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1952 Pontiac Catalina

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I will be getting a driver ... probably this summer ... and I will show it off here Keith. I have been following the for sale ads on this forum. Good cars at realistic prices ... and a fine bunch of folks, I might just get one out of this forum. It even might be a Buick ... who knows :)

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  • 5 months later...

Just some misc. ramblings. A few mistakes I made along the way ...


Irregardless of my life situation, I made a few mistakes while selecting this car for my restoration project. After thinking about it for a while ... I should have joined this forum ... BEFORE ... purchasing the car. That way, I could have gotten good advice in what to look for ... before making a purchase of a project car.


The car was bought sight unseen - I should have had someone local check the car out before I bought it.

The engine was seized when I picked it up - The person checking it out locally would have spotted that. (The owner said it turned over)

I have read many times ... after making my purchase - '' Make sure the car runs'' ... or ... ''Select a car that will be easy to get running'' ... that way, you can get the mechanicals sorted out and drive it before beginning the restoration process. That is a great way to figure out what needs to be done ... or indeed if the project should be started at all!


I never felt that I was in over my head with this project because I had some experience restoring snowmobiles. But I made the the financial estimates too optimistic at the start. Having the sled experience ... I should have known better and really made an effort to get realistic estimates of what needed to be done .. at what cost.


Not all cars are meant to be nut and bolt restorations. This project ... if I had ever finished it ... would have never be worth the money that I put into it. Some people may or may not have been able to do it at a lower cost. I am not debating that ... but I have read many times on this board that it costs pretty much the same to restore one vehicle or another from the same era. Why not choose a project car that will be worth more at the end, instead of one that will be worth less? That way ... maybe you will be able to break even ... or even ahead ... if you are carefull and/or lucky.


As an example ... a later 50's Pontiac 2 door HT seems to be more desireable ... and would probably cost no more to redo than the Catalina. If I am realistic in saying that I could have ended up with a number 2 condition car ... the 52 would have been worth about $22,000 ... while a 57 super or star chief would have been worth from $30,000 to $35,000. For some people ... this factor is not a consideration, but in my case ... it should have been because I had no emotional ties to a 52 Catalina. It just seemed like a cool project car to me at the time.


Live and learn ... I just wish I could have started this project ten years ago while I was still working. But other things were more important at the time ... family ... education for the kids ... etc. Don't get me wrong here. I have no regrets. I tried ... and it didn't work out ... for various reasons ... but at least I tried.


I wish to thank all the forum members here who helped/encouraged me along the way. You guys have no idea how helpful and inspiring you people truly are! 


best regards



Edited by GaWajn (see edit history)
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Hi, GaWajn - Regarding the left hand corner bumper guard, would you be so kind as to advise what is used as a standoff for these pieces? If you had a picture of what they used, that would be very much appreciated. I am assuming that there is some kind of bushing in between the bumper and the guard, but have been unable to find either a description or a part no. I recently purchased two, (NOS), and they didn't come with the bushings or instructions. :( Regards and thanks, Rousifier.


R.H. Front curved molding (NOS Chrome) = $74


L.H. Rear corner bumper guard (NOS Chrome) = $82


the first picture is of the right side trim on the front fender, it is made of stainless steel, not chrome plated steel, the other two pieces are chrome plated steel.

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  • 1 month later...

This will be my last post to this thread. I have bought a 1953 Olds 98. I hope to be able to enjoy participating in local show and shines for many years to come.




A friend checking the old girl out ... 












If anyone can help me decode this data plate ... I would be grateful ...








Shes a classy old car  :D I will be participating in the Olds forums I guess!

Edited by GaWajn (see edit history)
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