This is not the typical Pontiac ad of the era. Pontiac was the excitement division, and their ads played that up to the hilt. So where did this run? Good Housekeeping? Thrifty Living?
1968 was the last year for the big Pontiac two-door sedans, so it’s a bit odd in that regard too. They built just 5,247 of these, and called it quits. So why bother spending money on an ad?
The ad does call attention to its standard 290 hp 400 CID V8. Given that this engine had a 10.5:1 compression ratio and needed premium fuel, that wasn’t exactly what a true skinflint would choose. But for no additional charge (how nice) a more modest 265 hp version that ran on regular could be specified. And of course an automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and anything else other than the bare bones minimum was all optional.
So how does this Catalina’s price compare to “the low priced three”?
Looking at the Catalina’s interior, I’d say it would only be fair to compare it to the Chevy Bel Air, as the Biscayne was a notch skimpier. The Bel Air 2-door V8 sedan was $2786, which in ’68 got one the new 200 hp 307 CID, essentially a 283 with the 327’s longer stroke crankshaft.
If you were really cheap, you could get a Biscayne six for $2581. Of course for an extra $500, you could order it with the solid lifter 425hp 427 L72. Now that would make a stripper of a different sort. But grandma might not approve, although she probably wouldn’t know unless her hearing aids were on.