Pontiac Catalina
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Pontiac
Model: Catalina
Pontiac Catalina

The name Catalina was first utilized on the 1950 Chieftain Series hardtop, which was Pontiac's top of the line model at the time. It was originally referred to as a hardtop convertible, as this vehicle offered a pillar less design in the door and window areas. Not to mention, it also offer the top-grade convertible appointments. The benefit of this fixed-roof design was that it was sporty and airy feeling without the expense and drawbacks of traditional convertibles. All of the Pontiac hardtops were designated Catalina from 1950 to 1958 with the exception of the 1958 Bonneville. The Catalina was powered by a flathead straight-8 engine at the time of its debut, but it would later receive Pontiac's new 287in<sup>3</sup> OHV V8 four years later. The Pontiac Catalina took a firm seat as part of Pontiac's full-sized automobile line. The Catalina name was used strictly to denote hardtop body styles at first, making its initial appearance in the 1950 Chieftain Eight and DeLuxe Eight lines. But, in 1959, the Catalina became a separate model, as the 'entry-level' full-size Pontiac. The Catalina, though it was the lowest-priced full-sized Pontiac, was still a major step up from the Chevrolet Impala in terms of options and styling. It was also only a short step below the Buick LeSabre and the Oldsmobile 88 in trim and appointments. The best part though was that it was priced about $100 to $200 less. The Catalinas also came standard with more amenities than the Chevrolet models making them easily more popular among buyers and dealers alike. They also included a larger and more powerful V8 engine of 389 or 400 cubic inches, compared to the Chevy's six-cylinder or 283 cubic-inch V8. All in all, they were a pretty easy sell to anyone that was looking to buy in the range of the three models. The Catalina was the obvious gem in the bunch.

<< Back to Vehicle Index
Back To Top