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Three For One: 1959 Pontiac Catalina Wagon + 2

1959 Pontiac Catalina Wagon

This has got to be one of the most interesting barn find ads I have seen in a long time. In searching Hemmings for Pontiac Catalinas to compare prices to another barn find advertised on Craigslist, I found this interesting looking ad for a 1959 Pontiac Catalina for sale. Since it’s clearly in a barn, I figured maybe this would be also make a fun car to feature here on Barn Finds

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When I read the ad copy, things got a bit more interesting, to say the least. This seller has not one, but three vehicles for sale, all for a package price of $25,000, or best offer. Price aside, this is a great little collection and a pretty cool story goes with them too.

1939 Pontiac Business Coupe

Here are the three vehicles that are now coming out of long-time storage in a west side suburb of Cleveland, Ohio: a 1959 Pontiac Catalina Station Wagon with just 11,762 miles, a 1939 Pontiac Business coupe with 62,450 miles and a very cool 1953 Harley Davidson Servi-Car showing 22,084 miles.

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The seller states that all three vehicles have been in his family for over 50 years, and all have been stored until recently in a climate controlled garage area. And apparently, all three are in original condition with no work done on them previously. This seller’s family owned Cleveland area Paradise Pontiac, which is part of the story behind these cars.

Pontiac Catalina Wagon

The 1959 Pontiac Catalina Station is tan and white with a tan vinyl interior, has a 389 2bbl V-8, automatic, and an AM radio. It was originally owned by the family’s priest, who sold it to them with only 1,500 miles on it. According to the seller, this car runs well but does show some rust on the front clip, bumper and grill because it was stored is near inside car wash area. However, the seller says that for the most part, the vehicle, including the undercarriage, is pristine and in very good shape. This model Pontiac wagon is getting to be very desirable, and finding one with such low miles is almost impossible.

Pontiac Business Coupe

The 1939 Business Coupe was the seller’s first car when he was 16. It appears to be in solid condition, with only about 64,000 miles on it, but the head on the original straight six cylinder is cracked. We’ve seen a couple similar Pontiacs here on Barn Finds recently. This one is definitely restorable, but there are no pictures or description of the interior, so it’s safe to assume it will need complete refurbishment.

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The 1953 Harley Servi-Car was used in the family’s Pontiac dealership to deliver customer cars. It was attached to the rear bumper of the car, and then driven home by the dealership employee after delivery. This was one of the seller’s jobs when he was young. It’s hard to tell what kind of shape this three wheeler is in. Servi-Cars were first manufactured during the Depression, and were designed for just the use this dealership gave it. But they were also useful as delivery vehicles and were popular with police departments. The Chas. Abresch Co. in Milwaukee made the boxes for Harley Davidson, and these three wheelers were in production through 1973.

Harley Davidson 3 Wheeler

Even though I really like all three of these barn finds, and their histories, I initially thought the seller’s asking price for this group of vehicles too high, considering that they will all need work after their lengthy time of storage. But some research on the values of each of these vehicles indicates $25,000, while a bit on the high side, is not totally out of touch with reality. It’s just complicated for most of us to contemplate buying all three of them at once.

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Any buyer will need to come with a large flatbed to take these three beauties home, and most likely will keep one, and sell the other two, in order to finance restoration. Which one of these three “family” vehicles would you want to take home? The Catalina wagon looks the best to me, seems very clean and solid, and is probably the one I would keep. The business coupe might make a very cool restomod or pure hot rod, and while I don’t know much about Harleys, the Servi-Car looks like it would be alot of fun to drive, and not too difficult to restore.

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By the way, I found that Paradise Pontiac was at 8004 Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, and later moved to 25870 Lorain Road in North Olmsted, though it is now defunct. Do any of our readers remember this dealership? Might any of you have had personal experience with this Servi-Car or buy a car from this dealership back in the day?


  1. Avatar photo Rex Kahrs Member

    Is that Wagon tan, or is it that 50s color we called “tomato soup with too much milk in it” ?

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo DENIS

      Tomato soup metallic, Rex….

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo JW

    From the looks of that garage with leaves and whatever all over the place his utility bills must have been outrageous. Myself my Mach1 is in truly a climate controlled garage with heat and A/C and it looks nothing like this. I do like that Harley and I remember parking meter ladies riding them to give out parking tickets in the business district of where I grew up. That Harley would fit nicely in my garage but I don’t want all of the vehicles so I’ll pass.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo packrat

    It will have to leave his place at a flipper’s price–as you’ve noted, most people will want 1/3. It will cut down on the hassle of dealing with people over cars…but, the family ran a car *dealership*

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Ron E Bee


    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Mark S

    I’d want the 39 coupe with the straight 8. The head can be welded, or a new made as I’d bet that they are not that easy to find. I like the styling of these late 30’s cars and for it not to be the more common chev Is more appealing to me. The wagon and the Harley are also nice finds it would be hard to choose as they are both restorable.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Fred W.

    The price is not an outrageous starting point considering what they have there. Some dealer or flipper will do quite well on these, clean ’em up, get ’em functional and price ’em accordingly. Always good when a story comes with it. Like Lambrecht Chevrolet.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Alan (Michigan)

    Love the wagon, that’d be my choice.

    A classmate had a Harley Servi-Car for a while when we were mid-teens. Not licensed or legal, but we took turns riding the thing anyway. Max speed, as fast as it would go, was about 45 mph. Made a lot of noise getting there, too. Probably for the best that it was slow, because it really did not display what I’d refer to as any where near even “ok” handling characteristics. Pretty dicey over 35-40, and wound out it just seemed skittish as hell. Might have been design limitations, or the fact that it had led a hard life well before we were beating on it…?

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Pete

    I remember driving past that Pontiac dealership when I lived in that area of Ohio for a while. But I was a weee lad back then so i never actually stopped at that place. I think this is a great find. It would be hard to pick which one to keep. At $8333.33 each as an asking price I do not think that it would hurt you to bad. The Harley could be sold for 10K as well as the wagon, the 39 should bring 8k if it was running perhaps more. I guess if they took 20K or less you could convince your self you got a deal.

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Roselandpete

    I remember Chicago cops riding those Harleys back in the 60’s.

    Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Bill McCoskey Member

    Harley Servi-cycles are highly sought vehicles, especially the ones set up to be towed, as this one is. You can see the black tube connecting from the front hub & up past the headlite, then down to the other hub end. This folded down to hook onto a bumper hitch that was clamped to the vehicle towing the trike. This one probably doubled as a parts delivery vehicle too.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Larry Carlini

    I’m the new owner of the 1939 Pontiac Business coupe pictured here. I purchased car from a guy last march in Woodville Ohio. I’d love to know the history of the car. Thanks,
    Larry from Michigan

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo A.J.M.

    is the Catalina wgn. for sale alone??

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Larry Carlini

    I’m still the owner of the 1939 Pontiac. A new old stock head was sourced, I believe a ’53. I had it installed and a new water pump. I had generator rebuilt and bought a proper 6 volt battery from Napa Auto. All fluids were changed and some other adjustments.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo DayDreamBeliever

      So you are able to drive it then, Larry?

      Well done, Sir!

      Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Rick

    My Grandfather & Great Uncle worked there, My Grandfather retired in 1977 he bought my grandmother a1976 Bonnieville that belonged to the owners wife

    Like 0

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