1966 Pontiac Puzzle: Worth Putting Together?

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This old Pontiac was found sitting in the driveway of a vacant home. I tracked down the owner and although he isn’t actively trying to sell it, he said he may have to because a neighbor complained. The owner purchased the car when it was about a year old and quite driving it sometime in the ’80s. They then proceeded to start it every week until a year or so ago. They state that it’s rust free and that they think it’s worth $1,000. The problem in California is that if the owner wasn’t paying non-op fees, it could have a lot of back fees due. This is a very basic car, so I’m sure it could be made to run and drive fairly easily, but this is one case where I would understand if one were to customize it. But, would it be worth it? What do you think – off to the crusher or is there still hope?


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  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    Get it – how many could be left?

  2. Modifieddriver

    Worth saving? Hell yes. That’s a COOL car, especially being a 2-dr.

    Not being from CA, but always looking to not pay stupid taxes and DMV fees. What if ya’ buy it, retitle it in a state with no non-op fees and then transfer title back to CA. The car price is so low that sales tax would be very little, especially if that figure was massaged some, if you know what I mean.

  3. Dan

    Save it…I have never seen one with a two door post body, and I’m 63 years old, gotta be a rare body…

  4. moosie Craig

    What is the purpose of the fee ? Do any other states have them ? Sounds too “BIG BROTHERISH”, if I bought it ,, am I liable for the fees ? Nice old poncho, I’d save it, Super duty 421, 2X4 or 3X2, 4 Spd.

    • JamestownMike

      Back CA fees would only be due to CA residents. Out of CA = no back fees due.

  5. Jeff

    Is it a Catalina or a Bonneville? I have a 66 Bonneville 2dr.coupe that is the green color that that looks to have started as. If you can get it out of state and register it somewhere else it is definitely a saver!

  6. Rich

    I did some looking around and this looks like a 1965 Pontiac Catalina. If you look at the head lights and tail lights, they’re 1965 vs. 1966. However I could not find any pictures of a “post” model. If this is a Catalina sedan then it’s 1 of 9526 made. More info., especially the VIN and dataplate are really necessary to be sure.

  7. Danger Dan

    Send the existing paperwork and a check for $150 to Donna Leek, professional vehicle registration services, grass valley, ca. End of story.

  8. Jacques

    I’m a car enthusiast but certainly not to point of knowledge I see displayed on this site and much as I hate to disagree isn’t this a ’66 Pontiac?

    • Woodie Man

      rear lights appear to be different

  9. David Frank David Member

    It could be a ’66. I haven’t seen the paperwork. Here’s a picture of another ’65. Is this worth $1000 do you think? Any ideas how I could save it? If I bought it, do you think I could sell it and get my money back? Sitting behind it in the driveway is the ’86 K car he bought when he quit driving the Pontiac, by the way. He drove it about 20 years before parking it. And the house sits empty as well because they bought another house. This guy just doesn’t sell things.

  10. Chris in Nashville

    I just moved here from CA. Depending on how long ago it was last registered it may not be in the system anymore and therefor not owe any fees. If you go into the DMV office with the VIN, they will tell you what is owed.

    I would say it is most certainly worth saving, although if it is not out of the system it might be best to flip it to someone who is in anot her state and avoid the fees. But first step is to find out what if any fees are owed.

  11. Woodie Man

    Anything is worth saving if it is cheap enough to buy and you have enough money to pour into it to restore it. What happens when you go to sell it is anyone’!s guess

  12. Don E

    I don’t see a link or info about how to buy it? Pls post something if available.

  13. JamestownMike

    SAVE IT! It definitely has the right amount of doors. I’ve never seen a 2 door post in this body style……..worth checking into!

  14. Tom Member

    I would say any classic car, 2 door, from CA is worth 1K. 4 doors is another story in my opinion. Even though this car was not cared for, so to speak, it has been pretty much a 1 owner car which in many cases means unmolested. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a restoration but it is nice to find them this way. In my opinion, you really cant go wrong.

  15. Gary

    Just an FYI, this is not a ’66 but a ’65 year model. The headlight buckets and hood ornament give it away. It also is well worth buying and saving, a rare car for sure. It would really be cool if it were to have a 4 spd bucket seat interior! I am in CA, would like to know just where this is?. Would be happy to go check it out and do a PI.

  16. DENIS

    I love the post cars…it’s a ’65 Catalina…I’d buy it in a minute but it’s too costly to ship to Minnesota…limited value when done but I’d love to have it….

  17. Gary

    Forgot to mention, and you are right Denis it is a Catalina model and was the lowest cost model in the Catalina lineup for 1965 @ $2678 also this was the lowest production (right on Rich) Catalina for ’65 @ 9,526 made.

  18. Luke Fitzgerald

    65 Cat with what is probably an option chrome trim package – super dooper rare – being the scum model it would have been better stuck together – more paint to show than chrome covering up unfinished joins (think vinyl tops) – someone get it – if it was a 65 Ford / Chev post it’d gone…….

  19. Luke Fitzgerald

    Actually, the damn thing could be Canadian – just like them to spruse up a pov model with chrome – the caps look wrong as well…..

  20. Jasper

    Seen one or two of these. The nicest looking of the big two door posts…and it’s a Pontiac!

    Was an older lady here in town that drove one like this in that minty metallic green. Sadly it ended up sitting at a funky little repair shop for a while after the front end took a serious hit. Was a nice car.

  21. Steven

    definitely a ’65! I’ve had each…65 and 66.

  22. Karl

    That roofline just shouts “65 Chevy”. You can certainly see GM parts sharing in this car. Don’t take that as a knock, though; I like the lines of this car (and the ’65 Chevy, for that matter). If the price is right, and looking at the white Pontiac shown above as an example of what it could be, it’s a winner.

  23. pontiactivist

    This is a really cool car. Being from Pennsylvania I would definitely like to have this even if it is what some of you guys consider rusty or rough. Gotta be better than half the rusted junk we find lying around up here. 421dual quads 4speed posi with a deep set of gears set of mags or convert to the 8 lug wheels leave the paint alone and restore the interior. Perfect car for anger management.
    Was at the Pontiac show in Norwalk Ohio yesterday. Was one or two of these there. But they are far and few in between anymore. I’ve been going to that show for 8 years now and have only seen several.

  24. David Frank David Member

    This car belongs to Tony. I just spoke to him and he said it is alright to call if you are serious, 916 452-1219. I will be glad to help however I can, including taking more pictures or even starting it. I would need to move it out of the bushes to get more pictures. Tony is an old guy, (even older than me!), so be patient with him if you call.

    • Don E

      David, did you happen to take any interior pics that you could post? Thx

  25. Chebby

    There’s a guy in SF with a gold 4-door one of these, and his is a Star Chief with a 389. I think he wanted $2500 for it in pretty scruffy but licensed and drivable condition.

  26. GreaserMatt

    My buddy had a ’65 grand prix in high school and it was an amazing car; definitely worth saving…

  27. Don E

    I spoke with Tony and his wife. Nice couple. I’m going up there to hopefully buy it. He says it ran until 4months ago when the battery failed, but hasn’t moved for 10years. He’s owned it since ’67. He’s a bit vague about the interior condition except that the headliner has fallen down. No AC, and his memory recollects no power steering, which was standard I believe, so take the info with a grain of salt. If David or anyone else has interior pics, that would make the pricing decision easier. Thx

    • David Frank David Member

      Great news! The windows are so dirty, it’s hard to see in. I’ll see if I can get together with Tony tomorrow to open it up. Let me know if/when you come up if you’d like some help loading it. Or, the least I can do is buy you lunch for saving this old Pontiac! There are several used tire places nearby if the tires don’t hold air.

  28. Don E

    Thanks so much David! Let’s side bar the rest of this conversation. Please access my direct email and reply or I can call you?

    • David Frank David Member

      Not sure how to access your email, my cell is 916 806-9756, call any time

  29. Blindmarc

    Glad to see someone’s going to save it. Way to step up to the plate!

  30. Rocco

    Keep us updated please.

  31. '59FORDfan

    Definitely, a ’65, as my Dad drove a new Laurentian and, a fellow, with whom he worked, in 1971, drove a ’66, to which Pontiac had narrowed the distance, from the top of the grille, to the bottom-i.e., it was narrower, vertically. ‘Hope, that that makes some sense.

  32. '59FORDfan

    Oh-and, in ’66, the area between the two taillights, just, was a continuation, of the same metal, as the rest of the car. Wait-I see Jacques has it covered!

  33. 64 bonneville

    I must have missed this one. Yes it is a 65 model 2 door post Catalina. My brother-in-law had one when the wife and I got married. He had bought it used, 389 2 barrel with power steering and radio and heater. Was a 3 speed on the column. sort of strange no automatic and no power brakes, but he bought it used from a car lot about 1969 and gave $695.00 for it. I stayed after him for 3 or 4 years to sell it to me, but he gave it to his dad when the old mans’ car quit on him. Being in the military at the time, we moved to another post out of state and I lost track of it. Found out later from my father-in-law, that it had gotten T-bone and bent the frame to bad to fix, was sold for scrap.

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