Royal Pontiac began campaigning Pontiacs in 1959 for national and regional drag-race compe
Lead Photo Used With Permission Of GM Media Archives
In January 1962, Motor Trend asked photographer Junebug Clark to accept a very special assignment: Pontiac had produced its famous factory-built race car, the 405hp '62 Catalina 421 Super-Duty, and MT wanted it for its cover. In the middle of winter, the magazine dispatched Clark to the Detroit Dragway for a day-long photo shoot with the "hopped up" Catalina, and his work was published in its May 1962 issue.
Motor Trend also gave the young photographer a second project: A trip to Royal Oak, Michigan, to visit Royal Pontiac, one of the select-few dealerships to offer drag racers the Super-Duty and other high-performance Pontiacs, and home of the popular dealer-modifed Royal Bobcats.
In May 2008, HPP was preparing its reprint of the original MT "Road Test" featuring the '62 Catalina Super-Duty and asked Clark if he had any more film from back in the day. We were hoping to find unpublished photos of the '62 Catalina Super-Duty to share with our readers.
Clark said he'd be happy to go through his archives and, after some detective work, he determined that Motor Trend never returned his negatives. Fortunately, while going through his boxes, he found a second set of negatives.
Research by HPP has determined that these are his stored-long-ago photographs from Royal Pontiac in March 1962. No notes existed with the photographs, so we contacted Jim Wangers, who, in addition to being Pontiac's ad man, was the liaison to Royal Pontiac from 1959 to 1970, and was at the dealership on a near-daily basis. With his recollections, we were able to identify and caption the photographs.
So here they are-a day at Royal Pontiac in 1962. This is the first time these photographs have ever been published, and HPP is honored to present them to you. Follow along as we tour America's original high-performance Pontiac showroom and see a few of the rarest Pontiacs of all time, all of them brand-new, poised to be purchased, and of course, ready to go racing.
Special thanks to Jim Wangers for his invaluable assistance in making this feature possible. Thanks also to Robert J. McKenzie of Judge's Chambers Automotive for providing additional technical data.
Ace Wilson Jr. was Royal Pontiac's owner and had this Starlight Black '62 Supercharged Gra
For customers who wanted the smaller-sized Pontiac Tempest with a "hopped-up" package, Roy
This Grand Prix was built to live up to Royal Pontiac's slogan: "Home of the Hot Chiefs."
Here's an authentic "Bobcat" Catalina on Royal's showroom floor. It started life as a fact
How did Royal Pontiac manage to spell "Bob Cat" on the Catalina's tail panel? According to
The Tempest's 195ci Pontiac four-cylinder engine received the Royal treatment: richer jets
Royal installed a Sun tachometer on the column, to augment the sporty flair of the factory
One look under the hood of the Bobcat Catalina and you can easily differentiate this big-c
Royal offered its own wheel/tire package on new Pontiacs, as well as over the counter. It