1974 Pontiac Grand Prix Great Running and Driving Example
The Grand Prix is a line of automobiles produced by the Pontiac Division of General Motors from 1962 until 2002 for coupes and 1989–2008 for sedans.
First introduced as part of Pontiac's full-size car offering for the 1962 model year, the model varied repeatedly in size, luxury, and performance during its production. Among the changes were positioning in the personal luxury car market segment and mid-size car offering from the second generation to the fifth generation for the sedan and from the second generation to the sixth generation from the coupe. The Grand Prix returned to a full-size car from the sixth generation to the seventh generation for the sedan, positioned below the larger Bonneville in Pontiac's model lineup.
The new intermediate-based 1969 Grand Prix began to take shape in April 1967, with a few prototype models built on the full-sized Pontiac platform before the G-Body was ready. To save both development costs and time in much the same manner Ford created the original 1964 Mustang using the basic chassis and drivetrain from the compact Falcon, the revised Grand Prix would have a unique bodyshell but share the A-body intermediate platform and mechanicals with the Tempest, Le Mans and GTO.
Like all but the short-lived 1967 convertible, the new Grand Prix was a 2-door hardtop. Model names borrowed suggestive Duesenberg Model J nomenclature for "J" and "SJ" levels of trim. The basic 1969 body shell saw a major facelift in 1971 bracketed by minor detail revisions in the 1970 and 1972 model years. All A-bodies, including the Grand Prix, were redesigned for 1973. This generation was larger and heavier, due partly to the federally mandated 5 mph (8.0 km/h) crash bumpers. Large V8s were still available The most notable styling feature of this generation was the appearance of the fixed opera window, replacing the previous disappearing rear side glass. This year's Grand Prix switched from pillarless hardtop design to a pillared "Colonnade" hardtop with frameless door glass as did all GM intermediates in response to proposed federal safety standards regarding roll-over protection.
The front and rear styling of the 1973 Grand Prix was an evolution of the 1971 and 1972 models with a vertical-bar V-nose grille and single headlamps along with the new federally mandated 5 mph front bumper. The rear featured a revised boattail-like trim with square-taillights above the bumper.
A new instrument panel continued the wraparound cockpit theme of previous models with new African Crossfire Mahogany facing on the dashboard, console, and door panels, which was "real" wood in contrast with the simulated woodgrain material found in most car interiors during that time. The Strato bucket seats were completely new with higher seatbacks and integrated headrests in Morrokide or cloth trims, and optional recliners and adjustable lumbar support, with a notchback bench seat offered as a no-cost option.
This nice largely original car runs and drives very well, all gauges-even the clock-operate as they should, and it really could be driven home if you were inclined to do so. The interior is quite nice with no tears or seam separations, and the wood trim is in very good condition. The chrome and brightwork is all in very good condition, and the paint is overall decent (should buff out well) save for a small spot of paint loss behind the rear window (pictured) - which could be touched up. The vinyl top is the weakest part of the car and should be replaced, and I guess it could benefit from some sprucing up under the hood.
Basically this is a nice solid running and driving Grand Prix, that will clean up pretty well, one can enjoy immediately, and improve over time.