Gentleman’s Brute: 1969 Grand Prix Model J

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While a ’69 Pontiac Grand Prix may not get most of us excited, these personal luxury coupes offered impressive power in a more upscale wrapper – think of it as a grown-up GTO. This 1969 Grand Prix Model J here on craigslist in British Columbia is an impressive survivor and features the 400CI motor churning out 350 b.h.p. In addition, this is a non-A/C car that still wears its original dog dish hubcaps, making this Grand Prix a bit of a sleeper until you see the dual exhausts poking out the back. The seller is looking for $5,900 or best offers made in person. 

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While not terribly uncommon, the mid-level Model J did give the Grand Prix some legitimate street cred under the hood. There were just over 112,000 made, so you can find any number of them online, but few of them are as pleasingly stock as this example. The car has been repainted once in either an original color or a shade close to original, but the seller doesn’t specify. The presence of some rust is alluded to and is said to be minimal for a car of this vintage. Those rear mufflers give this Grand Prix a far more aggressive presence from the rear, but they’d be even more intimidating if it was optioned with the 428 or 455 mill.

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The interior looks presentable, but there is some sun damage to contend with. While this rear seat, the dash and headliner are all in good condition, the seller does note that the carpets, door panels, console and rear package tray will all require some work to be perfect. The front seats are also torn and being held together with tape, so factor some upholstery work into the final sale price. The presence of bucket seats and the original radio are bonuses, and not having to mess with factory A/C eliminates a costly gremlin. The stylish wrap-around dashboard gave driver’s a true cockpit to operate from, despite being inside a large coupe body like the Grand Prix.

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The stripped-down features of this car, from the hubcaps to the A/C delete, make me curious as to who the first owner was. I suppose you can argue that being in BC means A/C isn’t needed, but it’s hard not to indulge the thought of a young executive seeking out a respectable ride while still wanting to have a muscle car in the garage. The real hot ticket are the manual transmission-equipped Model J’s, but those are rare than hen’s teeth with only 1,014 ever rolling off the assembly line with three pedals. This looks like an entertaining cruiser to me; does anyone else find the Model J an appealing choice as a gentleman’s hot rod?

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Comments

  1. piper62j

    Pretty good find.. I owned a 75 gran prix with all the trimmings including a sun roof and “velour” interior.. All the toys.. Two tone silver and metallic grey with a 400ci..That pussy cat would set you back in the buckets on full open throttle..The carburetor made roar when all 4 barrels were wide open..

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it..

    This is a great find for a great car.. I believe it would be a very good driver..

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    • Michael

      I had a 75 Grand Prix also. Same colors. Had a sunroof also. My first car was a 70 Grand Prix Model J Silver in color with green interior and no air.

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  2. Glen

    South Okanagon, is a semi-arid desert region, hot and dry, I’m surprised it doesn’t have A/C. Atleast it’s not humid! I hate that stuff. I have to admit, I find this car more appealing today, then I would have thirty years ago. It’s not my first choice, but it’s interesting.

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  3. Roselandpete

    I love those GPs but no AC seems strange to me.

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  4. Bob S

    Mum had a Green one. I quite liked that car (As a passenger) I remember thwacking my finger on more than one occasion on those door handles.
    Hockey Star Yvan Cournoyer (#12 the Road Runner) had an SJ with a 455. The things you remember.

    1+

  5. Charles H.

    Nice car, I think the first thing I would do, is add a set of the PMD factory rally wheels, then start driving and enjoying!

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  6. DRV

    I like the bas wheel treatment that I have never seen before…..the rally wheels are everywhere.
    The strip down of this one really shows what a cool design it is.

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  7. Rando

    Oh yeah, love it. My first car was a 73 GP – don’t remember the designation or if it had one. $300. 400, 4bbl, duals that would moan nicely when you really got into the secondaries. Hoo yeah baby. Would smoke one tire unmercifully. lol. Interior was perfect, exterior needed paint. Great first car. Wish I had it now…

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  8. tbone

    “but they’d be even more intimidating if it was optioned with the 428 or 455 mill”

    FYI, the 455 was not offered until 1970.

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    • John

      And there was not a 428. It was a 421.

      1+

      • Marc

        Wrong. The 421 was not available in 1969. The 428 was however available in various Pontiac models.

        1+

  9. George

    AC was not a commonly installed option in the ’60s and started seeing its rise in the ’70s when 50% of cars started having it installed. In the ’80s and ’90s it was still an extra cost option for most cars.

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    • George

      Not to mention the horsepower (and fuel economy) that it robbed the engine of, even when turned off.

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    • Ed P

      By 69 a/c was a common feature on most cars except econobox models in the lower 48 states. Since this car is in BC Canada where the weather is cooler, maybe a/c was a bit slower to catch on.

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  10. Neil G.

    Loved the air gulping sound those 4 barrels made on my parents ’72 GP. Vaaaa-Roooom….

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  11. Bryan

    My dad owned a black 70 Grand Prix with the 428. As a kid I was quite impressed…it was good looking and Dad liked to drive it fast!

    He preferred and bought Chrysler products with the exception of a few Pontiacs (the GP and a 59 & 60 Bonneville).

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  12. Jubjub

    Much, much cooler than the more popular Monte Carlo. More ’66 ElDorado inspiration, the cockpit dash and those refrigerator door handles. I love the Rally IIs and the Polycast “Honey Combs” even better on these. But I’ve only seen this wheel treatment in promo shots so I’d have to keep them on. They must be extremely rare.

    When I was about four or five years old, I watched one of these, triple parchment color with Rally IIs, burning and being suppressed in the schoolyard up the street. Was intense for my little brain. It didn’t help that my sister, in charge of me, was threatening to put me inside of it. Can still particularly remember the burnt, melted and discolored vinyl on the B pillar.

    A guy I know recounted a very high speed run in one of these with his father, a doctor, to deliver a baby at the hospital.

    Nothing wrong with a Poncho 400 at all. As I’ve probably ranted before, my ’73 Grand Am 400 with just a two barrel and single exhaust moved out nicely.

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  13. Creth Haas

    My first car was a 1972 grand Prix SJ model with a 455 hydromatic transmission a lot of car for a 16 year old. True story the speedometer went to 140 I did barry the speedo one time a 140. All I can say I wished I still had that car it was just beautiful

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  14. Dave Sutton

    I like it too. Wish it were an SJ or even a SSJ!

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    • Gastegall

      SSJ? Must be rare!

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