1969 Pontiac Catalina

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The third generation of Pontiac Catalina styling began in 1965 and continued through 1970 with 'Coke bottle' profiles, fastback rooflines on two-door hardtops, and plenty of performance. The Pontiac model lineup for 1969 contained several memorable two-door body styles, including the Grand Prix, Tempest, Tempest Custom, and Tempest LeMans, the GTO and GTO Judge, and the Firebird and Firebird Trans Am. The Firebird had a 108-inch wheelbase, the GTO and Tempest a 112-inch platform, and the Grand Prix measured 118-inches. The Catalina, Executive, and Bonneville also had two-door body styles, with the full-size Catalina having a 122-inch platform, while the Executive and Bonneville measuring 125-inches. The Catalina's had a length of 217.5-inches while the Executive and Bonneville were larger at 223.5-inches.

The Pontiac Catalina for 1969 included a sedan, two- and four-door hardtop, convertible, and a six- and nine-passenger station wagon. Prices ranged from $3,100 to $3,665. Its price point, size, styling, and standard features resonated with buyers, and over 212,000 examples were sold making it the most popular Pontiac for 1969 and accounting for approximately twenty-five percent of the company's sales.

Both the Catalina and Executive came standard with a 400 cubic-inch V-8 engine with overhead valves, a cast-iron block, five main bearings, hydraulic valve lifters, a Rochester two-barrel carburetor, and produced 290 horsepower at 4,600 RPM. A low-compression, regular fuel V8 with 265 horsepower was a no-cost option and only available with the three-speed manual transmission. The three-speed manual was standard, with the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic optional. The prior four-speed manual with Hurst shifter was no longer part of the options list. The 400 CID OHV V8 with 300 horsepower was optional, along with the 428 CID V8 four-barrel with 370 horsepower, and the HO 428 CID V8 with 390 horsepower.

Standard interior amenities on the Catalina included carpeting and front foam seat cushions. Exterior amenities included peripheral front bumpers with Endura rubber center inserts, 'pulse' windshield wipers with concealed blades (an industry first for the 1967 model year), upper-level ventilation systems, and GM safety equipment. The Executive with its slightly larger wheelbase but similar styling had additional trim items and amenities including a three-spoke padded vinyl steering wheel, rear foam seat cushions, Morrokide upholstery, electric clock, and simulated elm burl dash trim. Prices on the Executive ranged from $3,395 to $4,015.

New items added to the options list for 1969 included the variable-ratio power steering system, and front disc brakes were added when the optional power brakes were selected.

Full-size Pontiac wore a beak-nosed split grille which had been introduced a year earlier, split bumpers, ventless windows, and horizontal headlights. They had rounded wasp-waisted body contours, revised rooflines, and delicate use of chrome ornamentation.

The station wagon body styles had a length of 220.5-inches, wood-grained dashboards, new two-way tailgates, and power rear windows on the nine-passenger body styles. The six-passenger wagon listed at just over $3,500 and the nine-passenger version at $3,665. The six-passenger was more popular with 20,352 examples built compared to 13,393 of the nine.

The most popular Catalina body style was the two-door hardtop with 84,006 examples built, only slightly higher than the 82,817 examples of the Tempest LeMans hardtop coupe. Only the Grand Prix Hardtop coupe was more popular for 1969 on the Pontiac line with 112,486 examples built. The Firebird hardtop was also very popular with 75,362 units built.

The second most popular body style on the Catalina line was the sedan with 48,590 units constructed, followed by 38,819 of the four-door hardtop, and 5,436 of the convertible. The two-door hardtop had a base price of $3,175, the four-door hardtop at $3,245, the sedan at $3,090, and the convertible at $3,475. The two-door sedan of the previous year was no longer offered. Prices were similar to 1968, rising by approximately $90, and the 1969 Catalinas were approximately $380 higher than the 1965 models.

The Catalina and its full-size siblings received a new Grand Prix-style V-nose grille for 1970, a facelifted front end, and a standard 350 cubic-inch Pontiac V8 with 255 horsepower. A complete redesign followed for 1971 with a long hood and short deck proportions, fuselage styling, and a slightly larger wheelbase.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2021

Related Reading : Pontiac Catalina History

The vehicle of choice for full-size performance aficionados, the Pontiac Catalina was the least expensive and the lightest of Pontiacs full-size coupes and convertibles. Strongly establishing Pontiacs performance image, the Catalina featured light-weight body panels, Super Duty engines, and other innovative modifications. Part of Pontiacs full-sized automobile line, the Catalina name was....
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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1969 Catalina
1969 Pontiac Catalina Price Range: $3,090 - $3,665

Other 1969 Pontiac Models
$2,831 - $4,210
$2,831 - $3,775


121.00 in.
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 256.00hp
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 290.00hp
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 325.00hp
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 333.00hp
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 335.00hp
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 360.00hp
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 370.00hp
8 cyl., 421.00 CID., 376.00hp
$2,675 - $3,240
121.00 in.
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 256.00hp
8 cyl., 389.00 CID., 290.00hp
8 cyl., 421.00 CID., 338.00hp
$2,760 - $3,600
121.00 in.
8 cyl., 400.00 CID., 265.00hp
8 cyl., 400.00 CID., 290.00hp
8 cyl., 230.00 CID., 335.00hp
$2,865 - $3,375
122.00 in.
8 cyl., 400.00 CID., 290.00hp
$3,090 - $3,665
122.00 in.
8 cyl., 400.00 CID., 290.00hp
8 cyl., 399.58 CID., 350.00hp
8 cyl., 455.00 CID., 360.00hp
$3,165 - $3,790

Industry Production

1974Chevrolet (2,333,839)Ford (2,179,791)Renault (1,355,799)580,045
1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)919,870
1972Chevrolet (2,420,564)Ford (2,246,563)Fiat (1,390,251)706,978
1971Ford (2,054,351)Chevrolet (1,830,319)Volkswagen (1,128,784)586,856
1970Ford (2,096,184)Chevrolet (1,451,305)Volkswagen (1,193,853)586,856
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)870,081
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)910,977
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)782,734
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)831,331
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Volkswagen (1,174,687)Toyota (1,068,321)802,000
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)715,261

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