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What do you think is the rarest regular production car you've ever seen?


nick8086

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1995 Rolls-Royce Flying Spur. First production turbocharged Rolls-Royce with134 total production. Rolls originally planned to produce only 50 numbered units with dash plaque, Those sold out and another 64 were made but not numbered.

 

Number 37 was at a local British car show.

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Rarest was a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville 389 tripower/4 speed/4 door. 1 of 1.

Judge with 4 speed and AC is probably double digits, know 1970 GP/4 speed was around 300 cars.

88 Reatta was 4708 but mine has the sunroof which was a late intro.

So a lot depends on whether you include the option mix.

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In 1968, I'm 16 restoring a 63 Chev, 409 425 4 speed. Had everything but the trans. 4 speeds hard to find back then. I was working in a gas station and a customer knew I was looking and said he knew of a 4 speed 4 sale. He gives me the address, In Brightmore MI. 5 mile and Burt Rd area. Knock on the guys door and ask that he had a 4 speed 4 sale? He said ya but you need to buy the whole car. He points to his driveway with a car under a car cover. He pulls the cover and behold! Its a 1965 Chev Impala SS convertible, triple black with a 409-400 with a 4 speed. It was hit in the left front and the right rear 1/4. He was 18, went through a yield sign and was hit. He also lost his licence from street racing. Car had 18.000 miles and still smelled new. He wanted 400.00 and at that time it was like a million dollars to come up with. He let me have the car on payments of 50.00 per month and he let me have the car. I sold the 63 and fixed the 65. Later research, they only made a hand full and was the only black one produced. It was a customer ordered car built in Nov of 64.

Not actual car pictured, the one pictured is a 340 HP. Most were 340 with the power glide and the other car is  a 396 car.

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Rarest was a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville 389 tripower/4 speed/4 door. 1 of 1.

Judge with 4 speed and AC is probably double digits, know 1970 GP/4 speed was around 300 cars.

88 Reatta was 4708 but mine has the sunroof which was a late intro.

So a lot depends on whether you include the option mix.

I have a rare 66 Pontiac sitting in storage. It's a Grande Parisienne. Sold new in Alberta Canada, Ordered and equipped with a Mk 4 396 (Chevy) engine, M21 4 speed manual, 12 bolt PosiTrac, and F41 suspension. Bucket seats and console. It still has the original powertrain except for a rear diff. gear change.

 Most US Pontiac people and some here in Canada scratch their heads over this car. I have the original order sheet, bill of sale and Vintage Vehicle GM of Canada documents for it. The breakdown for this car optioned as such is unknown, but less than 90 4 speed cars were built in Canada that year.

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I have a rare 66 Pontiac sitting in storage. It's a Grande Parisienne. Sold new in Alberta Canada, Ordered and equipped with a Mk 4 396 (Chevy) engine, M21 4 speed manual, 12 bolt PosiTrac, and F41 suspension. Bucket seats and console. It still has the original powertrain except for a rear diff. gear change.

 Most US Pontiac people and some here in Canada scratch their heads over this car. I have the original order sheet, bill of sale and Vintage Vehicle GM of Canada documents for it. The breakdown for this car optioned as such is unknown, but less than 90 4 speed cars were built in Canada that year.

Even though this is a Canadian Pontiac, Hard core Pontiac aficionados consider your car a Chevy. Chevy narrow track, Chevy engine car = Chevy.

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Even though this is a Canadian Pontiac, Hard core Pontiac aficionados consider your car a Chevy. Chevy narrow track, Chevy engine car = Chevy.

It is the same body shell and interior as the 1966 American Grand Prix, grill's, bumpers tail lights, all the same. It has a different roof and rear window  than a regular Pontiac Catalina, Bonneville or Parisienne.

 I have been asked to bring it to a POCI meet by a member and if there is one close enough to me I will someday, maybe. The conversations and arguments can be entertaining or ridiculous, depending on the persons involved.

  So far I've resisted the temptation other than a cruise- in at the Steve Plunkett Estate where the Fleetwood Country Cruise is held and it got some arguments going there!

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What do you think is the rarest regular production car you've ever seen at a car show or cruise night?

 

Local show ...

My old 1959 Pontiac Catalina that my dad special ordered new. Next to the vin tag on the firewall was the S/O ( special order) tag. Ordered at the Los Angeles Zone office- built in Michigan instead of the South Gate Ca. plant because of the engine build. 420-A Four bolt main high nickel content 389 NASCAR engine hand built, balanced, assembled , prepped in the Pontiac tool room with Tri Power ( 3-2bbl carburetion). Four speed heavy duty Super HydraMatic transmission with external oil cooler. Three third member Heavy duty Safety Track 9.3 inch of 3.08, 3.90, and 4.10. HD radiator, HD brakes w/o cooling fins to use with standard 14" wheels instead of the normal HD finned drums which required 15" wheels ( why? because 15" wheels only came with poverty caps and my dad wanted to have the 14" wheels with super deluxe tri-bar spinner wheel covers).

Exterior, Sunset Glow paint, and TRI-Power delete badge.

Interior FULL Tri Tone (color) Blue Bonneville leather interior including the Bonneville/Star-Chief only dual dome lamps in the roof.

I only know of one other 1959 Pontiac Catalina that was built with a Bonneville interior and that was a car built for Harley Earl's wife.

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I guess if options are what make it rare rather than the whole car then my 56 Olds 88 2 door hardtop solid color no options with factory 3 speed stick would qualify.  I have only seen a 56 super 88 2 door hardtop and a 56 88 2 door post sedan with manual transmission.  No others in any configuration for 1956.  I have actually seen more 55 and 57's with manual transmission. Valuable,  Probably not,  Rare for sure. 

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That Catalina must have been a fast & beautiful car. Do you have any pic's of it?

Yes it was a kind of Pre Ventura. In 1959 the Catalina interior was really a step down from a Impala because according to the A. Sloan theory there was to be division price overlaps. There was a demand for a more deluxe smaller car. as you probably know from 1959-1964 there is a seven inch difference between Catalina, Ventura and Gran Prix from the Bonneville and Star Chief and also about 200Lbs. If you are going drag racing ( which my dad and later I did ) every 100 lbs. is a tenth of a second and a tenth of a second at the end of the quarter mile is a car length. Anyroad, that demand for a more luxurious car in the short wheelbase led to first the Ventura in 1960 and as the Ventura was fazed out as a series in 1961 the Grand prix took it's place.

Even though the Super Duty Group ( group of engineers from Pontiac division organized to design and build high performance engines and parts) was officially recognized in 1960, some of the core group had been developing all these things since at least 1957 hence the first Pontiac win at NASCAR in 1957.

Anyroad, our Catalina would turn a consistent 13.91 to 14.0 depending on track condition, humidity. Altitude where we raced was basically near sea level. Later when IHRA and NHRA allowed slicks in stock classes the car dropped in firmly at 13.91-92 at 100-102mph. Yes I have old 3X3 prints and some shots from a instamatic Kodak camera.

I might add that my uncle really got these ideas flowing when he bought new a 1956 Pontiac Chieftain 860 " Colony" two door wagon ( similar to a Chevy tradesman wagon ) with the 316.6 285 HP dual quad engine with a dual range slant pan four speed HydraMatic. So not to be out done the next year My dad's other brother bought a new 1957 Olds Super 88 with a 371 J-2 with a Four speed Jetaway HydraMatic. This prompted my dad to take the next step in 1959.

Ironically I sold the Catalina in 1968 and special ordered a 355" H-O T-400 1969 Pontiac LeMans hardtop coupe ( which I still have ), but in 1978 I wanted the 59 Catalina back, unfortunately I traced it back to a salvage yard and the car was shredded three months before I started looking for it. And I knew the people and had business dealings with them through the company I worked for!

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Yes it was a kind of Pre Ventura. In 1959 the Catalina interior was really a step down from a Impala because according to the A. Sloan theory there was to be division price overlaps. There was a demand for a more deluxe smaller car. as you probably know from 1959-1964 there is a seven inch difference between Catalina, Ventura and Gran Prix from the Bonneville and Star Chief and also about 200Lbs. If you are going drag racing ( which my dad and later I did ) every 100 lbs. is a tenth of a second and a tenth of a second at the end of the quarter mile is a car length. Anyroad, that demand for a more luxurious car in the short wheelbase led to first the Ventura in 1960 and as the Ventura was fazed out as a series in 1961 the Grand prix took it's place.

Even though the Super Duty Group ( group of engineers from Pontiac division organized to design and build high performance engines and parts) was officially recognized in 1960, some of the core group had been developing all these things since at least 1957 hence the first Pontiac win at NASCAR in 1957.

Anyroad, our Catalina would turn a consistent 13.91 to 14.0 depending on track condition, humidity. Altitude where we raced was basically near sea level. Later when IHRA and NHRA allowed slicks in stock classes the car dropped in firmly at 13.91-92 at 100-102mph. Yes I have old 3X3 prints and some shots from a instamatic Kodak camera.

I might add that my uncle really got these ideas flowing when he bought new a 1956 Pontiac Chieftain 860 " Colony" two door wagon ( similar to a Chevy tradesman wagon ) with the 316.6 285 HP dual quad engine with a dual range slant pan four speed HydraMatic. So not to be out done the next year My dad's other brother bought a new 1957 Olds Super 88 with a 371 J-2 with a Four speed Jetaway HydraMatic. This prompted my dad to take the next step in 1959.

Ironically I sold the Catalina in 1968 and special ordered a 355" H-O T-400 1969 Pontiac LeMans hardtop coupe ( which I still have ), but in 1978 I wanted the 59 Catalina back, unfortunately I traced it back to a salvage yard and the car was shredded three months before I started looking for it. And I knew the people and had business dealings with them through the company I worked for!

A 62 Catalina Super Duty 421 cheesecake frame, 421 dual quads, aluminum front fenders,hood and bumpers that I sponsored in the early 80s.

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A 62 Catalina Super Duty 421 cheesecake frame, 421 dual quads, aluminum front fenders,hood and bumpers that I sponsored in the early 80s.

Pardon for correcting you but the cars were called Swiss Cheese cars because of the holes drilled in their frames by the factory to lighten them up for drag racing, however this only happened on the 1963 models before the January 1963 GM Corporate ban on racing. This weight reduction of aluminum doors hood, decklid, and bumpers ( these components were done also in 1962 except the Swiss Cheese frames. also for 1963 came the Plexiglas windows. All factory done. Things were getting so radical that NHRA and IHRA decided to re-classify from Super Stock into an new category of Factory Experimental or the F/X class. Pontiac still because of a heaver weight was placed not in A/FX but in the heaver weight class of B/FX, still these Pontiac were running low 12's to mid 11 seconds at over 126mph in the quarter mile. Factory Experimental, because of Chrysler starting to altering their wheelbases in 1965 for better traction made their cars look funny and with their funny looks the name of the class and because the cars got more radical began to take on the name of FUNNY CARS. That's how the funny car class went from Factory Experimental to short wheel base dragsters with car bodies on them.

A 1963 B/FX Swiss Cheese Catalina that a friend drove back in 1963;

http://ccco.s3.amazonaws.com/social_photos/5/2/2/0/5220/5220_mcacn_2013_class_of_1963_swiss_cheese_royal_pontiac_low_res.jpg

The frame of a 1963 swiss cheese catalina;

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSacdlqRzEzTh7l4Tml5FdwnvI-zJK9WK_jZDe3nyFRq9_CN-vd

A 421 Super Duty Pontiac rated a 410 hp. Anyone who can do the math knows 410hp will not push a 3400lb. full size car into the 11's. Truth is the 421 put out a little over 500hp in 1963.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTMvGJB48DgRxpJG6fyIAwGVV-Ep_9B0sm9VN2ThNNEV96P6Mp7

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Pardon for correcting you but the cars were called Swiss Cheese cars because of the holes drilled in their frames by the factory to lighten them up for drag racing, however this only happened on the 1963 models before the January 1963 GM Corporate ban on racing. This weight reduction of aluminum doors hood, decklid, and bumpers ( these components were done also in 1962 except the Swiss Cheese frames. also for 1963 came the Plexiglas windows. All factory done. Things were getting so radical that NHRA and IHRA decided to re-classify from Super Stock into an new category of Factory Experimental or the F/X class. Pontiac still because of a heaver weight was placed not in A/FX but in the heaver weight class of B/FX, still these Pontiac were running low 12's to mid 11 seconds at over 126mph in the quarter mile. Factory Experimental, because of Chrysler starting to altering their wheelbases in 1965 for better traction made their cars look funny and with their funny looks the name of the class and because the cars got more radical began to take on the name of FUNNY CARS. That's how the funny car class went from Factory Experimental to short wheel base dragsters with car bodies on them.

A 1963 B/FX Swiss Cheese Catalina that a friend drove back in 1963;

http://ccco.s3.amazonaws.com/social_photos/5/2/2/0/5220/5220_mcacn_2013_class_of_1963_swiss_cheese_royal_pontiac_low_res.jpg

The frame of a 1963 swiss cheese catalina;

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSacdlqRzEzTh7l4Tml5FdwnvI-zJK9WK_jZDe3nyFRq9_CN-vd

A 421 Super Duty Pontiac rated a 410 hp. Anyone who can do the math knows 410hp will not push a 3400lb. full size car into the 11's. Truth is the 421 put out a little over 500hp in 1963.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTMvGJB48DgRxpJG6fyIAwGVV-Ep_9B0sm9VN2ThNNEV96P6Mp7

Good on the correction. I restored this car and it had the holes in the frame. No pictures to prove. Lot of my pictures got ruined in a flood of sewer water in the 80s. Also had a 63 427 Z11 car. We also started the cloning of cars back in the late 70s.

I have had Kieth Wilson and Jerry Haskel at my Gas stations back then. 

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What do you think is the rarest regular production car you've ever seen at a car show or cruise night?

 

Local show ...

Did not see this one at any show or cruise night but instead I tried to buy it from the original owner. After 27 years,alas, the car went to the estate and I was unable to get it.

It was a 1949 Frazer Manhattan 4-door convertible - 1 of 65

I did own a 1949 Desoto Suburban sedan - 1 of 129

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Nick 8086 said "What do you think is the rarest regular production car you've ever seen at a car show or cruise night?

The key phrase to me was regular production.   

Therefore "One of a kind", "1 of 2", "Special Order" and "Prototype or "Custom" don't constitute regular production.

Does the Stout Scarab count as regular production with 6 built?  Or the Tucker with 51?  Is there an accepted number produced to make a vehicle a regular production vehicle?  NASCAR and the international race rules require significant production, like 200.

How about the 1938 Graham Paige "Spirit of Motion", commonly know as the Shark Nose Graham. I've seen them, but very seldom even though is was unquestionably a "regular production car."

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'66 Bonne I mentioned was a regular production car with available options just only one was built with that mix. In '69 I think it was John Delorean said Chevrolet could build a million cars and no two alike.

Pontiac in that era used a 80 column Hollerith card to define the build of their cards. If two options used the same column(s) they could not be ordered on the same car. Two I remember were Safeguard speedometer and Rallye Gauge Package so points off if a car had both. (That is real points judging).

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Seems to be a lot of Chevies.

 

Surprise, it really is insured as an antique car, too.

 

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And  verified- "There are 4 1994 CAPRICE CLASSIC 4 DR vehicles (0.004%) matching your exact options list."

That WX3 option makes a difference.

Bernie

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Nick 8086 said "What do you think is the rarest regular production car you've ever seen at a car show or cruise night?

The key phrase to me was regular production.   

Therefore "One of a kind", "1 of 2", "Special Order" and "Prototype or "Custom" don't constitute regular production.

Does the Stout Scarab count as regular production with 6 built?  Or the Tucker with 51?  Is there an accepted number produced to make a vehicle a regular production vehicle?  NASCAR and the international race rules require significant production, like 200.

How about the 1938 Graham Paige "Spirit of Motion", commonly know as the Shark Nose Graham. I've seen them, but very seldom even though is was unquestionably a "regular production car."

Take my 59 Catalina for example, or Harley Earl's wife's 59 Catalina or any factory race cars Pontiac produced for example. It's a matter of paperwork but still a production vehicle. Chevrolet COPO cars, the same or Central Office PRODUCTION ORDER.

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I always find it amusing to decode every option on a car until it's "one of a kind." Late-model Corvette guys are famous for this foolishness.

 

One of 38,032 2005 Corvettes built

Of those, only 19,235 were coupes

Of those, only 12,643 had automatic transmissions

Of those, only 8352 had the transparent roof

Of those, only 1243 had the AM/FM/CD/Satellite radio

Of those, only 523 had dual power seats

Of those, only 32 also had dual zone climate control AND heads-up display

Of those, only 8 were sold on the west coast

Of those, only 1 was sold in Ogden, Utah in February

THIS IS THAT CAR!!!!!

 

Ugh.

 

It's hard to call a production car with a happy confluence of options rare or extra desirable unless the options are a big deal (say, a limited-production and/or expensive engine or factory A/C back before A/C was common). Interesting, yes, but unless there's something special about how the car was built or the factory's intentions, rather than just a haphazard collection of options, I think "rare" and "production car" are kind of mutually exclusive.

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I the very early 70s, I saw a 1967 Ford Country Squire wagon at a show in Xenia Ohio. It had a 428, 4 speed, and a console. Owner had documentation it was built like this. I doubt if there was another one like it. I never saw it again.

Kevin

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Although rarity does not equate to value, I do think my 1937 Cord 812 Custom ( Long Wheel Base) Beverly is pretty rare. Factory records indicate that 235 LWB Beverlys were built. Surprisingly, 141 of those were supercharged, leaving only 94 LWB Beverlys like mine without a supercharger.

 

Of those 94, only 23 were Cadet Gray with a blue interior. Of those 23 only 4 had a leather interior. Of those 4, only 2 had an extra set of rear bumper guards installed. Of those 2, only 1 was delivered new in Eagle Crap Falls on a Saturday night to a guy named Elroy. Mine is that car!!!   :D  :rolleyes:  (Sorry Matt, couldn't resist.)  

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