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Thread: Engine Color

  1. #1

    Default Engine Color

    Hi everybody,

    Today I finally had some time to start working on my 1955 Starchief. Replacing all the old water hose's,
    new waterpump etc.
    Now, I was wondering what engine color these cars had originally ??

    Here's how mine looks at the moment :

    Looks like some metallic green ? Is that the right color ?

    Thanks for any help,


  2. #2


    I am not for sure, but I have a picture of one from a car show and it is a darker green. Almost a deep Hunter Green. Did you try calling a Pontiac restoration shop?
    2004 GTO TR m6 2004 SAP,D-1SC Procharger,4.0 pulley,Siemens 60# injectors,Walbro 340,KB BAP,160 T-stat,oil breather,06 tails,Ruff 278's, 245/40/18-275/35/18,TB bypass,Kooks longtubes(cated),Loudmouth 2,DIY catchcan,Autolite 5144s,06 brake upgrade.Comp cam 224/228,581/588,112+4 lsa. Patriot gold dual springs, seats,locks,and retainers.TrickFlow push rods.243 Z06 heads.GMM Ripshift, Optima Red, Axxis pads.Ported TB,Monster stage 3 clutch,EPP tune.608/569 L8R MAN
    2004-2006 GTO and G8 Tech Advisor

  3. #3


    Correct color is dark green (with bluish tint), paint available at in spray cans or quart cans. This is a "correct" 55 engine (click image for expanded view).

    Attachment 1555
    Larry Gorden, POCI 1956 Tech Adviser

  4. #4
    TININDN Guest


    Ditto on Larry's response -

    I've used Hirsch engine paint on my Pontiacs, and it's the best available, in my opinion

  5. #5


    Great ! Thank you guys ! ;-))

  6. #6


    Hello. I am by no means a Pontiac expert, but most of the 1955 Pontiac motors I've seen, including my own (which appears to still be stock) have been blue. If you take a look at the original 1955 Strato-Streak literature the motor is blue there, as well. I'm not sure if there was a difference between the Star Chiefs and the Chieftains, though... I myself own a lowly 860 Have you checked the numbers on your engine to verify that it is from a '55 motor?

    Jeff in CA

    Last edited by JKelly55; March 1st, 2011 at 15:42.

  7. #7


    Jeff, you are on the path to becoming an expert. Personally, I prefer the 860 over the Star Chief.

    The sales literature is just sales literature. It doesn't always agree with reality and the blue engine color is just one example (of many). I have a 1956 engine that was a display in a dealer showroom. It is painted blue, not far off from the shade of blue in the literature. Because a blue engine was displayed in the showroom didn't mean a blue engine was delivered in the cars -- engines in Pontiacs (American, not Canadian) were ALL dark green for 1940-57 except for the 1957 fuel injected Bonnevilles. Bill Hearsh calls it BLUE-GREEN but to me it looks dark green with a slight bluish tint.
    Larry Gorden, POCI 1956 Tech Adviser

  8. #8


    Hello all, Larry's reference to a blue tint may be confusing the issue a little, dark green is correct and Larry's engine photo is the correct color. All engines through 1957 were green regardless of car model except for the Bonnevilles.

    Jeff has uncovered a confusing little twist common to automakers from the 1950s on back--a brochure illustration that often shows the engine or other components painted bright colors that are not authentic. This was done for no particularly good reason except to add a splash of attention-getting color. The 1957 brochure shows a blue engine with gold valve covers, including blue exhaust, generator, oil filter and more. This was especially common in the 1920s and 1930s. The moral--if you are looking at an ad ILLUSTRATION it has probably been enhanced for dramatic effect, find other (photographic) evidence to confirm authenticity. But keep enjoying those brochures though, I always do.
    Todd Crews, POCI 1957 Technical Advisor.

  9. #9


    Wow, thanks for all of the information. The color of the motor in my '55 is definitely blue, which tells me that the engine was repainted some years back, and in that case, probably overhauled. The motor seems to run fine on unleaded, but I use an octane booster just the same. I imagine now, that the heads have most likely been gone through once upon a time. Since I don't have any real history on my car, this is good information for me. I feel a little better about driving her around until I have enough money for a rebuild Does anyone have an opinion on the use of octane boosters?


  10. #10


    Here is a picture of my 1955 Pontiac Safari engine - Note that plate is only on passenger side of engine. Engine was painted with Bill Hirsch engine enamel. Plate was very rough, so was cleaned with very fine steel wool and then buffed and sprayed with clear coat. After clear coat dried, I painted the lettering by hand with a small brush and black enamel


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