1949 was a pivotal year for Detroit’s finest because it marked the first major style change for most of the domestic cars built during the last year of the 1940s.

World War Two reshaped the manufacturing industry in North America so it would provide the weapons and machinery needed to defeat the Axis nations attempting to seize control of the world.

Jim Sutherland

Complete emphasis on a war-based manufacturing industry was not easy to redirect back to simply building civilian vehicles after the end of World War Two. The pent-up demand for new cars meant their builders had to use mothballed design tooling to churn out enough vehicles to meet the demand.

In fact, the new look Big Three cars did not arrive until 1949 because it took roughly four years to design new styles and retool their factories for the updated models.

This brief history of the first significant domestic post-war car style changes leads directly to a very cool 1949 Pontiac Streamliner resto mod that emphasizes the unique then-new style of the 74-year-old Poncho.

The car’s owner is Gregory Polmans and he was born many decades after his ’49 Poncho first left the factory, but Gregory is a huge fan of the car. In fact, he was a fan at 16 years old when Gregory saw a 1949 Pontiac for the first time.

Unfortunately, Gregory’s father did not share his enthusiasm and strongly recommended that Gregory not purchase an old car at the time. Nevertheless, Gregory was blown away by the ’49 Pontiac’s unique design and kept alive his dream of ownership well into adulthood.

2019 became a banner year for Gregory because he was finally able to purchase a 1949 Pontiac Streamliner and fulfill his teenaged dream to own one of these unusual cars.

His ’49 Poncho has a unique fastback design that blends well with its overall style and is a solid platform for customization, including its two-tone paint scheme.

Gregory told MyStarCollectorCar he is only the third owner of the stylish Poncho and most of the car’s custom look and resto mods were provided by its previous owner. He added the car was not a runner when he became its owner and required mechanical repairs to breathe life back into the ’49 Poncho.

His vintage Pontiac has undergone some major modifications, including a Camaro front end and Chevy 350 small block bolted up to a 700 R4 automatic transmission that required some tinkering to use its overdrive component, according to Gregory.

The front disc/rear drum brake system provides excellent stopping ability on the road, a feature that appeals to Gregory because he loves to drive his ’49 Poncho Streamliner. The 3rd  generation Pontiac seats make long trips very comfortable for Gregory-and so does the car’s excellent fuel economy on the road.

This past spring Gregory’s stylish 1949 Pontiac Streamliner was a guest of honor at his twin nephew and niece’s high school graduation, a brand-new role for his old car.

MyStarCollectorCar will give the second last words to Gregory about his ’49 Pontiac: “It’s not a show car, it’s a driver”.  We respectfully disagree… it’s both. 

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.