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What To Do With This Car?

ChiliPepperGarage

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WARNING: This is kind of long so only cars guys might want to sift through it all. 🤪

I've had this car for five years now. Haven't driven it a lot and it's been kind of a back burner project. I've had it up for sale a couple times and a couple months ago (right before COVID) I had a guy that said he'd buy it for $7500 (including the parts car) and told me at least three times that he mailed me a deposit but I never received anything so I know he's full of shit or just doesn't have the money.

Now with the economy in turmoil I think it will be very difficult to sell it which I guess is okay. I don't really need the money and I have plenty of storage space (I'm on 5 acres) plus, I kind of like the car. It is a 1964 Catalina 2+2, 389, 4 speed, 8 lugs, all original with 72K miles. Interior is in very good condition, engine runs fine but the car has some rust. I have another '64 Catalina parts car with good panels to fix all the rust.

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Now here's my dilemma: I really want to do an around the country road trip staying on as many two lanes as possible and hit small towns along the way. I want to do this in an old car because in an old car you will meet all kinds of people with interesting stories. People will also tell you about locals that have old cars and take you to them to check them out. One of my favorite channels on YouTube is Hagerty's Barn Find Hunter. The host Tom, goes around looking for barn finds, not to buy but just to show them to the viewers. He has a '40 Ford Woody that he drives and this recent episode tells the story behind it:
. He explains how the car opens doors for him that a new car won't. It's also really cool that he originally bought it when he was a kid. This is kind of what I want to do but also focus on the owners and some of their stories from their younger days.

I had originally wanted to do this in my '34 three window coupe. The car has a little 231 Buick motor, T350 and a Corvette rear end. It would get halfway decent gas mileage and has A/C so would be a good touring car. The only problem is that it is a glass car so not really an old Ford although it was built over 30 years ago. So I bought a '57 Chrysler dual quad 392 Hemi for it and going to make it more of a hot rod/drag car so that car is out.

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I also have a '63&1/2 Galaxie 500XL, Z-code 390, 4 speed car which is in the middle of a frame off. It has a new fresh built 390 and T-10 four speed on a completed chassis with all new Police Interceptor suspension. The body is now ready for paint and then it can be set on the chassis. This car could be built as a touring car (not pro-touring) by switching out to a 5 or 6 speed trans, adding a/c, good stereo, maybe a throttle body FI, comfortable seats, etc.

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I also thought about just taking my Corvette as it gets great gas mileage, is very comfortable and would be great on twisty mountain and country roads but I think it would not be the car for this type of trip. I'll save that for another trip.

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So, it goes back to the Galaxie or the Pontiac. Both cars are pretty similar, one being a Ford and the other a Pontiac but are full size, two door hardtop, big block, 4 speed cars from the early '60s. I really should sell one or the the other. I think once the Galaxie is done it would be an easier sell as it is a rust free car and will be freshly restore. I prefer the looks of the Galaxie but the interior of the Pontiac although, my first car was a '64 GTO and this car is like a big GTO (GTOXL?:) ).

If I do the Pontiac I could use my parts car and fix all the rust, repaint and have a very nice slightly restored but mostly original '64 2+2. They made less than 7K of these and mine has the nice interior with factory tach and gauge cluster (not all 2+2's had them) so it is kind of rare although not particularly valuable. Or I could leave it rusty and just put on some new tires (it's got like 40 year old Sears bias ply's on there now!:oops::D) and drive the wheels off it. Plus, it would be kind of a beater that way, less likely to be stolen and I could park it anywhere and not worry about it. Or I could repair the rust but leave it primer over the repaired sections and leave the rest of the natural real "patina". Either way, I'd again add a/c, an overdrive trans and maybe F/I.

So, what say the RDP masses? Finish and sell the Galaxie? Sell the Galaxie as is? Finish it out as a touring car? Sell the Pontiac (I guess I'd have to keep lowering the price but may get to the point where the price is so low not worth selling and I would just keep it as a back burner project)? Keep the Pontiac and do one of the above choices? Or lastly, just take the '34 as it is and say fuck it, who cares if it is a glass car?

One other factor is I wanted to do this trip this fall so I would be limited in time to get a car ready. However, with COVID fucking everything up I may wait until next fall to do this and hopefully we will be back to some sort of normalcy by them. I'm afraid this fall will be too early and people will be reluctant to talk to and get near strangers.
 

squeezer

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Get suspension/brakes/steering up to good driver status.
Minimal cosmetic work to make you not hate being seen in it.
Add A/C and a great sound system. (???) (Depends on your needs)
Enjoy it
 

Crazyhippy

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My vote is to tweak the Poontiac a bit, (FI, a/c, overdrive) but leave the patina.

Or man up and take the 34. No one will know it is glass unless you tell them. Pack light.
 

whiteworks

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Vette would be cool for the first 3 hours, then your sitting in a stagnant position for 5000 miles😂

coupe similar to vette but will attract more attention.

give the Catalina a little love and run it hard👍
 

Cdog

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I like the Catalina. Where’s the rust at?
 

Ziggy

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Catalina.
Fix rust on the oem panels with patches from the donor car and order a rattle can to match color for the patches. That way you can retain majority of patina.
Definitely bring brakes up to newer standards, freshen steering and maybe even suspension bushings if they're toast.
Adding FI would make its drivability much more enjoyable.
 

mjc

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Catalina.
Fix rust on the oem panels with patches from the donor car and order a rattle can to match color for the patches. That way you can retain majority of patina.
Definitely bring brakes up to newer standards, freshen steering and maybe even suspension bushings if they're toast.
Adding FI would make its drivability much more enjoyable.
I don't think he can upgrade the brakes without getting rid of the 8 lug drums.
 

Ziggy

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I don't think he can upgrade the brakes without getting rid of the 8 lug drums.
Not necessarily upgrade but make sure it's all fresh.........shoes, cylinders, fluid. Those old systems boiled on mountain roads more often than not.
 

spectras only

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😉 Tough call, both cars are cool and desirable with manual transmission. I'd love to have a Galaxie 500XL myself.
 

RichL

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Did a Ohio to Cali round trip with a buddy in '76 in his '41 Willys coupe street rod. Can't begin to tell you how many people we met and doors opened because of that car even back then. If I was in your position right now there's no doubt I'd do it in the '34.

Good luck and have fun with whatever you take.
 

ChiliPepperGarage

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I like the Catalina. Where’s the rust at?
Lower rear on both front fender where they meet the doors have about 3" rust through holes. Both rear fender lips and along lower 1/4's, both rockers under doors. there are two small holes in trunk floor. Frame has heavy surface rust. I think the car was probably parked in a dirt floor garage or barn for many years and moisture came up from underneath. It was also from Indiana sold road salt attacked it. I have the original window sticker, dealer bill of sale, owners manual and Idento Plate.
 

ChiliPepperGarage

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Catalina.
Fix rust on the oem panels with patches from the donor car and order a rattle can to match color for the patches. That way you can retain majority of patina.
Definitely bring brakes up to newer standards, freshen steering and maybe even suspension bushings if they're toast.
Adding FI would make its drivability much more enjoyable.
Good idea on the rattle can paint match.

The brakes are actually amazing. The power finned aluminum drums are huge and will put you through the windshield if you hit them too hard! Changing the fluid would probably be a good ideas as it could be pretty old.

It steers pretty well even though it is manual steering. I had thought about converting to power but it doesn't really need it. Although it has only 72K miles, it is over 55 years old so the bushings maybe deteriorated and probably should be replaced.

FI would be nice but not sure if it is worth the cost. I think I'd rather put the money into an over drive trans.
 

ChiliPepperGarage

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Did a Ohio to Cali round trip with a buddy in '76 in his '41 Willys coupe street rod. Can't begin to tell you how many people we met and doors opened because of that car even back then. If I was in your position right now there's no doubt I'd do it in the '34.

Good luck and have fun with whatever you take.
Thanks!

That must have been a great trip. Things were a lot different back then. What's funny is in 1976, a '41 Willys was only 35 years old. That would be like driving a 1985 car now!

I've done a couple cross country trips in early cars and yes, always a very cool experience. Of course, I was a lot younger then and being cramped up in a small car wasn't as big of an issue as now. :oops: I think it wouldn't be too bad though and I have a really small trailer I could pull behind it if I needed more luggage room.

It would definitely get more attention than the other the Pontiac although now a days I think anything older than the 70's would get a lot of attention.
 

69GS

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Make the Catalina safe and comfortable to get on the road while saving the money for whatever you find on that two lane road. Good Luck and enjoy. On The Road Again
 

RichL

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Thanks!

That must have been a great trip. Things were a lot different back then. What's funny is in 1976, a '41 Willys was only 35 years old. That would be like driving a 1985 car now!

I've done a couple cross country trips in early cars and yes, always a very cool experience. Of course, I was a lot younger then and being cramped up in a small car wasn't as big of an issue as now. :oops: I think it wouldn't be too bad though and I have a really small trailer I could pull behind it if I needed more luggage room.

It would definitely get more attention than the other the Pontiac although now a days I think anything older than the 70's would get a lot of attention.
Ha. We pulled a small trailer too. Spare fuel and motor parts for friends in Porterville. Lots of Coors and Olympia beer on the return run before they were available back here.
 

CarolynandBob

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Sell the Catalina and fix the rust on the Pontiac, but just prime it. Save a nice paint job for when you get back.
 

lebel409

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The Pontiac is Unique, the Galaxie is cool... On then Pontiac I'd fix the rust and prep for paint later. I'd uprade at least the front brakes to disc. I'd put a staggered set of wheels and tires to give it a little attitude and put an exhaust with a little rumble...then pack the cooler and go.
 

H20 Toie

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Pontiac all the way, update the suspension, vintage air, and enjoy. but as mentioned above fix the rust and leave the patina,
Having a larger car on a road trip is a good thing
 

BUDMAN

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love the Galaxy. That’s my choice, of course with updated brakes, a/c, nice stereo and a 5 or six speed with EFI
 

Waterjunky

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all sound like fun. I would love the galaxy, but I am a bit of a Ford guy. All good cars and well worth the effort.
 

Sleek-Jet

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I'd roll the Catalina. It's original enough to gather more attention than the Galaxy and has more cache than the Ford.
 

spectra3279

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I'd do the Catalina. Mostly cause its a bit different.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

monkeyswrench

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The Catalina and the Galaxie would be the best for serious road trips. The wheel base and track width would fair better on the old two lanes and weathered blacktop. Not to mention, the trunk space would help for not only what you take, but what you may find along the way. The coupe's cool, but sometimes after a few hours seat time it can get a little annoying. Honestly, slap a FiTech on whichever you feel like at the time of the trip. Your mileage won't be spectacular, but the motor will be consistent, no matter where you travel.
 

F.U.IRS

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The Catalina is nice. When I was a youngster, 9 ish years old, my moms boyfriend had a Catalina, same year and color as that , we would ride to Parker in it all the time. Brings back great memories.The Wide track Pontiac.
 

Hallett Dave

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I would actually start restoring the 2+2.
Install an upgraded brake booster system.
Keep the 9 lug turbines. I think they are hard to find these days.
Replace all the body bushings and check out all the steering components and add factory power steering.
Gear Venders has over drive units that will bolt right to the Muncie four speed tail shaft. Drive shaft will probably have to be shortened.
Get the vehicle in good reliable drive-able condition for a road trip.
If it is a successful adventure then decide if you want to take care of the cosmetics. Keep it or sell.
I love the color. I think it is Montreaux Blue paint code D1.
My 1967 GTO is the original D1 paint code.
I always liked the 2+2. If I had the the time I would love to see it parked next to the Goat.
HD
661-209-9698
 

rivermobster

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Dump the Pontiacs and finish the Galaxy!

You want something reliable for a cross country trip and seems like the Galaxy will be a complete restore?

Do Not put a Fitech on anything! Nothing but problems. A FAST would be the minimum. A Holly EFI even better.

Have fun whatever you do, and keep the pics coming!

👍
 

bonesfab

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role the pontiac the way it is. Maybe some creature comfort updates and an extra gear wouldn't hurt. If paint it before the trip then you have to worry about it. Power tour in the bus was great. only had to worry about the windshield when we stopped.
 

t&y

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That Pontiac keeps me coming back to this thread. Someone buy it quick before I pick up yet another project.
 

rivermobster

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One more thing about the Galaxy...

It's heavy. Yeah? So?

The heavier car will ride better. With all new suspension, put some Michelin Pilots on it with some adjustable QA1 shocks.

You'll thank me later..

:cool:
 

Hallett Dave

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That Pontiac keeps me coming back to this thread. Someone buy it quick before I pick up yet another project.
LOL I feel the same way t&y. I think it would be a great cruiser.
I love the lines on that 2+2. always have.
Same wheel base as an Executive and Bonneville. Send me more pictures when you get it. :cool: :)
 
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Hallett Dave

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One more thing about the Galaxy...

It's heavy. Yeah? So?

The heavier car will ride better. With all new suspension, put some Michelin Pilots on it with some adjustable QA1 shocks.

You'll thank me later..

:cool:
Well Joe it turns out that the 2+2 is 3,937 lbs and the Galaxy is 3,671 lbs . Do the math Joe.
My vote would be the 2+2 no matter what. It has more aesthetic body lines than the Ford.
 

coolchange

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Pontiac. Electronic ignition. Cooling,driver and engine.
Have a seat built.
You probably have a long time to due this so no hurry...
 

Dkahnjob

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Both cars are cool, Keep them both! Put a 406 or 427 in the galaxie. But they are both as cool as it gets in the mid 60's.
 

ChiliPepperGarage

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That Pontiac keeps me coming back to this thread. Someone buy it quick before I pick up yet another project.
I guess I'd still be open to selling it and just building the Galaxie. Might even have some wiggle room in the price.
 
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