1956 Models and Body Styles
These are the fifteen models, identifying Body Style Numbers, and production numbers for Pontiacs that were offered in 1956. The Body Style Number can be found on the car's Fisher Body Data Plate.
The "27" and "28" model designation (first two digits of Body Style Number) refers to the series and identifies the frame for the car. The 27 series are built on the shorter Chieftain frame and the 28 series on the longer Star Chief frame. The Safari (2764DF) is somewhat of an anomaly because it is built on the shorter frame but uses the more expensive Star Chief components and trim. "Catalina" designation is used for cars with no post between front and rear side windows (usually called "hardtops").
|Model||Body Style||Body Style Number||Factory Price||Shipping Weight*||Production Total||Comments|
|27 Chieftain||Catalina Coupe 860||2737||2,366||3,617||46,335||860 2-door hardtop|
|Catalina Coupe 870||2737D||2,476||3,617||24,744||870 2-door hardtop|
|Catalina Sedan 860||2739||2,439||3,682||35,201||860 4-door hardtop|
|Catalina Sedan 870||2739D||2,530||3,682||25,372||870 4-door hardtop|
|Two Door Sedan 860||2711||2,236||3,557||41,908||lowest price|
|Four Door Sedan 860||2719||2,294||3,617||41,987|
|Four Door Sedan 870||2719D||2,409||3,617||22,082|
|Four Door Sta. Wagon 860||2762FC||2,648||3,812||12,702||3 seat wagon|
|Four Door Sta. Wagon 870||2762DF||2,744||3,762||21,674||2 seat wagon|
|Two Door Sta. Wagon 860||2763F||2,564||3,717||6,099||2 seat wagon|
|27 Star Chief||Custom Station Wagon (Safari)||2764DF||3,124||3,762||4,042||2 seat sporty wagon, most expensive|
|28 Star Chief||Convertible Coupe||2867DTX||2,853||3,917||13,510|
|Catalina Coupe Custom||2837SD||2,661||3,687||43,392||2-door hardtop|
|Catalina Sedan Custom||2839SD||2,731||3,767||48,035||4-door hardtop|
|Four Door Sedan||2819D||2,523||3,697||18,346|
* Shipping Weight is with automatic transmission.
Car production began Oct 3, 1955 and they were introduced to the public Oct 21, 1955.
The 285 hp XCL engine with dual 4-barrel carbs was released in March of 1956. Only about 200 were produced, primarily for racing. More info...
A new stronger 3-speed synchromesh transmission (6-bolt Top Cover) developed by Buick was installed in 1956 Pontiacs.
24,117 Chieftains were equipped with the synchromesh transmission.
440 Star Chiefs were equipped with the synchromesh transmission.
Only 10 Safaris were equipped with the synchromesh transmission.
This was the last year of the 1949-56 Olds-Pontiac 8.75" rear axle assemblies w/10-spline axles
The old Oldsmobile "slant-pan" Hydramatic was carried over from 1955 for 1956 Chieftains only. This was the last year the "slant-pan" was used by Pontiac.
A new "controlled-coupling" Oldsmobile Hydramatic, aka "Strato-Flight", aka "Jetaway", was installed in Star Chiefs and Safaris.
The following is from an early 1956 sales brochure with the blue text added to show the "Body Style" and "Body Style Number". It shows all the models. Note the inconsistent and confusing use of the term "sedan". The "Catalina Sedan" body style is a four-door hardtop (no post between front and rear windows) and is not what is commonly referred to as a sedan (has post between front and rear windows). The cars under the heading "Four-door Catalinas" in the brochure are the "Catalina Sedan" body style. The cars under the heading "Sedans" in the brochure do not include the Catalina Sedan body style (because they aren't really sedans). Did they do drugs back then or was it the moon shine?
In the page below, note the incorrect coloring of the post (B pillar) on the Safari. The Safaris were all painted with the post the same color as the top.