1954 Pontiac Star Chief

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Nineteen-fifty-four was the year Pontiac first introduced the Star Chief. It was promoted as their prestige model, a new standard of value…the new, big, beautiful Pontiac for 1954.

1954 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina magazine advertisment

1954 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina magazine advertisement


The car is a massive 214″ long, almost 18 feet. It is a full 11 inches longer than the former top model, the Chieftain. It’s also eight inches longer than the 2010 Ford Expedition. It has a gargantuan trunk, large enough for a family of four.

As optional equipment, a proud owner could have power steering and brakes…and for the first time, an in-dash air conditioner.

When I was a youngster, I enthusiastically awaited September when the car manufacturers would release their new models. I built lots of plastic model cars, even modified some and entered them in local hobby shop competitions. I could identify every American manufacturer’s automobiles. I kept charts to determine the most popular models.

It’s not unusual that I enjoy integrating cars/trucks into my paintings. Occasionally, the car itself becomes the subject.

"You're My Star, Chief" - 12"x 16" - Oil

“You’re My Star, Chief” – 12″x 16″ – Oil


“You’re My Star, Chief” is such a painting. The painting began as a refined monochromatic painting using burnt umber (no white). I selected an isosceles triad as my palette (violet, yellow orange, yellow, yellow green). These were premixed from the three primaries: ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and cadmium yellow pale. In addition to the triad palette, I added titanium white and ivory black.

The painting sold rather quickly and I was asked to do another just like it. Not wanting to do that, I produced the one seen below.

"1954 Pontiac Star Chief" - 12"x 16" - Oil

“1954 Pontiac Star Chief” – 12″x 16″ – Oil


John Pototschnik is an Art Renewal Center Associate Living Master
To view his art and bio, please click HERE





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