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Before the Road Runner was a Plymouth, it was a Pontiac

When John Eleazer bought his 1960 Pontiac Catalina, he didn’t have any plans to transform it into a drag-strip scorcher. He drove it back from the dealership into his driveway, not to a race shop, and the Catalina served its daily driver duties faithfully for five years.


Then Eleazer caught the drag-racing fever. He started tinkering with the Catalina’s 389-cubic-inch V-8. Out went the factory two-barrel carb and intake, and in went a four-barrel—and, eventually, a 3×2 setup. With more room to breathe on the intake side, he settled on long-tube headers to help the engine exhale. A drag racer was born.


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Replies (4)

Replies (4)

Great story,  thank you for that.

Pit Crew

I had a 60 Catalina in the late 60s. Same copper color but with a white top. Great car. It was quite a looker.

Pit Crew

My parents had a 60 Catalina and my mom drag raced it a few times at Phoenix City dragstrip in Alabama. Thanks for the story, it brings back fond memories.


These cars are well before my time for seeing them in the wild, but my family has a few 59 Pontiac parts cars stashed as we look for the one-day project to use them on. I mention this... because these are big heavy cars. That 13.40 is truly impressive.


I also think towing the drag car with the same make is brilliant and one of the coolest things I have ever heard about a racer doing.


Great that Tim has loaned it to a museum. Some exhibition passes at some Northeast drag strips (not sure if any of the car's old haunts still exist?) and a Roadkill nights appearance would be cool. Don't have to punish the car, but it belongs on the strip.


Glad the story got told here.