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MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Dork
11/30/22 12:15 a.m.


jgrewe
jgrewe Dork
11/30/22 12:50 a.m.

I had a mechanic friend end up with one when a customer bailed on repairing it. After fixing it, a big PITA if I recall, something about cooling lines running through manifold in the middle of the V of the engine. He figured he would dump it quick at Carmax. He found out it was on their "Do not buy" list.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
11/30/22 6:14 a.m.

In reply to 81cpcamaro :

I always thought it was a flop. How did it end up inspiring Cadillac?

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
11/30/22 8:19 a.m.

There was a Catera Sport for a few years too, with some meaningful upgrades and slightly different sheet metal. I serviced one of these for a little while. Never had to do anything terribly major, though I know it needed a transmission shortly before I started working at that shop. This was more than 10 years ago though, I don't remember any issues with basic maintenance parts. I do seem to remember the 3 liter V6 was related to the one Saab used in the 9-5 but I have no idea if that's true.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/30/22 4:24 p.m.

A Catera once served as a PPG pace car

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
11/30/22 4:33 p.m.

I was liked their looks a lot. Still do. I love the idea of one with a hot engine and suspension.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/30/22 4:56 p.m.

And we all remember this, right?

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/30/22 6:17 p.m.
jgrewe said:

I had a mechanic friend end up with one when a customer bailed on repairing it. After fixing it, a big PITA if I recall, something about cooling lines running through manifold in the middle of the V of the engine. He figured he would dump it quick at Carmax. He found out it was on their "Do not buy" list.

I remember doing a lot of oil coolers on the Saturn L300s, which were in the valley.  Pretty sure it was the same engine.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
11/30/22 8:02 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
jgrewe said:

I had a mechanic friend end up with one when a customer bailed on repairing it. After fixing it, a big PITA if I recall, something about cooling lines running through manifold in the middle of the V of the engine. He figured he would dump it quick at Carmax. He found out it was on their "Do not buy" list.

I remember doing a lot of oil coolers on the Saturn L300s, which were in the valley.  Pretty sure it was the same engine.

Also used in Saabs towards the end.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
11/30/22 8:11 p.m.

In reply to Streetwiseguy :

It originated at SAAB.  They made a big deal about the 54 degree bank angle being required to wedge the engine into the 9-5 chassis.

OTOH when I had to rebuild the top end of an L300, all the parts bags had Opel all over them... hmm.  Either way,, the L series was the long slow slide from Saturn being a fun quirky company to Geo of Europe.  (Did GM foist Geo on Canada?)

Really, since any V6 that isn't a 120 degree bank angle is going to require split pins for an even firing order, the bank angle is more for packaging, or commonality with other engines like all the pushrod 90 degree sixes.  VW made/is making a gazillion V6s with a 15 degree bank angle.

I think only Alfa Romeo, maybe Maserati, ever made a 120 degree V6.  Definitely Italian, and 60-70 years ago.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro SuperDork
12/1/22 10:05 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

It is the name only. Back when Caddy went to letters, the CTS was the Catera Touring Sedan. That's one reason Cadillac caught a bit of flak when they made the CTS coupe. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/22 11:11 a.m.

Sort of related, but I can't remember the last time I saw a Catera in the flesh. Haven't even seen one at Radwood. 

BA5
BA5 HalfDork
12/6/22 11:27 a.m.

If I remember correctly the Catera was built on the previous gen chassis to the GTO.

I had a GTO for a while.  I bought it to do all around stuff including track car stuff. 

It was fun and handled way better than folks gave it credit for (once you fixed the front RR bushings.  The OEM ones were made from downy pillows and just awful), but it was EXPENSIVE to run.  It was under everythinged except engine, so it chewed through tires, brakes, and fluids like no tomorrow.

I wound up selling it.

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