Pontiac Safari Wagon

1956 Pontiac Safari Wagon (1955-57 era):

The 1955 Safari was built using shared body components with the Chevrolet Nomad station wagon, which would also allow both divisions to share in the tooling costs for the special bodied wagons. The Safari was fitted with Pontiac's unique front-end bumper/grille assembly and sheet metal and rear tail light design, both created by Pontiac stylist Paul Gillan. Gillan received a United States patent for the bumper/grille design.

The Safari featured sport-coupe front doors, extra chrome adorning the tailgate and interior, and sliding rear-seat windows. Like the Nomad, the "B" pillar of the station wagon was raked forward, a flourish not shared with other GM two-door station wagons from that era.

Interior trim, upholstery and bright work were equal to Pontiac's top line Star Chief range of models, however the Safari was actually the only model in the Star Chief Custom (Series 27). Production of the 1955 Safari stood at a model year production of 3,760, making it the lowest production Pontiac for 1955.

1956 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari 2-door station wagon
With its unique body style only a year old, Pontiac limited changes to the Safari to match those of the 1956 Star Chief. Again as in 1955, the Safari was the only model in the Star Chief Custom series (27). Sales of the Safari improved slightly for 1956, with 4,042 vehicles produced; still the lowest production Pontiac for 1956.

1957 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Safari 2-door station wagon
For 1957, Pontiac applied the Safari nameplate to all of its station wagons in all of its product lines (Chieftain, Super Chief and Star Chief Custom).

While the high-trim unique two-door body style was still available, Pontiac added a four-door high-trim version to the Star Chief Custom series mid-year which was named Safari Transcontinental. This half year series featured special exterior trim to set it apart from other Pontiac station wagons. Despite only being on the market for the last half of the 1957 model year, the Safari Transcontinental outsold the special-bodied two-door Safari 1,894 to 1,292.

At the end of its three year run, the specially bodied two-door sport wagon sold only 9,094 vehicles compared to the Chevrolet Nomad which sold 20,092 copies in its three year run.

Source: Wikipedia, 2014

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