In March 1961 I ordered a 1961 Pontiac Catalina Convertible 389 tri-power (348HP)4 speed Bristol Blue through Garber Pontiac (Saginaw, Michigan) and took delivery in April 1961. It was a very cool car and was named "ZORCHER" from the "Ernie Kovacs Show" ( I've been zorched"). It was quite notorious in the Saginaw Valley and Tri-Cities area.
In late spring I started going to Houghton Lake and Higgins Lake where my best friend had a cottage. We would cruise the "Music Box" and drive-ins around both lakes. On Memorial Day weekend we were at "Mabel's Drive-In" on Higgins Lake when these two girls came out to take our order. Jeannie and Nancy were very cute and were attracted to my car and asked for a ride.
After they got off work we went for a cruise to the "Music Box" for an evening of dancing and rock & roll. We had lots of fun and I was smitten with Jeannie. We dated off and on as I worked shift work at Dow Corning's Hemlock Plant.
In the fall we began dating more and were "Steady" from then until we were married in July 1963. I had sold the Catalina for a new Grand Prix before the wedding and "honeymoon". We never forgot the Catalina and when we sold our business in Traverse City and retired in 1995 we began looking for a Bristol Blue 1961 Catalina Convertible.
In 2002 at a Good-Guys event at Scottsdale I met a guy that said he had two 61 Catalina rag-tops buy was restoring one and did not want to sell them. We became friends and kept in touch and two years later he called me and wanted to sell both cars as a package.
We traveled to Seattle to check them out and bought both cars. We hauled the parts car back to our place in Montana and shipped the car in progress to Phoenix for restoration. We now had our opportunity to recreate the original Bristol Blue Catalina. A year later our beautiful Car was ready to show and cruise.
Fast forward to 2013 we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and the Bristol Blue Catalina is the marquee of our car collection with its prime place in my garage. We cruise in it frequently and get lots of "thumbs up" . It's a great car. Jeannie and I are still in love with each other and the car.
By the way when we moved to Traverse City in 1972, Frank Hagerty was our first insurance provider for us and our business. Hagerty insures all my cars today. What goes around comes around.
Happy Valetine's Day