1963 Pontiac Catalina Convertible
About 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, Catalina Island is the southernmost island of California's Channel Islands. The Island is made up of two towns, the incorporated city of Avalon on the east end, and the unincorporated village Two Harbors on the west end. The island is just 22 miles long and 8 miles across. Outside of the two towns is a rugged wilderness of majestic beauty under the stewardship of the Catalina Island Conservancy.
For consignment a survivor with original interior, a respray, new top, original engine, and pure wide track, trophy V8, stacked headlights will get you ogles and hints for rides excitement. At least that is what the advertising said!
Bathed in a 2012 respray of the Starlight Black specified for this car in 1963, we see good paint, fairly straight steel slabs with no rust, and wonderfully preserved trim and bumpers. From the dual stacked headlights up front which flank a dual grille, we can start to see the beginnings of the iconic Pontiac beak just in formation stage. Front bumper emulates this design below and is in excellent condition. On the long slab sides a bow to stern trim spear cuts through the center of the car and maintains good alignment on the panels throughout. On the bottom is a clean rocker trim and does a nice job of highlighting the mid-section. A long hood and trunk are on each end, and in back taillights float above a corresponding bumper to make the edges look almost like pure chrome, save for the 3 red taillights imbedded. Another trim spear runs horizontally across the trunk and sports Pontiac badging. A black convertible top with a clear plastic window is attached and did lower but now will not come back up. Steel wheels are topped with faux knockoff 14 inch wheel covers, and hubs emulate a hurricane icon to make the car look like it is moving when actually standing still!
Simply beautifully preserved midcentury modern design with large door panels that have a vinyl top panel that is vertically ribbed and textured, a mid section that is smooth, and a lower section that is a deep maroon smooth vinyl. To add some highlighting a woven aluminum horizontal patterned panel zips through the center of the door. Turning our attention to the seats, snazzy overstuffed vinyl split bench in the front and bench in the rear, are both in nice original condition, with slight patina and just some areas of looseness, but mostly really great. This is seen in the coverings as well with a red bolster area, and a central striping on the seats and back 3/4's of white and deep maroon, white piping, and on the backs the Pontiac arrowhead this time in winged form, and white on each setback. Throw in some nice piping for the edges in red, and we are cruising. Up front we see an original steering wheel fronting an inset dash with a red shelf if you will, and lots of chromed panels. A clean dash overall, with a few areas of paint chipping on the ashtray. You have to love the glove box door emulating the shelf in front of the passenger. Red carpet in good condition floods the floors and may indeed be a replacement from the original.
Looking original but unverified as such, the 389ci V8 with its valve covers that have patina and chipping paint, is topped with a single 2-barrel carburetor and backed by a 3-speed Roto-Hydramatic transmission. Mostly the engine bay appears as original in its finishes.
Plenty of patina and surface rust, with some areas on the very rear of this car having invasive rust. Some of the invasive rust on the frame appears to be structural and will need attending to keep the car safe for years to come. Also noted is an exhaust system that will need replacement as it is rusted out on the passenger's side. Independent coil springs up front for the suspension, and 4 link rear with coil springs make up the suspension. Power drum brakes all around.
A quick starter, and smooth runner, we did not put it totally through its paces due to the state of the exhaust system in need of repair. As it ran smoothly, and took the corners well, we realized it has new tires put on in 2018. Also noted above the top went down but will not go back up at this time.
Overall fits the bill for survivor, with original interior and engine appearance, exterior respray, and overall good condition. Long and lean, this could be your wide track excitement right out of 1963.
W-Wilmington, DE Assy Plant
26326-Sequential Unit Number
03E-5th Week March Build
STYLE 63 2367-1963 Catalina Convertible
BODY BW-Wilmington Body #
PAINT AA-Starlight Black