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Arizona Barn Find: 1963 Pontiac Catalina

'63 Catalina

It is reported that in 1963 fourteen 421 Super Duty Catalinas were produced with aluminum hoods, trunk panels, fenders, bumpers and had 120 holes punched in their bodies to “lighten” them up which lead to the nickname “Swiss Cheese”. This 1963 Pontiac Catalina 2-door hardtop isn’t one of those rare cars, but it is an Arizona barn find with 61K miles on the odometer and it has likely been lightened, but through more natural means. Listed here on eBay and parked in Scottsdale, Arizona with an opening bid of $200.

'63 Catalina engine

The original 389 2bbl with the 2 speed automatic does idle rough, but it runs. The fuel tank will need to be boiled out, the owner says it is solid though. It currently is running off a can of fuel under the hood.

'63 Catalina dash

The interior is the optional Ventura tri-tone dark red and will need attention if you are planning on cruising comfortably in this Catalina. All the windows roll up and down as they should according to the owner.  The brakes are not working, but the power steering is, as well as the transmission.

'63 Catalina truck

Here’s the truck without a spare wheel. Speaking of wheels, the wheels are on car are not included with the purchase. The buyer will include some steel wheels with tires that hold air.

'63 Catalina rear

The seller claims this Catalina was purchased from the original owner wearing the original paint and is 100% unmodified. Both quarter moldings and the original hubcaps are missing. There is some panel work to be done and of course there is rust that will need to be repaired. This one might actually make the perfect candidate to build a Swiss Cheese clone, but then again it might be just as fun to keep it original. Remember, as they say, they are only original once.



  1. Rancho Bella

    This would be like investing in the Indian or Brazilian stock markets and expecting any returns……………..

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  2. randy

    The “return” would be having a cool old car, cheap to fix and drive.
    Motivation does not always have to include monetary gain.

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    • Jason Houston

      Precisely! Thanks, Randy. I couldn’t have said it better.

      Like 1
    • Wayne Thomas

      This is why I love BF – so many cool projects that don’t need to be flipped. Most everything on here is meant to be enjoyed not sold to a bunch of rich drunk a-holes at a BJ auction. Swap in a new LS engine from a GTO and have a restomod with the cool looks but drivability/reliability of a new car. Its a win-win.

      Forget the flippers.

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      • JW454

        Why does it need an engine swap?

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  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    Randy – you are so right – this would be one car to legalise and then thrash the living day lights out of it. Conversely, cautious resto (read cheap) – drive as go – no issues unless the price escalates – nice model

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    • Jason Houston

      WHY would you “thrash the living daylights out of it”? Did I miss something?

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      • Wayne Thomas

        Pontiac….We build driving excitement.

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      • Howard A Member

        Hi Jason, apparently you missed out on the whole “Wide-Trackin'” deal. Oh sure, you could get set back in the seat with a lot of cars back then, but few did it with the class of a Wide Track Pontiac.
        BTW, if the “original owner” would have taken better care of it( instead of leaving it outside for years), you may have something. This car will need a lot of work.

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      • Mark S

        I agree why thrash the hell out of it, it’s survived this long. This would be a beautiful car restored, and yes you would be upside down on the money side of things, but what an enjoyable car you’d have, and it wouldn’t be another Chevy on car nights.

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  4. Jason Houston

    Years ago, this car would have been avoided bc it wasn’t a Bonneville convertible with bucket seats. How times change…

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  5. saintmike801

    I’ve been a Pontiac fan all of my life, still driving the G6 I bought new in 2005. I always thought this year Catalina was a good looking body style.

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  6. Franke Paige

    Very cool, alittle cleaning of the gas tank, lines, check on those brakes, change the fluids and drive it. Lots of great curves and those tail lights.

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  7. Marty Member

    Pontiacs had much cooler interiors than other GM cars of the era. Smarter styling, with long, clean, straight lines, tasteful use of faux wood panels, good proportions, tri-color schemes, the clear plastic steering wheel….I love the interiors and dashes with one exception, and that’s the climate controls that made it look like it had two radios.

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  8. OhU8one2

    This is perfect to build a resto-mod,Swiss cheese,tin Indian, put a 421tri-power,Royal Bobcat treatment,Muncie 4spd,4:11 gear’s, acid dip the front,drill all the hole’s. Paint it whatever color you want,and drive it til it can’t go no more.

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  9. Cassidy

    I really like those wheels, too bad they aren’t coming with the car. I don’t think I’ve seen one of these Catalina’s before, its a nice looking design! A fun car to drive and fix when it needs work!

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  10. steve

    I think I would rebuild the mechanicals/hot up the engine and fix up the interior. Flat clearcoat the “patina” and have a blast. No need to worry about paint chips!

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  11. DENIS

    Gotta go with the old-school drag racer theme…love the body-style.

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  12. George

    Original paint? What’s left of it…. I love the old Cragers. I’ve always loved the look of those wheels.

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  13. Marty W Member

    Howard, a few years back I was fortunate enough to own a ’63 Pontiac like this one, but mine was convertible. Non-restored, but fairly decent original condition. Light silver blue, with the tri-tone interior, also in blue. I liked the interior and dash as stated previously, and I think the big letters that spelled out C A T A L I N A over the glove compartment only added to the awesome wide-open spaces feel the interior of this car had.

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  14. GoodoleMike

    Bet there’s alot of flippers out there. At least this guy took the car of the trailer.

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  15. Tony Sheffler

    If I didn’t already have three 1965 GTO’s, I would be all over this one, it is less tha 150 miles away. What hurts is that I have a complete TriPower setup off a `66 GTO and a Borg Warner T10 4 speed from a 66 as well as the entire bellhousing,flywheel,clutch and all linkage, including Hurst Shifter for a 66. Just no time or room for another project

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  16. Jerome Pratt

    I bought this car @ 4 years ago and it’s almost done. Went with the old junkyard drag car theme. Big Pontiac motor with big street blower. Will post pics soon!

    Like 0

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