40 Year Slumber: 1964 Pontiac Catalina

While this 1964 Catalina is not strictly 100% original, the new owner will have the option of returning it to that state if that’s what they want. The car is located in Denver, Colorado, and after a 40-year slumber in a dry New Mexico barn, it has been revived and is being sold with a clear title. You will find the Catalina for sale here on eBay. A big thank you must also go out to Barn Finder Ikey H for spotting this Catalina for us.

The owner believes that the car may have undergone some repairs at some stage in the past, but these would pre-date it going into storage. Everything on the car presents very nicely, and the owner says that even the rockers have little in the way of rock pitting. He also says that the car is rust-free, and this shot of the underside certainly shows a floor that is clean enough to eat off.

The turquoise interior trim is original and untouched. It is also virtually faultless. The car is a radio-delete car, so it is pretty basic in there. Even though it is radio-delete, the original owner still specified air conditioning. However, it is in exceptional condition for an original interior that’s 54-years-old. Today, new cars don’t give you much choice when it comes to interior trim colors, and I think that’s one of the reasons why I like cars of this era so much. Can you imagine going into a new car dealership and being able to buy a new car with a turquoise interior?

Getting the car running after sitting for 40 years wasn’t actually a big job, After going through the fuel system, as you would expect, the car started and ran great. It then poured copious amounts of oil on the floor as the engine developed a major oil leak. The owner had the engine removed, as the issue was the rear main seal, and proceeded to have all new gaskets fitted, and detailed the engine while it was out. This was when the work was done which makes the car non-original. The original automatic transmission was ditched in favor of a 4-speed 700R4 transmission, and all of its associated hardware. It appears that the job was performed very well, and no detail was left untouched. The original hardware is included with the car if the new owner wants to return it to standard. The car is also fitted with power steering, power brakes, and the previously mentioned A/C. As part of the revival process, the suspension and braking systems have been thoroughly inspected, and parts have been replaced or refurbished as required.

When I referred to the detail that has gone into the transmission swap, it’s items like this that stand out. The owner has been able to utilize the original column shifter, but if you look at the shifter quadrant, it is now marked for a 4-speed automatic instead of the original. That’s just a nice little detail touch that separates a reasonable conversion job from a really good one.

The new owner of this Catalina will receive the original tank build sheet and Protect-O-Plate with the car, along with all of the hardware required to return the transmission to its original specifications. They will also be buying a nice looking car that is claimed to have covered a genuine 27,000 miles before it went into storage. Bidding on this car hasn’t been brisk, but with bidding set to open at $9,995, and a BIN price of $15,900, I think that there’s every chance that this Catalina will soon be finding itself a new home.

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Comments

  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    I think that there has been a bit more work done on this car than is being mentioned, but: What a great and clean looking machine. This would be so much fun to drive in locations and conditions which would not lead to rust.

    Surviving this clean for 50 years seems almost impossible. I certainly have not fared so well!

    12
  2. flmikey

    In as much as I believe this beauty is worth every dime of the BIN price, I see those 2 extra doors holding it back…I would like to be wrong, but as most of you should know, I am right…

    12
    • al leonard

      Not this time flmikey….WRONG!!!! 4 doors rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      7
      • Michael

        Nice 4D 55!!! What a beauty!!

        5
    • Michael

      Right flmikey? No such thing on BF. Opinions YES. I think this Catalina looks better with four doors. Cars that take up this much real estate look better in 4D IMO.
      So it begins….

      2
  3. John M.

    Nice clean looking ride. Upgrading to the more modern 700R4 4 speed auto is a worthwhile upgrade but keeping the cars original transmission is a good idea.

    I LIKE IT!

    7
  4. local_sheriff

    Unless you’re suffering from the two-doors-too-many syndrome this would make a SWEET cruiser for anyone desiring an Impala/Bel Air but find them too pricey or commonplace! Did the same TH700 swap in my Impala years ago,definately adds to the driving experience though not mandated as I’d believe this one originally came with a TH400?
    As clean as this one looks, prospective buyers might also consider a very similar 4door Catalina(actually thought it was same car) listed on ebay but with GREEN interior.Though I suspect it’s not as pristine as this one, that one has MANUAL transmission, 3spd though. How often would that surface today?

    4
    • Evan

      THM 400 didn’t exist in ’64. I think this would have come with a Slim Jim or Roto-Hydramatic.

      4
      • Bob C.

        Hi Evan, 1964 was the first year for the THM400, so it is possible this car once had it. Bonnevilles and Star Chiefs retained the old 4 speed Hydramatic that year.

        1
      • Mark

        TH400 was in Cadillacs in ’64, and a switch-pitch version called the Super Turbine 400 was in big Buicks. The rest of GM had to wait until ’65 (Chevy had to wait even longer). Pontiac in ’64 used the Super HydraMatic 4-spd in the Bonne/Star Chief, and the Roto HydraMatic 375 3-spd in the Cat & GP.

        2
  5. Fordguy1972

    This one is a really nice car with desirable options and a great tranny upgrade. The BIN might be a bit optimistic as maybe the extra doors might hold it back but I think somewhere around the opening bid or a little higher might be tops for this beauty. However, unlike flmikey, I’ve been wrong before and perhaps someone will pull the trigger and pay the BIN. We’ll see.

    2
  6. PackardMike

    1st car!! ’64 Catalina 2Dr hardtop. 3years old, 65k miles, $1400!!! Same interior. Reverb unit in the trunk. Ha! Stock tranny was a 2 speed, I think. Wish I could have kept it….too.

    2
  7. Michael

    I could not care less about originality. For me, as long as the body and interior are not customized, I’m in.

    I really like this car. Would love to own it.

    6
  8. Chuck Dahl

    Already overpriced at starting bid!

    2
  9. Chris R.

    Awesome find! Think it is one extremely clean, low mileage classic worth every bit of the bin price. Would be hard pressed to find one this pristine at that price! Best of luck to the lucky new owner.

    2
  10. J Liu

    FYI, again, not a “Radio Delete”..no such thing. Pushbutton Radio, option U63 was $88.77. If you did not order that option, you had no radio. Radios were options at extra cost back then and a considerable cost. Dealers could install but that was probably not done with much frequency. Windshield washers, back up lights, glove box light…all extra cost options on the Catalina. By comparison to the radio @ $88.77, Power Steering was $96.75 and Door Edge Guards for a Coupe, were…wait now…$4.84..lol
    Don’t you wish you could twitch your nose..a’la Bewitched, go back to 1964 and order a car exactly as you want and then zap yourself and the car forward? To dream…haha. I had a low mileage, black 1964 Bonneville coupe when I was young. Wish I had it now. That car flew when the accelerator pedal was mashed. Terrific car.

    6
    • Bob_in_TN Member

      To put this info further perspective, $88.77 in 1964 is the same as about $725 in today’s dollars. So compare to modern cars; for example, a wheel and stripe upgrade on a base Mustang is $895. So a radio wasn’t a huge sum, but it wasn’t cheap either.

      Re: Bewitched, and ordering the exact car you want, gave me a chuckle. I have posted elsewhere about my fascination with the wide variety of paint and upholstery choices back in the day.

      Nice car.

      2
  11. CanuckCarGuy

    Very sharp cruiser, in beautiful shape. The BIN seems a bit high for my taste, as there’s a lot of classics in that price range (or less) with far more of a ‘wow factor’.

  12. Tony B.

    I have a white on white ’64 Bonneville Sport Coupe. That transmission upgrade was wise, if the car is going to be a driver. I have considered it for mine.

    1
  13. Bob Member

    If I did not already own a beautiful 63 Grand Prix, I would buy this today.

    2
  14. Del

    Nice car. Lot of work done.

    But not an In Demand unit.

    Asking price to high. Think it will have to be significantly lowered

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