Pontiac Catalina
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1953 Pontiac Custom Catalina
2 Door Hardtop Coupe

Straight Eight, Flat Head
Displacement           268 Cu. inch

Options                   Dual Range 4 Speed Hydromatic
                                Venti-seat Under seat Heater & Defroster
                                Chieftain 7 Tube Radio
                                Reverse Lights
                                Non-Glare Rear View Mirror
                                No-Mar Fuel Guard Door Trim
                                Illuminated Hood Ornament
                                Front Visor

After messing with English cars for many years, my family made it clear that my Sunbeam Alpine was too small and had to go. Sad as this was, it gave me the opportunity to look for an American car, something I’d hankered after for about 20 years. I’d always wanted something with fins and chrome, a late 50's car, and really had to have a pillarless car, a coupe if possible.  The Pontiac kept appearing in adverts but didn't appeal too much. However, I got home one night to find my wife had called the seller and found out all the details of it. He’d listed all the faults, which was unusual for a seller. We bought the car the following week, and luckily it fitted into a single garage.
First job was to fit a set of new tyres, and rebuild the gas tank. This was carried out by Arrow Rads in Melksham, Wiltshire using Tank-Renu. Highly recommended for porous tanks!!


I then chopped 1 1/2 coils out of the front springs to drop the front approx 2" and still be able to use the bump stops. I had 3" blocks for the rear but these were going to make the exhaust hit the axle. So the Lake Pipes were installed and piped in with no silencers. The engine is not overly loud, (unless under full throttle), and I’ve had no problems with the set up. I’m surprised at how many people are amazed they work, and are not just for show.
Recently I sourced the Front Visor which really adds to the look of the car, and a Continental kit for the rear. This means very careful measuring of the garage to see if the door will close with the Kit fitted.  I think I will need to remove the front over-riders to get in. It's going to be tight......................!
The car’s still on 6 volt electrics, which work well. I have a 6v Alternator to fit over the winter and a new inlet/exhaust gasket set is needed as the current ones are blowing. I will also fit electronic ignition this Winter too.
Finally a repaint is needed as the car has micro-blistered all over
That might wait for another year though, as I’m not looking forward to stripping all the chrome off the car.

If you see me out and about feel free to say hello, or come down to The Chase Inn, Waltham Chase, on the first & third Wednesday of each month for the Victory Wheelers club nights.

Dan Bolton
07889 363618
Victory Wheelers

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