There is nothing quite like the rapid cadence, quiet rumble and murmur of tires rolling on a brick street. This is a sound I grew up with. It is the sound of the main, downtown thoroughfare of my hometown of Flint, Michigan – South Saginaw Street. It was, and still is, often accompanied in summer months by the wail of guitar and/or the low, soft thump of bass emanating from car speakers. These sounds help to remind me of exactly who I am and where I come from. This ’79 Grand Prix left me both drooling and feeling kinship with the Vehicle City.
This generation of Grand Prix may be regarded by many as the (RWD) low-point of its storied name, but I feel this example shows exactly how special one of these downsized GP’s could look with the right options and in the right color(s). It was an absolute vision in two-tone Medium Red and Dark Claret Metallic, riding on those Pontiac cast-aluminum wheels with red center caps. The raised, white-letter Uniroyal Tiger Paws were the icing on this delicious, red velvet cake. 1979 GP sales dipped only slightly (8%) from the first-year downsized ’78s (from 228,000 to 210,000), and this example was one of just over 61,000 LJ submodels produced for the model year.
Who wouldn’t want to experience this sumptuous interior with the t-tops off (and the a/c on)? Gorgeously stock, I’m sure this car comes out of the garage only in summer months. Much like the same-year Delta 88 Royale I profiled earlier this year, I imagine this car as belonging to a GM retiree. In the specific configuration of our subject car, I see less of a glorified LeMans than a mini-’77 Buick Riviera – and much bigger and better than the sum of its downsized parts.
Downtown Flint, Michigan.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013.
- From Perry Shoar: Vintage Review: 1979 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ – She’s No Fun, My Three-Oh-One; and
- From Paul Niedermeyer: Curbside Classic: 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix – GM’s Deadly Sin #14.