1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2

VIN 252375E******

    According to Pontiac Historical Services, this Catalina sports coupe was built on or about December 7, 1964, at the Linden, NJ, assembly plant., and sold by Jarman Pontiac in Baltimore, MD. The vehicle is Fontaine Blue with a Blue Charcoal interior. Original equipment included the 2+2 Sports Option, the 421CI / 356 HP WH code motor (one of 877 1965 Catalina’s so equipped), Tri-Power carburetion, with a 4-speed manual transmission, and 3.42 Saf-T-Track rear. Options included a floor console, AM radio, “wire wheel” covers, and back-up lights. There were no power steering or brakes.    

      My research has uncovered three previous owners: Kenneth W. Anthony until 1983 (if you’re out there, please contact me), Charlie Lynch 1983-2001, and Steve Parberry 2001-2007 – all from Sussex County, Delaware. Conversations with Steve and Charlie indicate that this car is completely original except for one exterior repaint prior to my purchase in September, 2007. Charlie owns an auto repair shop, and says that he purchased the car from Seaside Chevrolet, Frankford, DE, for $400, after it had been traded on a Chevrolet Scooter (!!!). The car had about 62,000 miles at the time. He said the motor was untouched, the cylinder heads had never been off. Original starter, alternator, carbs and factory air cleaner were in place. He had added a reel-out trunk light and 8-lug wheels. The interior is also untouched & original, including carpets & headliner. All glass is original. All body panels are as installed at the factory.   

    Since purchasing the car, I have had the undercarriage blasted & epoxy primer and painted. The body was completely stripped and repainted in the original color, although I opted for base/clear coat. There are no Bondo patches on the car.

    I am attempting to keep the car as original as practical. The few changes I have made are easily and completely reversible – the original parts are being retained. These changes include power steering (a concession to old age - mine, not the car's), 8-lug wheels, addition of factory dash mounted tachometer, and replacement of the rear package shelf.

    All the chrome and stainless trim has been professionally restored.

    The engine and transmission were removed while the car was being painted, so that the engine bay and engine itself could be painted. The factory Tri-Power set-up was very professionally restored/rebuilt by Dick Niekamp, a most knowledgeable fellow and friend.

    The wiring harness has been replaced from the firewall forward. The exhaust has been replaced with a stainless steel system.

    Except for paint and bodywork, all the work has been done by my friend Steve Gray, at his garage, with my assistance. Steve is an avid car hobbyist. We have to forgive the fact that his main passion is Mopars.

    After reassembly and driving, I determined that the engine would benefit from a thorough rebuild. I entrusted that job to Pontiac racing guru's Jim & Mark Pickett, in Darby, PA. I've known them a long time, and they are experts at wringing the best performance out of Pontiac V-8's. The rebuild included an upgrade to forged pistons & connecting rods, and a hydraulic roller cam set-up. The intake manifold & heads were ported & matched.

   Three days after the engine was completed & installed again, I set off on a 500-mile drive to Dayton, Ohio, to attend the POCI/GTOAA Co-Vention - reputedly the biggest all-Pontiac show ever. I was extremely gratified to have won a Stock Class Gold Award on the car's first outing.

    I've always loved Big Pontiac's, since the day I bought my first car - a 1958 Bonneville convertible with Tri-Power. It was 1963, I was 17, and the memories are strong. I consider the '65 models to be among the best looking American cars of the era, and the 2+2 to be the ultimate expression  of Pontiac style and performance. I'm pleased to have found such an unmolested  example of this model, and proud to have brought it back to it's original glory.

Update 2014:

Since last posting in 2009, the car has been driven over 20,000 carefree miles - to Illinois, Kentucky, West Virgina, and innumerable trips to Ohio and New Jersey. It has been awarded six consecutive Gold Awards at Pontiac-Oakland Club International (POCI) conventions, and has received a Senior Award, a Grand National Meet First Prize, and five Preservation Awards from the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). With the exception of a 2014 trip to Tennessee and Kansas under tow, the 2+2 was driven to all of the events.

Additionally, I have been racing the car on a regular basis at Cecil County, MD, and drag strips in NJ (Englishtown, Atco, and Island) with a great group of people known as SuperCar Races.

Inspired by my love for these iconic cars, I revived the long dormant Pontiac 2+2 Registry, hosted on-line at www.Pontiac2plus2Registry.com.

...Jack Anderson


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