Disappointing Downsize: 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix – Sold?

by | Jun 2021 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

July 11, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

To us, the Pontiac Grand Prix always stood for standard bucket seat personal luxury and V8 power.  By the late seventies, Pontiac’s downsized Grand Prix made both of those features optional in a very squared-off and smaller car.  A survivor example was once listed in June 2021 on Craigslist in Haverstraw, New York (Stony Point) and offered at $6,750 currently. Comparing that price against the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the seller’s asking price falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $5,025 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $7,650 before factoring in a fifteen percent premium for being equipped with the more desirable 301 cubic inch Pontiac-sourced V8.

In the fall of 1977, GM launched the downsized versions of the redesigned “A” body platform; the Grand Prix was Pontiac’s version. Approximately one foot shorter and 600 pounds lighter than the 1977 model it replaced, the downsized Grand Prix’s smaller footprint and diet helped improved fuel economy.  Helping that cause and in order to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandates set after the 1973-74 U.S. oil embargo, Buick’s ubiquitous 231 cubic inch (3.8 L) V6 became standard for the first time in Grand Prix history.  The luxury LJ model such as the example featured here came standard with the 135 horsepower 301 cubic inch V8 topped with a two-barrel carburetor. While bucket seats were once a standard expectation in every Grand Prix, for 1978, they were an option as the bench seat in the example here painfully reminds us.

We came across this commercial for the Chicago-area Pontiac dealers from 1978 featuring the Pontiac Grand Prix that’s a humorous stretch at best:

Despite being a highly-optioned example in a nice black-over-tan color combination, in our hearts the lack of bucket seats and a console make this a Grand Prix we would personally pass on, but that’s just us. Otherwise, this Grand Prix has a lot of survivor qualities going for it that would make it a great AACA Touring Event car. 

Here’s the seller’s description:

“For Sale
1978 Pontiac Grand Prix
301ci V8 – Automatic

Many options, including:
Rallye II Wheels
Factory Air Conditioning
Tilt Column

This is an amazing one-owner survivor car with original engine and transmission. Every body panel is solid and original. The car has original paint. There is no rust to be found anywhere. It has always been garaged and was not driven in winter. The basic mechanics are all in good condition. The car runs and drives well and will pass a NYS safety inspection. The A/C does not cool and there are a few small cosmetic issues with the vinyl top, the front seat upholstery, and the rear bumper fillers. These cars are seldom seen for sale, especially in this condition.

Show or go: what would you do with this Grand Prix survivor?  Comment below and let us know!

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