One Year Only: Pontiac Grand Prix Aero Coupe

Barn Finds reader Dean B. shows us that cheap Aero Coupes do exist, despite their rarity and relative desirability among fans of this unusual 2+2 model. You’ll find this $5,000 coupe up north, available here on kijiji in Canada where the seller claims he is winding down his collection, citing a problem many of us would like to have: too many vehicles, not enough time. 

The glass canopy in the rear hatch area is synonymous with the Aero Coupe, effectively giving this perennial two-door the appearance of a hatchback coupe. Though that wasn’t the intention, the unusual looks combined with a very low production of just over 1,200 cars made the Aero Coupe a collector favorite right from the start.

For me, this Aero Coupe hovers somewhere between being a survivor or just a used car with some cosmetic needs. The mileage is average, with 120,000 KMs recorded. The interior looks to be in better shape than the exterior, with clean cloth buckets and an unmarred dashboard. The front fender in the top photo makes the entire front clip look like a different color, and the gaps between the hood, bumpers and fenders appear off.

The 305 motor is paired to a factory limited slip rear end, and the drivetrain is said to function as intended. The seller does mention that the Aero Coupe “shows some of its age” which can be interpreted any number of ways. I do think the car has some cosmetic needs but still looks good for the miles; whether there’s anything else warranting further inspection will depend on how much you want own this cheap – and rare – Aero Coupe.

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Comments

  1. Ed

    That works out to 3700$ US .

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  2. dirtyharry

    I like all those aero coupes. This one was likely so fast, that the front end was ripped off. The entire front clip was likely damaged, before someone laid down half a paint job. I am sure you noticed the battery is not connected, so that usually means something is funky. The 305 and the 200R4 is a grocery getter drivetrain, so I doubt that slippery rear glass means much on the street. I imagine the back glass will be worth the asking price in 5-10 years, so the rest of the car is free. Happy Holidays all.

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    • Foxxy

      The batt is connected,, it has top, and side posts.

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  3. Jerry HW Brentnell

    my x brother in law had a grande prix the same year, same gut less power train too! the fit and finish was terrible front seats were like sitting on a hardwood plank! so to each there own on this car

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  4. Rock On

    Canada is a fairly large country Jeff. You could probably narrow down the location a bit by saying that is in Regina, Saskatchewan. The mileage is around 70,000 miles. Not bad for a 30 plus year old car!
    Merry Christmas to all the Barn Finds readers and writers.

    *Highly-rated. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  5. sparkster

    I thought these were designed in this shape to give some of the Nascar teams running these a little advantage. I can’t remember which teams were running Pontiac’s during this era. Back when in Nascar you had to use the body shape the car was manufactured in .

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    • rando

      Yes the mods on this one were to meet homologation requirements of the day. They put the rubber nose on front and big back glass and tiny trunk lid on for NASCAR. Like the MCSS Aero, except the glass and all was different on these. The trunk became almost unusable because the opening was so small, I think it was.

      Would this have to meet smog requirements? Could it be modified to perform better? Would an old pontiac 400 or bigger fit? That would be fun. A “throwback” drivetrain. Work on teh interior – make it better. I guess I would be more “pro touring” when I got done. Does anyone make a 17 or 18″ Rallye style wheel for these? New paint. I can imagine several ways to go with this one.

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      • Tirefriar

        With respect to smog requirements it depends what state you want to register it in. If in Commiefornia, it will not pass smog with the mods you are proposing.

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  6. BradL

    A 305 with 165hp and a 3600+lb curb weight? No thanks. I’ll take an 86 Alfa GTV-6 with virtually the same horsepower (160hp) from a 152ci V6, a curb weight of 2700 lbs, at that wonderful GTV-6 noise!

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    • Tirefriar

      Brad, whoever gave you thumbs down probably never seen a GTV-6 nor heard the Busso engine…

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    • Jeff DeWitt

      I’d be willing to bet the Pontiac would be a lot easier (and cheaper!) to fix when it breaks.

      Personally I’d rather have a nice Studebaker than either the Pontiac or the Alfa, we all like different things!

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      • Tirefriar

        Jeff, ditto on liking different things. I almost bought an Avanti II from Chicago dealer had it not been for their stupid deposit policy. As for repairing the Alfa, a properly maintained AR would seldom break to the point here repairs become excessive. Some things, like inboard rear brakes on the 116 chassis would be more expensive than a brake job on this Pontiac. But the fun factor is with the AR.

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      • Jeff DeWitt

        Tirefriar, I’m sure you’re right about the Alfa being more fun, I really don’t imagine this Pontiac would be all that much fun to drive. It seems to me to be one of those cars that’s rare for a reason, most people didn’t care for them when they were new.

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  7. Mr. TKD

    While not an attractive car, it IS a desirable one. My interest in this would purely be its “buy-and-hold” value.

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  8. Chuck Cobb

    typically GM cars used a side post battery, this could be a battery with both sets of posts.

    *Highly-rated. Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  9. newport pagnell

    This would be a cool build for ECTA speed runs. Add a LS and race. Be interesting to see how much “aero” it has…

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  10. MrBlueOval 57

    The big-three were just experimenting with base-coat/clear-coat paint back in the 1980’s and clear-coats were literally peeling off in sheets so this one survived pretty good but might have been garaged from the sun a lot. Fit and finish was definitely an issue with the newly used plastic (ABS) bumpers and header panels warping from the heat of the engine and the sun, seat upholstery didn’t hold up either and was like sitting on a wooden bench after about 10K miles. Weight was an issue with EPA gas mileage restrictions so a lot of cheap plastic was being used on GM cars instead of steel in the 80’s along with small under-powered engines and the older coil spring suspensions that were made for heavy steel cars didn’t work well with the lighter bodies and hence, the ride quality suffered. Ford was still using a lot of steel so their ride was still nice and Ford’s floated down the road but GM cars road like an old covered wagon. Ford’s 5.0L engine was awesome. 250k miles was average and is still the requested engine for any HI-PO Ford of that era. If I were looking for a GM Aero-Coupe, I would probably go with the Monte Carlo SS Aero-Coupe with factory T-Tops which was a lot more pleasing to the eyes with the “SS” frontend on it and tail lights. I’d add Koni adjustable shocks all the way around and probably restuff the seats for a comfortable ride.

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  11. RicK

    So its one year only – and what model year would that be? And does anybody know if GM offered a manual trans in these or were they all automatics? Another interior build issue with GMs of this vintage was the headliner would fall down after a few years especially in hot weather, like it did in my ’84 Trans Am and my buddy’s ’84 Monte Carlo SS.

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    • Mr. TKD

      I don’t believe manuals were an option on these cars.

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      • Rod_Munch

        They only came with a 305 and an automatic. Very few options were available on these cars as the 2+2 package included many items as standard equipment.

        It was an expensive package too — only 1225 made. The nose, deck lid and back glass are all unique to the car and it was only made for one year.

        I know that parts were difficult to locate even when Pontiac was still building cars.

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    • rando

      Have to be like 86, 87, or maybe as late as 88? Right before the GP changed to FWD W platform. I think that was the change. I would guess 86 or 87 without googling it.

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  12. Pappy2d

    305 with a limited slip. That diff option probably ordered for winter driving.
    I had a 305 in an 86 Chevy stepside. A lack of traction was never an issue on dry roads.

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  13. Vintageracer

    I have owned 5 of these Pontiac Aero Coupes over the years.

    Gutless wonder’s with the 305. A 5.3 or 6.0 LS with a TKO Tremec 5 Speed make these cars a blast to drive.

    Of course a 5.3 or 6.0 LS engine with TKO 5 Speed makes most ANYTHING a blast to drive.

    This one is reasonably priced and in decent condition.

    The nose and rear window alone will bring 60% of the asking price right now.

    Is it even possible to get to Regina Saskatchewan from Tennessee?

    Something to consider on a long and boring Christmas day!

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  14. Rustytech

    You can get there from Tennessee, but you’d something much faster than this car to do it in a day!

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    • Jeff DeWitt

      Just out of curiosity I just punched it into Mapquest. If you are going to Nashville from Regina it looks like you CAN do it in a day if you really push it. (just barely, 1625 miles, 24 hr, 42 min).

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  15. Terry

    I have a 83 grand prix lj.Had it for 12 years .love driving it.only one around in my area.Cuttless and monte carlo yes but no grand prix.only thing I liked about the Aero coupe was the back gass.

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  16. mars2878

    200 1986 Monte Carlo aero coupe’s
    1225 1986 Pontiac 2+2 aero coupe’s
    6052 1987 Monte Carlo aero coupe’s

    All 2+2 models came equipped with a corporate 305 cu in (5.0 L) four-barrel engine, the 200-4R four-speed automatic transmission and 3.08:1 rear axle ratio.

    http://www.laureneng.com/1817117.html

    this company has all kinds of parts to restore or clone an aero coupe

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