Car: Pontiac Catalina Convertible
What makes it special: The Catalina was a part of the full-sized line-up for GM’s Pontiac division for the 1950 to 1981 model years. Originally, it’s name was used on Hardtop’s beginning with both the 1950 Chieftain Eight and Deluxe Eight models. Catalina became a separate model in 1959 as an “entry-level” full-sized car.
What made it famous: The Catalina got a face-lift for the 1960 model year, and now sported a horizontal bar grille, reminiscent of the Cord 810 and 812’s of 1930. It also received round taillights. It’s drivetrain offerings were the same as the 1959 model, most often powered by the 235hp, 389 cu in Tempest V8. With the optional 4-speed Hydramatic transmission, horsepower was bumped up to 280. Optional eight-lug aluminum wheels were available along with integral brake drums that gave the large Pontiac extra stopping power. The “Safe-T-Track” limited slip rear was a very popular performance option.
Why I would want one: It’s long, wide and low. It has a menacing look to it’s front-end. It’s a true cruiser.
Fun fact: The Catalina was discontinued after the 1981 model year when Pontiac abandoned the full-sized car market, but when it did, over 3.8 million Catalina’s total were sold since 1959.
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