It’s 1965, and the family is shopping for a new car. Dad is torn between the sharp new full size Fords, with their angular design and new suspension systems. However, he’s been a Pontiac man for years, and the entire Pontiac line had just been awarded Motor Trend’s Car of The Year! It’s a tough choice, especially when he learns that the Ford Galaxie and the Pontiac Catalina can both be had with the hottest engines of the day.
You see, even though there’s a wife, kids, and practicality to consider, Dad’s a hot rodder at heart, and the thought of wheeling a high-powered 4-door sleeper is fun for Pops. Both of these two unassuming family sedans are locked and loaded with engines normally associate with racers… the a tri-carbed Pontiac 421 and a dual quad Ford 427!
In Pontiac’s corner, we find a giant white 4-door Catalina hiding the 10 3/4:1 compression 421 High Output Trophy “Thunderer” V8 under the hood. The 421 H.O. was rated at 376 HP and 466 foot-pounds of twist, gulping down the gas through 3-two barrel carbs. A family car with an axe to grind, for sure.
The Ford is no slouch, either… with a 427 cubic-inch 10.25:1 compression R-Code V8, a 425 HP bruiser with 480 ft. lbs. of torque on hand to launch this 4-door when the light turns green. Dual 4-barrels allow for as much air and fuel as the 427 can stomach.
Both cars are backed with 4-speed manual transmissions, the Pontiac uses a Muncie box, while the Ford spins a Toploader. We dig that they are both bench-seat 4-speed cars… you know, to provide as much room as possible for the kids to fit in the front seat while street racing!
The Pontiac Safe-T-Track provides torque to both rear wheels, and the Ford follows suit with a 9” rear end stuffed with a 3.50:1 gearset.
Style wise, the Ford is a bit more crisp with it’s brand new design for ‘65, complete with Pyrex-covered stacked headlights and a pillarless 4-door hardtop design. It’s very conservative and contemporary, and they were selling like hotcakes.
The Catalina is a bit swoopier looking, but the bright-trimmed window frames don’t let you forget this one is a 4-door sled. The white doesn’t help accentuate the shape, but it does help this car’s disguise. You’d never expect the fury that lies within.
It’s interesting to note that all the performance options on this car were regular options on the full-size ‘65 Pontiac line, so anyone could order one up at their local Pontiac dealer.
The Galaxie, however, is believed to be the only ‘65 4-door ever built with the R-Code 427 and 4-speed factory installed. It’s exceptionally rare for sure.
We’ve featured both of these cars individually in the past, but viewers suggested a comparison video would be interesting. You can see the Galaxie in episode #51, and the Catalina in episode #251 of Muscle Car Of The Week.
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421 Pontiac Vs. 427 Ford 4 Doors Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode 313 V8TV