Clyde Wooten's 1958 Pontiac Chieftain
1958 Pontiac Chieftain owned by Clyde Wooten of Portland, Oregon. Clyde's build started innocently enough, with an already nice 1958 Pontiac that just needed a little sprucing up. But as it often goes, one thing led to another, and that "spruce-up" would soon snowball into a complete and very meticulous cosmetic rebuild that spanned several years, due to the high level of execution and attention to detail involved.
A Perfectly Balanced Custom Car
According to Clyde's buddy, Jake Steele, "some of the most talented hands and creative minds in our hobby have been involved in the construction of this car." Featuring bodywork by Paul Gilbert, some of the subtle custom touches include shaved door handles. The car was also nosed and decked before the "Chieftain" side badging was removed, and a 4th star added in its place. Up front, a 1960 Oldsmobile grille was flipped upside down and modified to fit. All paint colors were custom-mixed and applied by Mike Parsons. The brilliant and understated scallop design was created by Eric Black. Paul Comeau pinstriped the car, and the beautiful, period-perfect interior was designed and executed by Guy's Interior Restorations. Clyde's Pontiac was also dressed up with snap-in tuck and roll fender liners. All glass and associated rubber were replaced by Auto Glass Past and Present. Tom Winchell was responsible for the wiring, and functional lake pipes and complete exhaust system were installed with Magnaflow components by Exhaust Specialties. All chrome and stainless were been redone and painstakingly restored to better than new condition. The wheels were powder coated 15” 1956 Pontiac wheels with 1959 Buick Electra 225 hubcaps. The car features tons of more small details, all specifically calculated to add up to the gorgeous period-custom. According to Jake, "even with these modifications and many more, the restraint that was exercised throughout the build process is every bit as evident. It is truly a perfectly balanced custom car."
Award Winner and Cover Car
Clyde's Pontiac made its debut in 2014, causing a stir right out of the gate. In the brief time, it was shown, the custom appeared nearly twenty times in various magazines in the US and beyond, including a full twelve-page spread in The Rodder's Journal 68. This feature was put together by the dream team of master storyteller, Pat Ganahl, and photos by John Jackson.
Clyde showed the car at a few selected events in 2014 and 2015 and it won best of show at everyone it attended. After this, the car was essentially tucked away and has not been seen much since. Early in 2022 Clyde decided to thin his herd and put the car up for sale. Mechanically, the car is clean, functional, and essentially stock. It was not a body-off build, therefore, the underside, although tidy enough, was not as polished as the top side. It did however serve its intended purpose and is perfectly respectable. A 370 V8 with later chrome OEM valve covers fills the engine compartment. A reliable 4-barrel Edelbrock carburetor with an electric choke handles the fuel delivery, snd it fires easily and runs as it should. 4-speed Hydramatic transmission gets it down the road with ease and shifts nice and smooth. Shortened front springs, re-worked rear springs by Oregon Spring achieve the ride height. Since it has spent most of the years since its completion in hibernation, the car has just recently gone through a thorough mechanical freshen-up, for good measure. It has all new shock absorbers and all new brake components. The transmission linkage has just been rebuilt. The cooling system was inspected, flushed, and pressure tested. And lastly, a complete tune-up to the engine. All of this was performed by a professional mechanic who also carefully and thoroughly inspected this beautiful car front to back to ensure that it ran and drove as nicely as it looked. Anything that was recommended was performed at this time. The car is turn-key and ready to drive right now. According to Jake, this is a unique opportunity to own one of the best-executed custom cars built in recent years. "Clyde is a humble guy and would never say this, but I will: This car is, hands down, the finest example of a 1958 Pontiac Custom that you will ever see. And now it can be yours. The next owner is going to be getting not just a stunning and award-winning traditional custom, he (or she) will also be receiving a car they can drive and enjoy right this minute, this car is a driver." The asking price is $69k and the location is Portland, Oregon. Additional photos and/or information can be provided. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Clyde directly at (503) 380-8450.
Magazine Features and Appearances
The Rodder's Journal 68 - 12-page full feature. Story by Pat Ganahl. Photos by John Jackson.
Kustoms Illustrated 42 - 6-page full feature. Story by Luke Karosi. Photos by Jeffrey Docherty.
Cruzin 206 - Cover and 7-page full feature. Story by Jake Steele. Photos by Chadly Johnson.
Powerglide 44 - Partial cover and 6-page full feature. Story by Etienne Butterlin. Photos by Chadly Johnson.
Kustoms Illustrated 41 - Sit Down coverage.
Rod & Custom Vol 48 No 8 - Sacramento Autorama coverage.
Traditional Kustoms Vol 1 No 1 - Deadend cruise in & Sit Down coverage.
Traditional Kustoms Vol 1 No 4 - GNRS coverage.
Kustom Car Magazine 3 - GNRS coverage.
Powerglide 33 - GNRS coverage.
Ol' Skool Rodz 66 - Story about the stance known as the '"California Rake."
Traditional Rod & Kulture 41 - GNRS coverage.
Traditional Rod & Kulture 42 - Sit Down coverage.
Street Rodder Vol 44 No7 - GNRS coverage.
Gasoline Vol 9 - Sacramento Autorama coverage.
Gasoline Vol 10 - GNRS coverage.
Sacramento Autorama 2014 Suede Palace - Best of Show
Portland Roadster Show 2014 Kustom Kulture Hall - Best Kustom
Portland Transmission 2014 - Best Kustom
Gambino's Sit Down 2014 - Best Mild Kustom
Grand National Roadster Show 2015 Suede Palace - Best of Show
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