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1959-1975 Pontiac Bonneville/Catalina/Grandville

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
edited March 2014 in Pontiac
Yes, I think Hemmings Motor News is a good place:

Also this search engine:

and also this site has good listings:

Good luck in your search. I think you're wise to limit yourself to convertibles and coupes. I'd try and find a car with the most options and in the nicest colors, too....and the bigger the engine, the more valuable the car will become. As you probably know, originality counts for a lot as well. Any car that has been painted the wrong color or modified in some way is worth far less than book value.

Also, I don't know if it matters to you, but 1973 and older cars are more valuable in California because they are smog-emempt.



  • Even though the 65 Catalina is my favorite since I own one and have had a convertable, my heart is still with my first car a 1974 Grand ville 2DHT. I traded this car in 91 for a 79 Camaro and I am still hateing myself for that deal. I was in high school then and that was the car to have. I have been working on my Catalina for about 3 years now and Performance years has a cool web site just look up performance years or classical pontiac, they can help you. I have been looking to buy another Grand ville but they are scarace. I have found the best place to get these cars are in Northern California. These cars outsold GTO's in this area for some reaon. If you need any advice reach me at [email protected] If you see any Grand villes for sale let my know. Thanks.
  • hindsitehindsite Posts: 590
    I have a 64 GP in mint condition with the 421 engine. Only thing that bugs me is that I have been unable to get the clock in the car to work at all.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    There are vendors who advertise in Hemmings Motor News who can overhaul those for you...some of them are electrically wound on a spring...occasionally, you can get them to work by disconnecting and then reconnecting them from the battery. But it's probably just stuck from age.
  • pomy11pomy11 Posts: 23
    You forgot to mention my big Poncho, 1967 GP yes, convertible. Needs new quarters, on the rear, everything else is good and drivable, it has a 400 four barrel, and is a blast to drive. Any ideas on where to get the back quarters , much appreciated. Thanks
  • pomy11pomy11 Posts: 23
    Not only did you forget my GP, my other is a 65 Starchief, three blocks long and two lanes wide! An I the only one?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I can make one comment, that the person who restored a car like this to this (apparent) level of excellence will, sadly, never see that money back. If that $7,000 bid is real, he should take it if nothing higher comes in, because he's already close to top dollar on the car.

    Big, powerful car, pretty good reputation, 389 CID V-8, eats gas like you won't believe, but puts out a credible 283 HP. The Ventura was a trim level up from the Catalina, but still on the shorter wheelbase, unless the Star Chief. They made about 56,000 of this model.
  • jeffsjeffs Posts: 23
    Thanx Mr S. As usual you are a wealth on knowledge.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    or at least a wealth of opinion on some parts of it! But I think I got the basic facts right, yes.
  • sand11sand11 Posts: 4
    When I was a kid..we had an olive green Catalina..I'm not sure the year..but it had a very distinctive V fin...does that sound like the 65 or was that 64..That V fin was cool looking!
  • pomy11pomy11 Posts: 23
    I'm not sure about a V fin, the 64 Pontiac had a rounded tailight, the 65 which I have has a horizontal tailights under the trunk, give me some more information please. Thanks
  • I took my driver's test in my grandma's 1974 Catalina 400 coupe! Talk about fun parallel parking!!!

    Anyway, that was a super car; especially for a 16 year old kid, with no fear! Looking back now (to 1982...), I realize how dumb and stupid driving 125 mph was on the highway, and driving 90 down the gravel roads... oh well.

    All I know is that the car was super, and even had a AM/FM radio! Note- no stereo, just AM/FM!

    They sure don't build 'em like that anymore. My granny used to have a fit that the Catalina (400 V8) didn't have much power. She was used to her GrandVille with the 455, and couldn't believe that under the hood was still a V8. She thought that it must just be a "six-cylinder".

    Granny never looked down at the speedo, and I remember one infamous trip... she was driving 50 one minute, and 95 the next... just staring straight ahead!

    Thanks for the memories!
  • norm10norm10 Posts: 9
    I have a 1962 Grand Prix with the SD 421 and front bench seat w/ 4 speed gearbox, 3:55 posi rear end, stock Pontiac alloy wheels still original. I'm seriously thinking about sending the car to a professional restorer in the midwest who likes to work on 50's, 60's and early 70's Pontiacs including the "Goats". This will be very costly but the last insurance appraisal I obtained convinced me that this will be a worth while investment that the IRS can't track. Good luck with your search for the Pontiac you desire.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 584
    that's a intresting angle on the taxability issue...the '62 grand prik has got to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made.
  • nascar6nascar6 Posts: 113
    I have a '69 Executive Safari station wagon w/428 and all the options. Is there a place to still get replacement wood grain?
    This car was bought new for $6,100.62 on 1/22/69.
  • ls1v8ls1v8 Posts: 34
    My son and I bought this convert several years ago to restore together. It was big. Big and Green, inside and out with a white top. A real fun project and great running beast. And talk about land yacht. We bought it mostly because the price included an identical, complete parts car..all for $1000. The parts car turned out to be a God send not only for the extra convertible top pieces,(which were always breaking) motors and relays, but for the extra chrome parts.

    The Pontiac version of this car, the Grandville, seemed to be more popular, but the Buick held its own.

    Hope you find a good one to restore.
  • shomanshoman Posts: 97
    With all due respect to Mr. Shiftright, and understanding that this is my first post to this topic, I think you are way low on your valuation of these two cars.
    I have been involved with owning, restoring, racing and having fun with full size pontiacs since my dad bought his first one, a 58 Super Chief in 1959.
    the 60 Ventura is a very rare car. They might have made lots of them, but not many survive. The 60 owners "Shark" club is vibrant within the POCI (Pontiac Oakland Club International) and at any given 800 car POCI convention you can expect to see maybe only 6 or 10 of these unusual cars. The Ventura to many collectors is more valuable than a Bonneville. This particular car may or may not be worth more than 7000, the listing gave almost zero information about the car, how much is metal and how much is bondo etc, so any valuation must include more information. Assuming you didn't talk to the owner to answer these questions (and even then, assuming the owner told the truth) the car could be worth between 6000 and 20,000 (also depending on options etc). Certainly unless it was a really poor restoration the $7000 bid was somewhat realistic, but I think low if the car proves out to be nice.
    About the 62 SD GP. There were very few of these made (like 2 or three?) and I have a few questions for Norm10 if he would please respond. Have you done a Pontiac Historical build sheet on this car to prove what it came from the factory with? Also, was the Super Duty engine the dual quad unit?
    As to value, I sold a #3 condition (but zero rust California car) 62 Catalina (with Ventura interior) with 425A engine (tri-power 389 with 348 hp rating) and factory four speed, verified with a build sheet from Pontiac Historical for $12,000 not too long ago, and that was a bargain. IF this GP is a true Super Duty four-speed car in decent shape and complete, then it could be worth close to six figures! The price guides are WAY low on super duty cars, and among Pontiac collectors, you can't touch a Super Duty for what they list. This car in #1 condotion according to the Old Cars Price Guide( a good book to start your price search from) lists the 62 GP as worth $14,000 and you add 60% (not 30%) for the Super Duty option which puts it, by this WAY low estimate, at 22,400, and If the car is right, I will make out a check today for that amount if Norm10 will take it! Which I am sure he won't if it's a correct car in decent shape. If it's a correct Super Duty GP in horrible shape but restorable, it's still worth 20 grand!
    If there was ever a car that might (MIGHT) be worth the cost of a decent restoration, this car is it.
    About that restoration, be VERY careful where you send your car (or any car) there are still a lot of shysters out there that could mess up your car, cost you money and even sell parts off your car! I would recommend you get a professional appraisal of your Pontiac, I can get you some names if you want off-line, and get lots of references for any shop you take it too. I live in the MidWest and would love to see this car if you bring it out this way.
    I hope you do have a true SD GP, and would love to see the bench seat as an option on the build sheet! This would be one of the most rare Pontiacs around! I would like to put you in touch with some of the more reputable Pontiac historians that I know so you can have all the facts before starting a restoration.

    Don Mallinson
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Thank you, Don for the info.

    I think the issue of car values can be clarified by stating that truly #1 restored cars are not in price guides, and have to be evaluated car by car. Also, special equipment and verification of authenticity can greatly affect value.

    Also, Old Car Price Guide is, IMO quite inaccurate and overpriced, and I personally have not find club members estimates to be in keeping with the market either, since they are, to be fair, not disinterested parties in the marketplace and tend to inflate their cars' values.

    Like any field, one always finds exceptions to any 'ballpark" figures...but the idea is to give information based on the norm, not the exception. True #1 restored cars are exceptions, and specially-optioned cars with rare hi-po motors are also exceptions. One can't base a price guide on cars like these.

    Last of all, rarity does not mean a car is more valuable. Someone (a lot of people actually) have to "care that it's rare." The value of collectible cars is really determined by supply and demand...this is why few people pay big money for an ordinary Pontiac but some are willing to pay big money for a specially-optioned and authenticated's based on desireability.

    Anyway, this is the market analyst's point of view on determining car values. I don't think the price guides are all low. I think they're very right on for the type of car they are designed to describe, #3-2 cars traded on the open market.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Just saw this in a parking lot: a '59 Catalina, red two-door hardtop with black interior, with tri-power emblems and four-speed. I seem to recall that '59 was the first year for GM four-speeds (Borg-Warner T-10?). There wasn't any sign of a column shifter, so it seems to be an original floor-shift car, 3-speed if not 4-speed. The car was in good original condition, not restored. Had the black-on-orange California plates used before the yellow-on-black. Very straight, no obvious rust repairs. Any idea what this car is worth?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I hear you about the styling, but that's one of the reasons I really liked the car. It's transitional: '50s kitsch with big multi-carb engine and modern 4-speed. Speaking of trannys, I've got some full-size Pontiac esoterica for you: the Roto-Hydramatic. This answer to a question no one asked appeared only in junior Pontiacs (and all Olds) from 1961-64. And based on my experience with it, it ruined the performance of a good many otherwise-nice cars. It was a three-speed automatic with a small torque converter, super-low first gear (around 3:1) and normal second (1.5:1) and third ratios. Apparently the idea was that the low first gear would help the small converter get the car off the line. However, the gap in ratios between first and second was only slightly smaller than the Grand Canyon--like short-shifting a manual. The engine lugged going into second, and detonated unless you backed off the timing. The first time I encountered this, in a '62 GP, I thought the tranny was shot, but when I ran across this later in a '63 Ventura and '63 Starfire I realized it was the nature of the beast. What on earth possessed GM to unleash this on an unsuspecting public? And what a bring-down after the 4-speed Hydro (still available in the Bonneville in those years, by the way). The only car I ever drove that could handle the gap between first and second was a 421 GP (supposedly owned at one time by Bing Crosby). Apparently the greater torque helped the engine overcome the spread in ratios. Has anyone else ever encountered this transmission?
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    In college, I took a class in automatic transmissions. Two transmissions used for demonstration in the shop were a Roto-Hydramatic, like the one you mention, and the later GM-2-speed automatic, that had the added "switch pitch" torque converter to add more flexibility. This latter transmission was used in GM intermediates in the 60's, and both of these were notorious for failures. In class, we were shown all the heat marks on internal parts that indicated failure, along with some of the design deficiencies of both transmissions. Why would GM put such crummy transmissions in otherwise good cars? Hey-they did it again several times, with the THM 125 and 200 transmissions of the 70's both of which were so prone to failure they were the subject of class action lawsuits against GM. GM has the resources, and has produced some good transmissions [thm350,400,etc] so why the junk? Go save money, for one thing.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Yeah, I know, but you expect more from a division that had Pete Estes and John De Lorean on staff. Later, you expected less, and you got it.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    The 1976 big Pontiacs were identical to the 1975's, why are they not included in the topic list?

    Is it because there was no convertible?
  • krumteekrumtee Posts: 1
    Just browsing thru this topic sure brings back memories of one of my parent's cars from my childhood. My folks had a '74 GrandVille 2 door HT that they purchased new at the end of '73. It was cranberry red w/ white vinyl top and red vinyl interior. I don't remember what options it had, just that it had the vinyl top, AM/FM (not stereo) radio, rally wheels, and...oh yeah....455 ci engine.

    I remember my dad saying back then when ordering why he chose the G'Ville over the Bonneville or Catalina was that the rear seat windows rolled down, where the other 2 had the fixed "triangle" windows.

    This was the car that I took my driver's test in and once I got my license, I would use it for my early "cruisin'" trips w/ my cousins. Their folks had a '73 GV (4 door hardtop, also w/ 455 engine) and when we would get a hold of them, we would go and "clean out the carbs" for our dads. Once I remember my dad driving our GV after I had driven it the night before and he said how much better the car was running! I didn't say anything, but after that, my cousins and I made sure that the carbs were cleaned out regularly!

    It's been a/b 15 years since my folks got rid of their GV, but it still brings back some fond memories.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!!
This discussion has been closed.