything rides on painted steel wheels, which spin fresh 225/75R15 Coker Classic whitewalls around full stainless hubcaps.


Climb inside this awesome Poncho and you’ll find a mostly original interior that features dramatic style and enough great looking trim to payroll a small upholstery shop. Covered in vivid hides, the car’s big bench seats, equipped with optional power adjustment up front, feature a nice combination of fresh front and original rear vinyl. At the sides of those seats, original door panels look great hovering behind small armrests and correct chrome handles. At the front of those panels, an original dash hangs original telemetry above optional air conditioning. In front of the driver, an original, ornate steering wheel spins around an optional, foot-operated windshield washing system. And behind the passengers, a matted cargo area frames ample storage space in original stainless skid strips.


  • A vintage photo of the car
  • A vintage photo of the Nelson family
  • A WGBH giveaway flyer
  • A copy of the car’s magazine feature
  • Miscellaneous service records
  • A DVD of HBO’s “A Private Matter"
  • A black vanity license plate
  • A large show board
  • The car’s Dallas Autorama registration card
  • The car’s First Place plaque from the Dallas Autorama

It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen such a unique Pontiac. This national award-winning Chieftain is an iconic classic that wraps clean aesthetics and an all-original powertrain in awesome history and first class provenance. Are you in the market for a unique cruiser that’s a literal representation of classic Americana? Then come on down to RK Motors Charlotte and make this Chieftain the star of your nostalgic escapism!


Secondary Make
Model Name
Secondary Model
Vehicle Type
Passenger Car
Hobby Segment

Engine / Transmission

Engine Type
Engine Size
316 cu in V8
Engine Number
Fuel Specification
Fuel Delivery System Type
Single 4 Barrel
Transmission Type
4 Speed Automatic
Transmission Spec
Transmission Number


Entertainment System Type
AM Radio
Battery Location
LH Engine Compartment
Battery Shut Off
Battery Charger
Power Steering
Air Conditioning


Interior Color
Green & White
Seating Type
Seat Material
Shifter Type
Center Console


Body Style
Station Wagon
Safe Body Color
Green & White
Paint Type


Front Suspension Type
Double A-arm
Rear Suspension Type
Leaf Spring
Axle Specification
Front Wheel Specification
Rear Wheel Specification
Front Tire Specification
Rear Tire Specification
Front Brakes Specification
Power Drum
Rear Brakes Specification
Power Drum
Exhaust Type
Dual Exhaust
Muffler Type
Factory Replacement


Restoration Status
Mileage Since Restoration
Awards Summary
  • ’49-’57 Restored Cars First Place at the 2014 Dallas Autorama.
Historical Documents Summary
* Vintage photo of the car. * Vintage photo of the Nelson family. * WGBH giveaway flyer. * Magazine feature. * Miscellaneous service records. * Dallas Autorama registration card.

Our Service Programs

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  • 704.596.5980

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