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Home/News and Feature Articles/*Featured Cars and Trucks/Pontiac Featured Cars/ 1960s Cars/


Chuck & Clarice Humphrey's 389 Tri-power, 4-speed, 1964 Pontiac Catalina 2+2.

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1964 Pontiac 2+2 hardtop - The dream car for Chuck and Clarice Humphrey
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by Eric White Pontiac and Society Staff - Reprint with permission only.

In 1963, Pontiac Motor Division was in a bit of a bind. During the early part of that year, the Automotive Manufacturers' Association had reinforced their 1957 ban on member manufacturer's direct participation in organized racing activities. That hurt PMD.

For six years Pontiac had made their name and built their reputation on the race tracks of America. The 120" wheelbase Catalina was the mainstay of that reputation. In 1962, the personal luxury Grand Prix had been introduced. It was a well-received, upscale model, but now Pontiac needed some sporty muscle in their showrooms. The Catalina 2+2 was part of a 1-2 punch that offered the legendary LeMans GTO as the devastating uppercut teamed with the 2+2's effectively delivered left-hand cross.

The 2+2 Sports Option offered the following as standard items on either the sports coupe or convertible body styles: 389 cubic inch V-8, 2 barrel (267 h.p. w/Hydra-Matic transmission, 283 h.p. w/4-speed manual); dual exhaust; special vinyl-trimmed interior w/front bucket seats; center-mounted shifter console; deluxe steering wheel; deluxe wheel covers; molding decor on the Sports Coupe; "2+2" identification badging. All of this "sport" lightened the buyer's pocket book by $290.

Chuck and Clarice Humphrey, automotive enthusiasts from Michigan, had a dream. Here's their story.

For years, our classic car friends called us the "Kitchen Crew." Since we didn't have a classic car to drive, we would help set-up the after-cruise parties. In 2004, we started a serious search, looking locally and online for our "Dream Pontiac." That's when Chuck found a Pontiac, on consignment in Texas, on the Hemming's Motor News website. Unfortunately, before we were able to put in our bid, the car disappeared from their website.

Undeterred, our search continued. Then in 2006, on Ebay Motors, we found a similar car located in Maryland. We submitted our bid, but the reserve was not met. A few months later it was back on Ebay; again we bid but did not meet the reserve. Several months passed before we decided to try to contact the seller to learn if it had sold. Amazingly, he still had it and suggested we come to Hagerstown, Maryland to see the car.

So we did!

Our trip in October, 2006 was a beautiful time to visit Maryland. Since Chuck was born in Lonaconing, MD, we included a visit to "Coney" in our itinerary. As soon as we saw the car, it was love at first sight. We had found our "Dream Car," a 4-speed, 1964 Pontiac Catalina 2+2. After talking with the seller, we were shocked to learn it was actually the same car we had seen two years prior on the Hemming's Motor News website! Well, of course, it came home with us to Michigan.

After a little detailing and adding our 1963 High School graduation tassel to the interior rear view mirror, we were ready for the road! While attending local car shows and cruises, we met many other Pontiac owners and ultimately joined Pontiac Oakland Club International (POCI) and the Michigan Widetrackers chapter, an all Pontiac, Oakland, and GMC club. We have been members of the Widetrackers club for six years and have a wonderful time with our car and the members of the club.

Our Catalina is one of 7,998 built that year with the 2+2 option. It has 32,223 miles, but we really don't know if it's the first time around or not. We have the PHS documentation, which includes the documented build sheet. It has a numbers matching engine and transmission. It was, however, originally shipped as a 4-bbl but had tri-power when we purchased it. We believe it was changed shortly after being delivered because it has the correct tri-power intake manifold. The interior is all original except for the floor carpet.

In 2009, we were honored to be invited to the "Eyes On Design"; one of America's premier automotive events, held at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.

It's been great fun driving our "Dream Pontiac" and we look forward to many years of cruising.

Since we purchased our Pontiac, we have:

  • Removed the seats and carpet to inspect the undercarriage. Found it in great shape.
  • Dropped the fuel tank to check for leakage. It was good, no rust. It was interesting to find the original build sheet from the factory still attached to the top of the tank.
  • Replaced the pinion seal in the rear axle. It still had the original #543320 on the seal which would have been factory installed.
  • Replaced the front and rear universal joints. I know they were original because they still had the plastic material that was originally used instead of the snap rings that hold the end caps to the replacement front and back yokes now.
  • Last year, we had a Chrome Christmas by having our front and rear bumpers re-chromed.
  • Hopefully, this Christmas will be a Steering Wheel Christmas since our original wheel is cracked and needs refurbishing.

Original options on our Catalina:

  • Sports Coupe (hardtop), style no. 2347
  • 2+2 Sports Option
  • 389 4 bbl. Tri-Power added later.
  • 4 speed Transmission
  • Heavy Duty Clutch
  • 8 Lug Aluminum Wheels
  • Power Steering
  • Power Brakes
  • AM/FM Radio
  • Power Antenna
  • Rear Seat Speaker
  • SoftRay Tinted Glass, all windows
  • Two-speed Windshield Washer and Wiper
  • Tachometer
  • Heavy Duty Springs & Shocks
  • Backup Lamps
  • Electric Clock

Additional reference material available on WAC:

Owners pose with their favorite Pontiac at the Detroit-area "Eyes on Design" car celebration. This annual Motor City invitation-only event takes place on the verdant grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House on Father's Day.

The sight of a Pontiac Tri-power engine sets many an auto enthusiasts' heart aflutter.

A clean vision of the south end of north-bound Catalina.

Pontiac's classic "8-lug" aluminum hub brake option. The aluminum front hub/rear drum featured a cast iron liner. When introduced during the 1960 model year, this Pontiac-exclusive option was at the leading edge of braking technology.

Another rainy day in Lake Orion, MI. The Humphreys attend numerous summertime car events as part of The Michigan Widetrackers car club. Chuck is the club's current president, and Clarice serves as the club treasurer.

Bucket seats, console, and deluxe steering wheel are all part of the 2+2 option package. The tassel is an after-market, owner-installed option.

This extra-clean, first-year 2+2 is a real crowd-pleaser at many local cruises around the northern Oakland county, MI area.