November 27th Update: Frankly, we’re floored this 28K original mile Pontiac Safari survivor we oirginally featured in back in July remains available. While the current caretaker remains firm on their price, we’re okay with that based on the high range the NADA Guides shows for these Pontiac wagons. Good luck with the purchase!
October 8th Update: when we first featured this 1978 Pontiac Catalina Safari in July with only 28K original miles in early July, we did not think it stay for sale very long. To our surprise, it still available; we’ve updated the link for the car’s new post however its worth noting the private seller has not changed their price. Good luck with the purchase!
We immediately fell in love with this extremely low mileage time capsule 1978 Pontiac Catalina Safari Station Wagon we found here on Craigslist in Manchester, New Hampshire for $7,500. The NADA Guides Online Tool currently lists their “low, “Average”, and “High” retail value range at $10,835, $19,690, and $29,700, respectively so we still believe this Safari represents a potentially great buy with upside.
1978 was the second model year for the downsized Catalina Safari Wagon, which saw a change to a lighter weight two-way tailgate that replaced the complicated and heavy clam shell design of the prior model. Wagons such as this example also share the same full-coil spring suspension as their sedan counterparts, rather than the multi-leaf springs found on 1971-76 Safaris.
The private seller states his 28K mile Catalina Safari is well-documented with receipts going all the way back to day one. He reports that the paint is 90% original and the interior for the most part looks brand new, although we see some expected discoloration on the doors cards and front carpet. He also states that his wagon is equipped with a V8 engine, however its worth noting that depending where this Catalina was originally sold, it could also be powered by a Chevy or Oldsmobile mill as Pontiac struggled at the time to have its own V8s meet increasingly stricter emissions regulations.
This is a great survivor wagon that will be a comfortable and inexpensive entry-level classic car welcomed at any local car show. About the only thing we would change is the removal of the wood roof rack before we headed off to a show. Good luck with the purchase!