Rides from the Readers: 1969 Pontiac Catalina

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Robert Noel

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.

Today’s featured ride is a 1969 Pontiac Catalina convertible. In their day, these cars defined “living large,” enjoying a redesign for the 1969 model year and granting their buyers the chance to “mingle beautifully with the gentry, and [put] in a 24-hour day for a tuppence,” as ran the showroom brochure. A 290-hp, 400-cubic-inch V-8 came standard, though naturally buyers had a healthy selection of options in addition to that. There was a 265-hp V-8, a 360-hp 428 with a four-barrel carb, or a top-trim 428 that packed a four-barrel and 390 American ponies. Though its sales numbers fell well short of its Chevy Impala competitor, Catalinas put in a strong showing for Pontiac in 1969, with production standing at 212,851 for the model year.

This particular Pontiac spent nine years serving as Robert Noel’s daily driver. The convertible roamed all the way to California and back from its home province of Ontario, Canada, venturing to Kingston, Ontario, and even to British Columbia. Noel even put it to towing duty, lugging around a pop-up trailer, a ski boat, and a yard waste trailer through the years. After owning the car from 1988 to 1997, Noel sold the trusty Poncho … only to rediscover it over a decade later online. “Once again, I am the proud owner of the same 1969 Pontiac 2+2 convertible,” Noel writes. “Didn’t see that coming when I turned on the computer!”

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