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CAL-RODS JUNE 2017 FEATURED CAR
written by Ron Merry
1955 Pontiac Chieftain
Owned by Doug & Anne Bithell
Color: California Gold by House of Colors, with unique Southwest flavored graphics keeping with the Pontiac “Chieftain” theme, including an image of Kokopelli on the trunk.
Engine: 400 cu in Pontiac (72 Vintage)
Trans: 2-speed Hydro
Rear end: Stock Pontiac
Upholstery: Tan, including a built-in console.
This month’s featured car is owned by Doug Bithell who has written many articles about Cal-Rods members’ cars. I felt it fitting, since he has an excellent car, that his should get its due and get written up.
The Pontiac originally belonged to Ken Campbell, another Cal-Rods member. It seemed Ken had been eyeing Doug’s 1955 Ford Pick-Up and Doug liked Ken’s Pontiac, so after some negotiations, they decided to trade. Both cars are still in the Cal-Rods family.
Before they traded neither had had any problems with their respective cars, but after the trade it seems as if the vehicles were testing the new owners and both had problems.
The Pontiac developed an overheating problem and Doug soon became an expert on radiator/fan/shroud/radiator fluid mix combinations. Doug says the problem is “almost” 100% fixed, but he is still tinkering.
There are not a lot of ’55 Pontiacs around, and Doug gets more than his share of looks at every car show he goes to. The car has won awards at the Canyon Cruise, Ruby’s and the Pumpkin Patch, to name a few.
Doug has dressed up the engine compartment with chrome and polished aluminum accessories since the trade.
With the unique paint and graphics, this car is a real eye catcher and an outstanding member of the fine fleet of cars in Cal-Rods.