Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Southern Wagon: 1962 Pontiac Catalina Safari


The seller tells us that this “solid” Southern station wagon was purchased two years ago as a restoration project, but that they have decided to pass it on due to having too much on their plate. The seller has moved the car from the South to Middletown, New York, and has now put it up for sale here on eBay. Bidding has started, and currently rests at $3,500 with no reserve.


I think this would be a really usable classic, and especially like the roof rack. All the glass is intact and it also appears that most if not all of the trim is there.


I have heard that these 8-lug wheels can be difficult to use, but doggone it, they are gorgeous. I’ll bet a knowledgeable Barn Finds reader can tell us whether these work as well as they look. Are they difficult for a tire store to mount tires on? I know I love the look!


I really do love the dashboards on this era of cars. They are so individualized compared to modern dashboards, with distinctive design features like the clear plastic in the steering wheel. Although the dash pad is somewhat damaged, I think it could be covered relatively easily, or even replaced. Seat upholstery is also in need of replacement, but shouldn’t be too hard to find.


The seller tells us absolutely nothing about the mechanical condition of the car, just that it is loaded with options and in “good running condition.” You can see the air conditioning compressor here, and the belt is still attached, which is always a good sign. I’d just really like to know more about the condition of the mechanical components of the car.


The seller was kind enough to show us the underside of the car with several pictures, and I have to agree with them that this is a solid car. If I were looking for a classic wagon, instead of having one too many that I’m debating about selling, I think I’d be giving this car a lot of consideration. How about you?




  1. Charles

    This looks like a nice old car!

    Like 0
  2. jmacc

    Nice patina.

    Like 0
  3. Howard A Member

    What a cool car. The name, Safari, when taking the family on a trip with one of these, was a Safari. Now it’s a PITA. ( sorry, I’ve driven millions of miles, so driving to me now, is a pain) This car sure was loaded. Looks like every option box was checked off. Speedo safety sentinel, remote outside driver’s mirror, head light dimmer, roof rack, electric windows ( and probably seats) GP wheels ( maybe added later, although, I bet you could get those). I wonder what the Bonneville offered, that wasn’t on this car? Couple of tests. Does anybody else see the dashboard blooper? And the contraption on the passenger side wheel well behind the a/c unit? This was the people mover of the early ’60’s, and someone ordered this car to travel in style. One of my favorite Pontiac’s, and a wagon to boot. “WIDE-TRACKIN”. Great find.

    Like 0
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @Howard–blooper in my post, or in the car itself? Thanks!

      Like 0
      • Howard A Member

        Hi Jamie, not on the text, the car itself. Since I got you here, did you see my question on the panel truck thread? Why sometimes it takes a long time for my posts to register. Now typing this, it seems fine.

        Like 0
      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Hi, Howard! Unfortunately, I’m no help there–some posts are automatically held if there’s questionable language, but that’s not your case I’m sure. Jesse and Josh will have to answer that one…

        Like 0
    • Paul Duca

      Maybe a 3rd seat….at that time the Bonneville Custom Wagon only came as a six passenger model.

      Like 0
    • Bill

      Yes, its pointed in the wrong direction.

      Like 0
    • David G

      ‘Contraption on the passenger side wheel well behind the a/c unit’ is also present on my 64 GP with Air, think i remember reading that it’s some sortof a muffler. I guess these early-ish Frigidaire systems made a nasty flow noise or vibration..

      Like 0
  4. Howard A Member

    Ok, since I know most of you are on the edge of your seat ( crickets chirping) the blooper has to do with the “generator” gauge, when it clearly has an alternator. I read, ’62 Chevy’s and Pontiac’s with a/c were equipped with alternators, but GM decided to keep the generator gauge, as the public knew very little about alternators then.( Valiant had the 1st alternator in ’60) The gizmo on the wheel well, is a trouble light on a long retracting cord. A friend had a ’80’s Ford pickup with one of those, 20 years later.

    Like 0
    • David G

      Oh, THAT gizmo. Not too common as a Hood Light, these were more common as Trunk Lights since the trunk option seemed much more useable with the reel-out cord maybe. My 64’s doesn’t has a shorter clear glass lense on it with no red portion like this hood light has.

      Like 0
  5. VetteDude

    I’ll keep asking – has anyone seen a 62 Grand Prix for sale?

    Like 0
  6. VetteDude

    I meant to say 62 Grand Prix with factory 4-speed.
    And, I think If I were a buyer, I would rather buy this already redone properly!

    Like 0
  7. ron h

    The wheel themselves were never a serios problem. The trouble lies in the finned center. It is actually the brake drum housing with a steel insert for the brake pads to grab. A steel sleeve essentially. The differences in heat distribution caused the aluminum center to suffer from cracking and were expensive to replace in the day when there were spares to be had. So most got converted to standard steel rims. I would think they would be ropopped these days but can’t promise that.

    Like 0
  8. ron h

    Spelling errors. …serious…repopped…

    Memory may not be 100%, it may have been the steel sleeves cracking and falling out of the drums but somethong always broke on them aggrevating owners to the point of replacing them

    Like 0
  9. wagon master

    Yes, the Kelsey Hayes 8 lug drums are repopped. Check in Smoke Signals magazine.

    This is a highly optioned car. I would guess it was a brass hat car, ordered for a zone demo.

    Like 0
  10. moosie Craig

    Sure enough a nice wagon but,,,,,, theres always a but , too bad it isnt a dual quad or tri-power 421 with a 4 speed. The seller has a very well respected upholstery shop in New York.

    Like 0
  11. David G

    8-lug wheels haven’t been a problem for me on my 64 GP, except for an observed slight tendency to go out-of round (in my case anyway), yielding a throbbing brake pedal amidst application. I simply took them to my local automotive machine shop, who cut just-enough from the inner steel liners to achieve roundness, then zero-balanced them with screw-on weights outside.

    8-lugs do present a problem for today’s tire shops, most of whom no longer have the adapters for them. (8-lug option’s inner steel Wheel/Tire assys have a HUGE center hole, with 8 small steel ‘tabs’ protruding into said large center hole.)
    I’ve found an excellent solution for this challenge, only slightly inconvenient to create. Since my 8-lug Drums have been zero-balanced after turning anyway, i remove one of the rears and use it as a sortof ‘mandrel’ for the Tire Shops to use on their balance machines, then add std weights to the 8-lug wheel’s outer steel rim as usual. This method’s yielded excellently-balanced setups for me.
    So yeah, somewhat of a pita, but doable…

    Like 0
  12. Maestro1

    I think I’m too late on this one but what a find!

    Like 0
  13. Larry Baisch

    I own a 62 Bonneville Safari wagon. It has a 389 carter 4 barrel carb with a generator. The early built 62’s still had the generators. My car was built Oct.61. It has the rear facing 3rd seat. (9pas )
    A/C , Power steering , brakes, windows and seat. If your refering to the headlamp guidematic sensor on the dash, it’s pointing in the right direction. The knob on the back in the sensitivity adjuser.
    The large round object on the right fender well is the receiver dryer for the a/c system . I worked for a Pontiac dealer for 30 years.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.