I came upon this car the day after my wedding. I got married this summer, in July. Second time around for both of us. Did this car get a second chance, a restoration? Or is it original? To my eye, it’s more likely the latter. There are lots of little faults and imperfections that these photos don’t pick up. This car is definitely a 20 footer. But that’s more than all right with me; I like ‘em original.
©2016 Jennifer Bowman. Used with permission.
I think Margaret and I both would have preferred that our first marriages had ended up more like this Pontiac: intact, still rolling, and looking pretty good. But that’s not what either of us got. Neither of us is shiny and new anymore, either. And really, both of us chose poorly the first time. We’re better off with each other and will be much happier in the long run. One advantage of finding love when you’re about 50 is that you know yourself: how you’re capable of loving, and how you need to be loved.
It looks like whoever owns this Grand Ville has given it a lot of love, too. It’s immaculate, inside and out.
That durable Morrokide looks showroom fresh.
Something about these wheels doesn’t seem right to me, though. I wouldn’t expect them to have maroon paint if they were original to the car. Perhaps the Pontiac cognoscenti can put it in proper context in the comments.
Our wedding weekend ended with dinner in downtown Zionsville, a small town dating to the early 1800s that has become a suburb of Indianapolis. Its charming Main Street is lined with shops and restaurants. We ate small plates al fresco. I forget what we ordered. I was much more charmed by this Grand Ville. And by Margaret, first and foremost.
We’re honeymooning in Ireland later this year. I wonder what curbside classics we’ll find there?
Congratulations Jim! On the wedding and the awesome CC find.
Cool. At least it had power windows. I can’t fathom 4 window convertibles of that era with crank windows (especially 4 doors!).
couldn’t agree more with you.
Now that I think of it, you used to see people driving with the top down and the windows up all the time and we thought they were “wierd”. Probably the reason.
Windows up kept the buffeting down.
As the past owner of several convertibles,driving with the top down and windows up saves you from feeling you have been in a boxing match after traveling a highway speeds
Yeah, i drove with the windows up on the freeway in my Z28 convertible. I get that. You can’t tell me that people driving down an avenue in a 4-door land barge with the top down and all windows up didn’t look strange and were worried about their hairdo though.
Congratulations to you and Margaret!
Perhaps you can have this Grand Ville on your honeymoon.
Congrats! I hope I look as good as you do when I’m 50.
Yup I can barely see 50 behind me if I look real close, although my eyesight ain’t what it used to be LOL.
That looks more like rust on the wheel spokes, there were colored versions of the rally II wheels in the 70s but it was done in the background of the always silver spokes, not the spokes themselves. I’ve noticed rust can occur in that matter on rally II wheels, the section under the trim ring probably looks the same.
The wheel does look old, but I think Jim would know the difference between rust and paint.
I don’t know about that, in this case. I shot this pretty quickly and only really noticed the coloration on the wheels when I reviewed the photos as I wrote this post.
The picture above that quote does have a reddish twinge to it due to the lighting, it’s a very uniform rust so I’d easily mistake that for paint too if that’s all I had to go by. The picture looking at the other side of the car is the tell, it’s much more clearly brown, with not quite full corrosion through the original silver paint.
The first picture shows the drivers side front and rear wheels. The close up of the wheel is of the passengers side, so both front wheels have the reddish color or rust/corrosion. The rear wheel looks better.
Nice car, but definitely not my favourite year for the B body Grand Ville. The first year of the federally mandated bumpers was awkward, and the front end doesn’t seem to know if it wants to be low and wide or upright and classic. And the fender mounted back-up lights are an abomination!
Good point on the backup lights. Whatever lights you put on the fender blades need to be special, not merely utilitarian. What year were they first required…’67? I think it was the 90s before car designers knew how to integrate them.
’74 Granville’s were better. It was the last car Jimmy Hoffa was seen arriving in before he disappeared. If a teamster/mobster drove one, it had to be good.
.” One of the rarest options available on Grand Villes and other full-sized Pontiacs during this period was the adjustable brake and accelerator pedals offered from 1974 to 1976.”
Hoffa was short. 5’5″.
I think it was more like that’s all he could afford after getting out of the joint. He really would have wanted a Caddy, I’m sure.
Caddys probably didn’t have the adjustable pedals though…..
5’5″ is pretty damn short especially considering the size of the cars in that era.
Found a pic.
Hoffa liked Pontiacs. Jim Wangers’s book has a photo of a 1964 Bonneville Brougham four-door hardtop ordered by Hoffa that had been given the Royal Bobcat treatment.
Quite frankly, I liked alot of the Pontiacs over the Cadillacs at that time too. Not to mention he lived a stones throw from Pontiac, Michigan.
Congratulations! And what a great find. The lines of those cars work perfectly as a ragtop, and this one was near the end of the line for full-size droptops.
Congratulations to you and Margaret! I believe we met her at Auburn, glad to see it’s now official!
And that Pontiac’s a very nice find too, but massively overshadowed by the other news of course.
How perfect that you found a classic Pontiac on a brick street on the weekend of your wedding. It’s like that was a wedding gift just waiting for you.
Congrats, and all the best! The Grand Ville has long been my favorite of the big GM convertibles, but in truth even the coupe and 4-door hardtop versions of the Grand Ville are winners in my book. (Yeah, I know they’re really just Bonnevilles with an upcharge applied, but I love ’em anyway.)
I actually prefer the later square headlight version of this particular car, but I wouldn’t kick any Grand Ville out of my garage. When I was about 7 the mother of a kid I went to an after school program with briefly dated a guy who drove a brand new triple white Grand Ville convertible, and it only took one look to have me smitten by that car. I was probably more upset than the kid’s mother was when her short-lived romance came to an end, as after that she picked her son up in the same green Nova she’d been driving for years.
Congrats and the best to you and your new bride!
Great find, too. What a nice Grand Ville ragtop. I’ve always liked these. From what I have read they are quite rare too, never topping more than 5k units a year. I think the wheels were probably in bad shape and they just painted them to spruce them up.
Congrats and have a long, happy marital bliss. Nice car, but a version born the year you were would be a great find as well. Agree it appears to be a well cared for original, as do the two of you.
An excellent find in a beautiful spot. Everyone here knows that I am not the biggest GM fan out there, but I do really love these Grandville convertibles. These were the only really beautiful verts that GM made after 1970. There was something about the lines on the other B body ragtops that always looked just a teeny bit off, but these simply nailed it.
Thinking about it, getting married is a little bit like buying a car. At a typical age of a first marriage, just like buying a brand new car, you never know exactly how it’s going to work out. Some are great, some will be lemons, and most would have been better if you had taken better care of them. But after some time, maturation and experience, you are each getting a classic. And with a classic, you can tell a lot more about its history, which greatly increases the chance of getting “one of the good ones.” And from what I know, each of you is getting just that. Best wishes!
We’re both classic, to be sure, and we both have a lot of miles on us!
Just means you two have been broken in properly. Congrats!
Like most cars in the 1960s and 1970s, this car was probably originally made with steel wheels and standard wheel covers. Sport wheels were relatively rare options, especially on full sized cars. In the snow belt it was routine to purchase an extra set of steel wheels for very little and switch out snow tires with the seasons. If you had sport wheels the wheels would not match each other. Better traction than today’s all season tires and front wheel drive.
Owner probably went to a junk yard and found a set of sport wheels and this is the color of the car they came from.
Car has optional cornering lights, a rare option, but does not have the optional bumper guards, a more common option.
Rally II wheels were an option on the Grand Ville. Not a particularly high take rate, but might be more popular for the convertible. These just might be a little worse for wear after 43 years.
This was truly a huge car. 126″ wheelbase and 226″ long. 4,600 lbs. Needed every bit of the 455 to haul it around. Pontiac pulled off the look pretty well though. In 1973 this was the big convertible to have.
Love the movie “The Seven Ups” for the chase scene involving a ’74 Grand Ville driven by Bill Hickman of Bullitt fame
The Pontiacs in the Seven Ups were 1973s, not 1974s.
The cars in the epic chase were a Grand Ville 4dr hardtop and a Ventura 2dr.
Elsewhere in the movie were a Bonneville 4dr hardtop (the car that the undercover policeman was put in the trunk and went through the car wash), and a Grand Safari wagon that did not have the woodgrain option.
Congratulations! Quite the find and symbolism in it! As for myself I’ve found a Grand Ville coupe as well as a Delta 88 convertible in terms of recent related CC finds! Gotta love the salt-free environment of Georgia promoting car longevity even if I hate the summer heat.
Also, is it me, or the front left wheel does look damaged?
Best wishes! Having met you both, I know this time around is going to be a charm. And enjoy your trip to Ireland, someplace I’m looking forward to getting to.
Jim, Congratulations to you and Margaret.
You young people are at the exact right age to start off on your [second] marital adventure and have a ball doing it.
I really like seeing photos of CCers, their spouses (if so equipped), family, and pets. It puts much more in my mind about who is “talking” to me (really us) than the tiny (often non-human) avatars.
That Pontiac even has the boot on and it does not look like one of those boots that were permanently fastened along the leading edge and had to be used. Someone cared enough to do almost all those snaps.
Mazel tov to you and your bride.
fIf any user’s avatar is non-human but still a person, I usually think of them as that person. For example, I see Don Andreina as one of Cookie Monster’s species (Muppet?).
Good eye on that boot!
And while my bride is Irish, she’s no princess! 🙂
Congratulations, Jim and Margaret! Great picture of you two, and what a find RE: that Grand Ville. I like it better for appearing to be original.
Congratulations! Having met both you and Margaret, and having had a great conversation with you both in Auburn, it’s obvious you two are a great fit for each other. Plus, if Margaret can withstand two dozen middle-aged men yammering on about cars for hours she is a definite keeper.
“If Margaret can withstand two dozen middle-aged men yammering on about cars for hours she is a definite keeper” Or trucks, or motorcycles, or airplanes, boats, and trains, and we can’t forget buses. Yes, a serious keeper.
On the way home from Auburn we stumbled upon a car show in some tiny town and spent a couple more hours looking at cars! I knew then she was the one.
I regret that I couldn’t get to meet you since you didn’t make it to Nashville, but your absence was for a good cause. All the best!
I like the full beak of the earlier models, and, as mentioned, they got it together nicely with the square-headlight version. So this one is in between, but as Jim said, you can’t go wrong with any year, ’71-’76.
Wow, today is a bit celebratory. Let me add my best wishes to you and your bride, Jim.
Jim, congratulations to you and Margaret, and I wish many, many happy years together.
This Pontiac is rarely seen in my neck of the woods, and it’s such a relevant find on your wedding weekend. Did you take these photos with any one of your film cameras? On second thought, probably not since you would have had to submit the film for x-ray screening.
I look forward to any vehicles you might want to share with us from Ireland. Most of all, I hope you both have a great time.
” I was much more charmed by this Grand Ville. And by Margaret, first and foremost.” Nice cover! 🙂
In a strange turn of events I had use of a 73 ummmm Catalina? a few summers ago as a daily driver. I was not impressed with either the ride or the handling. I have no idea what kind of shape the shocks and stuff were. The experience convinced me of the downfalls of classic car as a daily driver. I was not sad to see it go.
Congratulations Jim and Margaret! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness.
You make a nice couple; wishing you the very best! That Pontiac is nice, but I actually prefer the later ’75-’76 models.
Congratulations Margaret and Jim 🙂
People and cars both live by the 20 foot rule; appearances are not everything. If your life partner doesn’t have visible flaws upon close examination, you are either blind, or they are a master manipulator, period. As for the man I have and myself, we both have a keen awareness of one another’s weaknesses, as well as our strengths. He’s got scuff marks and curb rash. I’ve got stained carpet and broken A/C. We both are paid off, haha… Without that understanding, there would nothing strong or real for us to build our life together. We deal with it, no differently than if you were to buy a used car with bald tires and a broken taillight. As for the “perfect” low mileage one owner that’s listed at a great price? Better check the coolant, hoses, fuses, underbody, and the Carfax. Nothing is more expensive than a cheap deal, folks…
I don’t usually wish congratulations to strangers, but this article made me want to do that. Congratulations!
Of the 1971-75 Grandville’s I personally find 1973 to be the most attractive year of the bunch, that was one of the few 1973 vehicles where the big 5mph bumpers didn’t hurt the design of the car, plus it also looked more luxurious and sporty than the underwhelming 1971-72 Grandville’s.
1. Congratulations and best wishes to you both! Great picture.
2. I’m with JPC in that I think these are the best B body convertibles post 1970. And the only consistently good ones 1971-75. Though I will cop to liking the last Delta 88 Convertible from 1975…there is one out on LI in horizon blue, same color as my 98.
3. Unrelated. Jim, as a former Brooks Brothers suit department salesman between college and my career in the law, bonus points for proper shirt sleeve length!
I bought that suit for the wedding from the last old-line tailor’s left in Indianapolis. I didn’t have the suit custom made for me, but it is one of the suits they made in shop, fitted to me. And the tailor was careful to choose a shirt so that the cuffs looked right! I have unusually long arms, so I’m annoying to fit.
One of the better ’73 front-end designs. I thought the new 5-MPH bumper was integrated fairly well. ’74 looked a bit more bluff, while ’75 was very nice. Honestly, I find any year of Grand Ville convertible more desirable than the other B-Body ragtops.
Congratulations to you and Margaret! Yet another person I missed out on meeting… I really hope I can get to a CC meet-up eventually! I absolutely agree with Jason’s sentiments.
Congrats ! .
Sweet car to rock out with your young bride in…..
May the road rise to meet you .
Congratulations! You’re a wonderful couple!
Keep up the great work with the photos. Makes me want to dig out my old cameras from storage.
Congratulations all round, and best wishes for your future.
Great car too – I bet you wanted to go home in it!
As it happens, we’re going to a wedding today, and the bridal car will be a 1960s Morris Minor, known as Bessie.
Ireland will have a selection of CC gold, no doubt, but if it includes a 1973 Grand Ville convertible, I’ll stand you a pint of Guinness 😉
Congratulations! We have something in common! I also got married in July…it’s our second each as well and you’re absolutely right about the advantages of love after 50. May you be as happy as we are!
CC effect. I just spotted one of these in the wild yesterday!
Congratulations and best wishes to you both!
Congratulations on to both of you on your marriage!
These Pontiac convertibles were a rare sight when new. This one looks good. Unfortunately, the heavier bumpers for 1974 and beyond made these cars look really ponderous.
Indeed they do. Especially when your 226″ long with a 126″ wheelbase and weigh in at 4,600+ pounds to start with. Geez they were big, but they were the best looking of the big B bodies.
Always loved the chase scene in the movie “Seven Ups”. Bill Hickman wheeling that beast of a ’73 Grand Ville through the streets on NY.
Congratulations and best wishes!
As a former ’72 Grandville hardtop owner, and a friend of a long time full-size Pontiac family, I’ve been around a lot of the ’71-’76 Grande Ponchos.
I tend to pick and choose my favorite details on these cars. The ’71-’72 could be a little blah without a lot of trim and upgraded wheels or wheel covers. The ’73 brought a return to fender skirts (missing from this car), but also brought interior door cards festooned with huge panels of the worst plastic fake wood known to human kind. I like the ’73’s rear details, but the front has a lot of details that lack any sort of theme.
The ’74’s front end was a return to the ’72 theme, but was a ham-fisted effort.
As a package, the ’75 convertible was probably the best version of the ’71-’75 convertible. Improved interior, skirts, decent rear end, and wore the new rectangular headlights fairly well. Drivetrains were probably the best since ’72.
One of these times in Zionsville, Jim, you must stop into Art IN Hand and chance running into me. This Friday evening would be a good opportunity.
And, again, congratulations!