Big Black Cat

Story and Photos by John Chung


In 1964 Pontiac introduced a new series to complement the GTO.   The 2+2 was created as an option on Pontiac’s full size Catalina.   Available on two door hardtops or convertibles, the 2+2 had special door panels, buckets seats and a center console.   These cars could be equipped as boulevard cruisers with the 389 cubic inch motor and an automatic transmission or as a full sized street racer with the 421 cubic inch motor and a 4-speed transmission.  The Catalina 2+2 was a sporty car and marketed by Pontiac as the "GTO’s big brother".   A total of 7,998 Catalina 2+2s were produced in 1964.

We came across Jim Papesh's beautiful black 64 Catalina 2+2 Convertible at the 2010 MCACN show in Chicago.   Jim purchased his 64 Catalina 2+2 approximately 10 years ago.   Having owned a 65 GTO in High School, Jim was no stranger to Pontiacs.   But to Jim, he had always remembered back in the sixties the day his friend's Dad brought home a new Bonneville equipped with a 4-speed transmission.  That was one of the coolest cars Jim had ever seen and made an everlasting impression on him.   So around the late 1990's, Jim started his search for a big sixties Pontiac.  Three years later a good friend who knew that Jim had been looking for big Pontiac, came across a 64 Catalina 2+2 Convertible for sale at the Pontiac Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.  The 2+2 convertible was equipped with a 421 V8, Tri-Power setup (from a 66 motor), 70 455 heads, 4-speed and a 3:42 Posi.   Not only did the car have all of the fun goodies to make it a great performer, the car had been nicely restored using NOS parts and dressed in a beautiful black finish with a white top.  After Jim’s good friend told him about the car, Jim knew this car was the one he had to have.   After a few telephone exchanges with the seller, Jim headed up to Youngstown, Ohio to pick up his 2+2.   

Jim uses his 64 2+2 Convertible on cruise nights and enjoy's displaying his 2+2 at various shows.   He certainly has kept his car spotless during the past 10 years of ownership.  The following pictures of Jim’s car were taken while on display at the 2010 MCACN car show.   The 2+2 is definitely an eye catcher and something unique to see at car shows.