Back in 1962 if you really wanted to dominate the action on the drag strip, this was the car you needed to have. A 421ci Super Duty Catalina with all of the lightweight aluminum body components, a hand built engine that while rated at 405hp really made more like 450hp and only 179 were produced. These were not high performance street cars, there were snotty ass race cars that were designed to show up and eat every other full bodied car alive, which they did handily. Pontiac went a step further in 1963 by creating the so called “swiss cheese” Catalinas with more than 100 lightening holes drilled in the frame, but we dig the ’62s more because the horizontal headlights look better than the stacked ones introduced on the 1963 models.
As we mentioned above, these cars used and aluminum front end and bumpers to reduce weight. This care is amazingly rare because out of the 179 produced, only 20 had bucket seats. This is one of those twenty. The white exterior paint and teal interior are the correct factor combo and there’s not much stuff that we dig more than a four speed handle coming through the floor of a muscle car with no console, just a long handle and a rubber boot. That really looks the business to us.
The motors in these cars were impressive for their era. Displacing 421ci, they were equipped with a custom ground solid lifter cam, heavily worked cylinder heads developed for Pontiac’s NASCAR efforts, an aluminum intake manifold, twin 500CFM carbs, forged pistons sourced from Mickey Thompson, cast iron full length headers with exhaust dumps built in, and it was all based on a beefy four bolt main block and forged crankshaft. This was one hairy chested mother of a factory hot rod!
The amazing thing about the Super Duty Pontiacs was how well they ran and for so long. Typically during this time, the factories were cranking out newer and faster race models each year. Chrysler with their Max Wedge and then Hemi cars, Ford with the lightweight Galaxies, then the Thunderbolts, and Chevy with Z-11s and then Z-16 Chevelles, etc. The Super Duty cars were so good that they were able to hang with the newer stuff a couple of years after they should have been too long in the tooth to compete.
This car is beautiful and appears to have been cosmetically restored to a level of perfection it may not have seen leaving the factory. From underneath, the oil pan looks like it shows the wear and tear of years on the street and strip, which we think is boss. This baby hasn’t lived in isolation forever, it was used in anger! We wish we had the cash, because after we made sure the motor was OK, we’d be out there on the strip with a helmet, a lap belt, and that shifter handle in our right hand. How cool would it be to just wipe out new Camaros and Mustangs with this big ol’ Poncho? We can’t think of a better way to spend $175,000. Hey, we never said it was going to be cheap!
AutoTrader Link: Real Deal Restored 1962 Catalina Super Duty