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Saw this big old 1970 Pontiac Catalina 400 yesterday....


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59 minutes ago, JACK M said:

Agree on the wheels.

Wheels have always been a sore spot for me.

 

Me too. I'm tolerant of other perspectives, but I've never liked the "every old car is a hot rod or custom" mentality that aftermarket wheels seem to promote. Looks pretty out of place for this vehicle, but it it's still a very cool car that doesn't appear to have been jacked with in other ways.

 

 

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Think the '70 Cat uses 5on5 with zero offset. At least it has a good engine, 70 455 had near as many recalls as the diesel. Weak bottom end. Fixed in 71 but no-one trusted it. 455 HO in 71-72 Trans Am was a good engine but overshadowed by the 73 455SD. Always thought they stole the horns from the 3.4 Jag.

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Those years look especially good with the Pontiac Rally II. Black or red PMD center, with or without trim rings.

 

Was always a little more partial the 69 big Pontiac, but still a nice car to own. 69-70 always looked like they were ready to pounce.

 

I know BOP all had to have 455s after Oldsmobile broke that gate down in 68, but I always thought the 425, 428 and 430 were better engines than the 455s that replaced them. 

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My first attempt at a restoration project back in the early 1990s. As a teenager, my dream car was a GTO but they were getting too expensive even then. This was the closest I could afford to a proper wide-track Pontiac. 4-door hardtop, bought for $100 from the little old lady original owner. The car ran well and had fairly low miles and a dead mint interior. The back seat had never been sat on. I thought it was a perfect drive-as-you-restore project. Unfortunately, a few months later, as I was just starting to get a few things sorted out on it, the frame rusted through under the engine. I had no clue it was that bad as I had never lifted the car to check. I was living in an apartment in New York at the time - no garage, no driveway, no way to keep a non-operable car even long enough to sell it. I jacked up the engine, put a 2x4 under it and drove the car to the junkyard under its own power. 😪

Catalina.jpg

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Theres a guy I see at the local shows, he is the original owner of a 68 Bonneville. Car is absolutely stunning and 100% original other than wear items, belts, plugs, air  in the tires.

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It was Christmas Eve and I was home from school and driving my Dad’s Catalina to see my girlfriend.  I wasn’t paying attention and slammed that pointy nose right into the back end of some other car. That was not a fun conversation when I got home. Ruined Christmas vacation that is for sure.

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11 hours ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

It was Christmas Eve and I was home from school and driving my Dad’s Catalina to see my girlfriend.  I wasn’t paying attention and slammed that pointy nose right into the back end of some other car. That was not a fun conversation when I got home. Ruined Christmas vacation that is for sure.

Dad had new Grandville.  I was just wee bit too short to drive our lawn tractor (cub cadet) but tried to anyway.  My foot slipped off the clutch/brake and the mower slammed head first into the big Pontiac.  Smashed both up pretty good. Car is gone, I still have the mower.

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Dad had a sweet '67 Catalina 4-door hardtop which drive like a dream - quick, luxurious, great looking - when looking to replace my '60 Valiant V-200 with something my bride-to-be would also like, and capable of towing her father's off-shore Gulf of Mexico capable cruiser, I went with the '69 Pontiac Custom"S", choosing the {Pontiac 350 ci, bigger Hydro-Matic, F40/F41 Suspension packages, etc), all in all a great decision at the time, and soon joined by an almost new Citroen DS-21 as my daily driver which later saved my life in a head-on crash with a new full-sized Mercury when the other driver turned left into me at highwat speeds. Had I been in the Pontiac, I fear neither of us would have fared as well.

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5 minutes ago, padgett said:

ps "Custom S" was an A-body, Cat was a B-body. Father had an ID-19 that would sing to you in top gear.

 

Yes, Dad's B-body was great, but the A-body was the right choice for my bride-to-be at the time, and we still had use of her Dad's almost new Olds "88" Holiday Sedan. My Custom"S" was actually better at trailering the boat with comparable power, better suspension set-up, disk brakes, etc. Friends sometimes called my 4-door Mayfair Maize Poncho a "GTO in Drag".

Although similar in outward appearance, our DS-21 was fantastic, a significant senior to the ID-19 (Luxury, Speed, Citro-matic 4-speed).

Both were amazing - a close friend also had an ID, but he preferred mine. Many don't realize that the Citro-Matic was actually a 4-speed stick, but that the hydraulics reacted to the stick lever by declutching, moving the shifting forks, and re-engaging the clutch, and that the relative speed of each of the functions was fully adjustable with a coulple of screws - amazing to drive, autocross, etc!

Thanks for your note.

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Yes those "auto clutch" devices were common in Europe then: Sax-O-Mat, TipTronic. If you put too big a shift knob on a VW it would never engage. ID had a four on the column with OD top.

 

GM A-bodies were the same from 68-72. I had an A-body wagon with a nose job that was a great tow car particularly with a rear sway bar and posi (Saf-T-Track). Had a 3.08 "economy" axle and a steel gear 400 4bbl.

 

rig3.jpg

 

 

 

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Thanks John. When was the last time you saw one? I asked myself that question, and really couldn't remember. I am drawn to survivor cars which I haven't seen in a decade or two. I suspect that this body style didn't ware well with the public, making it a pretty rare sight today. 

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On 3/25/2021 at 1:12 PM, JACK M said:

Agree on the wheels.

Wheels have always been a sore spot for me. Expensive if you go with the wrong ones.

 

I agree on the wheels also, and I would be more then happy to help him out if he needs some wheel cover's, just pay the shipping 

 

 

 

IMG_6922.JPG

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On 3/25/2021 at 12:20 PM, padgett said:

Particularly for Pontiac who never could afford a big block so had to get to 455 the hard way.

Not any harder than Olds, Olds is even more undersquare

Olds 455= A 454; 

Displacement:

7446 cm3 / 454.4 cui

Bore:

104.78 mm / 4.125 in

Stroke:

107.95 mm / 4.25 in

 

Pontiac 455;= A 456

Displacement:

7469 cm3 / 455.8 cui

Bore:

105.44 mm / 4.151 in

Stroke:

106.93 mm / 4.21 in

 

The Pontiac 350 isn't even close, it's a 354

Displacement:

5798 cm3 / 353.8 cui

Bore:

98.43 mm / 3.875 in

Stroke:

95.25 mm / 3.75 in

 

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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