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Score! 61 Catalina convertible


55chevy

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Santa came this weekend, got a new project, I had a 1980 Camaro for sale/trade, ended up trading for a 1961 Pontiac Catalina convertible with a 389, it needs interior and top, and some trunk rust repair. It's a barn find here in Florida, and has 1996 California tags on it, as well as Cali title. I haven't been on here in a while, used to post a lot in Reatta forum, usually hang in tri 5 forum.

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Congratulations,

Those 1961 Catalina, and Ventura convertibles have been among my favorites ever since ---- well ever since late 1960 when I saw my first in the Mrozek Pontiac window on St. Georges Ave. in Linden, NJ. I was home on my first weekend back in town from college, and still cruising in my red 1949 Pontiac straight-Eight 3-on-the-tree convertible. I had to circle around the block to get another look -- leer might be more correct. It was white with a white convertible top, and red interior - and the most beautiful "mile-and-a-half" of Body by Fisher I could recall. I still think it it one of the cleanest and best looking designs Pontiac, or most any manufacturer had in that year, but closely rivaled by my red/white/red 1963 Impala convertible.

Edited by Marty Roth
Correction-my 1949 Pontiac was not a '59-thanks Papaw (see edit history)
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They're still out there, for sure. Guy on one of the Olds boards found a 1971 Grand Prix Hurst SSJ in a southeastern junkyard recently, very restorable car.

For cars that people didn't take to when they were new, 1961 GM cars have really come into their own. I often think that GM has never again been as adventurous and innovative as they were in the early 1960s.

Good trade. The 78-80 Camaros weren't quite as fugly-bumpered as the 74-77, but still don't compare to rolling art like the Cat.

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My neighbor has one almost identical to this that we took out of her garage in northern Wisconsin a week ago. it actually made it home 100+ miles.

She wants to sell it. What is the approxmate value of a 61 ragtop like this?

I looked on Ebay for current and sold cars, and there weren't very many at all, the completed ones most didn't meet reserve, no current convertibles. Also depends on engine and options, 421 engines and 8 lug wheels are premium, Bonneville is top of line. I would think if it has top and interior she could get $4k-$8k depending on sheetmetal/rust, engine, options. They were asking $3500 for this one, for how rare they are I think that is a low price.

Completed: (All nice cars, no projects)

63 Bonne conv $20k Res Not Met

62 Bonne conv hi options $53k RNM

62 Bonne conv $18k RNM

61 Bonne conv Buy it now $24k $13k start bid but pulled

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Hey, thanks 55! I forwarded this thread to her.

It is a garden varity catalina 389 2bb. The engine runs well, street leagal, carpet and interior & top all there but shabby. It does have duals, it that means anything.

I think you did very well at 35!

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I corrected my ramblings in my prior (#3) post.

Thanks Papaw, Yes, my red convertible was a 1949 (not 1959) Straight Eight. __ Good Catch!

My memory is a bit better than my typing.......

Now I wish I could see the car in Wisconsin, that I had more garage space, and a few extra bucks to splurge....

dream-on...

Edited by Marty Roth
corrected prior post..and dreamin' (see edit history)
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Curti

Not to hijack this thread, or just to supplement - but could you post some pics of your neighbor's '61 Catalina ?

Edited by Marty Roth
typo (see edit history)
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I didn't try to start it yet, I need an air filter housing, although it may be somewhere in the trashy shop it's sitting in. I will try to crank it when I get it back here and check the oil, I got a blem battery from a local Interstate battery distribution center for a Ford Expedition for $38, I also need to check the fuel tank for corrosion, I'm thinking it has some rust inside it. It's a long way from road worthy, most of you guys know, it will probably need all new brake lines and hoses. Has anyone ever adapted a C5 Corvette suspension sub frames onto a full size 61-64 Pontiac? On the 55-57 Chevy Ti Five forum there are a guy that adds those subframes to your frame, and another that sells metal plates you put together and weld yourself a frame that easily accepts a C5 subframe and rear axle.

How about NADA book value is $20k for the low category, maybe like Curti's friend's car. I would have her put it on Ebay with a reserve of $15k and let it run out and see where it ends, if it doesn't sell it's a good appraisal because a lot of car collectors bid on Ebay.

It has a generator on it, as well as a single reservoir brake master cylinder, Who knows if there's a dual master PB cylinder that's a bolt in? And when did they switch to alternators?

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Edited by 55chevy (see edit history)
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55chevy, looks like a great find, why are you so anxious to change things on the car? These were very nice cars stock, they don't need different suspensions nor electrical systems.

Oh well, the new way of the world..............

Oh, it would make a good cruiser stock, but most older cars didn't have a good sway bar, not to mention a single reservoir brake system is very unsafe, but that's about it as far as modifications to make it handle good and be safer. But then there's always mods to make it faster, cam, headers and Flowmasters to make it quicker and sound good. A bonus would be a frame and newer C5 Vette suspension that corners on a dime, but that is on the bottom of my list unless I win the Lottery. For just cruising down the street, stock is the way to go except for upgrading to a dual master brake cylinder,

Edited by 55chevy (see edit history)
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Guest Texas Old Car Guy

The '61 Ventura was my "dream car" in high school - I fell in love with the bubbletop, the tri-tone interior and the "see-through" clear plastic steering wheel. Fantasized about having a 4-speed with a 389 engine (3 dueces of course) with a white exterior and maroon interior...would still like to find one!

Nice catch on finding your Catalina convertible and it was a great trade - Camaros are a dime a dozen and you'll come out ahead in the long run! :cool:

Fred

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Edited by Texas Old Car Guy (see edit history)
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At Marty's request, I posted pix of my neighbors 61. It has new brakes, tires and saftey stuff runs well and goes down the road good. The only mod I know of is duals were installed with glass packs many years ago. The top is original. I would call this a 3.5 car.

This car is for sale. She has looked in Hemmings NADA etc. and the values are all over the place What do you guys think?

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At Marty's request, I posted pix of my neighbors 61. It has new brakes, tires and saftey stuff runs well and goes down the road good. The only mod I know of is duals were installed with glass packs many years ago. The top is original. I would call this a 3.5 car.

This car is for sale. She has looked in Hemmings NADA etc. and the values are all over the place What do you guys think?

That's a pretty nice looking car, you can get an idea of how high someone would go by putting it on Ebay with a high reserve, like $25k, let it run the auction and see what the high bid is. Need to take a lot of pictures, especially the trunk and floor sheetmetal from above and below, and the frame.

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