1963 Pontiac astonishes with $530,000 auction price image

Usually, a very well kept standard stock issued 1960s Pontiac would range around the $30,000 to $40,000 mark, if it were in a very good condition. So, a more than half a million-price tag sure is a surprise.

But, this is, bear with us, a very special Pontiac – as earlier in the month Mecum Auctions raised attention over an Indianapolis auction of a 1963 Pontiac Catalina that they considered to be worth in the $600,000 to $800,000 range. So, the $530,000 fetching price is actually a bargain for the new owner, which got himself one of the 14 cars in a group with a very strange designation – the “swiss cheese.”

The car – a true hot rod – was sponsored by Packer Pontiac of Detroit, which considered himself in 1963 as “America’s Largest Pontiac Dealer,” and actually is credited with coming to the rescue of Pontiac’s racing reputation – a big one back then.

Pontiac’s engineers moved to offset declining drag racing fortunes by coming with a very lightweight racing Catalina – steel parts were thrown away for aluminum, glass was discarded in favor of plexi and some 120 holes were drilled into the steel frame, with some saying the look evoked the swiss chease – and the name stayed.

With a modified 421-inch cubic-inch engine that had 410 hp the car went on to set a National Hot Rod Association record in 1963 in the C/Stock class of 12.27 seconds, reaching a top speed of 114.64 mph (184.49 km/h).