1963 Pontiac Catalina station wagons

(Two interesting stories.......)

Bill Klausing's 1963 Pontiac Catalina Drag Wagon

This 1963 Pontiac Catalina station wagon is owned Bill Klausing of White Lake, Michigan. It runs a Pontiac 455 with a TH400 transmission, and a Pontiac rear axle. The current best for the car is a sizzling 12.17@106.8mph!

The following pictures trace the history of the car over three years - 1995, 1996, and 1997. They were all taken at Norwalk, Ohio. You'll notice a slightly different hood/scoop configuration, all in the quest for speed. And it does keep getting faster.......

(Special thanks to Jerry Brock for providing the photos and information.)

Norwalk, Ohio, in August, 1995.

Bill Klausing driving.

Picture by Kruger's Photo's.


Norwalk, Ohio, in August, 1996.

Bill Klausing driving.

Picture by Kruger's Photo's.


Norwalk, Ohio, in August, 1997.

Bill Klausing driving.

Picture by Kruger's Photo's.

Jon Teas's 1963 Pontiac Catalina project wagon

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Photos courtesy owner John Teas

Here's the story from John:

"It was just a few days before Christmas. I was watching the snow blow by the office window. The weather had me stuck in the office for the night, when about 10:30 that evening, the phone rang. It was my wife.

Earlier that spring I had bought a 63’ Pontiac Catalina 2 door hard top. It was supposed to have a 421 HO tri-power and a 4 speed in it. Instead, there was a 350 Pontiac motor and a 2 speed automatic. It was my quest for driveline parts that prompted my wife to call that night. "Smoke Signals", the Pontiac/Oakland Club International magazine had arrived that day. She knew the routine. I’d get the magazine and before I made it from the mail box to the house, I would have already hit the parts for sale pages. I had been second fiddle on three different occasions, trying to score a 421 engine.

Joy, my wife, said that I better call this ad:

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"Too many projects, something has to go! 1963 Catalina wagon, 421 tri-power, 4-speed. Lots of parts"

The only problem was the phone number in the add was disconnected! The add was from a gentleman in Oregon. With the help of our club roster and a little detective work, a current phone number was obtained. Since it was two hours earlier there, I did not wait till morning to call. The visit was quite nice, and in the space of about 15 minutes I bought the car site un-seen. A bank draft was sent the next day, and he agreed to store the car inside for me till spring. He did send me the original title and all the paper work he had with the car.

The car was owned by a friend of his, now deceased. He was always going to get around to fixing it up, but time was slipping away. Now it is my project. The engine was a Service Replacement block, and the original rear end was gone. I later heard the story about the rear end from the son of the original purchaser. I have had the good fortune to have a couple good chats with him about the car.

His dad wanted a Super Duty Wagon, but he was told that they would not make it. So he ordered it up option by option and just about got one anyway! It was ordered with the HD frame, 421 HO, Tri-power, 4-speed, Transistor ignition ($168 option), Safety-Track rear w/3.42 gears, 8-bolt aluminum wheels, in a 9 passenger configuration. He had shopped several dealerships and kept all his notes on the Fords, Olds, Dodge, and Chevy. The Pontiac won out. In the paper work packet was all the order forms and bill of sale, detailing the options and costs.

The wagon only has 78,000 miles on the clock, and no rust. There had been one mishap that made a mess of the front end. A friend of the son was driving it, and it just plain got away from him. So for a time it sported Grand Prix front sheet metal garnered at the local salvage yard. That in itself got some double takes. The front sheet metal was later swapped for the correct parts. The wagon was well known on the northwest cost as a hard runner. It rarely lost a race, and that was only when it broke something. For over a year, it was the car to beat. It took a T-bolt Ford to finally knock it off its lofty perch. Two of the three kids learned to drive on it. No body in town would race daddy’s car. They recalled one trip to the corner burger spot:

"We pulled up to a stop light, when a hopped up purple 58’ Corvette pulled up along side. He revved his engine a couple of times. Dad, being a little pudgy, in his 40’s and quite bald at the time, did not look the part of a hot rodder. ‘We’re gona run’em’ he hollered. That was our signal for all the kids to the back of the bus (weight transfer you know). The light turned green and the old Pumpjack lurched forward from a cloud of tire smoke. All the guys in the Vette saw was three smart aleck kids with their tongues sticking out at them. The next light had the greasers from the Corvette out and looking under the hood. As kids we were used to the routine. Mom liked it too!"

Home movies exist of the car somewhere I am told, along with the blown up rear end. The car has been named "That Car". Because a lot of people were after it, and told me "Oh you bought THAT car!" I have heard many good stories about the wagon. But if you know of it, from it’s hey day, please E-mail me with your encounter. The car resided in the Portland Oregon area all its life, till I brought it to the mid west.

I am doing a frame off restoration. The block is done, as well as the frame. I have located the proper date code T-10 and rear axle. Most of the small parts needed have been acquired also. I am still in need of a "Spaghetti" shifter for a 4-speed with a bench seat."

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Copyright © 1999 Steve Manning. All Rights Reserved
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