1956 Pontiacs were mild re-design of the 1955's. The new grille was less awkward than its predecessor but still looked a bit bull-nosed. Four-door hardtops were introduced in each series.
The V-8 engine was bored to 316.6 CID but yielded only minor increase in horsepower: 205 hp for the Chieftains, and 227 for Star Chiefs. Later in the year, a 285 hp option was offered.
Semon "Bunkie" Knudson took the reins as general manager of the Pontiac division on July 1, 1956.