You'll find a lot of cars named for places in California, especially in Southern California. Chevy Malibu comes to mind, named for the affluent beachfront community. Chevy Bel Air, the tony suburb of Los Angeles. Mercury Monterey, the coastal town famous for its Cannery Row. Chevy Tahoe, named for the big blue lake nestled among the Sierra Nevada. Chrysler Pacifica, the surfer town north of Half Moon Bay. And then there's the sunny vacation spot near Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina Island. The Pontiac Catalina began as a top trim line on the 1950-58 Chieftain hardtop coupes.
As time went on and people became interested in the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah for land speed record attempts, Pontiac introduced the Bonneville Special sports car concept in 1954. The Bonneville Special was never built, but the name was adopted on the full-size street Pontiacs for the most powerful and luxurious model. In 1959 Catalina became a model in its own right but was kicked down to the entry-level rung in the full-size lineup. This would continue until 1981 when the Catalina was discontinued.