Fully Documented: 1965 Pontiac Catalina Ventura

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Apart from a repaint over a decade ago, this 1965 Pontiac Catalina Ventura is as original as the day it rolled off the showroom floor. The originality extends to its documentation, which would have accompanied the car on that first journey. Its presentation is first-rate and would satisfy a meticulous enthusiast. It appears its most pressing need is a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Newport, New Hampshire. The seller set their BIN at $44,995 but will entertain offers. Barn Finds contributor Jonny C spotted this stunning classic that will eventually make someone very happy.

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words and the supplied photos of this Catalina tell an encouraging story. The seller states it underwent a repaint in its original shade of Fontaine Blue approximately twelve years ago, and it appears to have led a sheltered life since. The paint shines nicely, although the distance from which the photos were taken makes it impossible to spot any flaws or defects. No problems are mentioned in the listing text, and the car appears rust-free. The chrome is in good order, and I can’t spot any glass issues. Pontiac built a reputation on high-performance models, and while the Catalina is no slug, the focus with this classic is more on the luxury side of the ledger. That makes the narrow whitewall tires look right at home and are a fitting finishing touch to the exterior.

The Ventura option was a trim package on the 1965 Catalina that added luxury trim and features. This car retains its original Tri-Tone Blue “Morrokide” interior trim that shows no wear or other problems. The dash is excellent, with no UV damage or crumbling plastic. A distinctive component in the Ventura package is the Deluxe wheel, which features two clear sections. This is in good order, with no cracks or splits. There are no aftermarket additions, and while the equipment levels look spartan by modern standards, the AM radio, retractable belts, and factory mats are welcome inclusions. For those craving more, the glove compartment houses the original Owner’s Manual, Dealer Invoice, and Build Sheet.

The originality of this Catalina extends to its drivetrain, with the car retaining its numbers-matching 389ci V8 and three-speed Turbo 400 transmission. It cements its luxury credentials courtesy of power assistance for the steering and brakes. With 325hp at the driver’s disposal, the ¼-mile ET of 15.9 seconds looks very respectable for a car weighing 3,966 lbs. It might not be a muscle car, but it doesn’t lack performance. The Catalina is in excellent mechanical health, with no problems mentioned in the listing. Adding to its attraction, it has a genuine 58,500 miles on the clock. I would typically question such claims, but the seller includes a fully-documented service history to quell any doubts.

Genuine enthusiasts often lament the fact that some marques have disappeared into the pages of automotive history books. It is probably more relevant with Pontiac because its legacy includes iconic vehicles like the GTO and Trans Am. It was once unthinkable that a brand with such heritage could succumb, but the automotive world occasionally throws us a curve ball. That means preservation is now more critical than ever, especially as the world embarks on its unrelenting journey into a zero-emission future. The day will come when a young person will ask, “What sort of cars did Pontiac build?” Answering the question with mere words seems inadequate, but showing them a classic like this 1965 Catalina will speak louder than words. That makes this classic worth preserving because otherwise, future generations will have no insight into what they missed.

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Aw, Jeez, “something in my eye, you know it happens everytime”,( a tribute to the late great Jim Croce) once this goes off EA, I must send this to my brother, THIS, was one of my late Uncle Marvs cars, just a sec,,( yeah, I’m human too,,snif),
    Okay then, I wasn’t going to comment for a while after my rant on the pickup, “ungrateful snot”, indeed most thought, I apologize, again, clearly I’m a frustrated man. To be clear, I WAS that ungrateful snot years ago.
    Now, I barely remember Marvs ’61 bubbletop Ventura, but this car replaced it. It wasn’t the fanciest Poncho, but fit Marv perfect. Remember, he was my dads only brother, who lived at home his whole life, never married, and worked a 1 job after the army, Briggs and Stratton, and he drove a ’65 Catalina just like this. Not a “old mans” Buick or Olds, and not a ho-hum Chevy, a Pontiac said you knew something about cars. It catered to “Marv” types all over this great country. Not a GP, or Bonne, but not too far off on the option sheet, and I remember, to a 10 year old kid in the back seat, this car rolled like thunder. Marv had a heavy foot, and was always fun when he drove. Fantastic find, if I could tell Marv his Pontiac, that he paid MAYBE $3500 for in 1965, is worth TEN TIMES that,,, WOW!!! Thanks Adam/BF for the memories.

    Like 21
  2. Harvey HarveyMember

    Great car, great find, great writeup.

    Like 11
  3. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    It’s a very nice car, I really like it. But Hagerty lists a “concours” example at about $17,000. I’ll give this car the concours rating, but 17K is a loooong way from 45K.

    Like 22
  4. CadmanlsMember

    Agreed Rex this isn’t a 45K car, it’s a plain jane Cat, nice but nothing special. Other than it looks great for it’s age. Collector car hobby has gotten out of hand.

    Like 21
    • Neal Jacobsen

      True. But so many collectors think that their ride is a Mecum special and will bring an enormous amount of money. When really they have a$15 – 20,000 car.

      Like 12
  5. 19sixty5Member

    It’s nice to see one with a equally nice appearing lucite steering wheel, most are toast. The big Pontiacs had some of the coolest dash designs back then, the heater controls mimicking the radio, the 3 center gauge pods, the aforementioned steering wheel, sportiness and grace combined! Nice looking Ventura, but the price doesn’t look so nice.

    Like 11
    • Art Engel

      Maybe a 2+2, 421 tri-power, 4 speed with 8 lugs or something along those lines. Insurance appraisals are usually ridiculously high and Haggerty is no different but 17k? It’s probably worth a little more, but no where near 45k, maybe half, just maybe.

      Like 11
      • Neal Jacobsen

        My brother had a 2+2, 421, 4 speed, console, beautiful car. Rode like a Cadillac. So some when shifting. Too bad someone ran into him and screwed the front frame up. But was dark blue and blue inside. Beautiful.

        Like 2
  6. Will Fox

    A nice `65, highly original and straight as an arrow. But at $45K, I expect more along the lines of a Bonneville loaded to the gills in options, not a Catalina Ventura. And this one is just ho-hum in options, really. This gorgeous shade of metallic blue had to have been Pontiac’s best seller that year! A teacher I had drove a `65 Catalina Safari this color, and a neighbor as I recall had a `65 G.P. too.

    Like 2
  7. Maggy

    At 45k it should be a 421 catalina or go and a 4 speed w/ 8 lug wheels.Really nice car though but priced to high imo.

    Like 9
  8. Martin Horrocks

    Beautiful car. But expensive!

    Like 4
  9. GTO MAN

    very nice but its not a 45000 dollar car maybe a 2+2

    Like 3
  10. CarbobMember

    Just love this era of full size Pontiacs and this is a beautiful example. Like most of the folks who have commented I can’t believe the asking price will prevail. But in today’s market a lot of sellers seem to have Barrett Jackson fever. But this is still Capitalistic America (which is a good thing) and thankfully we have the freedom to let the marketplace dictate. Great write up!

    Like 4
  11. Dan

    Beauty of a car but a little over priced!!

    Like 1
  12. Dan

    FYI My wife has a 2005 Bonneville with less miles on it than this car!! This Catalina looks too good to be true!!

    Like 2
  13. Bakes

    Just a beautiful car. Color scheme, everything just screams going for a Sunday cruise along a beautiful two lane highway
    with the windows down.

    Like 4
  14. Norman "Pete" McGill

    In the late summer of 64 I traded my 64 LeMans for a Catalina convertible with AC. It was teal green with matching interior and a white top. I didn’t like that the Bonneville had skirts but the Catalina didn’t so I took it to Boomershine Pontiac in Atlanta where I lived and had the skirts installed for $22 each. They were painted the right color to match the teal and the chrome strip was added so it looked like it belonged there. Then I was happy. With the top down the car was a beauty and probably the best looking car I ever owned. $4350 off the showroom floor in Montgomery,Al.

    Like 2
  15. BA

    I Remember seeing a 2+2 421 in the late 70s with teenagers at the wheel out cruising which I was one too & wowed by the car but makes me wonder if it survived but for sure it was used as intended lol!

    Like 2
  16. george mattar

    Dad got a new Pontiac every year from 1962 to 1967 and had a 65 Cat. It was turquoise. I was 10 when he got it. Pontiacs always had far superior quality to any other GM product, including Cadillac. The dashes were gorgeous, the seat covers wore like an anvil and an assembly line worker who built these cars at the now defunct Framingham plant told me they tossed most differentials in the trash to go on Chevys. Doubt that’s true, but who knows. The best ones went into Pontiacs. But as most guys say here, 44K is a huge stretch. Nothing really special, just a good old reliable Tin Indian.

    Like 2
  17. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember
    • Alllen

      Oh yeah – that ’63 Pontiac Catalina is gorgeous – almost pristine – and worth every bit of $24,500 — The ’65 @ $47 — nope.

      Like 0
  18. Neal Jacobsen

    Very nice. There seems to be a lot of things underneath the speedometer. I can’t tell exactly what they are.
    Very nice clean Catalina.

    Like 0
    • 19sixty5Member

      Left to right, tach (aftermarket) headlight switch, wiper switch, heater controls, radio. Pontiac’s of this era used a heater control head that mimicked the design of the factory radio. Coolest controls ever!

      Like 1

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