Here’s something apropriately Eugenian, but lo! I found this car after work recently, and just had to go around the block and figure it out what it was. A week or so ago I was on a main road and slowing for a light when I glanced over and saw something ’70s-looking behind some anonymous modern vehicular appliance. It looked like it might have been a luxury car, but that day I had other fish to fry. So finally, I have satisfied my curiosity, and let me tell you, I was not expecting one of these elegant Pontiacs!
The 1969-72 Grand Prix breathed new life into the GP nameplate. Being based on the full-size Pontiac chassis since its introduction in 1962, in its last couple of years in that form, it lost just a bit of its presence. But that was totally corrected with the new A-body derived 1969 Grand Prix. It was, I daresay, the most attractive new car of the year.
Buyers responded as well, as sales jumped from 1968’s rather tepid 31,711 to a very healthy 112,486 units in 1969. Not bad, huh? They were lean and right with the times with their long-hood, short-deck coachwork, über-modern wraparound instrument panel, and huge option list. The Model J was the base model, with an upgraded “SJ” available with sportier overtones. The designations, of course, were a throwback to classic Duesenbergs.
In addition to the year’s longest hood, all ’69 GPs had Strato Bucket seats, center console with floor shift, hidden wipers, hidden radio antenna and a V8 engine as standard equipment. Base price was $3866.
1970 models were much the same, with the exception of vertical grille bars, updated taillights and a newly-available leather interior.But really, it was so attractive that there was no need for drastic changes.
A more formal “neoclassical” facelift appeared in 1971, and carried on in Bristol fashion until its Colonnade replacement arrived in ’73. Sales dropped to 65K in ’70 and 58K in ’71 (despite the revamped sheetmetal) but bumped up to over 91K in swan-song ’72.
And since we’re on the subject, I need to mention that I like Colonnades too. A lot of folks don’t and while they may not have quite the same bold lines as the 1969-72, I still think they’re very sharp–especially the ’73 with its smaller bumpers!
But what of this one? I still can’t figure out the color combination on this one. It is certainly bright, but I’m not sure if it is just supposed to be a special color or if the owner is aiming for some kind of street rod look. It was a pearl-effect paint and the blue was blended into the pink, not masked off. It does appear to be a very original car, beyond the coat of paint.
Oddly, the entire front valence was missing, though it is not apparent in the pictures. Maybe it has yet to be reinstalled? I don’t know, but this very brightly-hued GP made up for what was a rather dull, cloudy, rainy day.
To give you a better idea of the lovely lines of this car, here’s one with one of the computer’s filters. Nice and elegant, huh? I am thinking a two-tone would actually look quite nice on one of these, despite never being available on the 1969-72s. Perhaps a medium gray on top and dark green on the bottom? Hmm, that would be pretty nice…
But through it all, the beautiful lines of these cars, and the intricate details that just grab your attention, look fantastic–no matter the color!