Okay fellow Curbsiders, so you need to haul a big family around? Or make weekly Menards runs? Can’t afford the princely $60K-up for a new 2015 Suburban? Well, have I got a car for you! Two words. Clam. Shell.
Not only do the “clamshell” 1971-76 GM station wagons haul plenty of passengers, or lumber, or 10,000 golf balls, they do so in style, and with a classic GM smooth ride and V8 power to boot. What’s that? Gas bills? Bah! For the current Buy It Now price of $9,500, you could fill this Pontiac up for the next decade and still not approach the stratospheric price of a well-optioned ‘Burban or Tahoe.
And it has that great Di-Noc vinyl woodgrain style! And cursive letters! And it’s a Pontiac! Go Wide-Tracking–to take the rugrats to school, or to pick up some firewood for those upcoming winter nights!
And while the Catalina Safari doesn’t boast umpteen airbags, ABS or 32 touch screen menus, it DOES have a low ride height, so you don’t have to take a flying leap to get into the silly thing–unlike many blubbery SUVs currently on offer.
It also boasts most excellent glass area. Dig those wraparound quarter windows! High style and great visibility, all in one Broughamtastic vehicle!
Well, maybe not quite Broughamtastic enough for The Brougham Society standards, perhaps. The Grand Safari, with its quad rectangular lights and button-tufted velour lifted straight from the tony Grand Ville did have more prestige. But still, who’d turn up their nose at such a fine Catalina?
Especially in dark red with a red interior. Ooh boy! I love colors inside cars. Sooo sick of the “Rubbermaid” gray or prosthetic arm beige interiors. Ugh.
We spend most of the time inside our cars, so why are there more OUTSIDE colors than INSIDE colors?
Don’t know, but I suspect corporate cheapskates, assisted by cheap buyers who lease and thus pick the drabbest, most “salable” colors. But I digress! Now where was I?
Ah yes, the Catalina. Actually, I was a bit surprised to see a Catalina with the woodgrain trim, but apparently it was an option, and not a Grand Safari exclusive. I guess someone wanted most of the look of the top Pontiac wagon, but without the higher cost of it. These wagons had a forward-facing third-row seat too. The far side of the middle bench folded up and out for access to the “way back.”
So, have I convinced you? While maybe not the most practical daily transport, this would make for a pretty cool vehicle to drive on nice days, and at the same time be useful for hauling things when needed. A useful classic. What could be better?
Full eBay auction: 1975 Pontiac Catalina Safari