Zeus00001

1976 Pontiac Catalina

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Hello Everyone,

 

I'm sorry if I am posting in the wrong place. I am basically ooking for advice with a vehicle I recently acquired. In 1976 my dad bought a new Pontiac Catalina at Kircher Pontiac in Fort Worth Texas. I was 11 years old and was with him when he was inspecting the vehicle. After driving the car home at 50 mph without running the AC in July was terrible but he wanted to break it in right. The car has lived in his garage since new and was driven on sunny weekends to church or to eat and the one road trip to Colorado in 1977. He has always maintained it well and it is in showroom condition. In 1976 when he bought it, he had the seats covered in plastic and they still are. The car has 25,706 Miles and is perfect in every way except the AC compressor started leaking about 10 years ago and he did not fix it being that he only starts it every 2 weeks and drives to gas up or change the oil every 6 months.

He gave me the vehicle and suggested I sell but I don't believe I should. I considered entering in shows after fixing the AC and putting new tires on it but I really am new at this. I have it registered as an antique with plates and have full insurance for it but I am torn on what to do.

 

I will put a few pics to see what you all think. Is it worth selling, entering in shows or just holding another 20 years until I pass it down. Any insight would be appreciated.

 

 

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Edited by Zeus00001 (see edit history)
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One owner, low miler?

I'd keep it.

Beautiful car.

If you sell it now, one day you'll regret it.

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I'm graceful for your opinion GregLaR. I am thinking along the same lines. I am thinking of having the AC redone and buy a set of new tires along with some general maintenance then perhaps entering in local shows. Perhaps it may win a few trophies in the originality side. Thank you for your kind words. I grew up with this car and maybe my son will want it in 20 years or so

 

Kind Regards. 

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That's a nice one.  You can have the AC updated to take the R134a.  I would also go over the brakes and make sure that they are functioning properly.  Don't take chances on safety.  Drive it and enjoy. 

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I agree with both Greg and Coyote, make sure it's mechanically sound and enjoy the car.

Keep it maintained and love it like your father always did and it will provide you with many years of trouble free smiles.

You mentioned you had a son, get him involved in tinkering with and enjoying 'grandpa's car'.

Some of my most fond memories are tinkering with and riding around in my grandfather's car.

 

It looks like a great car, drive it, show it, but most of all, enjoy it.

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Welcome to the forum, Zeus!

I would keep your family heirloom, too.

You'd be disappointed in its sales proceeds,

even though it is a good-looking well preserved car.

Many nice collectible cars are worth the price

of a used car--all the better for keeping and enjoying!

 

Even though 1970's cars are just beginning

to be "collectible," your car will interest some

people at shows--and especially because of its

one-family story and its low mileage.  And most

of all, your own family will know its story.

 

You should get antique-car insurance on it, from one

of the companies that specializes in that, and

not insure it with a regular-car insurance company.

You may find that insurance is less than $100 a year.

 

A 1976 Pontiac Catalina is not a common car today.

Many once-common models were not saved, as

they have been thought ordinary and mundane, so now

they are almost never seen.  People saved the 1975

Grand Ville convertibles because they were to be the

"last" of Pontiac's convertibles, and that once top-of-the-line

car, once seldom seen, is now by far the most-often-seen

large Pontiac of those years.  So appreciate what you have!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I suggest you keep it also. Very few cars are that original and one owner to boot. It’s a nice car!

 

Keep, enjoy and let it preserve memories of your father for years to come. 

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Absolutely keep it! It's part of your family at this point, and you will regret it if you sell it.

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Definitely keep it.  Enjoy driving it and showing it a local shows.  I wouldn't do any restoration other than what has been suggested for safety and comfort sake.  It could be entered in an AACA National show as is in either HPOF or Driver Participation classes.  Enjoy.  

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Beautiful car! If you like it then certainly keep it. As others said, this would be a perfect AACA HPOF car. Take your time. If it were mine I would focus on preservation rather than modification. I'd probably repair the AC but I wouldn't do any modifications or replacements of items. Value will be depressingly low. I had a '79 2 door Lebaron with 18k on the clock. They are a hard sell. No one wakes up in the morning looking for a '79 Lebaron any more than they're looking for a '76 Cat. However, to buy a car that will be as fun and reliable but from 10 or 20 years earlier in the same condition would cost quite a bit more and I'd argue that they wouldn't be any more fun, and they wouldn't have the family connection. So you won't hurt anything by driving the car to shows and enjoying the old car hobby.

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One more for keeping it. Not many 2 doors left and are great road cars. A6 compressor is easy. If a DIY I'd contact AC Kits they should have everything. Is that a 350 or a 400 engine ? Looks like someone replaced the stock radio with a cassette. Options like a cruise control are an easy add. Always thought the Cat had cleaner lines than the Bonne then.

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

One more for keeping it. Not many 2 doors left and are great road cars. A6 compressor is easy. If a DIY I'd contact AC Kits they should have everything. Is that a 350 or a 400 engine ? Looks like someone replaced the stock radio with a cassette. Options like a cruise control are an easy add. Always thought the Cat had cleaner lines than the Bonne then.

Thank you Padgett. Yes that's the 400ci. I did check and can get all parts and evacuatotor for about $500. My dad replaced the radio way back in the 70s but we have the stock radio.

I spoke to my wife and she agrees we should keep it and enter a few shows. Maybe win a few trophies being that it's all original except the radio but that we have as well. 

I'm going to take others advice and have the brakes flushed and checked and put on a new set of tires.

Thank you everyone for your kind comments. 

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

One more for keeping it. Not many 2 doors left and are great road cars. A6 compressor is easy. If a DIY I'd contact AC Kits they should have everything. Is that a 350 or a 400 engine ? Looks like someone replaced the stock radio with a cassette. Options like a cruise control are an easy add. Always thought the Cat had cleaner lines than the Bonne then.

Base engine for Catalina series in 1976 is a 400 2bbl. You are probably thinking of G/P as it gets the Pontiac 350 ( really a 355 ) in 1976 for the first time as the standard engine.

In 1977 the Catalina ( the cars are down sized ) base engine is the Buick 3.8 V-6.

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Zeus00001, that is a very nice Pontiac. I would keep it,  especially since it has been in your family since new  Good luck and enjoy it. John

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I say keep it. You do not see any like it at car show. I agree with all above for maint. I have two big old Pontiacs. A 63 Bonne. 2 dr. ht & a 63 GP. Bothe I restored.

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Keep and enjoy! A low mile, one-family-owned car is uncommon now.

 

Also realize you have the LAST year of "big" Pontiacs. Yes, the 2-door roof and quarter-glass styling is an acquired taste, but not as bad as the Caprice/Impala Custom coupe roofline of same vintage.

 

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