Monday, April 29, 2019

1969 Pontiac Grand Prix

On April 27, 2009, GM announced that it was discontinuing the Pontiac, Saab, Hummer and Saturn brands. Over the next week or so I will post something about each of those brands...

There was a time when Pontiac ranked third in overall U.S. sales, just behind Chevy and Ford. Throughout the 1960s Pontiac was on a roll. The GTO ushered in the muscle car era. The Firebird. while sharing its platform with the Camaro, was a little more upscale and - in my opinion - sportier and better looking than the Chevy. The Bonneville and Catalina also shared their underpinnings with other GM models, but were sportier and again - in my eyes - better looking.

In 1969, when I was 12, Pontiac introduced the second generation Grand Prix. It knocked me out. I had never seen anything like it... Long hood. Short deck. Pointy grill. "cockpit-style" dashboard. It was gorgeous.

My dad worked for GM. One of the perks of his job was being able to take home cars from the GM "pool". I asked him to bring home a Grand Prix. He did. I spent that weekend in the driveway just staring at it in awe.

The Pontiac division lost its way starting in the 1980s. The Firebrid was axed. The T1000 was a Chevette with a bit more chrome. The legendary LeMans name was tacked on to a Daewoo. (I hope the person who signed off on that idea was forced to actually drive a Daewoo for the rest of his or her life.) The Bonneville, Grand Prix and Catalina became dull and went in and out of production.

In the 2000s Pontiac started to offer some interesting cars again. The G8 was a rebadged Holden Commodore. If you ordered it in GXP trim it was a truly spectacular car. The GTO badge came back on a rebadged Holden Monaro. Its performance made it worthy of the GTO name. The Solstice was a nice sports car. None of that mattered, GM killed Pontiac anyway.

Seeing this Grand Prix brought back some of the same feelings I had when I was 12. It's still a gorgeous car. This one appears to be in really nice shape.

Located in Maryville, TN, click here to see the eBay listing.

I posted this picture in an earlier post, but I thought I'd post it again. I took this picture at the New York Auto show in 1969. It was an event my dad took me to every year. I don't know who is sitting in the car, but that's my dad standing on the right.

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