For decades, folks stepping up to a Pontiac from a Chevrolet meant getting a genuinely nicer vehicle. Unlike in later decades, from the 1940s through most of the 1970s, the differences went beyond the grille, taillights and trim. For example, the 1972 Pontiac Catalina. The most basic full-size 1972 Pontiac you could get, but it still came equipped with a standard V8, power steering and power brakes. For the miser’s special, you’d have to go across the street to the Chevy dealer for a Turbo-Thrift Six, three-on-the-tree Biscayne, because there was no such animal from Pontiac Motor Division-unless you were in Canada and snagged a Laurentian with the 250 CID six, that is!
The 1970 Pontiacs that preceded our featured Catalina were very different from the sleek Pontiacs of the early- to mid-’60s. They were all-around nice cars, despite a facelift that made them a bit baroque-looking in front view. A year later, they would be replaced by a super-sized version.