Adding up a 1960s Pontiac 2+2 collection
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Several solutions are available for cracking the high-performance algorithm. One equation involves a sleek, attractive body; a massive displacement engine, sporty suspension and a free-flowing, dual exhaust.
Add it all up and the sum is exactly what the Pontiac brand had going for it during the mid-1960s. They called it the 2+2 and the math made sense.
These vehicles had all the right components to equal Pontiac's muscle-bound, intermediate-sized GTO -- but in a much larger package. The integers in the model name were drawn from the European sports car nomenclature for two passengers up front with room for two more in back.
The 2+2 started off life in 1964 as an interior trim package on the full-sized Catalina. However, like Chevrolet's Super Sport trim, it became an all-out performance car line just one year later. Production didn't last long and dropping sales caused its discontinuation in 1967.
One area enthusiast who loves these full-sized cruisers is Arnold Boris. "I've always had a love for big cars," the Kildeer resident said. "My first car was a '67 Impala with a small block V-8 and automatic transmission. I loved the massive size but there was no power or thrill of manual shifting."
A glance around his high school parking lot got him thinking. "My friends had a '67 Z28 and a '69 Judge. I saw firsthand how fast they were, and both seemed like race cars. I wanted a real big car with real big power."
Several decades later, Boris got his wish. In the late 1990s he was ready to start acquiring vehicles he'd wanted for many, many years.
"I was very much aware of the 2+2s and how rare they are," Boris said.
Despite their extreme desirability, he's managed to snag several examples of the massive Pontiac machines. He made sure all of them were packing gigantic displacement engines and four-speed manual transmissions, making for the ultimate combination for spirited motoring.
Boris' stable includes a Regimental Red '67 that he purchased from the second owner in September 2005. A total ground-up restoration was in order to bring the convertible back to life. Underhood is a 428-cubic-inch High Output V-8, the highest horsepower engine Pontiac offered that year.
"The HO came with factory exhaust headers, open element air cleaner and different camshafts and exhaust." Official ratings pegged output at a way-underrated 376 horsepower.
Another vehicle in Boris' collection in a 1966 hardtop that was found in Tennessee and purchased from the original owner. "He had lived in Chicago and purchased it new from Kole Pontiac in Oak Lawn. He went into the service in '67 and came out and moved down South and took the car with him."
This Barrier Blue 2+2 also received a full nut-and-bolt restoration. A 421-cubic-inch V-8 with factory tri-power carburetors provides the power.
Boris' second '67, a hardtop purchased in Burbank, came from the longtime owner's son. "After the restoration, I invited him and his family up to see the final product," he said. "Seeing the completed car literally brought tears to his mom as memories of her husband driving the car came flooding back."
The Mariner Turquoise car has a 428-cubic-inch V-8 fed fuel with a factory four-barrel carburetor.
The fourth Pontiac in Boris' garage is a '67 Grand Prix, and while not a mighty 2+2, it holds a very special connection for him. The car was built at the same Pontiac, Mich., plant, just five days later than his red 2+2. Both vehicles were then delivered to the same dealer in Green Bay, Wis.
"It's unbelievable to think that the two cars were at the assembly plant together, on the same transport truck and sitting on the same dealer showroom -- and then reunited together on the same garage floor 40 years later!" Boris said.
The Grand Prix had suffered extensive rust damage in the Midwest and required a donor car's frame and a whole host of sheet metal parts from a salvage yard in California.
"I had experts tell me the project was too far gone to save. The fact that is was written off for dead and I was able to bring it back to life brings me a lot of satisfaction."
While the large-and-in-charge 2+2 model didn't last long, many enthusiasts like Boris have found the answer to that simple addition problem. It equals many happy miles of high-performance motoring.
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