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"The Year of the Quick Wide-Tracks"

Copyright 1997 by Thomas E. Bonsall, All Rights Reserved.

    Pontiac sought, with notable success, to capitalize on its performance image as it entered the 1965 model year. Pontiac was now the best game in town for performance cars, either intermediate or full size, and for every GTO that went out the door who-knows-how-many Catalinas were sold to decidedly non-mover types who were being attracted by Pontiac's reputation for building the hottest cars around. Bunky Knudsen was right: You can't sell an old person's car to young people, but you sure can sell a pile of young person's cars to older people.
    The remarkable record production run of 1964 was topped by a good margin in 1965. Exactly 802,000 Wide-Tracks left the factory, including the 10,000,000th Pontiac built since 1926.


    The biggest news was with the Standard Pontiacs in 1965. The year before, the intermediates had been all-new, and this year it was the turn of the big cars to share in some of the attention.
    The new bodies were substantially larger than before, and looked it. The sleekness of the 1963 and 1964 designs was exchanged for a dose of middle class heft. The grille was a study in bold simplicity, with its almost stark horizontal bars. The "Coke-bottle" styling that had graced the side contours of standard Pontiacs for the previous two seasons was much more pronounced. By contrast, the rear end design was almost underdone. The stars of the new line were the Sports Coupes, clothed in an unusually attractive semi-fastback roof design in common with other GM divisions. They created something of a sensation.

    Above, 1965 Catalina 2 + 2 Sports Coupe.
    Left, in the paint drying area.
PONTIAC: The Complete History 1926-1979 By Thomas E. Bonsall
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