< Back to Blog
Original link:

2023-06-14 19:06:47

The Perfect Family Car 1966 Pontiac Catalina

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Hello , my name is Adam .

Welcome to my rare classic car channel .

This is my 66 Pontiac Catalina .

So for the G M fans , another one here , this car is finished in its original Marina turquoise exterior , uh which was used in a number of other G M vehicles .

Interestingly had different names even though it had the same paint codes , I think for Oldsmobile , it was Tropic turquoise for Buick .

It was just turquoise .

Cadillac had a different name , but in any event , it's a beautiful color on the car .

It's a metallic paint .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

These mid 60 S Pontiacs kind of from 65 to 68 are some of the best looking cars in my opinion of the era , especially the fast back coops like this and I apologize .

It's a bit windy today .

Somebody recommended I get a la vallier microphone , which I did .

I had no idea what that is , but hopefully that's buffeting the wind for the conversation .

So this was a quite popular vehicle for the time .

These hard top coups Pontiac sold 80,000 Catalina Hardtop Coops in 1966 .

So it was a good seller , but you really just don't see these cars around anymore .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

I was looking for a 65 or six coup for many years and finally after gosh , maybe five or six years of searching , this one came up for sale in Illinois and it was just in too nice a shape to pass off .

I mean , all the chrome is really , really nice .

It's got a few little , you know , blemishes , you little paint chips and things like that .

But what do you expect for an all original car of this era ?

It's amazing to me that this is a base car in terms of how it's furnished , the cloth and the vinyl seat is extremely comfortable and the cloth is rich looking .

It's got like this metallic flake in it .

The steering wheel with this loose sight , transparent rim is just beautiful .

Um And then the A pillar trim and you can see is all chrome , wonderful dashboard .

We'll go in here for a second .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So this lo site wheel I think is just super cool .

This one doesn't have any cracks in it .

So I'm lucky there .

It does have a dealer installed compass .

You can see it says Pontiac .

It does have the dealer installed cruise control , which there's an N Os dealer installed cruise control package on ebay that somebody's asking $2500 for .

So , um I guess I'm glad I have it but uh am F M radio ?

No air conditioning .

It just has a heater here which is a really goofy set up .

There's not uh really a lower speed controller .

So to say you turn this dial so I can get it to focus better .

You turn this dial to normal .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

And then as you rotate this knob to hotter and hotter it , it increases the fan speed as well as the temperature .

So , and then there's this D I setting which changes goes to full fan and then goes up out of the defroster duck .

So it says rear , which is really a higher fan speed than this normal .

So this is a goofy set up .

I mean , I have no idea .

I think they were trying to make it easier .

You just put it on normal .

The fan kicks on a low speed and then as you start rotating the temperature dial , it increases the temperature and the fan speed automatically .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

If you wanted a bit more fan , you rotated to this rear position , which was labeled rear because it was supposed to help the rear passengers get more air and then you have the D ice , you know , for the window .

I think that it's just too gimmicky .

I wish it just had a slider bar and a fan speed adjuster .

So , but that was what Pontiac wanted for the time .

Uh a reading light even on the Catalina , really nice touch and this is a wonderful looking trim piece on the interior .

So for a base car , it's just amazing to me how much value you really got .

I mean full chrome trim around the daylight openings , uh nicely trimmed door panels with beautiful chrome handles , um loop pile carpet .

You can see the original factory formats .

Here I brought along .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This is a 66 Pontiac brochure .

It's a bit do stained , it was in a basement somewhere .

But I brought this just to show here's the color Marina turquoise with the turquoise interior and these Pontiac brochures of this era , they have this engine page which I think they still had up till about 1970 which is kind of cool .

So you can see Pontiac standard .

Uh this has the 2 90 horsepower standard for Catalina with the Turbo Hydrotic .

So this is a Turbo hydrotic 400 transmission great transmission .

Uh This is a two barrel premium fuel .

You can see the compression ratio is 10.5 to 13 89 .

The Bonnevilles had the same motor but a four barrel uh same with the Grand Prix which was 3 25 horsepower and these are again , gross horsepower ratings , not net horsepower ratings that they went to in 1972 .

And how cars are rated today ?

So this is without the exhaust and accessories .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This is just the motor um as is you could see there was also and it was pretty popular in the Catalina .

I've seen a lot of cars with this , this optional at no extra cost , regular fuel V eight So it's a 3 89 with 8.6 to 1 compression .

This car doesn't have that but I have driven ones with it and it's , you know , still a really nice motor .

And then in , in these , you could get a 4 21 4 barrel which is 338 horsepower optional .

A 356 horsepower 4 21 tri power or a 3 76 horsepower 4 21 H O tri power motor .

So a lot of engine options in these and I'll show when I pop the hood how you can tell what Pontiac motor you have under the hood .

Also , during these years , Pontiac used uh a illustration .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Uh I don't know if it was a firm but duo of uh you'll see on some of these pictures , it'll say a K V F .

But um there were two gentlemen who did all these sketches in the brochures and I believe one person did the car , the other person did the people in kind of the background images .

So they worked as a team to uh to do those .

And it's kind of a fixture of Pontiac brochures from the era .

I believe even my 71 brochure still has sketches by them .

So they're wonderful looking , you know , beautifully rendered drawings .

There was a Pontiac Hallmark for a number of years in the brochures you can see in here if you had the Bonneville , you had real wood grain trim .

This was not fake wood grain on the Bonneville in these years .

This is actually a Grand Prix picture .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

But in any event , this uh this was all real wood grain .

So Pontiac was spending a lot of money on their cars and John DeLorean was the general manager at this time .

So the person who , you know , arguably with Jim Wang and maybe some others invented the G T O .

Um but Pontiac really hit its stride .

You have to remember that it kind of went from being the old person's brand to being the young person's brand in this era with these really dynamic looking cars .

And it's not hard to understand why , when you look at the value that you got , why these were so popular and I'll talk about the engine in a second .

But um the 3 89 in this car , even though this is a two barrel standard V eight , uh it , it really is amazing .

Um You have no lack of power in any situation at all .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

It feels more powerful than it really is .

The car accelerates better than cars with much better , bigger motors .

You know , if you asked me what I thought was under the hood in this car when I bought it , I would say a 4 21 .

because it really , I mean , you'll burn rubber all day if you want it passes really well , even with a two barrel , um it's just phenomenal , phenomenally smooth .

The transmission is perfect .

Um Yeah , I , I really , I can't fault this motor at all on anything smoothness , reliability , quietness performance and it's just the standard engine and nor can I fault the transmission .

It's , it's flawless .

You drive a modern vehicle with these 89 10 speeds .

It's always shifting and hunting around and it's an annoyance compared to this .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

That is absolutely beyond smooth .

So this car also has a wonderful ride .

I would say this is probably the best riding car of maybe any car that I have .

I , I'm pretty partial to the Fords of the air and think they have great rides .

This , I think this beats it .

No shakes , no quivers , no rattles .

It's an amazing car better than the other GM divisions .

I have Cadillacs of the same area , even with lower miles .

This car has got about 46,000 miles on it .

I've got cars from other divisions with 15,000 miles , 20,000 miles and they drive really nice .

This is better .

This to me is the best driving GM of the era that I've ever , I've ever driven better than the 67 Riviera than that .

You've seen the video of even they pop the hood for you here .

Really beautiful front end on this cartoon .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This was done by a designer named Elia Russo , I believe .

And if you search his name on youtube , you'll see a video of him .

He has since passed on .

But where he talks about some of the vehicles that he did , including the 78 Grand Prix , others are escaping me .

But he's done , did a lot of famous GM vehicles over the years .

So it , yeah , beautiful front end .

Pop the hood .

Yeah , give me one sec here , have you heard ?

So here it is the 392 barrel base engine .

This is a no air conditioning car .

And if you're wondering how to figure out what Pontiac V eight that you have .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

You look on the passenger side right below the cylinder head where it meets the block and there is a two letter code Y C on this car , you can look that up and you can tell what displacement and compression ratio motor you have for your Pontiac V eight .

Because Pontiac V eight s unlike the Chevrolets , the Osmoles , the Buick , there's not really of this Pontiac V , there's not really a big block or a small block .

They're all the same physical size , whether it's a 354 155 3 89 421 .

For whatever reason , Pontiac did not change the physical dimensions of , of the motors with the size .

So that is the best way to tell what motor you have .

You can see the dealer installed cruise control .

It has this bracket that bolts to the valve cover .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Custom bracket works just fine and then it has the chain snaking around this little wheel to the throttle cable .

This is the last year for the single master cylinder , one chamber .

So if you have a car that's made in 66 or before , highly recommend you check your emergency brake if you're running a single chamber , master cylinder , because if you pop a brake line , you have no hydraulic brakes .

Anywhere in 67 they went to the dual chamber master cylinder .

So if you popped a brake line , you only broke half the system in these , the emergency brake really is the emergency brake trying to see if there's anything else under the hood , I'll start it up .

So you can just get a sense of how this runs .

This car does have amazingly this little vacuum diaphragm under here that it's the only car I've ever seen it when the car is off .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This plunger extends to raise the idle speed when you start it and then when you start it , the engine produces vacuum and it backs down the idle speed .

So as opposed to later vehicles where you kind of have to put your foot on the gas and crank them when the motor is hot .

This has this automatic diaphragm that I , like I said , have not seen any other car G M Ford , whatever the era just made it easier for people to start and didn't have to remember to put their foot on the gas when it was warm .

So here we go .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

So just a nice running , beautiful running 3 89 no de clutching fan on these , just a standard fan rotates with engine speed .

Somebody was also coming , they wanted me to honk the horn has a great horn .

So that will tell somebody to get out of the way quickly .

Other things .

Just interesting tidbits .

You can tell if you have original G M radiators , if you have this tag on here .

Uh This one is original .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

I'm gonna take this out before long and get this record just because it's getting old and I can see some , you know , minor , minor , minor seepage .

It's not a problem right now , but they don't want it to be a problem later .

I mentioned in other videos , but I'll mention again on the G MS when you're setting the point gap , you're fortunate that you have a little window .

It's actually on the other side of the distributor cap that you just need to get the points in and the vehicle started and then here's the little window there .

You can put an Allen wrench in there and adjust the points with the dwell me that you hook up to the negative of the coil and the ground .

Let's take a look at the trunk .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This is most definitely a full size trunk , a spare hub cap in there and the jack , certainly an old tire .

I don't know if that is a , an original or not .

It might be it's definitely very old , but you're not overly well trimmed in here .

This probably didn't even come with a mat or maybe it had a basic mat at one point in time .

Somebody's put this little piece of carpet in here .

But overall , wow .

Is this just an absolutely phenomenal driving car ?

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

Like I said , uh to my mind , best , best driving car of the era , I was , I would give that award to Ford's before I own this vehicle .

But the ride , I would , you know , put it a 10 on this car .

The handling for the size is pretty , gosh , darn good too .

Um , the steering is great and tight .

I did find out that the Ford steering box ratios .

If you watch my other videos , I comment that , you know , it's a really slow ratio for Ford steering and I found out it's 22 to 1 on the Fords and on these GMS , it's about 16 to 1 .

So it's more than 20% quicker , you know , almost 30% quicker in terms of the steering and it makes a big difference .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

I just love this blue sight wheel in the , in the sun , the turn signals , all the switch control in this , the crank handles , the switch gear feels just so premium .

I mean , this clicks into place really interesting turn signal indicator light .

It's really hard to fault this car on almost any dimension and you'll probably see that in the ratings .

So if you're looking for a 60 s era car that drives great , runs great , reliable , man .

I don't know that it gets better than this .

I'm barely touching the pedal .

I mean , that was probably half throttle .

Maybe .

Not even .

It gets up to speed instantly .

It shifts imperceptibly .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

It steers great with really no slop compared to others of the era Ford .

If you try to whip around a quick 90 degree corner like this , you , you actually have to really help the wheel return back to center because you've turned it so far to make it around the corner and it won't return as fast as it needs to .

This one is just wonderfully responsive .

You slow down , you make a turn , the transmission kicks down into second .

A lot of , a lot of other cars , they seem to hold third until you kind of come to about 10 to 15 miles an hour .

This one will kick down into second automatically a closed throttle .

I would say once you hit , even like you drop down below 25 miles an hour , so you accelerate out of the corner really nicely and it upshifts into third .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This does have a , I believe the standard ratio in this is really tall like a 256 rear end .

I can check in the book and I mean , that wasn't even full throttle .

It just is up to speed really quickly .

Gets great mileage .

Like I said , it's got a very tall highway gear rear end .

You don't miss it at all .

Just driving around from a torque perspective when I do the rating on this car , like I said , I would expect that will be a separate video but this car is hard to beat .

Um , would it be nice if it were a ?

Yeah , but uh , I can't complain about this at all .

I mean , I would have been really satisfied as a buyer .

I might not even have paid the extra money for the Bonneville because this is so nice .

Bonneville was in these years .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

It was actually a longer car , bigger wheel base , longer length Catalina was the short body .

So , and this is a pretty chuck hole ridden road and mean , I don't feel anything sitting in here and you can hear there's not squeaks rattles anything .

So to my Ford friends and the Mopar fans , I love , I love Ford and I love Mopar .

But man , I think this is , you're just looking for the best family car of the era , even , you know , of the GM brands better than Cadillac .

I've driven many of the Cadillac of the era and I've owned a couple of them .

It doesn't drive as nice as this by 67 old 88 .

It's a 15,000 mile car .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

It drives wonderfully .

It's not as nice as this .

The Riviera that you saw not as nice as this .

This car is just about perfect .

And in these areas .

All the GM vehicles had different engines , different suspension systems depending upon the division that made it this frame system as well .

The chassis is wholly different than the 71 to 6 generation that came after it , which really got a lot cheaper .

In terms of my opinion , they cheapened out the quality of the interiors of the suspension of the frame of a lot of the stuff in 71 to 76 that generation , that's just a tailpipe , scraping in the back of my driveway is a little steep .

Let me , uh , let me back up a little bit .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

I'll just show you one thing here , doors closed , great .

They reopened the hood .

So these , this frame of these eras you can see there's the frame at the bottom , here's the body and there's this torque box mounting with the body mount that's in the middle .

There's a rubber doughnut in there of where this body mounts to the frame .

So the body and the frame can kind of twist back and forth and flex .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

And that torque box really takes that and prevents it from coming into the passenger compartment on the 71 to 76 generation of full size cars that's gone and they really , they use bigger body mounts and softer ones to try to take that jounce out and the tor and it creates , it doesn't work as well .

Number one , and there's a lot of build variation by vehicle depending upon how the car is bolted to the body , the diameter of the rubber , it was just a cheaper set up .

And it's unfortunate because they just don't ride as nice if you drive a 71 to 76 generation full size GM car and then you drive this one , you're going to notice the 71 to 6 is way more jiggly flexible .

Um , just doesn't have the structural rigidity that this does and it doesn't have as good of a ride .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

But this is uh this to me is the pinnacle of 60 70 s era domestic cars , especially mainstream ones .

You know , is this a G T O ?

No , is it a road runner or sports car ?

No , this was the best car that I would say a family would buy for their everyday use .

And it's a sublime classic if you're looking for something that's just a great Sunday driver .

This to me , like I said is the pinnacle .

I think of all the cars that I own .

This one drives the best has the best combination of styling , which to me is beautiful driving .

I just can't say enough about it .

And yeah , so if you enjoy this video , please subscribe and I will continue to continue to make more as I take more and more cars out by the other interesting thing .

video content Image generated by Wilowrid

This has the center mount articulated wipers as opposed to the ones that aren't , I shouldn't say center mound , but butterfly wipers as opposed to ones that wipe the convention away .

Thanks again for watching .

Bye bye .


Attention YouTube vloggers and media companies!
Are you looking for a way to reach a wider audience and get more views on your videos?
Our innovative video to text transcribing service can help you do just that.
We provide accurate transcriptions of your videos along with visual content that will help you attract new viewers and keep them engaged. Plus, our data analytics and ad campaign tools can help you monetize your content and maximize your revenue.
Let's partner up and take your video content to the next level!
Contact us today to learn more.