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60 Pontiac Catalina

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From the deep storage, comes a resurected project that I put away about 6 years ago. I started working on it and got pretty far along, but I hit a wall when it came to gettin 'er done.

I started with the Trumpeter Bonneville convertible with some intererior parts from the hardtop kit. I grafted a resin sedan roof that was made for me by Tom Coolidge (Promolite). The body work is all done, and the chassis is actually 95% complete, too. The interior was more of a challenge, as I was trying to duplicate the correct Catalina trim on a 4 door sedan (I know the seats are "Ventura" trim, but that's as far as I'm going there!). I made new side panels from sheet stock and used vinyl tape in making the inserts. I have since toned down the white sections with a flat light tan acrylic paint. I still need to paint the body and get the final details done.

The finished project will be a replica of a very historic fleet of police vehicles as used by the LAPD in the 1960s. In 1960, they launched a "Freeway Interceptor" Program. They had around 8 cars that they purchased specifically for enforcement on the growing Freeways around L.A. This was also prior to the CHP taking jurisdiction of the Freeways; that occurred around 1969. These cars were different from the standard patrol cars, which were mostly Mopar mid-sized cars during this time, with a couple of years of Fords. In 60 & 62, they purchased Pontiacs for this detail. These were specially equipped with heavy-duty everything and the largest engines available. The interiors sported roll-bars and seats with high headrests and racing harness seatbelt systems. From 63 to 68, they purchased Oldsmobiles for this assignment.

Here's some shots from 2006, plus a couple of the real car (last one is actually one of the Oldsmobile's interior. I'll post more as I go along and get this one off the bench...

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CALAPD60pont-vi.jpg

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CAlapd63oldsint-vi.jpg

Edited by tomsheehy

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Posted · Report post

That's pretty cool!

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Posted · Report post

Roll bars in a cop car? That is too cool! I'm looking forward to this one.

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Posted · Report post

COOL !!!

The LAPD's "Freeway Enforcement" programme is virtually esoteric , so few know of its existence .

My uncle is a retired LASO Deputy (1962-1984 ) . Apparently , the Sheriff's Dept had a similar programme , during the same era as LAPD's programme . He drove a 1963 Dodge 2 door sedan with a built 426 Wedge / Torqueflite . This car was used for pursuits on Imperial Highway (CA 90 / CA 105 ) and the Long Beach Freeway (CA 15 , et seq.) .

I've seen photos of the 1964 Oldsmobile Delta "B09" ( and I could swear that a B09 F-85 was used as well ... ) in addition to the Pontiac you're replicating .

Keep up the great work !

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Posted · Report post

Tom,

That looks marvelous!!! The Model Car Garage '62 Catalina Set has the "Catalina" front fender scripts. Also the emblem on the lower fornt fender should be removed, as it is a Bonneville emblem. You know I am crazy about '60 Pontiacs!!!!!

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Posted · Report post

I like this one too!

Adam-12 did go on Freeways once in a while. would have been

something to see one of these Special units along side there City streets unit!!

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Posted · Report post

Thanks Ron, I'll get it off there before paint.

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Posted · Report post

Really good work on that body style conversion. Did you also shorten the wheelbase, rear quarters and deck to Catalina proportions? Would love to see shots of where you made your cuts if so.

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Posted · Report post

Looking really good, Tom. And I know this will be done to your usual high standards.

If it's all shortened, etc., how much arm-twisting would it take to have you send that off to Tom, Jeff, Kevin, or another good caster? I'd buy one for a rep-stock build.

Charlie Larkin

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OK, I'm calling the interior done, except for some touch-ups. I installed the 3-point roll bar by modifying a vintage cage from my parts box. Then I made up a pair of aftermarket headrests in a non-matching color, and installed a set of seat belts by using latches from an old kit with S&S Details belts. The radio & speaker are from the parts box, with a scratchbuilt microphone and a scratchbuilt police speedometer on top of the dash. I used the MCG photo etch pieces for the dash as well. I also added turn signal and transmission stalks to the steering column...getting ready to roll. 8621630595_8f939a1ce8_c.jpgP3314698 by tpsheehy, on Flickr 8622734746_83cb0e0d82_c.jpgP3314699 by tpsheehy, on Flickr 8622734576_dedd35f1a0_c.jpgP4024700 by tpsheehy, on Flickr 8621629555_d879624f6d_c.jpgP4054704 by tpsheehy, on Flickr 8621629363_879dca86b2_c.jpgP4054705 by tpsheehy, on Flickr

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Posted · Report post

Now that is flippin' sweet! The body looks great and I cannot wait to see what it looks like completed.

Notice how the freeway cars had the mickey mouse ears and siren mounted back aways on the roof, as opposed to where the scout cars had them mounted? Any idea why they did that?

G

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Posted · Report post

Great work on that dash and roll bar. Neat build.

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Posted · Report post

The 1960 car had them right up front. Every other year I have seen has them set back. I read that was for better (less) wind resistance.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

OK, got it all up on its wheels, everything's even, and the test fit of the body went well. The 'glass' is going to be a tight fit, but we'll giterdone. Now the body is off to the paint shop. Hopefully get the paint done over the weekend..

P4054708-vi.jpgP4054709-vi.jpgP4054711-vi.jpgP4054712-vi.jpg

Edited by tomsheehy

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Posted · Report post

Thats looking great Tom, love the inrerior color and nice work on rool bar an dash speedo

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Posted · Report post

Wow! That is a really cool conversion! Great body and interior work!

Sam

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Posted · Report post

Any body that can build anything resembling a Pontiac out of ANY Trumiteer kit gets extra credit points out of me . I'm still sorry I spent hard earned money on one from years ago .

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Posted · Report post

Great work as usual Tom.

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Posted · Report post

Very Nice! Is the resin roof a one off or a normal sale item? I'd like to do a 59 Cat 4 dr sedan.

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Promolite does the 59 Olds and 59 Buick sedans already, I believe the roof came from a reject body. Possibly you could contact him and see if he has any more.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks! I'll be watching the rest of your build!

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Posted · Report post

Looking good, Tom.

The interior of an early '60s Pontiac terrifies me, but you did a beautiful job with that.

Charlie Larkin

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