1978 Pontiac Catalina Safari

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Auctions, Craigs List and Other Stat' started by jwdtenn, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. SwannyMotorsports

    SwannyMotorsports Well-Known Member

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    27,000 33,000 and another 31,000 mile wagon just in my collection. Yeah, that classifies under 60,000 miles. People in the 70's bought these wagons and then realized how much it cost to drive them. IMHO that's why there are more 70's cars with extremely low mileage.
     
  2. wagon1

    wagon1 Active Member

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    Yep, The 70's cars got parked because of OPEC, and the fact that most people that bought the 70's cars were grandparents of the boomers which didn't drive much anymore. They got their paycheck, retired, and bought a new car and drove it to church.

    I would agree though, it's the sellers that need to support the 22k, other wise it's 122k.
     
  3. SwannyMotorsports

    SwannyMotorsports Well-Known Member

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    I have said from the beginning documentation is a must.
     
  4. wagon1

    wagon1 Active Member

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    Jaunty, another thing is that you may be looking at it differently. People don't necessarily want to drive a station wagon. It's a lot of like a camper, most have under 20k too. It's not because they didn't intend on driving it, or for it to become a fair weather vehicle, it that the use is "special".
     
  5. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    Let's be a little careful here regarding our history. While, yes, the '70s were full of turmoil in oil prices and OPEC-caused gasoline price problems, most of that occurred in the early '70s and accounts for the major recession the country went through in 1974 and 1975. It was cars of those years and before that were suddenly found to be gas-guzzlers that no one wanted any more.

    By 1978, though, this was several years in the past, higher gasoline prices, such as they were, were an everyday reality, and no one bought a station wagon in the latter half of the '70s only to suddenly discover that gasoline prices were unexpectedly high, causing them to not drive a car they had just bought as much as they had intended. In fact, most of the 1980s, after the second oil shock that occurred in 1979 with the fall of the Shah of Iran that did cause another spike in oil and gas prices in 1980 and 1981, was a period of prolonged oil price decline that lasted from about 1982 to 1990.

    I agree that the oil price hikes of the '70s caused people to switch from larger, gas-slurping cars to smaller, gas-sipping cars, and certainly people with gas-guzzlers undoubtedly drove them less to try to save money. But people still needed to drive to work and school and everything else, and so they had to drive their gas guzzlers if they couldn't afford to buy a new car. So I don't think there was any wide-spread parking of big cars back then. People couldn't afford to leave an asset as expensive as an automobile laying around unused if they had no other means of transportation.
     
  6. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    I disagree. Station wagons are not campers. They were family vehicles for most purchasers and THE means of transporting the family anywhere the family went. The station wagon was the '60s and '70s equivalent of the minivan, and Mom took the kids everywhere in it, school, soccer practice, shopping, the eye doctor, everywhere. Most wagons got heavy use and then were traded in a few years later to buy another one that also got heavy use. I don't recall anyone being afraid to drive a wagon because it was too big and cumbersome. We owned two Custom Cruisers when I was in high school, a '71 and then a '73, and my mother drove them everywhere.
     
  7. wagon1

    wagon1 Active Member

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    OPEC was a 73/74 issue. That created the need for smaller cars, but that didn't leave a lot of options for those having 6 kids. They bought a wagon and didn't use it. Swanny's proved it to you. Crazy as it sounds, cars like this were would sell for $10 or given away within 10 years of being bought new or junked. Like you said, thrown away.
     
  8. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    Swanny hasn't proved anything. He's got five wagons with low mileage. Big deal. For every 20,000 mile wagon from the '70s, there are a hundred with 100,000+ miles.

    This isn't about "proving" anything to anybody, anyway. I'm not trying to convince anyone to accept my point of view. I'm just expressing my opinions, and I point out how they differ from other people's. It's okay if we disagree.
     
  9. wagon1

    wagon1 Active Member

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    Jaunty, am I missing your point that you dont think this is a 22K car, or that station wagons are usually not 22k? Seems to me that most 70's and 80's wagons that are in good shape are low mileage. Ebay every week. Now, as low as 22k, not many. But, there are a lot with less than 60-70k
     
  10. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    I don't think this is a 22K car until proven otherwise, and I say that wagons from that era (30 and 40 year old cars) are not usually 22k wagons. Not even close to 22K. We see lots of wagons from all the craigslist ads that people post on this website, and it's unusual to see one with under 50,000 miles, period. It's relatively rare to see one with less than 100,000. Most are in the 100,000 to 150,000 mile range.

    As far as whether or not wagons that are in good shape are low mileage, this is generally true as mileage generally does correlate with condition, but I got yelled at over in another thread by someone who was telling us all about the 50,000 mile wagons he'd seen that looked like trash and all the 200,000 mile wagons he'd seen that were cream puffs. He was complaining because I said that the seller should state the car's mileage, and he's saying that mileage doesn't matter.

    Everyone has their own opinion.
     
  11. jaunty75

    jaunty75 Middling Member

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    Let's do a little thought experiment here. Let's go out and stop the first 100 cars we see on the road that are from the 1978 model year and ask the driver how many miles are on the car. It might take us a while to find that many cars of that model year, but once we've done it, how many of those cars could be expected to have less than, say, 20,000 miles on them? I would guess zero. How many would have fewer than 50,000 miles? I would guess zero here as well, but maybe one or two. How many would have between 50,000 and 100,000 miles? Maybe 10. How many would have between 100,000 and 200,000 miles? I would guess the vast majority of the remaining 90. A handful (maybe a half-dozen) would have more than 200,000 miles. I don't know that any of this is true. It's just what I'd expect, and I think it's reasonable.

    My point is that Swanny's five cars are not a statistically valid sample. You'd need some significant fraction (1%?, 5%?, where's a statistician when you need one?) of all cars of that "class" (1978 Pontiac station wagons, say), in the sample to obtain results that could be projected onto the entire population of cars in that class. There will always be outliers. 1978 wagons with 500 miles on them and 1978 wagons with 500,000 miles on them are out there somewhere, but these are the exception, not the rule, and the vast majority are between the extremes.
     
  12. wagon1

    wagon1 Active Member

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    1)The majority of people do not like putting miles on their car
    2) The majority of people do not trust a car that is10+ yrs old to be their daily driver
    3) The majority of people do not trust a car after it has 100k miles

    If you put those 3 together, it's easy to see why people dont drive a car. If you couple that with what I said above, then you'd be surprised to see that most of these types of cars have under 100k miles. That doesn't mean they cant go that far, but people just dont like that fact. Its much different today, because there is someone on every street corner, a gas station, a cell phone available, in case you get broke down. This wasn't the case 30 years ago. Comfort plays a role in that and now people drive more. But that still doesn't change the fact that the people that bought these types of cars weren't out to drive them
     
  13. SwannyMotorsports

    SwannyMotorsports Well-Known Member

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    There are low mileage examples listed everyday on eBay, craigslist and other social media sites. My 5 wagons do not respresent the majority, and I had to search to find them. I also have sold another 10-15 with lower mikes(80,000 or less). Documentation is key, we all have our own theries. I drive a 2003 Chevy 2500HD crew cab diesel for work. I get compliments on it all the time. It has 300,000 miles on it and no one believes me when I say that. I drive 400-500 miles a day. Condition of s vehicle is dictated by how you care for it
     
  14. cammerjeff

    cammerjeff Longroofs Rule!

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    Just to add to the debate, the Gas price Hike of 1979-80 did park a lot of older cars, I started driving in 1977 and I was able to but some fantastic Cars in late 1979 due to the fact that gas prices doubled, Leaded gas was disappearing fast, and people that had parked Muscle cars in 1973-74 finally decided to sell them, and Cheap! I bought a 1970 GS Stage 1 for $500, a 1972 Trans Am for $800, a 1970 GTO 455 4-speed for $400, and a 1970 GTX 440 6-pack 4-speed for $500. All of them had less than 50,000 miles on them! My father though I was insane! (actually he kept that opinion of me till the day he died)
    As for low Mileage wagons from the late 70's I don't think gas prices had that much to due with the low mileage cars. I agree with what has been previously said about retiree's buying a new car and just not driving as much as they used to. My 37,000 mile 78 Catalina Safari was bought new by a 64 year old that was getting ready to retire, and bought the 2-seat wagon to pull the Airstream Trailer they had from CN to NC.
     
  15. jwdtenn

    jwdtenn Well-Known Member

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