We shot this second-generation Pontiac Chieftain station wagon just down the trail from the 1955 Plymouth Savoy and the 1963 Chevrolet Impala we featured last year. Most likely built in 1955, the Chieftain is one of about ten american cars ending their lives in a ditch on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.
Like we wrote in the aforementioned articles, all of the cars have been in the ditch for literally decades and they were most likely either stolen, taken for a joy ride and dumped afterwards, or pushed down a hill to claim insurance money. The cars are pretty well hidden and hard to access, which might explain why they have never been removed. We’re willing to bet most of the folks who live in the upscale neighborhood just ten minutes away from where most of them are have no idea what lies on the other side of the road.
The Chieftain is further off the beaten path than the rest of the cars but it is in equally terrible shape. Rocks have been thrown at it, it has been tagged (apparently by someone named Johnson) and it has been shot at numerous times. Everything mechanical has been removed from the car and the driver-side fender is missing, though whether it was pulled before or after the car was left for dead is a mystery.