The first generation Pontiac Chieftain was sold from 1949 to 1951. It was the top model sold by Pontiac, and it was similar in all of its engineering to the Streamliner, although the Chieftain got the newer A-body shell. There were 4 different engines sold with the Chieftain, 2 six cylinders and 2 eight cylinders. There were also some bizarre options that the Chieftain could be bought with, including a tissue paper dispenser and a Remington shaver. It seems that General Motors wasn't sure what families being formed after the war would be looking for in their car.
The second generation lasted from 1952 to 1954. Starting in 1952, the Streamliner was given the ax, so the Chieftain would be the only car sold by Pontiac for that year. The 8 cylinder engine got a little more horsepower, and in 1954 the Star Chief was added as a bigger version of the Chieftain. Air conditioning and power brakes were also offered for the first time in that year.
The third generation sold from 1955 to 1958. The 1955 Pontiac Chieftain would be the first car from that brand sold with a V8 engine. The six cylinder was dropped as the American car-buying public decided they needed a little more ooomf under the hood.
In 1958 the Super Chief was introduced, moving the Chieftain one more step down on Pontiac's ladder. The Chieftain was replaced by the Pontiac Catalina in 1959.
The Chieftain is certainly considered a collectors car now. You can find them at classic car shows across the country with better-than-new paint and chrome. If you would like to buy one in restored condition, or a beater project car Chieftain, try looking on eBay first. It's also a good place to find parts for the Chieftain you might already own.