Amazing Survivor: 1964 Pontiac Catalina Safari

1964 Pontiac Catalina Safari

If the claims are true, this is an amazing find! The seller states that this beautiful Safari wagon has had one owner and only covered 30k miles since new. It does have new tires, but it’s said to be unrestored and still wearing its original paint. That is all hard to believe because it looks so good in the photos. Take a closer look at the eBay listing here and let us know what you think.

389 V8

I don’t see any good reason to not believe the claims under here. Some serious detailing has obviously been done and a few consumables have been replaced. There’s a new battery in there, but I don’t see any obvious overspray from previous “touch-ups”. The stickers are still in place too, but it would probably take a Pontiac expert to really know if everything is factory correct.

Pontiac Bench Seat

No reason to question the claims in here either. The seats look like new and the steering wheel doesn’t even have any cracks. That doesn’t mean a restoration hasn’t been done in the past though. An in-person inspection may be the only way to determine if this really is a survivor car or not. Since the odometer only has five digits, there’s no way to confirm the mileage unless there’s some documentation with the car.

Survivor Safari

Oil change stickers and maintenance records can help piece the puzzle together, but there would still be some gaps since the car was most likely parked for an extended period of time. Pontiac’s Safari is one of my all-time favorite station wagons so I hope all the claims are true and that it goes to a good home where it can be preserved for future generations.


  1. Mtoomey

    Looks pretty real from the photos.. have to love the Indian head high beam light…

  2. Joey

    Already at $27,000 NFW!

    Like 1
  3. Bob S

    That is a beauty, never seen the gear selector have PNDLR as the sequence. Be interesting to examine the paint . Interior looks quite amazing.

    • robert r

      all the older gm cars my dad owened 54 to 66 had that gear pattern. as for 8 lug wheels only 3/4 & 1 ton trucks had this . cars were 5 lug. the horn could be a uga horn.

      • Mike H. Mike H

        Um, Pontiac DID have an 8-lug wheel, beginning in 1960.

        Like 1
      • JimmyinTEXAS

        58 Chevy didn’t have that pattern, 62 Buick 225 did. Got caught hot rodding grandpa’s 62 Buick about 30mph pulled down into reverse. That car stopped in less than a car length, and about slung me through the steering wheel and into the windshield…and killed the engine. I slipped it into N and started the engine and gingerly put it into drive and took it home. No apparent damage, luckily for me…

      • Clay Byant

        Sorry Bob………..factory 8 lugs. You’re too young to remember..

        Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Hi robert, I don’t get what’s with all the stupid thumbs down on your comment. You people are awful. I know what bolt pattern you mean on trucks. It was 8 lug, but a closer pattern. These actually had different brake drums with those 8 lugs. I remember that gear pattern, but it changed in the ’60’s sometime, when too many people were dropping it into reverse going forward.

      • Steve hagebusch

        Actually thats incorrect a 64 bonnie which i own is PNDSLR 64 was the last yr before pontiac started useing the th400 in 65 also only cats n prixs had the 2 speed slimjim tranny as they was called 310 super turbine bonnies had 315 strato flights….better tranny lower rpms at highway speed and as for the 8 lug wheels this is a pontiac car not a truck the 8 lug wheel option started in 60 if i recall correctly and ended in 68 they ate aluminum finned drums to help cool the brakes the rim itself is like a old trailer rim “ring” with the lug holes on the out side at the beauty ring it is a correct factory set of rims have a set on my 66 tri power grand prix….

    • boxdin

      Mom got a new Olds 98 coupe in 1965 and instead of PRNDL it has PRNSL, the S being for “super” as acceleration. We told Mom it stood for “Sideways” to make it easier to park. She fell for it all the way!

    • Marty Parker

      All Pontiac Hydramatics had this sequence pryor to 65 when they switched to the turbo 400 which used the PRNDSL sequence.

  4. DAN

    someone loves wagons !!!!

  5. MathieuB

    Big engine and 8 lugs wheels, love this wagon!

    Like 1
  6. Bacon

    Beautiful! Does anyone know how I can contact a staff member? I need some advice on a barn find of my own…

  7. JW

    My sister had a 1964 4 door Catalina in1968 which I drove from New Orleans to Chicago. I don’t remember it having 8 lug wheels, was this a option? Also that big red horn on the inner fender doesn’t look familiar either, that is a horn isn’t it??? Great looking car anyway.

  8. jeff6599

    It appears to be the standard engine. Tripowers were available on both displacement sizes: 389 and 421. The big engines were 320, 350 and 370 hp 421s

  9. Dean

    I suspect this car belonged to a lodge or fraternal order or some such. I tried to identify the decal on the back window, without success. The horn is not standard to a 64 Pontiac, and I suspect (from the wiring connection) that it played more than one note, and perhaps a simple tune. Very interesting wagon, in what appears to me to be great original condition.

    • Howard A Member

      I believe they belonged to the Stonecutters.

    • Elliott Member

      @ Dean: If I’m not mistaken, that decal is the Budweiser Anheuser-Busch emblem.

      • Dean

        A sure enough, you’re right – but I plead ignorance as I don’t think this decal ever appeared in Canada…

  10. Leon Mongue

    It is beautiful and I would love to have it. However it has had a strong detailing and some touch up if not a complete paint job. Can’t go 30,000 miles without some stone chips on the leading edge of the hood, around wheel wells, spare tire well, etc.

  11. Don E Member

    Shifter sequence is correct for the Rotohydramatic / slimjim.

    Engine been resprayed to touch up but common. No GM production line chalk marks on the firewall below the wiper motor!!

  12. Bill

    Decal is a Bud beer logo.

  13. Oingo

    No expert here but the old man had a bunch of 60s vehicles and don’t recall any of them having a paint job like that. Heck I have a 2012 Dodge Charger that has orange peel on the whole hood and clumps of metallic in a few spots.

  14. dirtyharry

    Hey Pontiac experts, is this correct? Wikipedia says: In 1963 engine offerings were revised as the 333 hp (248 kW) and 348 hp (260 kW) versions of the 389 V8 were dropped in favor of “production” versions of the larger 421 cu in (6.9 L) rated at 338 horsepower (252 kW) with four-barrel carburetor, 353 hp (263 kW) with Tri-Power, or a 370 hp (280 kW) “HO” with Tri-Power . The ad says it is a 389, but if this info is correct, that engine was not offered in the 1964. I doubt 8 lug wheels were a ‘wagon option’ either. I am thinking this was restored (altered/improved?) at some point in its life. I personally don’t care, I want it.

    • Clay Byant

      All 64s had a base 389 and you could get 8 lugs on any Pontiac(full size)

      Like 1
  15. Billy Bob

    Miles are low probably due to no A/C

  16. Howard A Member

    The site is turning into “Survivor Finds”. I think it’s great, finding these cars. Wouldn’t you love to know the story on these cars? I know, it’s tough, these folks are probably long gone, but who would buy a car like this, and never use it? And no a/c, couldn’t have been a southern car. Nice Poncho!
    Oh, btw, must have done something with the site, much better now, thank you!

  17. racer417

    Aluminum hubs and drums, aka 8 lug wheels, were an availble option on ’64 Catalinas.

    Like 1
  18. Skip

    Awesome! Last time I saw one of the Star Chief Safari wagons it had been converted into an ambulance for the fire department in Pecos, TX. It was white over a metallic blue, and of course, had all the goodies on top. Cotner/Bevington, a coach company that produced ambulances and hearses mostly on Oldsmobile platforms from 1960 until the late ’70s built four known short-wheel-based Pontiac ambulances and combinations based on the Star Chief Safari platform. I found a ’63 model years ago that had belonged to a small funeral home in Midland, TX. At one point in the mid-80s that funeral home owed me some money and the owner offered me the ’63 Pontiac combination in payment. I jumped at that, of course; but when I made the trip from Lubbock to Midland, both the funeral director and car were gone. I found the funeral director in Coleman, TX and he claimed that he had put the car in storage but was very vague about where. Guess you have to live and learn.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Hope you at least got the money, even if you did not get the car?

  19. Blindmarc

    389 was available until 1967 I believe. I know a friend had a 66′ gp that had one, and my dads 64′ gp had one also.

    • Skip

      I think that some of the later ’60s and early ’70s models had 389s. When I had my standby ambulance co. we had a ’70 Pontiac Consort ambulance that had a 389.

    • 68custom

      400 for 67 .66 was last year for 389. Also 66 was last year fot trii power.

      Like 1
  20. JW

    Yes my sister’s 64 Catalina had a 389 with the trans selector design the same as car featured. I thought I recognized that sticker in the rear window but couldn’t put my finger on it, good old Budweiser !!!

  21. Perry Yasher

    The engine has been detailed and not very well. I would want to see the wagon in person.

  22. Keldog

    Pontiac even made a 428 engine in 68-69.Torque monsters

  23. Paul R

    The owner of the car passed away in Oct of 2014. She was 90 years old!
    Her and her husband lived in a suburb of St. Louis Mo and were distributors for Anheuser -Bush, hence the window decal.

    Its a really nice wagon!

    • Paul R

      Her husband owned several classics. This wagon sold in 2014 at an estate action for 30K

      • Bill

        Do you personally know the car? Any input as the to if the paint is original? From the pics, I certainly doubt it… not a single rock chip, nick or scratch in 60 years and 30k miles…

  24. ron h

    The 8 lug wheels were an option on all catalinas, including the safari. The outer rim was the wheel and the finned center while a part of the wheel was actually the brake drum. The had a steel sleeve pressed in for the brake shoes to contact. They had a tendency to overheat and crack the steel sleeve, so many were replaced with new hubs and steel wheels and the 8 lugs were scrapped. Sad but true…

  25. z28th1s

    Very nice car!

  26. Alan (Michigan)

    Love this car from every angle. Just a grand automobile. Buy this for way less money than is currently being turned down for a rusty jigsaw puzzle Jaguar…. and drive happily off into the sunset.

    Speaking of what is mounted on the inner RF fender…. The red horn is an easy one: Aftermarket, and perhaps it plays a period Anheuser-Busch jingle? What I want to know is…. What is that thing mounted further back towards the firewall? A box, with a handle sticking out of it….. Anyone?
    The mount with three coiled wires appears to be some sort of resistor block.

    I’d have to look it up, but I’m wondering if Pontiac installed alternators in ’64, or whether that may have been the last year for generators? If upgraded, that is one thing I’d never look down on. Those old generators were a bummer.

    Yep, I love this car!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Alan, that’s a trailer brake control behind the horn ( what it’s doing under the hood is anybody’s guess) and those 3 springs are the resistor for said control. My old man had those on the cars that pulled our trailers. As far as the alternator, I believe Pontiac used them in ’64, but I think the dash light still said “Gen”.

      • Alan (Michigan )

        Everything but the location makes sense, thanks!

      • brian crowe

        ya if you look close you can see a hydrolic brake line going from the master cylinder to that controller box. It goes up and across the fire wall.

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks brian. Yes, you could plumb those controllers into the brake lines. The old man never did that, and that resistor cut the voltage. I remember, either those trailer brakes locked the wheels, or did little, if anything at all.

  27. JW

    Sister’s Catalina had a alternator as well as my parents 64 Tempest.

  28. Roselandpete

    Bidding is over $28k. I know it’s nice but I didn’t think it would go that high.

  29. DA SWAMP

    What a sweet sweet ride… Huge hat’s off to the last owner….(drum roll)……….. Take a bow man. I’d shout you a beer any day.

  30. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Reserve not met. $29,901. 26 bids.

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