1965 Pontiac Catalina
The 1965 Pontiac Catalina is arguably one of the best “big” Pontiacs of the decade. A former GM stylist once said the new design was “one full styling wave” ahead of other Detroit offerings that year. The freshly designed Catalina hardtop acquired a full fastback roofline, front-end styling had more character than the rather flat 1964 face, and sharply defined lower-body sculpturing added a more rakish stance to it’s profile.
Sport seekers were also pleased with Pontiacs new package called the “2 + 2″ option for its full-size Catalina two-door hardtop and convertible. Due to a GM policy that prohibited engines over 400 cid in intermediates, the GTO had to make do with the division’s 389-cid V-8, while Catalina could be optioned with Pontiac’s 421-cid monster motor.
For $418.54 you could add the 2 + 2 option which included the big engine with a four-barrel carb, plus heavy-duty three-speed gearbox with floor-mounted Hurst shifter, 3.42:1 rear axle ratio, heavy-duty springs and shocks, and some additional interior appointments. Also optional was a Tri-Power engine with 370 bhp, as well as four-speed manual and Safe-T-Track limited-slip differential. So equipped, a 2 + 2 was reportedly good for a mid-15-second standing quarter-mile. For 1965, the top-rated 421 was listed at 376 bhp.