1. 1961 Pontiac 'Trophy 425A' Catalina Hardtop

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Lot Number
59
1961 Pontiac 'Trophy 425A' Catalina Hardtop
Scottsdale Auction

Still Available for Sale
Call 800.990.6789 or Email Here

CHASSIS NO: 361P10735
• POCI Gold Award winner (397/400 points), July 2017
• One of Pontiac’s most legendary high-performance cars
• 1 of just 1,352 425A/four-speed/3.90 Safe-T-Track cars built
• Total frame-off rotisserie restoration to show standards
• Equipped with Pontiac’s signature ‘8-Lug’ wheels
• Complete with PHS document package including Manifest copy

389 cid ‘Trophy 425A’ V-8 engine, triple two-barrel carburetors, 348 HP, Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, 3.90:1 Safe-T-Track semi-floating rear axle with control arms and coil springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 119”


Freshly restyled with slightly trimmer proportions for 1961, Pontiac’s full-size Catalina was the GM Division’s most important model line and had it all: winning looks, many options, powerful engines and supporting drivetrain choices. While the Catalina was already well established on America’s dragstrips and NASCAR and USAC stock-car circuits, performance was further boosted for ’61 by Pontiac’s Advanced Engineering head John DeLorean and his engineering team working under the legendary “Mac” McKellar. No fewer than 43 variations of the 389 V-8 – Pontiac’s core engine offering – were available for 1961, nine of which were high-performance “Special Equipment – 425A” units for 1962, so-named in recognition of their 425 foot-pounds of factory-rated peak torque. They were broadly distinguished by their single four-barrel (333 HP rating) or triple-carb intake systems (348 HP) and the different manual or automatic transmissions and rear axles backing them up. Featuring 10.75:1 compression, free-flowing cylinder heads, a hot cam, and specially engineered “Long Branch” header-style exhaust manifolds, these powerplants were also known as “Trophy 425A” engines in Pontiac factory literature.

For committed racers, over-the-counter heavy-duty parts delivered even greater power potential for the 389. However, until the track-intended Super Duty 389- and 421-cubic-inch engines – available only to “qualified” racing teams favored by Pontiac management – were factory-available in 1962, the 348-HP “Tri-Power” 425A-spec 389 was Pontiac’s hottest mill you could get from the dealer showroom. With the 425A-powered Catalinas ruling the street and strip, and Pontiac’s racing victories boldly advertised with the guidance of marketing maverick and successful Pontiac racer Jim Wangers, Pontiac’s “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” strategy helped propel Pontiac to third in American sales rankings by 1962 – an enviable position it would hold through 1969.

According to records from Pontiac Historical Services (PHS), 113,354 Catalinas were produced in all for 1961, including 14,524 Style 2337 Two-Door Hardtops. Only roughly one percent of those, some 1,352 Catalinas were built that year with the 348-HP, ‘425A’ 389 V-8 connected to a four-speed manual transmission and 3.90:1 Safe-T-Track rear axle. A rare survivor of these legendary early-1960s performance cars, this example is quite possibly the only car originally finished in Richmond Gray over red and ivory cloth upholstery. While built to run with standard brakes and no power-robbing luxury options, this Catalina was nonetheless factory-equipped with a Circ-L-Aire heater/defroster, Super Deluxe radio and manual antenna, dual-speed windshield wipers, foam front-seat cushions, custom steering wheel, deluxe wheel discs, décor moldings, back-up lights, and full EZ-Eye tinted glass.

Predictably, this 425A Catalina was raced at Connecticut Dragway, Lebanon Valley Dragway, and York US 30 Dragway, with decals for each class win still affixed to the car and in mint condition. Recently, the Catalina was given a 1,200-hour, two-year, frame-off professional restoration by Tim Thorpe of O’Fallon, Illinois, with the body restored on a rotisserie. Correct New Old Stock (NOS) interior components were provided by SMS and no possible expense was spared in the restoration effort. Rolling stock includes Pontiac’s innovative and iconic ‘8-Lug’ finned aluminum wheels. Following restoration, the Catalina’s quality was confirmed when it was judged at 397 of 400 possible points and won the coveted Gold Award at the 2017 Pontiac-Oakland Club International (POCI) convention in Fort Worth, Texas. As one of the most potent performers of its era, this 1961 Pontiac ‘425A’ Catalina is simply one of the finest in existence.

1961 Pontiac 'Trophy 425A' Catalina Hardtop
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