Article and Photography by Bob Carpenter
Car Guys are insatiable. Take John Reed, for example. He's owned just about every kind of car imaginable. He's had Corvettes and other muscle cars, street rods, custom, drag cars and more.
But when he read an article in a car magazine about a show in Paso Robles, all he could see was the '64 Pontiac in one of the photos. The car must have called to him from the pages. Reed couldn't get that car out of his mind. To him, it was perfect in every detail. Reed had to have that car. He tracked down the owner (we won't go into the details of how long it took) and offered to buy the car. The owner said "no." He persisted. The guy still said no. It gnawed at Reed that he couldn't have that car.
Four years later, Reed tracked the guy down again and made his pitch. Still no sale. The guy just wouldn't budge. When Reed was finally considering giving up, the owner mentioned there was another member of his club with a '60 Pontiac Catalina that was pretty nice, and it was for sale.
After receiving pictures in the mail, a deal was struck (it was the first time Reed bought a car without seeing it in person) and the car was brought from California to Reed's home in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The car was exactly what Reed wanted - something that looked as if it came out of the '63-'65 era. We're talking no fender skirts, no hubcaps, no lake pipes, no spotlights. He did ditch the spoke wheels and put on a set of Astro Supremes (he found them at Mooneyes), plus the tri-power setup. Other than that, Reed just drove the car and enjoyed it.
While on vacation in Escondido, California, Reed went for a cruise with his cousin. They stopped at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff for a look around. After the nickel tour of the facilities and works in progress, Reed asked if owner Randy Clark would be interested in working on his Pontiac. As if Clark would say no.
The plan was to have the Hot Rods & Custom Stuff crew detail the engine compartment and the undercarriage. "Detail" didn't mean a rag and some degreaser. The crew built an eye-catching louvered fan shroud, gussied everything up (even pinstriped the alternator) and re-engineered a few things to make them work better. The underside of the car (typically neglected by builders of this style car) is spotless and well engineered.
Now Reed is even happier when he cruises his '60 Catalina around town. With his quest fulfilled, there is nothing planned for future cars. As long as he doesn't read any more car magazines. SR.