Stored 14 Years: 1960 Pontiac Catalina

In 1959, the Catalina became the entry-level car in the Pontiac line-up (the name had been used as a trim line back to 1950). Using GM’s new B-body platform, the car looked quite different than previous models. This 1960 edition has been off the road since 2007 and – while it was running at the time – the motor is now stuck. Available in Glenview, Illinois, and here on eBay, the Pontiac can be had for $6,500 or you can make an offer. Kudos to Barn Finder Larry D for bringing this Catalina to our attention!

Pontiac positioned the Catalina as a step up from a comparable Chevrolet, but just below that of what Buick or Oldsmobile had to offer. The cars were more powerful than a basic Chevy with a 389 cubic-inch V8 as standard equipment and a 4-speed Hydra-Matic was offered over the Chevrolet’s 2-speed Powerglide when an automatic transmission was ordered. This is the setup in the seller’s car, which is said to have originated out West before coming to the Midwest.

Four-door sedans were the most popular versions of the 1960 Catalina and the seller’s car is one of 72,560 built that year. Yet when was the last time you saw one of these in that body style? An uncle of mine had a 1960 Bonneville 4-door hardtop and I thought it was one of the coolest cars around when I was growing up. As the story goes, this auto went into storage 14 years ago, and sometime during that hibernation, it became inoperable.

Under the layers and layers of dirt and dust on the exterior of this car is a coat of blue paint. We’re told it will need to be redone and bodywork will be minimal as we’re told rust is minor. Besides a non-functioning motor, the brakes no longer work as the brake pedal goes to the floor. However, the interior looks to be in good condition and may only need a thorough cleaning. That leads credence to the odometer reading of just 66,000 miles. This looks like a solid car to do a light restoration on, but does it have too many doors to suit most collectors?

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Comments

  1. Will Fox

    I’m wondering what those other `59-`60 GM cars are in the background in the barn. They look interesting.

    Like 2
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Go to the eBay ad,& click on “see other items”
      in the “Seller information” section on the right hand side.

      Like 2
  2. Mike

    The interior pic looks like the seat will accommodate 5. Are they that wide or is it the camera angle?

    Like 1
    • Chuck Simons

      You can get 6 and a kid on the package tray ;)

      Like 3
  3. Bruce

    I had a 62 Pontiac Catalina, you could comfortably seat 3 adults across the front and not tough shoulders. It was a wide body tank. Sitting comfortably in it was never a problem. Stopping it quickly however, was. Plus I had the Slim Jim transmission and not the Hydro-matic so the transmission was never quite right and I sold it for a whopping $100 But also, that was the early 80s.

    • Beel

      In the sixties and seventies, you could buy a running car $100. Drive it for a year. Sell it for $100.

  4. Larry D

    Yes, people get as mixed up on the Catalina names between the hardtop designation and the actual model name for the low-buck car in 1959

    Buick went thru the same thing with the Riviera name. In the early to mid-50s Riviera designated a hardtop car whereas in 1963, it became an entirely new line of car in the Buick lineup.

    But yet it’s amazing to hear some of the car “experts” say there was no Catalina in ’54 or there was no Riviera in ’56.

    People nowadays.

    Like 1
    • Gil Davis Tercenio

      Buick also put the Riviera name on their deluxe Super and Roadmaster four door sedans. These cars had rear vent windows in the body rather than in the door. My first car was a 1952 Super 4 door Riviera-Model 52. the Roadmaster 4 door Riviera was the Model 72.

  5. Marlon W Smith

    My dad had a 61 Catalina 389 . He used to let set in his lap and steer. I was in the first or 2nd grade. One day we topped it out that big girl buried the speedo with me behind the wheel no assistance of than his size 9. Good times

    Like 1
    • Uncle Kevin

      Hoping you are referring to his shoe size

  6. Frank Member

    Clean it up and drive it.

    Like 1
  7. CaCarDude

    In my early teens I remember well my best friend’s mother had the same model 4dr Catalina in a light green. That was a truly powerful beast we would sneak out when we could and do some serious tire frying. These Pontiacs definitely lived up to the “wide track” advertising name.

  8. Brian

    There were two brothers who had one of these when we went to high school, early 70s. The rear springs were really week and when they rounded a sharp corner at a fast rate of speed the corner of the rear bumper would scrape. We called the car the Shatiac.

  9. Bob C.

    No split grille on this year.

    • Larry D

      @Bob C.
      You wrote: “No split grille on this year.”

      Correctamundo! I always thought it was odd that they began the split grille in 1959, dropped it for 1960 and then went back to it on all their cars from then on.
      Yeah, what’s up with that?

      Like 1
      • Bob C.

        My thought exactly, Larry. From there they went to the “Bunkie Beak” on later models.

  10. Michael L Gregory

    So many memories with this car. My girlfriend had an identical one to this Catalina. I essentially learned to drive in that car along with some other things I shouldn’t have been doing. Took my driver’s test in it and passed the first time, even with parallel parking. Also had my first accident when I backed into a signpost at the local hamburger joint. One of my favorite memories was hearing someone knock on the steamed-up window to wake us up at the deserted drive-in movie.

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