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The 1966 Pontiac Catalina came in two distinct series: the Catalina and the Catalina 2+2. The Catalina, like all senior series Pontiacs, came with subtle changes in 1966; new were headlight and grille treatments, along with a Catalina script on the front fender and badge identification on the rear fenders. The 2+2 could easily be identified by the bucket seat and console shift arrangement, as well as the twin tail lights and 2+2 badges on the rear deck and fenders. Transmissions offered were the standard three-speed stick and the optional four-speed automatic. It was the 2+2 that had the 421 cid V8 @ 376 hp available as the top-rated power plant.
The 1965 and 1966 Pontiacs were successful years for the Pontiac Motor Division; in those years, sales were fast-paced and there were numerous models. Up the line for the 1966 Pontiacs was the Star Chief Executive, Bonneville, and the Grand Prix. The senior series had power that ranged from the 389 cid V8 at 260 hp to the full-muscled 421 cid V8 at 376 hp.
The mid-sized Tempest line was offered in four models: the Tempest, Tempest Custom, Lemans, and the Tempest GTO. A full range of styles were available, such as the pillared sport coupe, hardtop coupe, a four-door hardtop and sedan, convertible, and wagon. Engines ranged from the 236 cid 6 cyl @ 165 hp to the 389 cid V8 @ 360 hp available in the GTO.
- The 2+2 came standard with 4-speed manual transmission
- This high-output engine featured “Tri-Power” (three 2-barrel carburetors)
- The “2+2” was designated a separate model in 1966, based on the Catalina body