Asking Price: $59,959 Questions

1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

389ci V8 - Automatic - Two-tone Interior

Lot # 0021
Location Ocoee, FL 34761
Seller Dealer
389ci V8
Asking Price: $59,959 Questions

1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

The 1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible was manufactured in 1959 and 1960. Despite being priced and trimmed below the Impala due to GM’s overlapping price structure, the Catalina boasted more standard amenities than Chevrolet models, including a larger and more powerful V8 engine. It also featured a superior automatic transmission—the four-speed Hydra-Matic—compared to Chevy’s two-speed Powerglide.

The Catalina was distinguished by its split grille, a design innovation that became a hallmark for Pontiac, carried through many generations, including the GTO. As Pontiac’s most popular model, the Catalina served as the base platform for many iconic cars, such as the Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac 2+2, Pontiac Ventura, and the Pontiac Safari station wagon. The lessons learned from the Catalina and Grand Prix led to the introduction of the Pontiac GTO in 1964, which featured the 389 cu in (6.4 L) Pontiac V8 engine.

Though the basic Catalina came with a full rubber mat, it could be upgraded with full carpeting, glovebox and trunk lights, dual front ashtrays, a cigar lighter, and a glove compartment snack bar. The 1959 Catalina featured unique twin tailfins in a V shape, similar to some jet fighter planes, and was only offered in that year. Styling highlights included thin-pillar rooflines and greater use of glass for increased visibility.

Paint & Body The Catalina has nice C code Cameo Ivory paint covering good sheet metal, with great lines, gaps, and body fit. The chrome rear bumper curves up on the ends, creating beautiful symmetry with an elliptical brake lamp and chrome bezel at each end. The gas tank filler cap is offset to the passenger side, allowing the trunk lock to be centered. The back of the car features chrome emblem letters spelling “Pontiac.”

The side trim is minimalistic, but the front bumper design makes up for it. The two-piece front bumper wraps around the fenders and angles down, with the lower piece curving upward to create an air gap. The grille is a rectangular open grid, with classy bezels surrounding the dual headlights. Each fender has a bullet with a long tailpiece tapering into a point, leading the eye to the beautiful chrome surround on the windshield.

Interior The interior is stunning, with Morrokide vinyl upholstery in turquoise and sky blue two-tone. The dash pad is perfectly installed, with no ripples or creases. The craftsmanship is immaculate. Three big round gauges are centered behind a wrapped steering wheel. The heater and defroster work perfectly. The car has full wheel covers, a deluxe steering wheel, and chrome pedal trim plates.

Performance The 1959 Pontiac Catalina came standard with a 235 horsepower (175 kW) version of the 389 V8 engine with a two-barrel carburetor and 8.6 to 1 compression, mated to automatic transmission. Available as a no-cost option with the Hydra-Matic transmission was the 215-horsepower 389 (dubbed the Economy V8), which had an 8.6 to 1 compression ratio and burned regular gasoline, achieving more than 20 MPG on the highway. Higher-power versions of the 389 V8 with four-barrel carburetors were also available, ranging from 283 horsepower (211 kW) with a manual gearbox to 345 horsepower (257 kW) with Tri-Power options.

Conclusion The 1959 Pontiac Catalina is a fine example of when “cars were cars.” They had distinctive shapes and character, focusing on design rather than wind tunnel efficiency. This beauty is a true work of art, looking, running, and handling excellently.


1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible


1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible


1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

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