421 Tri-Power V8, 4-speed, factory A/C, power steering, power brakes, power antenna, skirts, 8-lug wheels, AM/FM radio with reverb, custom gauge cluster with tach, tilt column, console, Saf-T-Track rear end, it’s a factory triple black car, and it comes with a crystal clear build sheet. Any questions?
There’s no question this car is legit, as we have the original build sheet as well as a reproduction window sticker and other paperwork. It has lived its life in the Midwest, starting in Missouri and moving to Iowa, and it was treated to a high-end restoration in the late 1980s. It still shows extremely well, having been retired to show-only use after that and we believe the 31,000 or so miles currently on the odometer are since the restoration was finished. It wears all its original sheetmetal, including quarters and floors, and there’s no evidence that it was ever hit, rusty, or wrecked. The black paint has a beautiful shine that just wouldn’t let any sub-standard workmanship hide, and we invite you to take a good, long look down the flanks of this car—you will not see a wave or a ripple anywhere. Bumpers are excellent and the bright red ‘2+2’ and ‘421’ emblems really pop against the black paint. Up close, you’ll note that this car even carries correct T3 headlights! Yes, it has been driven so it’s not perfect, but it remains a show-stopping machine that stands out particularly well wherever Pontiac fans gather.
The carpets are obviously new, but those seat covers have too much detail to be reproductions and the door panels are unique to the 2+2. The wood-rimmed wheel was an option and all 2+2s came with the rally gauges, although the tach was a whopping $53.80 option. The console was another option and carries yet another ‘421’ badge and the Hurst shifter for the Muncie M20 was standard equipment when you ordered the 4-speed. The radio works, the power antenna works, all the courtesy lights work, and the seat belts look like new even though they’re approaching their 55th birthday. Factory A/C gave you that cool dash vent up top and the eyeball vents on the sides and while the system is complete, it is not charged because they did not want to convert it to R134a. The black power convertible top is in fantastic shape, showing only a little fading on the inside where it would be exposed to the sun in the down position, and it does come with a matching black boot. The trunk is correctly outfitted with reproduction mats, cardboard side panels, and a full-sized spare with jack assembly.
The engine is the original WH-coded 421 cubic inch V8 with factory-installed Tri-Power, which was good for 356 horsepower (the HO 376 horsepower version was not available with factory A/C). It was rebuilt when the car was restored and still runs great with a huge whack of torque at any speed, making the massive Catalina feel more like a GTO than a luxury convertible. You will note that the engine bay is very correct, including the ultra-rare Tri-Power air cleaner with dual snorkels and chrome lid and the almost impossible-to-find firewall cover for the A/C components. In between, there’s a Pontiac Turquoise block, chrome valve covers (part of the 2+2 package), and a trio of Rochester 2-barrel carbs that are properly tuned. It starts easily, idles well, and definitely pulls this big ragtop around with authority. You will also see correct finishes, Tower hose clamps, and original-style hardware used throughout.
Underneath you’ll see signs of use, which, after 30,000 miles, isn’t surprising. Nothing major, just some road grime and some surface scale on the exhaust system, but that means the car can be driven instead of toted around in a trailer. The original Muncie 4-speed shifts crisply with good clutch action, and with 3.23 gears and a Saf-T-Track limited slip it’s a fantastic highway car with long legs. Floors are completely solid, frame has never been bent, and the suspension has recent shocks so it feels right. 8-lug wheels have their own drums and they’re still quite effective, and the power steering is so light that you can wheel it around with a single finger—typical GM. Those 8-lug wheels are in beautiful condition and wear recent 235/75/14 whitewall radials that are similar enough to the original white-stripe tires and handle far better.
Cars like this don’t show up very often—they’re unicorns. They didn’t keep track of production, but PHS estimates that only 2500 1965 2+2 convertibles were built, but how many of these could Pontiac have possibly built? Two? Three? With great documentation, a still-beautiful restoration, and all the performance you remember, this is a special car that will still make its owner feel like The Man. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com