454 Four-Speed Custom! 1952 Pontiac Catalina

Spring calls classic cars from the barns and garages out into the sun and onto the roads. Looking for something fresh to surprise your friends at the cruise-in? Need a turn-key ride because your plan to complete a restoration or big project over the winter months suffered delays? Whatever the reason, this Pontiac stands ready to green up your Spring and get your Cruise on. With up to 122 HP on tap, Pontiac’s 1952 lineup offered power to match its bold styling. Pop the hood on this 1952 Pontiac Catalina near La Plata, Maryland and you’ll find a whole other level of power. A (presumably Chevy-sourced) 454 cubic inch big block V8 spins a good old-fashioned four-speed manual transmission. The listing on Facebook Marketplace asks $11,700 for the stock-appearing Catalina with the heavy right hook.

The “427” badges appear “just for fun,” according to the seller, though “428” might have been more fun to evoke a big-inch Pontiac motor. Maybe one of our GM experts can identify the intake and carburetor used here, but the HEI-style distributor suggests a mid to late 1970s motor. If you don’t have the only stock-appearing early ’50s coupe with 454 power on your block, at least you’ll have the only double-stacked air cleaner. If that arrangement clears the hood, imagine what other interesting induction systems might fit.

The billiard-ball shift ball certainly fits the ’50s vibe. Black power bucket seats and the single-DIN audio screwed to the bottom of the dashboard add modern functionality. With the mechanical bits largely sorted and ready to rip, the car needs an interior, a problem some would consider optional, especially when Spring is in the air. Some rust holes in the floor will need attention as well.

A new dual exhaust system dumps spent gasses beneath the shiny chrome bumper, but not even a V8 rumble from those twin chrome tailpipe extensions would suggest a 454 powers this hardtop Catalina. With a complete 12 volt conversion, new tires and alternator, and more, this Pontiac is ready to get on down your favorite roads. Would you suspect a big block 454 powers this tidy-looking Pontiac?

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  1. Steve R

    This looks like it’s a good car for the money, assuming there isn’t slot of hidden rust.

    The intake is an Edelbrock Performer, the carb is a Holley spread bore mechanical secondary, such as a 6210.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  2. Stu Neilson

    Aw. Come on. WeatherTech doesn’t have a set of floor mats in stock for this baby???

    Like 12
  3. Uncle al

    JUST BEAUTIFUL ! Look at the unique side marker lights on the rear quarters portraying the famed Chieftan logo ! I’m sure some Snowflake will want to “cancel culture” that beautiful piece of history…this car has all the perfect details !

    Like 19
    • Naptown Mark

      ‘Cancel culture’ will fade, just like everything else fronted by an emotionally charged populace. The lines of the early fifties GM B bodies will endure, even if big chief Pontiac’s name dissolves into obscurity. These lines epitomize the optimism of the post war era, when America was at the top of its game and everything we did was Right. Mayhap we will assume that unified mindset once again.

      Beautiful set of curves, repowered with the grunt to show the weak wristed crowd that the post war generation still has some iron in the goddam spine.

      Like 7
    • Chen Lee

      gold!!! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

      Like 1
  4. JimmyinTEXAS

    I agree with Steve R. If the bottom looks anywhere as good as the topside indicates it should it is priced pretty well. Even if the floor is gone and there isn’t any rot in the rockers or wheel wells it probably isn’t far off.

    Like 2
  5. jose Enciso

    what state is this car in ?

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Mint Condition.

      Like 4
    • JOHN Member

      Maryland, southern neck outside Washington DC.

      Like 1
  6. Kurt

    Very nice car. Great foundation for a restoration. Very distinctive trim.

    Like 1
  7. jose Enciso

    kurt , what will it take to buy this car ??

    Like 1
    • Kurt

      Probably 9-10k. But it’s in Maryland and I’m on the Left Coast.😮

      Like 1
  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Pretty car, but I would prefer the original straight 8. I know where one is stashed and been sitting since the 60’s but it’s a 51 model. I hope some car loving fanatic that will get this car and take excellent care of it.
    God bless America

    Like 7
  9. Rustytech Member

    I’d like to be there to see the face of the guy in the 305ci Z28 when he took off from the light and found himself looking at there poncho tail lights. This thing is only about 3 hrs. from me. If only I wasn’t knee deep in my current project this would be well worth the time for an in person look.

    Like 6
  10. GTO MAN 455

    love it, WOW look at that body style very cool car

    Like 3
  11. Tom okonski

    Yes nice car and a Hardtop too. wow somebody should jump on this one its sweet.

    Like 2
  12. MLM

    This is one nice old ride.I love that hardtop styling.I hope the new owner(s) take good care of it.

  13. George

    Late 60’s/early 70’s Pontiacs had the 455.

  14. Ward William

    I love it but I hate the modern color.

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