FinalistThe Catalina isn't nearly as common as its rivals, the Chevrolet Impala and the Ford Galaxie 500. Because of this, the documentation owner Wayne Rames has on the car is impeccable. Verified by the Pontiac Historical Society, Wayne is the third owner of this car. He purchased it a little over a year ago from a 62-year-old man in Iowa who had bought the car from its original California owner. The car was in decent shape when Wayne acquired it, but that didn't stop him from tinkering. He has been making steady improvements to the car since he got it. Most of the work has been done on the body and interior. Being a black car, the body panels needed to be straightened to show off the paint. The interior lacked some luster, so Dale Jansen of Yanktown, South Dakota, did a complete restoration of the seats and panels using the factory tri-color fabric. Wayne plans to tackle the suspension and brakes next year, and in his words, "a little more motor."
This car was left to rot on a farm for over 30 years before current owner Larry Wilken rescued it-and it looked that way, too. Let's just say it matched the tractors. It didn't have an engine, transmission, or differential. This worked out for Larry because he had his own plan. When he got the car home, he stripped it of all paint, repaired the rust, and filled in the holes in the body that didn't seem necessary, for example, the door handles. He also built a lip behind and under the front and rear bumpers to fill the body gap and give it a cleaner look. Larry built a wedge-head 440 bored .030-inch over-that was fit with 9.5:1 Keith Black pistons. He upgraded to a Chrysler "509" camshaft and a modified long-ram intake. He used a set of original cast-iron headers from a '64 Chrylser 300K. These changes moved peak torque up quite a bit. The interior got royal treatment by Kirk's Upholstery of Billings, Montana. All the interior pieces were re-covered in red to match the exterior. The focus of the dash is a mile-wide 150-mph speedometer grafted from a '60 Chrysler 300F.