Pontiac practically invented luxury muscle in the 1960s, and this
gorgeous 1961 Pontiac Catalina ragtop was the ride of choice for
the up-and-coming young executive. Only 12,379 Catalina
convertibles were built in 1961, and they were available with a
wide range of performance and luxury options, including the 389
cubic inch "Trophy" engine found in this one.
Wearing a coat of its original code L Coronado Red, this awesome ragtop certainly looks the part of a gentleman's express. Tailfins were fading, but hadn't entirely vanished in 1961, and the dramatic upswept quarter panels give this Pontiac the appearance of being in constant motion. Fit and finish are quite good, and you can still see details from the '50s in the wrap-around windshield and stylized stainless trim. The finish has just the right shine, not too harsh like a modern car, but definitely not faded like original paint would be, giving this car a very inviting look. The traditional Pontiac split grille is in excellent shape, and some the chrome appears to have been refinished during the restoration process and still glitters brightly today. And with big, bold block letters spelling out PONTIAC on the tail panel, it won't be mistaken for anything else on the street.
The guys at Pontiac loved their multi-tone upholstery, with this one wearing maroon and Ivory seat covers that are sporty and elegant at the same time. With matching door panels that are works of art by themselves, correct burgundy carpets, and that oh-so-cool clear steering wheel, there's no doubt that the Pontiac buyer in 1961 was getting something truly special. The matching burgundy instrument panel offers a wide speedometer flanked by auxiliary gauges, plus secondary controls down low. Someone has thoughtfully added a trio of retro-looking auxiliary gauges under the dash, as well as an FM receiver that works in conjunction with the original AM radio in the dash. That slender shifter lever is pure 1960s cool, along with the shiny stainless dashboard face that runs from end to end. A white power top with crystal clear rear window folds with the touch of a button and hides out of sight under a matching ivory boot. The gargantuan trunk is neatly finished with a correct mat that's the size of a queen bed, as well as a full-sized spare.
Pontiac's top engine was the 389 cubic inch V8, and while this one was originally topped with a 2-barrel carburetor, there's a Demon 4-barrel unit living there now (the original carburetor is available). This is the car's original engine, coded as an A1 Trophy engine with 267 horsepower. Painted with correct Pontiac Turquoise and dressed up with an oversized open-element air cleaner, it definitely lives up to the excitement brand's reputation. Other luxury features include the power braking system with an updated dual master cylinder, power steering, a new alternator in place of the original generator, and a Roto-HydraMatic automatic transmission. A newer dual exhaust system with Flowmaster mufflers gives it a muscular tone that is never annoying. Optional spinner hubcaps look awesome and it wears bias-ply wide whites to complete the 1960s luxury look.
No other car maker combined style and performance quite as well as Pontiac, and this handsome Catalina convertible is every bit as impressive today as it was in 1961. Call today!
This ’64 Pontiac Catalina convertible has been completely restored, and with the interior from a 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix formerly owned by the seller’s grandfather.
Believed to be a one of one, the Pick of the Day is a two-owner 1961 Pontiac Catalina convertible that has a removable hardtop and Pontiac Historic Services documentation.
My buddy and I drove 18,000 miles round the USA last summer, 4000 miles of it in a 1972 Pontiac Catalina Safari station wagon I bought on eBay from a dealer in Peru, Illinois.
The Collingwood Motors “Tonto VI” 1963 “Swiss Cheese” Catalina may share the same external envelope as every other Catalina of similar vintage.
The sell-through rate at Mitch Silver’s inaugural Arizona in the Fall auction was only 26 percent.
Pontiac held onto the number 3 position in the USA for vehicle sales from 1962 through 1969.
The Pick of the Day feeds into the recent uptick in interest and values for vintage trucks
This is the fourth car in a 30-day countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale collector car auction