Dave Stuckey's 1965 Pontiac
Chopped, Channeled and Sectioned
The body on Dave's radically restyled Pontiac was chopped 3 inches, sectioned 3 inches, channeled 2 inches and lowered 6 inches. The wheel-wells were radiused, and the front end completely restyled. The hood was modified to accommodate a big-block Pontiac engine that ran Paxton supercharger. The engine was hooked to a Turbo 400 transmission, and the car had tilt steering and a hand-made floor shifter. The interior was pearl-gold with pearl-white diamond tuck and the dashboard was modified. According to later owner David Schluck, Stuckey's Catalina supposedly received one of the first set of full-reversed Cragar S/S wheels. It had 15x8 wheels in the rear with L60x15 tires and 14x7 in the front with E60x14 tires.
Sold to David Schluck in 1972
In 1972 David Schluck of Nassau, Delaware bought the car from Dave. Dave and David had been friends since 1966, and the Pontiac became David's college car. When David got the Pontiac, the motor was basically shot, and it used as much oil as gas, so Dave told David to put it in neutral at stop lights to blow the smoke away from the windshield.
Sometime after buying the car, David gave it a Ford Ginger Brown paint job. "I really liked it that way," he told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2018. "In one color, so the body lines “did most of the talking”. I later gave in to the “fad of the day”, and painted it white with panels, as it appeared at the NSRA’s 1975 Street Machine Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa. What can I say - I was young!"
Back to Panels
By 1975 David had given the car a Corvette Chrome White paint job with Gold and Silver panels; "The spokes of the Cragar S/S wheels were painted white as well. One has to keep in mind that panel paint jobs were the thing back then - who doesn't remember Art Himsl's wild paint jobs? And who can forget murals on the sides of vans?" During the reconstruction, David added a molded cover over the McCulloch blower on the hood. "I made that cover out of ¼” steel rod, sheet metal, and welded it to the front of the hood opening, then blended it in. Also, if you look closely at the photo of the car in brown, you’ll notice the rather prominent body character line at the lower portion of the door doesn’t flow into the front wheel opening but instead drops into the body as it originally did with the original wheel opening. The same holds true for the front bumper, the ends of which were retained, and welded to the body. That Dave, for some unexplained reason, made this character line flow into the rear wheel openings, but not the front. I fabricated some “filler” pieces from sheet metal, and welded them in, to make that character line flow more smoothly from one end of the car to the other. I think it makes the car flow better, and those “filler” pieces are still on the car."
The bumper was peeled of its chrome by David and a fellow named Larry; "We used an oxygen/acetylene torch. After we had that accomplished, we sanded it, primed it, then Dave shot it with vinyl top textured paint. He used the same textured paint inside of the door openings, and the doors to hide the cut-lines from sectioning the car. He also used it on the dash, and on the interior window trim, just because he liked the look, and it was different. On those pieces, he painted them an off-white. Getting back to the bumper – during the reconstruction, I “modified” it. On each side of the gas-filler opening in the middle of the bumper, I welded a bumper guard I ’d removed from a 1966 Ford Mustang we had. I also welded a piece of plumbing pipe, probably 1”, which made the license plate a “semi-frenched” location and gave the bumper much more character overall. I don’t recall if I removed the backup lights, or not. They weren’t connected when I got the car."
8 Shades of Burgundy
In the fall of 1985, before David entered graduate school, he gave the Pontiac a paint job in 8 shades of burgundy. "The panels paid homage to the original configuration. The colors were so subtle that at a distance, the car looked like it was one color, and one could really take note of the cars natural lines. Up close, however, was when the paint spoke for itself. I put in well over 80 hours on it, and it was a beautiful color."
Sold After 42 Years
David was the third owner of the car, and he owned it for over 42 years before he decided to sell it off. In May of 2013, he advertised the car for sale because of health issues. By then the car had been painted yellow. The body was solid, the paint was good, and the car ran fine. The interior was fine as well, but the carpet needed to be replaced. David had kept the car garaged while he owned it, and it was only driven semi-regularly in the warm-weather months. The asking price was $30 000 USD.
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