David Moritz has always been one to tinker with things. Like most of us, he had his fair share of Pontiacs growing up, and his interest in the hobby was established early on. Just after his birth, he came home from the hospital in a ’64 Bonneville convertible. By the age of three, he was a backseat rider in his parent’s new ’69 Grand Prix. Today, the New Jersey-resident also owns a meticulously restored ’69 Grand Prix along with the Catalina.
On the rare occasions when he is not designing and installing high-end home security systems, he enjoys the hobby as much today as ever, but there is one critical person missing—his father, Art, who passed away a few years ago. “Back in the day, my dad was a Pontiac guy through and through. He had a great sense of humor and told many stories of his ’60 Catalina, with its plethora of engine modifications that he would stealthfully add while racing it in B-Stock.”
“The Cat,” as his father referred to it, took on all comers, including fuelie Corvettes and 409 Chevrolets. When he won, he always told the track officials, “Keep the trophy.” He wasn’t about to let them tear down his engine.
As the years passed, the family saw several more Pontiacs, including the aforementioned new ’64 Starlight Black Bonneville convertible, with 8-Lugs and special-ordered bucket seats, and the GP in ’69.
David bought the Cat in 2001 for his father. Though originally Yorktown Blue, it had been
By 2001, the father-and-son team wanted to jump back into the Pontiac performance game, so the search began in earnest for an old Catalina, but they soon hit a speed bump. Art, who had been healthy all his life, was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Meanwhile, David had been trying to purchase another ’60 Cat, but they seemed as rare as hen’s teeth. Then he remembered his father speaking rather highly of the ’62 model year as well. He found a beautiful Ensign Blue Catalina on Ebay that he watched until the end of the auction. It didn’t reach the reserve price, but for months David continued to keep in touch with the seller, who was a reputable Pontiac person in his own right, and owned several Super-Duty Pontiacs as well. The seller sent him a video of the Catalina in action and that was all it took. He ponied up $18,000 and the Catalina was delivered to the Garden State.
By this time, Art was weak from the chemotherapy and radiation. Launching a stealth operation of his own, David asked his parents to come over to his place of business to help with something. When they arrived, he led them down the dark stairway to his warehouse and fumbled around purposely a bit, until Art bellowed, “David, where are the lights down here?” At that moment, the lights flickered a few times, the fluorescent bulbs began to glow, and there was the Cat.
“Dad, I bought this for you,” said David. Art was silent, and then angry. “I can’t accept this. This is outrageous,” David recalls him saying. Art paused and then broke down after David handed him the keys. David was shocked by the reaction—his father was “as tough as they come,” he says.
The Pontiac now belonged to the “old man” and he loved it. He was always purchasing something from Ames to fix this or that, but most importantly, it was his.
Among other things, David and Art upgraded the suspension; bolted in a 700-R4 trans; changed the wheels, tires, exhaust, and headliner; and installed the Offenhauser 360-degree Dual-Quad intake manifold and two Edelbrock 600-cfm carburetors with K&N air filters on top of the ’70 Pontiac 455 motor.
Engine and Drivetrain
The worked 455 was built prior to David purchasing the car back in 2001. It was bored, machined, and rebuilt, and all 462 cubic inches are street/strip-ready. The stock nodular-iron crank and Crower forged rods pump Ross forged pistons. A Comp 212/218-degree-duration-at-0.050 cam has 0.487/0.495 lift thanks to 1.65:1-ratio Comp roller rockers.