Not all restorations are created equal. Some are geared towards getting a car safely back onto the road as quickly as possible - while taking whatever shortcuts are available to speed up the process - while others are meticulous and detailed-oriented. The restoration bestowed on this 1961 Pontiac Catalina Bubble Top definitely falls into the latter category. This distinctive classic was refurbished with precision both inside and out and is propelled by a period correct big block offering plenty of power.
Skilled workmanship leaves clues and there are plenty on display here. This Pontiac was taken all the way down to bare metal before the first pull of the paint gun trigger and every step along the way was made with maximum attention to detail, including the application of top quality PPG single stage paint to recreate the Shelltone Ivory color that was on board when this Pontiac came off the assembly line. At the same time, the undercarriage was treated with the proper red primer to discourage any ill effects from caustic road debris. A lap around the car will reveal that the exterior has been left entirely in stock configuration - a wise move, considering the rarity of this specimen- and the body lines are consistently tight and precise. Clear glass surrounds the cabin and every bit of trim and brightwork in sight presents as nicely as can be. Nearly any vintage car has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, but it goes doubly for this Pontiac - it's really impressive.
The maroon interior has also been returned to top form while retaining both its factory configuration and original color. The visual effect of the showroom fresh tri-colored bench seats looming over an expanse of bright red carpet that looks as if it's yet to come in contact with any foot traffic is a compelling one - even among the most thoroughly restored of classics, this interior is a standout. The sizable, vintage style wheel on the column is no repro - it's been restored from scratch and if you peer through it you'll see an array of factory gauges in good working order, joined by an aftermarket tach on the column and a trio of Bosch displays recessed into a panel of their own just below.
A period correct and rare 425A, 389 cubic inch V8 beneath the hood takes center stage in an engine compartment that's as clean as any you'll likely encounter, bracketed by semi-gloss black inner fenders that contrast perfectly with its light blue block, heads and valve covers. The big block is fed by a tri-power configuration: GM's signature distinctive and coveted carburetion system of the era that positions a trio of 2-barrel carbs in a row under compact air cleaners to provide maximum CFM capacity. A 4-speed manual transmission sits just behind the engine to provide a fitting “hands on” driving experience and it's navigated by an upgraded hydraulic clutch that offers an unusually smooth pedal action. HEI ignition brings maximum available spark, while an added aluminum radiator helps keep operating temperatures in line. A rear suspension that pairs trailing arms with coil springs brings a surprisingly refined ride, with none of the binding around corners or squeaking that often comes with the more common leaf springs of the era. Power steering makes for easy navigating while power brakes bring the set of color matched 15” factory wheels to low effort stops.
This 1961 Pontiac Catalina Bubble Top offers the chance to own a seldom-seen, thoroughly distinctive classic that's now in top form and ready to provide plenty of chapters of future motoring memories. Call today!