Swiss Cheese ’63 SD-421 Catalina is one of 14 factory built and held NHRA C/Stock record for a number of years.
As the 1962 drag season drew to a close, it was obvious that Pontiac’s position at the top of the Super/Stock hierarchy was weakening. Ford, Chrysler and Chevrolet were gaining on the Chiefs with bigger engines and an ever-increasing supply of special parts, including weight-saving aluminum components and body panels. Pontiac engineers knew they had to have a lighter, more powerful car for 1963, and it came in the form of a special Catalina bearing some serious modifications.
First the chassis was altered by cutting the inside section away from the boxed rails, leaving a U-shaped section. Then approximately 120 holes were drilled in the sides of the frame rails, removing as much material as possible while maintaining a semblance of structural integrity, resulting in the Swiss Cheese moniker that remains today. Further mods involved deleting the front sway bar and substituting an aluminum bell housing and third member for the original pieces.
Even the cast iron exhaust manifolds were replaced with special high-flow aluminum units with integral cutouts. These proved suitable only for short periods of use given their tendency to melt under prolonged operation. The 421 engine used in this Swiss Cheese Catalina was treated to 13.0-to-1 Mickey Thompson pistons, a #10 McKellar camshaft, lightweight valves, reworked heads, HD rotating assembly and a lightweight flywheel. Dual Carter AFB four-barrels on a special aluminum manifold topped off the engine.
The Packer Pontiac Catalina will cross the block at Mecum’s Indianapolis auction on May 17. For more information, please visit http://www.mecum.com/auctions/top_picks.cfm?AUCTION_ID=SC0514