1973 Pontiac Grand Am With T-Tops: 1 Of 1?

Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

In 1973, Pontiac introduced its answer to sporty import coupes; the Grand Am. Basically combining the images of their Grand Prix and Trans Am nameplates, this Colonnade coupe came with real wood in the interior and a performance-tuned suspension. This particular one is being sold here on eBay, with a low opening bid but an $8,500 buy it now if you are in a rush. It’s in Smyrna, Tennessee (where a bunch of Nissans are built). What do you think of those aftermarket wheels?

The NACA ducts in the hood are (I think, please correct me if I’m wrong) actually from a 1973 GTO and I can find no reference to them ever being factory for a Grand Am. I do find them attractive, though, and I don’t think you’d choose this car if you wanted a showroom concours Grand Am anyway. So if you like them, more power to you! I also couldn’t find any reference to the availability of T-tops in this 1973 Grand Am brochure. The auction listing says this is a 1 of 1 with special ordered Hurst T-tops. So who knows? Anyone have personal knowledge of another 1973 Grand Am with T-tops?

The interior does need some assistance, but at least it is all there. Obviously, you’ll want to source some upholstery. The rear seat is coming apart at the top, and the seller states that the carpet “looks extremely cheap.” You can get the dash pad restored here.

Although the nose does appear to have some cracks, the seller tells us that there’s no rust in the body. I’ll make that trade off any day!

This is said to be a numbers-matching 400 cubic inch V8, and it’s been rebuilt with paperwork to vouch for that rebuild. Although the transmission isn’t the original one, it has been rebuilt as well. The car is said to run and drive “good” and the brakes are good as well. So would this possible 1 of 1 Grand Am’s be a good project for you to take on?

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Comments

  1. Todd

    Cool car. Definitely don’t see many of these anymore either. Would hope that the owner has some paper work to back up that 1 of 1 claim too. The wheels have to go too. Some new Rallye 2 Aluminum repro’s in a larger diameter would look good on this car.

    8+

  2. flmikey

    Very interesting car…looks like a Grand Prix dash and interior…and those T-Tops looks like they could be factory…don’t think that hood came from the factory, though…that being said, it is not worth near the buy-it-now price…but I would love to own it…

    3+

  3. Van

    I like it. How about 17 inch honeycombs.

    9+

    • Rob

      Or the snowflakes.

      7+

      • Van

        Snowflakes didn’t come out till 77. Watch old Bandit run.

        2+

  4. Nova Scotian

    The style doesn’t do it for me…but a neat old rig to be sure. No rust? I bet I can walk over to the car and find it quick enough. All the bushings in the chassis would likly be worn well by now too and provide LOTS of sway floating down the road. It’s a cool old cruiser that needs some work, but looks, and sounds like a young greasy teenager could hop in and drive it away…. Sort out any issues down the road.

    5+

  5. Tirefriar

    Two words: Structural Rigidity

    If there was an argument for rust inspection, this is it.

    7+

  6. Vin in NJ

    I know fit and finish wasn’t a priority in 70’s GM cars, but the gap between the hood and nose cone is way too big. Something is not right

    7+

  7. Jeffro

    I had a 73 Grand Am. Alot of car. But it was quick and rode/handled very well. The nose on these are notorious for breaking. I pieced mine together and had a bra made for the front. Now they make fiberglass repos of the nose. Rallye wheels would look sharp on this. And yes, that’s a GTO hood.

    11+

  8. Chris Kennedy

    Correct me if I am wrong but, I think the hood ducts came on the CanAm…which shared the same hood.

    4+

    • Steve

      The 77 CanAm came with the Trans Am 6.6 style hood scope.

      2+

    • David Boling

      Yes sir thats what I thought. Can Am hood.

      0

    • Tenspeed

      The 1977 CanAm had a shaker hood. This hood is from a 1973 GTO. Grand Am’s aren’t very common.

      1+

  9. rustylink

    Love these Colonade style bodies (and I am likely in the minority) – even has the ever present Endura nose job..I have seen more then a few Grand Am’s with T-Tops and every one of them claims to be an factory original one of one. His pricing isn’t crazy on this one as it appears to be a pretty solid car if you wanted to take it to another level.

    3+

  10. Jason Halderson

    The hood is a factory option. My cousin had a beautiful 1973 with black exterior accented by red pinstripes on the the body lines and red velour interior. The wheels were the Trans Am honeycomb wheels and the hood with the dual vents. It was a highly optioned car with no t-tops but, he bought it out of the showroom with those options.

    4+

  11. Mike

    The hood is most definitely an option, standard in the 73 GTO, 73-75 GrandAm’s also had this NACA hood, the 73 is a one year design having the cowl venting and is correct for this car, the 74-75 did not have the cowl venting, the T-tops however are NOT a 73 and were most likely grafted in from a later year vehicle

    10+

  12. Mike

    Oops, my bad, thought this one had the vents, it does NOT so not correct hood for the 73. But was available as an option none the same, this NACA hood is a 74 or 75

    2+

  13. KevinR

    In the ’70s and ’80s it was easy to find people to put T-tops into a variety of cars through the aftermarket. I have a hunch that is the source for the T-tops on this car.

    It seems a bit odd to see a Grand Am with roll up windows, but I guess it’s possible.

    Does the car have swivel front seats? That was probably one of the best things GM cars had in the ’70s.

    For someone who was a kid in the ’70s, this is a pretty cool car.

    5+

  14. Steve Visek

    Caveat emptor.
    Not one of one. More like one of none.
    It was not possible to order, special or RPO, T-tops on this car.

    6+

  15. George B

    What I like about this car is it’s kind of GM’s last gasp into totally extravagant styling for the econoboxes came through the highways

    Great to see a good example. I bet many of them went to the scrapyards in the 70s because of abysmal fuel mileage during the gas crises

    6+

  16. Robbie

    T-tops not direct from factory. Aftermarket either Hurst or American T-top/Sunroof Co. Hood scoop not same as CanAm. CanAms were same style scoops as early 2nd gen TA’s up through ’76. The 77 TAs went to low-profile hood scoops.

    5+

    • Steve hardy

      Probably Robbie. I just dig it but I tryed to post 73 GrandHAm 455 .all Original. ..parked it and drove a T Bird for 10 year tthen gota 76 Fleetwood llimo..46000 mi originally from Louisiana .church. rruns great.aw that’s all 🙂

      3+

      • Robbie

        Agree. I like GAs also. A little restoration and this one would be a gem of a daily driver.

        3+

  17. Tom

    Nice original GA’s are few and far between, good restoration parts are rare as well. When you’re done you have a low option car with mis-matched parts that won’t cover your expenses…not for me.

    2+

    • Steve hardy

      Yeah. Alot of $$ is needed….so i play
      …haha….but jacked up ,Gabriel hi jackers
      15″ wide meats on the back…10″” in front. New interior…rebuild 455″…I cruised Nev @105….big sound system…All History

      3+

  18. Paul R

    The fuel filter is installed backwards.

    1+

  19. Mike

    I have a 73 Grand Am that came from the factory with NACA hood scoops

    9+

  20. Car Guy

    The NACA/NASA hood could be factory ordered on the 73 Grand Am. It was going to be included with the SD-455 engine option before that was killed off due to availability issues. My father ordered an SD-455 Grand Am new. He had to change his order to the standard 455, but kept the NACA hood option on his order, and it came in equipped with that hood.

    I currently own a very original 73 Grand Am Coupe with the standard hood. The flexible nose on these did not stand the test of time. A high quality rigid fiberglass reproduction is offered by Motorealm. That is what I am currently installling on my car. T-tops were not a factory option, but either an electric, or manual crank sunroof was available, as was a 4-speed manual on the 400-4bbl (6.5 Litre) engine. The 455, (7.4 Litre) was avaiable only with the Turbo 400 transmission.

    The 73 Grand Am was the first GM car to have the headlight dimmer on the turn signal switch rather than the floor. It was also the first GM car with standard dual reclining bucket seats with lumbar adjustments on both sides. The instrument panel and console lid were also covered in real African Crossfire Mahogany for that year only. Adhesion problems meant the 74 and 75 models would switch to the plastic woodgrain inserts in place of the real wood.

    Other unique features included quick ratio power steering, special front and rear sway bars and springs, special Pliacell shock absorbers, higher durometer bushings, and the first standard use of steel belted radials as the standard tires on a GM vehicle.

    The car also came with a very nice three spoke steering wheel missing on the car picutured and very European sounding trumpets in place of the standard GM horns.

    20+

    • Robbie

      Good info Car Guy. Thanks.

      5+

    • Keith

      As a former ’73 owner myself, I was waiting to hear someone bring up the Endura vs. aftermarket fiberglass nose issue. Probably few if any Endura ones still in usable condition today.

      That said, either way is far better than the “poor man’s solution” commonly seen on these… a LeMans nose swap. The “beak” is a big part of these cars’ personality!

      5+

  21. Motrbob

    I have a 1974 16,000 mile original 400, 4 speed factory & a/c. The car still has an OEM pliable front bumper cover. This is the only one I have ever seen with an OEM cover. A lot of parts are non existent for the body. This is one of approximately 162 4 speeds built. Nobody knows the real number not even PHS. I have seen one other 2 door and two 4 door 4 speeds. What a neat driver and tour car.

    5+

    • Car Guy

      @ Motrbob,
      Love to see some pics of your car.

      There is a decent original 73 400 4-speed coupe here locally. It is equipped with the crank sunroof, factory tachometer, climate control A/C, factory AM/FM, and Honeycomb wheels.

      I’ve tried to buy it on numerous occasions. Unfortunately the owner is letting it sit out in the sun and deteriorate. Claims he is going to “fix it up” and wants to swap the original Pontiac 400 for a big block chevy…….

      0

      • Motrbob

        1974 Grand Am

        2+

      • Steve hardy

        That’s funny.400cod IS A BIG BLOCK GENERAL MOTORS (CHEVY). 🙂

        0

    • H. Fiedler

      No one knows the real number, but in 1974 833 A-bodies came with the M20 4 speed option. This would include
      350 Saginaw 4 speed in the LeMans
      400/4bbl Muncie in the Lemans
      400/4bbl Muncie in the Grand Am
      400/4bbl mid-year BW-ST-10 in the Lemans
      400/4bbl mid-year BW-ST-10 Grand Am.

      It is likely that half or more were Grand Ams.
      1974 4 speed Grand Ams are more common than LeMans 4 speeds.

      1+

      • Car Guy

        Horst,
        As the Guru to all things Pontiac Collonade, how many 73’s got the 4 speed? Were all the Grand Am’s Muncie’s with the awful Inland shifter?

        1+

      • H. Fiedler

        For 1973, 2,424 Pontiac A-bodies had the M20 option. They used the “M20” option code for any 4 speed. It could have been a Saginaw for a LeMans 350 or a Muncie for a 400. All 1973 Grand Am and GTO 4 speeds were 400s of course. You could order a LeMans with a 400 4 speed as well. There are even a few 400 4 speed LeMans station wagons and some 4dr 4 speed cars.
        As far as I know, all 400 4 speeds in 1973 were Muncies with the Inland shifter.
        The 187 number you see for 1973 4 speed Grand Ams is bogus. It’s probably more like 900-ish (just a guess on my part)

        The 4 speed options carried through into 1974 for Grand Am and LeMans (except no more 4 speed wagons). In the spring of 1974 GM switched to the BW ST-10 and the Hurst shifter probably because 4 speed sales were declining (to 833). GTO was now an X-body that could be had with a 350/Saginaw.

        1+

  22. John C Cargill

    I noticed the wrong steering wheel right away, I once had a dark red metallic 73 Grand Am with red interior and factory sunroof. They are getting rare indeed.

    0

  23. Miguel

    I have always liked these cars and from what I remember they drive very well.

    0

  24. BoneStock

    Your recommendation for a dash repair will cost 1/4 of what the BIN price is. Those guys are expensive.

    0

  25. nessy

    Here is a photo of my 74 Grand Am factory 455 fully loaded including power sunroof car. T Tops were not offered from the factory on any 73 model car except the Corvette.

    8+

  26. H. Fiedler

    The “1 of 1” claim is wishful thinking. T-tops were not offered by the factory in 1973. It was a popular aftermarket modification though. Many dealers and aftermarket shops would install them. The NASA hood was available on any Pontiac A-body, but was not well marketed.

    1+

  27. Car Guy

    How do you post pics here? I can’t seem to post mine.

    0

    • leiniedude

      Hi Car Guy, I had problems myself. I know this seem weird but works for me. Try uploading your image before your comment. It did the trick for me, good luck, Mike.

      0

  28. Car Guy

    This is the 73 I am starting with. This was taken before I began fitting the new nose. Car is still original paint and interior with an uncracked dash……

    3+

  29. Car Guy

    Here is the instrument panel and dash.

    4+

    • Tom

      She’s a beauty…Keeping or selling???

      0

    • John C Cargill

      Now that’s the right steering wheel. Mine was dark red with red interior, factory sunroof. Wish I hadn’t sold it. And it needs the right wheels. You have those too. Nice car.

      0

  30. Car Guy

    Thanks Tom,
    I searched quite a while to find the Grand Am shown above, and the plan is to keep it. I want to be able to take long weekend trips in it with my wife, The Grand Am my father ordered new looked just like this one, except his had the NACA hood. While mine is not the same car, it reminds me of him…….

    5+

  31. Car Guy

    This is a picture of the factory SD-455 prototype my father saw when he was researching his next car. His original order was placed with the SD engine. My mother wanted Florentine Red, and my father wanted Cameo White.Hence the color combo you see above.

    3+

    • Steve hardy

      MY first ride IN A GRAND AM..with my girlfriend. Her
      buddy. HAD a White one..loved its action. .Acceleration feel as she Romped on it and pushed me backbun the bucket.seat…I ‘ had to have one.. so….I’ve
      ..driven it for 11 years.IN Hollywood..Rock star
      car..my friend all wanted a ticket to ride.. I scared the Zepp outa them lol…coolest cars ever. If I had alot Of money. I’d do it again…lol

      0

    • Tom

      Car Guy, I enjoyed hearing your story first hand, that the SD-455 was truly sought out by buyers, and it wasn’t just folklore.
      The closest I got an original GA was a number of years ago when an original owner 50k mile silver w/blk vinyl top and red cloth interior car was for sale on PA craigslist. I asked the owner for pics, and he sent me polaroids in the mail!. The only other nice one recently for sale was ebay a few years ago…a beautiful car at a very good price…I’m still kicking myself for holding out…I’m still looking.

      1+

  32. Car Guy

    Tom,
    My father was a performance car guy, and a much bigger leadfoot than I will ever be. He always tried to get the top engine option available in what ever car he purchased. He almost switched to the 73 Olds 442 with the 455 and swivel buckets when he was told he could not get the SD motor in the Grand Am. However, he really liked the Grand Am instrument panel better than the 442’s which was not available with a tachometer that year. He still got the standard 455, 3.42 positraction differential, Turbo 400 and dual exhausts. That Grand Am suprised a lot of pony cars of the day……

    There are still some decent examples out there. I can keep an eye out if you let me know what features you are after. They made more 73’s than 74’s or 75’s. Of course I wanted the 73 because it was the same year as my fathers car……..

    2+

    • Tom

      Car Guy,
      Yes, please keep an eye out for me. I’m looking for a clean car. Ideally I would like a 73 (74 or 75 is fine too), clean original interior (I’ve had Monte Carlo’s and Malibu’s from the 70’s with cracked cracked dashes and plastic issues and don’t want to go there), the more pwr options the better, but pwr windows at minimum, A/C for sure, 400 is fine if it’s a 4 bbl, 455 is better. Good paint and no-rust history…is that asking too much? Now you see why I’m still looking lol, but thanks, I appreciate your help. That White one in your pic would be perfect!
      Tom

      0

      • Car Guy

        Hi Tom,
        How do I contact you. Is there a member contact page on this site?

        0

      • Tom

        I’ll ask the moderators if there’s a way to message

        0

  33. cudaman

    Here’s a section out of the “Options and Accessories” pamphlet for the 1973 Pontiacs. As you can see the T-tops were not offered, only sunroofs.

    2+

  34. Car Guy

    There is a very nice Black 73 on ebay right now. No restoration necessary.

    0

  35. Tom

    I saw that listing and messaged the seller right away about when could I see the car (It’s only 5 miles away from me!). He has not responded…I’ll try again, hopefully it was an oversight, but if he’s unwilling to show the car, I would be reluctant to bid on it. The paint and condition look great. He states it’s a 455 but it shows a 6.5 badge on the trunk? My only wish would be pwr windows, but I bet that could be retro-fitted.
    Thanks for the heads up CG !

    0

    • Car Guy

      Most likely the owner swapped in a 455. Easy bolt in install with a Pontiac V8 engine

      The 7.4 deck lid has differently spaced mounting holes for the 7.4 emblem.

      Old power windows can be problamatic.

      I also own a 68 El Camino with crank windows. I actually enjoy cranking the windows open. Maybe because crank windows have just about gone the way of the Dodo. I really like the vent windows on the Elco too.

      Also, other than replacing the crank knob from time to time, these never seem to break.

      Hope you get to check out this one being so close by.

      0

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