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      Now 11 years later our '62 Super Duty Catalina is owned by Jimmy Donovan of Staten Island, and he uses it regularly on the street. It's funny how our thinking changes about these things. Eleven years ago, we were reading about this incredible, blindingly fast factory super stocker and how it was meant for track use only. And here, 11 years later, it pales by comparison. Indeed, it's actually streetable.
      Yes, Donovan does use his Super Duty 421 on the street, not for daily transportation but for street racing. Many is the hot Camaro and Nova and Firebird and Dart that has been blown into the weeds by this incredible white hulk of 3800pound car!! And they can't believe that their lightweight, little street machine can be so convincingly beaten by such a big "heavy" car.
      It would be even heavier were it not for the lightweight front end package that was standard on all 421 Super Duty cars. The hood, both front fenders, front and rear bumpers, brackets, fender shields and other parts are all aluminum on Donovan's Catalina. He'd love to paint little "Please don't lean" signs all over the front end but that would give away the secret. And he never never pops the hood. He just lets other street rats think he's running a stock 389 '62 Catalina with maybe a little work to give the exhaust a growl. He added the sharp 421 emblems especially for our photo session. They came back off after the last run for the cameras was made.
      For any of you unfamiliar with the rest of the '62 Super Duty package and if you haven't gotten to the history of Pontiac performance elsewhere in this issue, here's a brief rundown.
      The engine used two D-series Carter AFB 4-barrels on a high rise cast aluminum intake manifold. The camshaft was the #10 McKellar with 308/320 degrees duration but there were a few other cams available. Everything was super beefed throughout with forgings used instead of castings wherever possible. Drag racing versions used long branch aluminum headers. NASCAR versions used cast iron headers. Special cylinder heads with big valves and ports made for super-breathing. With 11 to one compression, the engine was rated 405 horsepower at 5600. In 1963, the most powerful version of the engine rated 410 horsepower wit 13 to one compression.
      Donovan's' car had a steel case close ratio 4-speed trans with 2.20 first gear. And aluminum case four-speed with aircraft quality gears was also optional later in the '62 model run. Standard rear axle ratio for the '62 dual quad Super Duty was 4.30 to one. Donovan usually runs a 4.88 for street racing and that's what our test car had that day at the track.
      A few minor changes were made to Donovan's Super Duty to improve its performance on the street. A deep oil pan was added to increase engine longevity, a set of Doug's Headers was also added in addition to a Hurst shifter with T-handle and some supplementary dash gauges. Under the car, the front suspension was loosened up a little to increase front to rear weight transfer. Seven-inch slicks were added to the rear of the car and Cragar S/S wheels all around add a little glitter.
      The engine has never been touched internally and the original mileage of the car is just over 58,000. No blueprinting, no internal modifications, no nothing inside. Just very sharp tuneups and a lot of tender loving care for this classic street machine. Which makes our track times even more incredible. At Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey and with Big Jim driving, our '62 Super Duty racked off a bunch of low 13-second ETs with trap speeds way over 100 mph on every run. The best run of the day was a 13.12 at 105.77 mph. That, friends, is horsepower. And we left the headers closed to try to duplicate the performance of a perfectly stock car.
      The car comes out perfectly with a little front end lift and no smoke.    NEXT >
32 • CARS APRIL, 1973
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