In 1949, Pontiac introduced the Chieftain. It was Pontiac’s upmarket model, replacing the 1948 Pontiac Torpedo, and it essentially offered more trim and an extra seating space. Today the Pontiac Chieftain is a sleeper, much like its Oldsmobile counterpart, in that it is off the radar of most enthusiasts.

Just ask Denver resident Al Sedillo and he’ll tell you all about it. He grew up in the late ’60s and always had an affinity for the classic car era. In 1980, Al went to boot camp for the United States Marine Corp and visited places like San Diego and San Jose where his love for classics grew even more.

1951 pontiac chieftain grill

When he got back to Denver, he married his longtime girlfriend and then set his sights on finding the perfect classic car to bring into the family. He knew his friend Jerry Montoya had a barn in Florissant, Colorado, with a Classic Pontiac in it, so he made the trip to take a look. Out of the barn rolled an immaculate 1951 Pontiac Chieftain in almost pristine condition. Montoya reluctantly sold the Pontiac to Al, even kissing the bumper as it was being loaded on a trailer.

1951 pontiac chieftain front seats

The condition of the new Chieftain was so good that Al didn’t need to do any bodywork or paint. That left him to focus on making the new classic car his own. He went through the Pontiac and replaced all the normal wear and tear items like rubber hoses, mirrors, and lights. He added new blinds to the rear window, a new exhaust, and a tissue dispenser that came factory. As a family first traditionalist, Al searched for a club that had family orientated beliefs. He joined Viejitos because the values he lived by were exemplified in this club and their love for old-school ways.

1951 pontiac chieftain window louvers

Al waited 52 years to finally get the car of his dreams. “El Jefe” was added to his loving family and wife of 34 years. A special thanks goes to his wife, Yvonne, for her unconditional love and support as well as all to the Colorado Viejitos members for their love and respect. Al wishes to thank Jerry Montoya for entrusting him with his beloved Pontiac. “We stay in touch,” Al tells LRM. “He asks for Jefe back every once in a while, to which I reply, ‘No dice!'”

1951 Pontiac Chieftain

Vehicle Nickname
El Jefe

Al & Yvonne Sedillo

1951 pontiac chieftain rear bumper

Denver, CO


original Eggshell White

1951 pontiac chieftain 239 flathead motor

flathead straight-six cylinder 239

all original

original never been upholstered

1951 pontiac chieftain front grill

Sound System
working AM original

original wheels, Firestone Bias 15-inch with 3-inch whitewalls