Rare Body Style: 1968 Pontiac Catalina 2-door Sedan

What’s so special about a 1968 Pontiac Catalina? Sure, it’s in fantastic shape for a 53-year-old car but it’s pretty much a generic Pontiac sedan, not a high-flying Grand Prix. Well maybe, but there’s a bit more to the story so let’s take a deeper dive. This Pontiac Catalina is located in Perkasie, Pennsylvania and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $7,305, with 32 bids tendered as of this writing. Thanks to Larry D for this tip!

Pontiac had four levels of full-size cars that were offered in ’68. The Grand Prix was still at the top of the heap with its stylish two-door hardtop-only body style – and this was its last year in full form before being placed on a stretched intermediate platform for 1969. Continuing downward was the Bonneville, Executive, and then the Catalina, with its Ventura trim level, residing as the anchorman. But bottom of the line didn’t mean bottom of the barrel on body styles for Catalina as there were two-door hardtops, four-door hardtops and sedans, a two-door convertible, a station wagon, oh yeah, and a two-door sedan, much like you would find over at Chevrolet on a Belair or Biscayne trim level. According to The Pontiac Registry, there were 276K Catalinas produced in ’68 but only a scant 5,247, or 1.9% of the total, were two-door sedans like our subject car. I have probably seen one somewhere in the past but I really can’t recall specifically.

Being an entry-level model, and finished off in what Pontiac referred to as Solar Red, makes this Catalina look like a Fire Chief’s car. It is claimed to be an undocumented 43K mile example that has been eternally garage kept. Regardless of the recorded mileage, this Catalina shows to have been gently used and properly stored – it is in surprising condition considering it’s over a half-century in age. The exterior’s lacquer finish has held up well, as has the chrome bumpers and trim, and there are no indications of rust or crash damage; there isn’t even a discernable parking lot ding! The overall exterior presence of this Pontiac just throws me off a bit as a ’68 Catalina was a seen everywhere occurrence, at least at one time, but not with two doors and a B pillar. I couldn’t part with this one!

Under the hood is a 400 CI, V8 of either 290 or 265 gross HP. Research indicates that the 290 HP engine was standard equipment in the Cat with the regular-fuel, 265 HP version filling in as an option. It is unknown which version of the 400 is possessed by this Pontiac. The seller claims, “Engine runs great, transmission is great“, that transmission being a Turbo-Hydramatic 400, three-speed automatic unit.

As goes the exterior, so goes the interior, condition-wise anyway. The upholstery is a standard vinyl/fabric combination, as opposed to all Morrokide as you would find in a GTO, and it has well survived the passage of time. There is a little wear with the driver’s side “piping” but the overall condition makes the low mileage recording believeable. From what can be spied, the door panels, carpet, and dash pad are all in sound nick. This is an A/C equipped Catalina, the original GM/Frigidaire system having been converted to R-134 refrigerant.

This Pontiac gets my vote! Not only for its splendid condition but its rarely encountered body style. If you’re looking for a big, standard-sized, two-door domestic car, something that is no longer produced, you would be hard-pressed to surpass this find, wouldn’t you agree?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    Wow I have seen a whole lot of cars over the years but I don’t recall ever seeing a post full sized poncho. I like it. Upgrade the Pontiac under the hood and have some full size fun! Show them Chevy and Mopar folks that forgot what a Pontiac can do. Too bad I have more in my garage than I think I may finish now.

    Like 11
  2. Jerry Kenney

    Great looking car!

    Like 15
  3. doone

    I think that it’s a 290 hp, I had a 68 Catalina wagon that had the 265 and the air cleaner housing was shallower than the one shown here. Beautiful car!

    Like 8
  4. nestor

    I think this would make a super Low Rider.

    Like 9
    • nash bridges

      In my country where I from, we have none.

      Like 9
  5. sir_mike

    Love that it’s a 2DR…..beautiful Pontiac

    Like 12
  6. Anthony DAmico

    This beauty should fetch 10k.

    Like 8
  7. CR

    Beautiful car….

    Like 2
  8. Brett y.

    Had a 69 2door and a69 wagon, at the same time..wat was impressive was the factory 400 / 400 combo..with a little carburetor 4 barrel modification u had a serious speed boat..miss my baby’s

    Like 1
  9. MLM

    This is one of the reasons why the 1960’s is my favorite decade for Ponchos.Beautiful rare machine.

    Like 6
  10. Glenn Reynolds

    Really like the look of the 2 door post. Just that little bit of chrome (stainless)? covering the post and surrounding windows takes it from looking cheap to looking cool. My folks had a 59 Catalina with the same set up.

    Like 4
  11. That AMC Guy

    Cool car, but I was never that fond of the pronounced beak on these. Much prefer the vertical headlight models of the mid-1960s. (Maybe because my family had a ’64 Catalina 4-door hardtop that I remember fondly.)

    Like 3
  12. Luke Fitzgerald

    Super rare with chrome dress up pack

    Like 1
  13. nestor

    Loew Ryder

    Like 8
  14. Bob C.

    Shouldn’t have any wind noise.

    Like 2
  15. Vance

    If someone turns this into a low rider, they should be treated like horse thieves in the Old West and hung at high noon. I am OCD with cars since my first ride with my Father in his 55 Ford Fairlane, and I have never seen one of these. I like the beaks on these Ponchos, very nice car.

    Like 13
  16. Larry D

    I would really like to know who ordered this car new and why they wanted the sedan. There was probably some reason but we’ll never know what it was. If it had a 428, I would suspect someone wanted the lightest Catalina possible with the biggest engine either for drag racing or just for the muscle car feel.
    I must say I’m in my late sixties and have always deeply loved cars but I don’t recall ever seeing a ’68 Catalina 2-door sedan.
    It doesn’t look bad but I like the hardtops better.

    Like 2
    • bone

      Probably wasn’t an ordered car , most cars were and are purchased right off the dealers lot . When there were many options and price levels for cars, dealers would have a row of them, all with different prices so they could find a car for a buyer in their price range. A dealer likely ordered a two door to potentially get a sale from customers who didn’t want a 4 door model , and red is an eye catching color so it could attract buyers.

      Like 6
  17. Skorzeny

    What’s with the ‘low rider’ comments? About the worst thing you can ever do to a nice, original car like this. Shaking my head… Not everything needs to be ruined.

    Like 9
    • local_sheriff

      What’s so bad about that? IMHO 60s Pontiacs look EVEN better when they’re closer to the ground. If you’ve ever seen the magnificent Kaufmann + Fitzpatrick renderings of Pontiacs you’ll see they all appear to be lowriders OOTB – GM cars of the 60s are designed as lowriders from the start!

      I’m not talking about cutting them up or jumping 6ft in the air. FYI the majority of 60s lowriders built today are vehicles of very high quality craftmanship in close-to-stock config only with lowering springs or bags – all reversible mods

      Like 4
    • local_sheriff
  18. DON

    These 68-70 full size Pontiacs used to rule the demo derbies until the 73 up full size GM cars got old enough to become cheap cars. They were really built tougher than the other GM cars of the time

  19. Glenn Hilpert

    Had a 67 2-dr sedan about 4 years ago. Decent looking and running vehicle. Should have never sold it. this 68 was the last year made in the 2-dr sedan model. Very nice car and should sell fast.

    Like 1
  20. Don Eladio

    This is the best Pontiac I’ve seen for sale in a long time. I would build a 428 and convert it to a 4-speed. Dog dish hubcaps and a stout differential w/Safe-T-Track and you would have a really neat car.

    Like 4
    • Chuck Dickinson

      In other words, ruin it!

      Like 5
  21. Kevin

    I like it,and had a 70 Catalina executive back when, it had the 455 and a big old Holley card and manual choke, and I could barely afford to drive it,it sucked down incredible amounts of fuel, I’ve owned my share of gas hogs over the years, that Pontiac was the worst,I still regret taking it as a trade on my 67 Malibu 2 door sedan, with straight 6 and powerglide, that used a third of the fuel, comfortable boat,but like I said as a young new dad, could not afford to drive the poncho.

  22. Bunky

    Neighbor bought a ‘68 Catalina wagon with a 400 brand new. It was an impressive car. Powerful, smooth, quiet and surprisingly easy on fuel. He drove like his pants were on fire and averaged 18 mpg. This would be a fun cruiser. Road trip!
    Interesting that the “Knudsen Nose” still elicits controversy after all these years.

    Like 2
    • Chris

      Averaged 18 mpg? That specific detail is something that you can recall from over 50 years ago? Wow, what a memory! Averaged 18 mpg with a 2 ton station wagon? I can see how you must have been surprised since those numbers are truly hard to believe. I’m amazed at how you can remember such trivia after more than 50 years?

      Here are the MPG ratings for the 1968 Pontiac 400:

      mpg: extra-urban / city / highway / average combined
      13.7-16.4 / 7.4-8.8 / 12.4-14.9 / 11.3

      Combined average mpg is 11.3 which is a far cry from the 18 mpg that you claim your neighbor got. It’s either a different car, a different number, or a different world altogether!

      I wonder if your statement has anything to do with the post from Kevin about the terrible gas mileage that he got with his Pontiac Catalina based on his personal experience and the fact that his post was made just 11 minutes before your post? Hmmm…….

  23. Lance Platt

    Back in the day, my mom had a 1964 Catalina, my grandparents had a 1967 Catalina and two of my teammates’ parents had Catalinas. They were roomy, comfortable and very dependable and the V8 had torque and would surpass any posted speed limit smoothly without the noisy rumble and roar of a musclecar. The steering was overly power assisted as was lthe standard for American cars of the Era. The red on this example looks beautiful on the classic 2 door standard size car. Downszing, oil embargoes and mileage and emissions laws put the kibosh on the fantastic Pontiac Catalina where you got a lot of value for a reasonable price. Sadly, we will only see this combination on collector cars like this.

    Like 1
  24. wcshook

    I am always disappointed when I read comments about dropping a LS into an immaculate car, bagging or putting oversize tires on a classic, swapping out transmissions etc. There are plenty of vehicles that are begging to be saved that aren’t in prime shape like this. Granted, you have to search for some of them, but they are out there. Learn from those of us who came up in the 40’s,50’s and early 60’s. We messed up a bunch of classic cars that we wish now we hadn’t. We really didn’t know better.
    The cars of today will never match the ride and comfort of these older cars. I have a ’21 Equinox that rides nice, good gas mileage, but it can’t begin to touch a ’76 Olds Delta Royale I had.

    Like 1
  25. Geoffrey

    Amazing how, after 53 years as an unmolested original car, you get a parade of yahoos that talk about all the things they’re going to do to it to “make it better.”

    Like 1
  26. Al Dunkin

    Noticed that nothing was said about the Parisienne, Laurentian, or Stratochief. (Plz. excuse the spelling). were these the Canadian counter parts only available in Canada. I do remember that back then they had U.S. models and Canadian models with slightly different features. My Dad had a ’68 Lauentian, with a 327. Great car.

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