1959 Pontiac Safari El Catalina

1959 Pontiac Safari El Catalina 1959 Pontiac Safari El Catalina 1959 Pontiac Safari El Catalina
Seeing the success of the Ford Rancerho and Chevrolet El Camino, Pontiac Motor Division considered building its own car-based pickup for 1960. Initially, there were plans to build three prototypes, but only one was completed. A second, nearly complete vehicle was destroyed. Intended to be called the Catalina Safari Pickup, the sole remaining prototype came to be known as the El Catalina.

The hand-built El Catalina prototype was constructed at Pontiac Motors by combining a 1959 Catalina Safari wagon, and the cab of the new 1959 El Camino. Once it was determined there would be no plans for production, the one-of-a-kind truck was pressed into service as a delivery vehicle at the Pontiac Retail Store, in Pontiac, MI. Later, it was driven to college by the son of an employee.

By 1969, the El Catalina had landed on a used-car lot in Pontiac. A local man purchased it with the intent of restoring it. However, after 40 years of delay and setbacks, he sold the pickup to the current owner. A 'no expense spared' restoration has returned the El Catalina to its former glory.

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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)715,261
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)590,071
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)521,933
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)340,635
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)396,716
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)383,320
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)217,303
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)334,041
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)405,730
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)554,090
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)287,744

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