- The ultimate high-performance Pontiac of the early 1960s
- Features a 405-horsepower Super Duty V-8 with a four-speed transmission
405 bhp, 421 cu. in. Super Duty V-8 engine with two Carter four-barrel carburetors, Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-arms and coil springs, semi-floating rear axle with coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119 in.
The late 1950s was a good time for Pontiac. With numerous wins, ranging from NASCAR to the local drag strips, Pontiac was regarded by many as the performance division of General Motors, especially following the introduction of its famous “Wide Track” chassis layout in 1959. The cars that were built on these chassis were often credited as being the best-handling full-size cars in the industry.
Pontiac’s success continued in 1960 with four NASCAR Grand National victories, Mickey Thompson’s quadruple Pontiac V-8 Challenger land-speed record car, and Jim Wagners’ NHRA Top Eliminator drag racing title. Nineteen sixty-one proved to be just as fruitful, with 21 more NASCAR Grand National victories, and accordingly, the full-size Catalina Super Stock drag racing car was unleashed later that year.
The defining feature of the Super Stock package was the 421-cubic inch Super Duty V-8 engine. The unit was developed from the slightly smaller 389 Super Duty motor, and it was listed as being capable of producing 405 horsepower, which is a figure that many believed to be drastically lower than its true rating. Both of these engines were originally dealer-installed options, but since the NHRA moved to limit racing eligibility to factory-available options on cars available to the public, Pontiac made the SD 421 a factory option for 1962, and most of the approximately 164 SD 421 engines were installed in the Catalina, with another 16 being installed in the upscale Grand Prix.
While not an original SD 421 car, the Ventura was purchased with a stock drivetrain in California during the late 1980s by Ed Giolma, who performed a frame-off restoration. He added the SD 421 engine and changed the color combination to a black paint finish over a green interior. It is also equipped with a T-10 four-speed and a Safe-T-Track rear end with 4.10:1 gears. These upgrades were performed with paramount importance placed on factory correctness, and the car continues to show quite well as a result. After its restoration, the car was purchased in 2002 by noted collector Milton Robson, who retained the car until 2010, when it was acquired for the Andrews Collection.
As this Ventura is fitted with the highest performance engine built by Pontiac at the time, there is no doubt that it goes off like a rocket. The car’s unique color scheme only adds to its menacing appeal. The engine bay, as well as the exterior and interior of the car, is in wonderful condition, and this Ventura would certainly revel out on the open road or down at the local quarter-mile.