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 Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...

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Doug in Colorado

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PostSubject: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:38 pm

Hello, all -

I ran across this site a little while back and joined up today. I've loved old cars since I was a kid and it just gets worse as I get older. I'm mainly a nut for the 1959 and 1960 Pontiacs, so I should be right at home here... I have amassed a number of project cars I plan to restore in the coming years (minimal restoration work so far, but I just want to keep a few and return the rest to the road as a labor of love.) I work in the bookkeeping / accounting field and the car thing is my hobby and my passion.

As a kid, I was more interested in Willys Jeeps, early Dodge Power Wagons, and military vehicles (I also have most of a half-track... a long-term project) but my Pontiac love affair started when I bought what is probably my one and only new-car purchase in 1991, a Firebird Formula. I started reading the Pontiac mags and seeing photo spreads on the old wide-tracks, and I was smitten. (Incidentally, I still have the Firebird, mainly relegated to storage time in my garage in virtual mint condition with about 19K on the clock.)

I currently have two roadworthy big-cars, both needing some cosmetic work but decent 20-footers: a 1962 Bonneville coupe and a 1960 Catalina Safari wagon. As for the rest:

1959 Catalina 2-door sedan (running but rough)
1959 Star Chief 4-door sedan (running but rusty, factory a/c)
1959 Star Chief 4-door hardtop (not running but straight & complete)
1960 Star Chief 4-door sedan (parts car)
1960 Ventura 4-door hardtop (running, in process)
1960 Ventura 2-door hardtop (running but rusty)
1960 Ventura 2-door hardtop (nearly running, good project)
1960 Ventura 2-door hardtop (not running, very rough, refuse to part!)
1960 Catalina 2-door sedan (not running, very rough, refuse to part!)
1960 Catalina Safari wagon (nearly running, complete, good project)
1960 Catalina Safari wagon (not running, rough, refuse to part!)

I'm a little bit of an odd one in the hobby... it almost feels like I'm on a mission to save cars that no one else would, regardless of value, seeing them as they were in their former glory instead of the sad state they are in now. I understand about parting cars, I buy parts from guys who are parting cars, but I just can't do it myself (except for the one partly-stripped '60 I hauled out of a defunct salvage yard.) I just see the day coming that came for the tri-five Chevy's, when they were treated for years like the supply was limitless and now some guys are fighting over four-door sedans because it's all that's left that they can afford. No guilt trips on anybody, it's just the way I'm doing things. Tell me a car isn't worth restoring, and I head straight for the WD-40 and the steel wool.

I look forward to tapping you folks for some info when I get stumped, and sharing what bits & pieces I have to help you along, hopefully saving you some of the head-scratching, page-flipping, and brow-furrowing by which I gained the knowledge. I'll post some pics soon... thanks for a great site!!!

- Doug
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starchief_59
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:01 pm

Great story and very impressive collection!!!! You might want to contact Bill (morgan? I think) over on performance years. He is trying to get rid of 2 59 Catalina 4 door sedans for $1200 for the pair. They look solid and complete. One is an AC car.

I would love to see pics of all your cars!!!

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Doug in Colorado

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PostSubject: 1959 Catalina 2-Door Sedan   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:08 pm

Attempting to post pics... I think this will work...



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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:21 pm

i like that 2 dr sedan!

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Doug in Colorado

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PostSubject: 1959 Star Chief 4D-HT   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:28 pm

The Catalina 2-door codes as having left the factory in Southgate, California decked out in Dundee Green with Ivory top, and having been built without the "decor group", still retains the original rims with dog-dish hubcap clips and three of the four caps. I'm usually not big on green cars, but I LOVE that light green metallic on these cars, so I plan to go back to original... since the interior is so rough and needs complete restoration, I may do the interior in grey instead of the original green. Has the original engine which appears to be an economy option (the manifold is the economy two-barrell, and I found the "L" stamped in the front of the block designating low compression, but I can't find the other definitive codes so far.)

The Star Chief 4D-HT doesn't have much for options, either, but does show codes for Sunset Glow lower body and Ivory top, with the red interior. It's such a stunning color combination, I plan to go back to all correct colors on this one.

Thanks for the tip on the two Cats... I would love to, but I have to quit buying stuff for a while and pay down some debt. I was about to sell a kidney trying to get that '59 Bonneville in the Denver area running on Ebay a couple of weeks ago... factory a/c, p/seat, p/windows, even a complete Sportable radio, but I missed out. I'm like the old ladies they find with 120 cats, I have to be realistic with my finances or I won't know when to stop.

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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:38 pm

haha I know what you mean! I have to control myself too. How much did that Bonneville go for? That was a nice car once you got past the old paint.

Your Star Chief looks sweet!

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Doug in Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:59 pm

I've considered trying to set up a therapy / accountability group to call, to keep me from buying stuff I shouldn't.

The Bonneville in Denver makes me sad. (If we're talking about the same one, it was the gold-colored 4D-HT with very weathered exterior but in running condition.) I was in the bidding, preparing to do the unthinkable and raid some of my pre-tax retirement investments that have been languishing in the market anyway, pondering how high to bump my bid as the auction neared its end, when POOF! A couple of days before the scheduled end of the auction, it came up, "Bidding has ended for this item. The seller has ended because the item is no longer for sale." WHAT??? He hadn't said anything in the listing about it being for sale locally outside of the auction, or I would have called him... anyway, his number was in the listing, so I called him to have a strained but cordial conversation about what in heaven's name had happened. As he explained it, he had some offers that were below his reserve of $3000 (I had high bid around $1700 when he pulled it, prepared to go even higher than 3K), he had just found out he was being laid off, and a representative of a high-dollar collector offered him his reserve, and he took it.

Bad news (keep reading, it gets better): the collector is apparently a high-dollar collector of convertibles and one-offs and is the owner of the only-known-to-exist factory 1959 Pontiac Catalina El Camino, and he wanted the excellent-condition front seat in this color from this car, along with a/c parts and the sportable, to finish out the El-Catalina. You could have knocked me over with a feather - this car that I was dying to restore was going to get stripped. After sitting for decades, it surfaces momentarily to slip away like a jump ball and fall into the meat grinder.

Better news: I talked to the seller after the buyer's local representative / restoration guy picked up the car, and it sounded like the local guy was recommending that they restore the Bonnie after all (just too good to trash), and the collector was warming up to the idea. Anyway, it went for $3000, which I think was pretty good even for a four-door. I bet that sportable was worth 500 to a grand.
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:02 pm

Wow, I think 3K would have been a good deal on that car! I really hope it doesn't get stripped.

Me and my friend have this saying "I'm rich and I'll ruin whatever I want" I forget what channel it was on but these rich guys took a shelby mustang out of a museum and modified it to how they thought a Factory Shelby Stang should look. They RUINED a musem shelby to make a custom. Who the fuck would do that? I don't like mustangs but I was pissed. It's sad that a lot of rich people don't have any brains.

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Doug in Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:30 pm

Agreed - although, I had to calm myself down a little, because after talking to the seller it wasn't quite as much of a glib and careless operation as what it sounded like at first. Apparently, the collector wanted this particular car because it was such a completely intact and original piece, and they wanted not only the parts but they wanted to scrutinize every bolt as it came off so as to complete their project as faithfully as possible to as-it-was-done-at-the-factory specs and configuration. Even the seat was wanted because it was an excellent original - I guess they didn't even want to go with NOS materials for the seat covering.

Like you said, I can't stand people doing stuff like what was done to that Mustang, but this was a different deal... again, not the way I would do things, but trying to be faithful to their own museum piece. And I too hope they find a way to do both, including saving the Bonnie.
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:34 pm

I really don't understand the 100% factory nut and bolt restos. To me that's boring, the styling was so great back then but I like to add my own flavor here and there. I'd get bored just restoring cars to original. I guess if you have a one of a kind '59 Pontiac El Bonnemino then you better restore it to original.

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starchief1959

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PostSubject: Re: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:11 am

Welcome to the site doug. Nice collection. Smile

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PostSubject: Greetings! Intro from the New Guy / Old Fart...   Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:48 pm

From one old fart to another, I say welcome.

Noting your large collection and since I only have ONE classic car at the moment to drive me nuts, all I can say is ''you must be a glutton for punishment"!!!
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