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Debbie Harris's 1969 Grand Prix

2022 September
of the Month

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Thinking about buying a 1966 Catalina, have a few qustions


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So on the way home from work I spot a '66 Catalina sitting in a driveway with $750 written on the windshield. 2 door hard top, no motor, auto, seems like minimal rust. Nobody was home to talk to about it, the hood would not open and the tires were flat so I couldn't get a good look underneath. Since I don't know what works on the car, whats missing and what repairs are needed I've done a lot of google searching on parts availability. A concern I have is replacement body panel availability. Do these Catalina's share any body parts or glass with other Pontiacs of the period? Is there anything I should be looking for or looking out for?

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Your only option is going to be OPG


 


https://www.opgi.com/catalina/1966/


 


I think that the Bonneville's maybe similar but I am probably mistaken.  750.00 is a good price if the body is solid.  The motor will set you back but not to the point of homelessness.  Picking up a 455 even a 235hp one would be fairly cheap to get the car moving.  Just be mindful of the wiring harness and make sure that it is in good shape before you put power to it.


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Whats missing from the interior?   Go back with a jack!  Check frame N floorpans.  Is all extrior chrome with the car?  Is the glass good?


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All exterior chrome seems to be there and in good condition, same with the glass. The doors were locked and I couldn't get the hood up. The interior looked complete but pretty shabby.

 


I'll see if I can get a better look tomorrow. I'm just unsure as to what to look for with Pontiacs and what trouble I may not know of. As for typical repair work I've spent a lot of years buying and working on Fords but I'm falling pretty hard for this Catalina

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I've been working on my GTO resto for 8yrs N still don't have all my missing pieces.  But I started with a gutted shell of a bracket car. Check floor braces to inner rockers and frame for rust through. Sounds like he might have your engine trans. ASK 


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If the drivetrain is gone, hit up the local scrap yard for a modern-ish pickup carcass. I love the old carb and points cars, but if you've nothing to work with, you may as well start with something that still has main stream market support. For $1000, you've got 300hp with a 4 speed or better transmission. You've got the computer and all the harness you need. That's a long step ahead of $4000 for a crate long block with no accessories and no gear box.


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Do these Catalina's share any body parts or glass with other Pontiacs of the period? Is there anything I should be looking for or looking out for?

 

The Catalinas are the less expensive version of the Bonneville. They were called the Parisienne / Laurentian respectively in Canada. The Ventura became its own model again in 1966 that was another variant of the Catalina/Bonneville. Also too, some of the larger sheet metal might be sharable with the Grand Prix of the same model year. All were 122" wheel base cars.

 

There are plenty of 389/400/455 engines out there that can be re-built to power your potential ride. There is plenty of aftermarket support for these motors. You will need to purchase a Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac bolt-pattern 350/400 Turbo transmission to mount to a Pontiac engine. A Chevy bolt pattern won't work.

 

I would agree with JUSTA6, inspect the trunk, rockers, quarter panels, as well as rear and front windsheild sills.

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Thanks! Well I'm undecided. Stopped yesterday and took a closer look, still nobody home. A few holes in the floor, not terrible but needs to be fixed. Wiring seems to be a chopped up mess. Wish I could have talked to the owner. So I'm gona think it over. Just like all projects for $750 its gona take a lot of time and money to make right, just have to figure out if I want to do it

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As I spent an entire winter rewiring the whole GTO, 1 wire at a time.  I can safetly tell you Painless is the only way to go for wiring.


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  • 2 weeks later...

one at a time?

Every wire was cut out from the fuse box and where it was hooked to.  Nothin but a toggle to start the motor. DAMN bracket racers! Wired the engine, headlights, turnsig/running lights.(110.00 per side to replace the missing turnsigs, but included everything including the covers N bezels) the new KEY ignition, I was able tear apart the under dash loom from the donor car, (it's was a 67 and not correctly color coded) and use the dash light loom with all the bulb sockets, this also gave me blower motor loom. So I had to buy the heater core and casing. I did use the harness for the dome light as well from the plunger switches to the flat harness. I've still been looking for the dome light kit. Although the correct base I found doesn't work, has power to it, but won't light the bulb and is missing the cover.  Also bought the flat loom from the fuse box to trunk that runs under the carpet. Then Justa had to wire in the tail lights, ( at this point wired in sequential tail light box's) fuel guage sending unit, reverse lights and plate lights. Still looking for some of the missing headliner trim too.  Well into the mess, found out about painless. New fuse box, lay out, plug N play. Oh well, long cold winter that year with nothin better to do.

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