Name: 1972 Pontiac Catalina convertible
Year(s) Produced: 1971-1976
Number Built: 2,399
Body Type: 2-door convertible
Engine: 400 cui, GM V8 overhead valve
Power: 175hp @ 4000 RPM
Top Speed: (?)
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Length/width/height: 221.3 in./ 79.3 in./ 54.2 in.
Wheelbase: 123.5 in.
Base Price: US$4,080
Highest Price: US$20,800 (NADA)
This is another story worth retelling. Dan Cummings posted a YouTube video sharing what could be the greatest achievement of his life as of to date. On this video, he shared “the proudest moment in his life” when he revealed two custom built classic cars for his parents which he was building in secret in his shop for more than half a year. His priceless masterpieces: a 1972 Pontiac Catalina convertible and a BMW convertible for his mom.
Dan’s stepdad, Gentry, was entirely devoted to him and to his mom as he can remember. “He took me in as his own kid. He thought me everything he knew and he inspired me,” Dan said. At an early age, Dan has a keen interest in automobiles grabbing the most recent copies of Car and Driver and Automobile he sees from Gentry. Dan keenly remembers how his step father spends his very little time whenever he is off from work, nurturing Dan’s passion and interest for automobiles.
“I remember him working on his old Mazda and my mom’s Civic and that’s where it all started for me,” Dan said.
Fast forward a few years, Gentry inherited a car from his grandparents who bought it new in 1972. He immediately fell in love with it, and has fond memories of riding around it as a kid. He and Dan’s mom, Grace, drove from Colorado to pick up the car from Gentry’s grandma. His grandmother can no longer drive the car, and though his grandpa is already gone, the memory of him still sticks with the 1972 Catalina.
Dan also shares some memories with the Catalina. “I have quite a few memories. This is the first car that I learned to drive on and it’s probably the best one. It felt like driving a school bus,” Dan quipped.
However, the years eventually took a toll on the Catalina and was eventually left sitting on the garage gathering dust. Grace finally hinted on the idea of selling the car. Gentry, on the other hand, was convinced that he can fix it and promised himself and his family that he’ll find time to fix it.
“Gentry said that someday he’ll fix it, though we both know that the engine is completely bust and the rear end is about to blow up,” Dan said. Both mother and son knew that given Gentry’s schedule and the scope of the work needed to be done, there is virtually no way for Gentry to take on this task.
Dan understood very well what his stepdad would like to see from the Catalina. They had plenty of conversations on how the car will look like once Gentry works on it. That is when Dan and Grace hatched up a plan to show their gratitude for Gentry’s sacrifices for their family – they will personally restore the car and keep it as a secret from him.
“This car means the world to him (Gentry), so you know when I took it from him, he was a little bit upset to say the least,” Dan admitted. “I know he’s nervous and I know that he trusts me, but I want him to realize that I’ve listened to his every wish for the past years, and every detail that he wanted to do with his car, I’ve listened. I incorporated everything that he wanted and a little of my own which I think he really appreciated,” Dan added.
However, the mother and son tandem soon realized it’s difficult to keep a secret such as this from Gentry. “I remember some of our purchases ended up in the front yard and there is nothing else I can do about it and when Gentry asked about it I just told him, ‘Don’t open the box’. It’s kind of futile knowing that the packaging list is prominently displayed on the box,” Grace mentioned with amusement. “There was also an occasion when I didn’t realized that I went home all dirty and stained with grease and motor oil, and Gentry asked ‘where did you get your hands into?”
Dan knows very well that he cannot do anything to repay Gentry for all that he has done for him and for his mom. “I felt that this is a great opportunity to pay him back though I know there is nothing that I can do to ever him repay completely back, I figured he’ll be pretty happy with this one, and proud,” Dan said.
So after several months of toil and sweat, Dan and Grace completed their project and is now ready for the great reveal. Watch this video and see how Gentry responded, and the ‘little’ surprise Dan prepared for his mom. This is one video that will really leave a lump on your throat.