Swiss Cheese Catalina

1963 Pontiac Catalina Super Duty Swiss Cheese

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 17, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The second-generation Pontiac Catalina was produced between 1961 and 1964. These were prime drag racing years and Pontiac got in on the action with its Catalinas. Especially with those equipped with the Super Duty engine packaged.

Not sold for street use, the Super Duty was a 6.9-liter V-8 making 405 horsepower. It also got a heavy duty transmission – and in this case, a special “Swiss Cheese” chassis where the company cut sections out the boxed frame and drilled holes in the frame rails, resembling the cheese for which it was nicknamed. This would be acceptable for drag cars that only need to go straight. Probably a bit of flex if you tried to take it around some corners though.

This particular example is said to be the “most famous” of the 14 Swiss Cheese Catalinas built. It was an NHRA record holder in C/Stock with a 1/4 mile pass of 12.27 at 114.64 mph. It’s a monster of a car with a monster of a reputation. And it will command a monster of a price: the pre-sale estimate being between $600,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.

Update: Sold $530,000.

Tri-Power Catalina Convertible

1959 Pontiac Catalina Tri-Power Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Boynton Beach, Florida | February 23, 2013

1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

For 1959, Pontiac dropped the Chieftain name and started using “Catalina” instead, which sounds 1. more politically correct (in today’s insane terms) and 2. way cooler – especially for a convertible as the word “Catalina” has a two semi-exotic connotations in my mind (a flying boat and an island). Although, if your first thought when you hear “Catalina” is salad dressing, you have my deepest sympathy (and absolute understanding).

This bodystyle for the first generation of the Catalina was available for 1959 and 1960 only. This particular car is gorgeous. I’ve never looked at late-1950s Pontiacs in the same light as I do Chryslers (300 Letter Series) and Cadillacs. But I do now. Part of it is the whitewalls and chrome wire wheels. The engine is a 6.4-liter V8 (the only option available, although varying compression ratios and carburetor setups allowed for different power outputs). This is a Tri-Power car, using three Rochester 2-barrel carbs making 318 horsepower.

You don’t see many of these – especially in this condition with “all the goodies.” It comes from Fran & Ron Green’s Verde Classics Museum in Boynton Beach, Florida. The whole museum is going under the hammer. I don’t see why this isn’t a $100,000 car. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the collection on offer.

Update: Sold $58,000.