1973 Pontiac Catalina Pontiac 400 w/ 2 barrel carb. from North America
It passes everything, except for the gas station
Rear Coil Springs: 30 year old springs were in dire need of replacement.
Rear Shocks: They may have been the originals, who knows, but whatever they were, they didn't work.
Tires: The car came with the kind of tires you'd find on sale at a gas station. They were all no name brand tires that didn't even match. They had to go.
Exhaust: Since the rear coil springs and the shocks were dead, I bottomed out on a speed bump going 10 mph in a parking lot, and it broke the bolt that connected the muffler to the frame.
Small amounts of rust on the front and rear quarter panels: The previous owner obviously didn't properly store the car in a climate controlled area like a garage, or warehouse. It's not that bad though, just a tiny amount of rot that can be fixed easily.
Needs paint: Because of said mentioned rust/rot, the car needs a new paint job in the near future.
Front end work: Since it's a good 30 or so years old, it needs new upper and lower control arms, shocks, and springs. However, the engine itself seems to be in tip top shape.
Brake lines: This one was the last thing that went wrong before I started work on it. (My goal was to break everything that was on the borderline of being broken, so I would have a general idea of what had to be done) the brake lines cost almost nothing to replace, and the new master cylinder only cost 35 dollars. God bless older cars and their cheaper parts.
Despite the problems listed, the car is reliable to the bitter end. Even with shot out rear suspension, and an exhaust scrapping across the ground it never wanted to give up on me.
Recently however, I've fixed a number of those problems. Namely I brought it to a shop, and had them replace the rear springs, with super heavy duty variable rate springs, the shock absorbers are now air ride shocks. The exhaust was switched out from a single, to a duel exhaust.
The interior of the car when I got it was absolutely gorgeous. Perfect condition no doubt. You sit in it and you feel right at home because the bench seat feels a lot like sitting on a couch. The gas pedal is quick and responsive, and is the brake pedal. For a car that rivals the size of most tuna haulers it can really move, especially now with the new duel exhaust, and stance it's gained from the air shocks.
I'd recommend this car to anybody who likes Pontiac or likes older cars in general. It's a good, reliable car, with plenty of power, a comfortable interior, and lots of potential for growth.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th September, 2005