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This Six-Door, 24-Foot-Long 1970 Pontiac Catalina Is Not Your Average Grocery-Getter

1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway 14 photos
Photo: WSRoot1/Bring a Trailer
1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway1970 Pontiac Catalina wagon by Stageway
Introduced as a trim level in 1950, the Pontiac Catalina became a stand-alone model in 1959 and soldiered on through 1981. Like most full-size cars of the era, the Catalina line included a diverse lineup ranging from two-door convertibles to four-door station wagons.
The Catalina was also one of many GM vehicles used by coachbuilding companies as platforms for commercial rigs such as ambulances, hearses, and airport shuttles. These cars are quite rare nowadays because many were simply abandoned once decommissioned. But a few of them have survived and spend their retirement years as restored gems. This 1970 Catalina wagon is one of them.

At 18 feet and five inches (5.6 meters) long, the 1970 Catalina was one of the longest American vehicles available at the time. But while the grocery-getter would look huge next to most modern automobiles, it may feel tiny next to this extended-wheelbase rig. That's because the latter comes in at a whopping 24 feet and two inches (7.4 meters) long. This thing is longer than a Ford F-250 Super Duty!

Not only that, but its wheelbase is only 28 inches (0.7 meters) shorter than the entire length of the standard 1970 Catalina wagon. Needless to say, you'd have a lot of trouble navigating narrow streets or finding a proper garage for this beast. So what's the deal with this mighty long wagon?

Well, it was built by Stageway Coaches, the company responsible for many limousine conversions in the past. Developed alongside a sedan version, this six-door, three-row station wagon was aimed at companies operating airport shuttles, bus lines, sightseeing tours, and similar businesses.

Unusual for this type of car, the stretched Catalina was restored to mostly original specifications. It's unclear if the gold paint and beige vinyl are true to the original configuration, but the wagon retains the "Stageway" badges on the front fenders and the "Armbruster" logo on the tailgate (Stageway Coaches bought Armbruster in 1950). The grocery-getter shows imperfections here and there, but it's in great shape overall.

The Catalina runs and drives, but there's no actual information on what's under the hood. If it still has the original V8, it should rely on a 400—or 455-cubic-inch (6.6—or 7.5-liter) powerplant. Output ranged between 265 and 370 horsepower, depending on displacement and carburetor layout. The seller indicates the wagon has not been driven regularly in years, so the V8 may need maintenance.

While I agree that this massive station wagon is anything but practical, it's somewhat of an exotic Poncho you don't get to see every day. If it's something you'd like to parade at the local car show, it's being offered at no reserve on Bring a Trailer. Bidding is at only $10,000, with just two more hours to go.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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