19-20 January 2017

Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection

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Lot 165

1957 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina

  • Chassis no. P857H39166
  • Body no. P 12386

Sold for $35,200

290 bhp, 347 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine with three two-barrel carburetors, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124 in.

  • Offered from the Mohrschladt Family Collection
  • A handsome restoration of a desirable body style
  • Wonderful color scheme and accessories, including “Tri-Power” engine

Nineteen fifty-seven is most famous as the year that Pontiac gave up some of its most sacred traditions in favor of performance excitement. Most notably, the “Silver Streaks” on the hood, which had been a Pontiac trademark since 1935, disappeared. In keeping with industry trends, chrome and flash expanded throughout, with an oversized grille and a body-side “sweepspear” that held a contrasting color molding. Suspension was improved, and the V-8 engine was enlarged to 347 cubic inches and could produce, in its hottest standard form, 290 horsepower.

Aside from the limited-production Bonneville, the most prominent 1957 Pontiac was the Star Chief, a line that included the lushly appointed and grandly named Custom Catalina, Pontiac’s version of the Buick Riviera and Cadillac Coupe de Ville “hardtop.” The Star Chief Custom Catalina incorporated some wonderful “trick” features; for instance, a small chrome slat drops over the top of each window when a door is closed, helping to seal the window from rain. This same slat is spring-loaded and pops back up again whenever the door is opened.

The Custom Catalina offered here was acquired by the Mohrschladt Family Collection several years ago from well-known collector Steve Ramsey of Fallston, Maryland. One of the finest restorations in the collection, it was obviously done right, as the lacquer paint, in the original colors of Cordova Red and Kenya Ivory, remains smooth, deep, and virtually unblemished, on top of a beautifully straight and well-fitted body; the interior is correct down to its details, as are the finishes under the hood and on the chassis, which have correct factory-style assembly markings. Even the interior courtesy lights work properly, and the windows use correct E-Z Eye tinted glass, as original.

At the time that the Mohrschladts acquired the Pontiac, they were informed that it was an AACA Senior First Prize winner, and that its fewer than 27,400 miles were original; while no documentary evidence exists, the condition of the car suggests no reason to disbelieve that claim.

Nineteen fifty-seven Pontiacs are considerably more rarely found than the comparable Chevrolets of the same year, and arguably offer even greater élan, style, and comfort. The well-restored example offered here is a rare style that was finished properly and that today remains an automobile to enjoy and be proud of.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more