It was the most luxurious station wagon Pontiac had ever made, and it is still considered a "milestone" car by collectors. The Safari wagon, the sister of the Chevrolet Nomad, had Pontiac's two-door hardtop styling with a slanting tailgate and a grooved roof. The 1955 models were completely restyled in keeping with the overall redesign of all General Motors products, a make-over that helped the Pontiac division sell nearly 600,000 cars that year. The Safari wagons were offered in vivid two-tone colors with names such as Bolero Red, Firegold and Avalon Yellow. Under the hood, Pontiac offered the division's first overhead-valve V-8 engine. Pontiac had offered a V-8 engine in 1932 but then returned to straight eights. Although the Safari wagon had all the trim of the luxury Star Chief model line, it was mounted on a smaller chassis. Pontiac produced just 3,760 Safaris in 1955.

THE SPECS

Price $2,962

Engine 287.2-cubic-inch overhead-valve V-8

Horsepower 180 at 4,600 rpm

Wheelbase 122 inches

Passenger capacity 6

HISTORICAL FACTS

Year 1955

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Median family income $4,421

Dow Jones industrial average (year-end) 488.39

Academy Award movie "Marty"

Milestone Crest toothpaste with

fluoride introduced.