1-Of-94: 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix 428 HO 4-Speed!

Often when I hear “One of…” I immediately think it’s going to be something so obscure – and likely undesirable, like British Racing Green with blue interior and radio delete – that I’ve become accustomed to ignoring what makes it “one of.” This “one of,” however, is one you’ll want to pay attention to. This 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix was sent in by a Barn Finds reader who found it here on eBay in Peoria, Arizona. After 31 bids the current high bid is $28,301, but the reserve has not been met.

Even though I usually have an unpopular opinion, I think this one will be the opposite – 1969 was the year the Grand Prix got everything right. It was the first model year of the second generation and was coming into its own as a solid personal luxury car with optional performance. This one falls into that “performance” category as it’s equipped with a 428 cubic-inch HO V8. More on that later.

Not only was Pontiac getting everything right with the Grand Prix, but the original buyer of this one did too. That Expresso Brown paint without a vinyl top coupled with black steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps is the perfect look. A frame-off restoration was completed in 2012 and has held up well. The body, paint, and brightwork all appears to be in very good condition.

The seller says this interior color is Mustang Gold. I find it to be a nice complement to the brown exterior. The little bit of woodgrain on the dash does a nice job of breaking up the beige. Everything inside looks like it’s in very good condition. A full console divides the front bucket seats. It’s hard to miss that 3-pedal set-up, which is part of what makes this Grand Prix an extra special one.

Under the hood, we find what really makes this Grand Prix special. That’s a 428 HO engine that produces 390 horsepower. The addition of the 4-speed manual transmission makes this, as the seller claims, 1 of 94 produced in that configuration. The 3.23 rear axle was a special-order option. The engine has been rebuilt with upgrades, including forged pistons and hydraulic roller cam that the seller says is “close to factory specs.” A 3” Flowmaster exhaust has also been added.

There should be no argument that this is a special car. The rarity of the driveline combination alone makes that evident. With the auction end near, the price doesn’t seem unreasonable for what’s been presented. What’s your prediction for the hammer price?

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Comments

  1. Snotty

    Last yr. of the 4 spd, offered in the Grand Prix. Chrome delete and no pseudo vinyl top along with the dog dish caps.has this G.P. looking menacing and a serious street contender to its competition with the 4 spd. 3.23 axle, bit hi.

    Like 15
    • morrisangelo

      4-speed were available on GPs into 1971, but briefly that year. Option was axed early in the year and only 52 were made.

      Like 12
    • Keith

      four speed trams was available until 71 .These are great cars but this one not having power steering takes a lot of fun out of driving it.

      Like 4
      • Robt

        Never missed power steering in my 66 Fairlane with a 351 in it. A bit of a bear to park sometimes but as a driver power steering is over rated in my book. Especially back then when power steering meant absolutely no feel what so ever of the road.

    • Kraig Burnett

      Pontiac offered 3 pedals in 73 and 74 Grand Am which was a LeMans.

  2. Bultaco

    A really cool car from the best era of Pontiac, but I’d like it better with AC and Rally II wheels.

    Like 12
    • Dana

      428 HO wasn’t available with factory AC.

      • Goatsnvairs

        428 has a 4″ stroke, 389/400 have a 3.75″ stroke. A/C WAS available with the 428 HO. https://www.pontiacv8.com/articles/2019/3/5/1969-pontiac-grand-prix-sj-428-ho-rapid-rarity

        Like 1
      • CCFisher

        That article you cited notes that A/C was not available with the 428 HO/4-speed combo, and the 1969 Pontiac brochure indicates that A/C was not available at all with the 428 HO.

        https://www.lov2xlr8.no/brochures/pontiac/p69/bilder/14.jpg

        Like 2
      • Goatsnvairs

        Original comment said A/C was not available with the 428HO. Yes it was, if you chose the TH400. A/C was only not available with the 4 speed.

      • Goatsnvairs

        CCFisher: The sales brochure does not even say no A/C with the 4 speed, it says no A/C with those optional gear ratios. Look at comment b. Automatic WITH A/C rear gear ratio 3:42.

      • Keith

        Being a Pontiac parts manager in the early seventies the 428 HO was available with A/C but Pontiac detuned it with a smaller cam and of course the highest gear with A/C was 3:23 to keep that belt on at higher revs. These cars were mid thirteens with the 3:90 gears.

        Like 5
      • Goatsnvairs

        And there you have it, thanks Keith.

  3. William Shields

    Really makes me wish I could talk to the original owner and ask him his thoughts on ordering this.
    Today it stands out. Back in 69 when you could walk into any dealership and walk out with a balls to the wall muscle car this would have stood out even more.

    Like 7
    • Jim

      Id like to see the build sheet for this car. I question whether dog dishes were oem to this car. Yes AC was available. Remember this was a personal luxury car. One step down from an eldorado. Rally 2s would have been standard.

      Like 1
  4. Mitchell Gildea Member

    This car over a same year GTO change my mind

    Like 13
    • Goatsnvairs

      I can’t. You could never get the stroker 428 in a GTO. I would take this (but I already have a GTO so…).

      Like 6
      • Dana

        “Stroker 428”? 421 had the same stroke, and the 389/400 had a smaller main journal crank. So what got “stroked” to make it such?

      • Goatsnvairs

        Dana: Wrong, 428 has a 4″ stroke with large journals, 389/400 are 3.75″ stroke and small journal. 421/428 are a family, 389/400 a separate family, 455 stroke all its own.

        Like 3
  5. local_sheriff

    Were those dog dish caps actually available for this year GP too…?

    Like 4
    • Jim

      I dont think so.

      Like 1
    • Chuck Dickinson

      I actually believe that wheelcovers were std on GPs.

      Like 2
      • Keith

        Back in the day you could delete items that were standard for a credit. Things today you would never be able to do. Radio delete was a very popular credit and heater delete was a credit on a lot of cars . Hub caps I am sure were on that list of delete credits.

        Like 1
  6. Matt W

    That interior really does it for me, the dash design is fantastic. The HO and 4-speed don’t hurt either!

    Like 8
  7. Goatsnvairs

    Wow, this one ticks all the boxes. 428 is actually superior to the 455 (I have both). 4 bolt mains, 390hp, and a stick to boot. Mild rear axle for cruising, no vinyl top. This will probably not reach reserve, but its worth much more than where it is.

    Like 16
  8. Joe Haska

    WOW! Neat car, but the amazing thing is I live in Peoria AZ. I would love to go see it, so if anyone is interested, I would be glad to go look at it, and give an unbiased opinion of it.

  9. Gunner

    Wow, just wow. The best year of the Grand Prix for me. It checks all the right boxes. I would much rather have this than many other more popular and higher dollar Detroit cars of the same era, all makes aside. A gentleman’s musclecar for sure. 69 was IMHO, the best year across the board for cars. This Pontiac is right there with them.

    Like 13
  10. Sam61

    Don’t forget about the awesome door handles! They should been standard issue on all Caddies, Riviera, Toronado and Monte Carlo.

    Like 7
    • Rick Rothermel

      Identical to ’55 DeSoto door handles.

  11. peter Kaczmarski

    wow, no power steering also. I suspect the owner is looking for 50k.

    Like 2
    • morrisangelo

      This is a holy grail car among GP nuts like myself. It will likely end at auction with a pretty steep price tag.

      Like 2
    • Bill D

      Can’t imagine trying to park this with that big heavy lump up front and no power steering.

      Like 5
      • K. R. V. Member

        After driving a tractor trailer for Roadway in the mid 80’s, that used fleets of Ford C 900 single axle cab over tractors. Powered by huge 401, 477, 534 ci Super Duty V8’s that made good low end torque. All hooked to 5 speed transmission with 2speed rear ends. With a GVWR of 70,000 lbs! With NO POWER STEERING! Plus after a few hundred thousand shifts the complicated shifting linkage would get so worn out if you weren’t careful your knuckles would get bruised slamming into the steel dashboard! With very simple heat and defrosters for the huge windshield and no insulation between you and the body/bumper you would freeze in the winter, but sitting over one of those huge HOT V8’s in the summertime heat? With only a thin metal bulkhead between you and the exhaust manifolds? The saving grace of those odd looking tractors was the outstanding maneuverability they had! But with 2, 70 gallon gas tanks, one in each side, the range in city driving was only around 300-360 miles! It was only after the 1987 models came out that we saw them with small NA Cat V8’s

        Like 3
  12. Jeff Hargis

    Dang, no power steering. Very odd, deal breaker for me. Love it otherwise.

    • Goatsnvairs

      Pretty easy to add an OEM setup, did it on my GTO. Steering box, pump, brackets pulley. Just keep all the original stuff.

      Like 1
  13. Troy s

    Clean machine,,,,there’s no wrecking it, no accidental fires, no impounding, no nothing that would cause harm to this racy poncho. Ha!
    Running thru the gears, a must.

    Like 4
  14. Mark

    The 69 Grand Prix was exciting when it was new.

    So exciting my dads friend that had a string of even model year Pontiac’s in a row, traded his 68 Bonneville coupe for a 69 GP. then bought a 71, and a 73 before going back to Bonneville/Granville in 75

    The guy had a 75 with rectangular headlights by the end of august 74, a few weeks ahead of intro day for the 75s

    15 year old me asks him how he did that.

    Easy. Stan T (local dealer) loves me and my car came in so he said I might as well be driving it and showing it off.

    Like 1
  15. John

    I had, heretofore, thought these were 421 ci, not 428. I learned something new.

    Like 1
    • Martin Boykin

      Good for you ! You are the first person on the internet to admit they didnt know something , and admitted it ! You are a good person. Have a great day !

      Like 5
    • Spanky

      421 is part of the large journal family that the 428 is part of but I believe was released in 1962 in both drag and NASCAR race configurations. PMD had to sell them to the GP to homologize them. est. HP around 465 (Gross) 510 Tq pushing a big poncho to a mid 12s 1/4 mile et.

      Like 2
      • Spanky

        high 13s et in street trim.

  16. Comet

    This one could (and should) go for all the money. The underside shots look to be a no expense spared and correct restoration. Beautiful car!

    Like 6
  17. DRV

    This is THE best factory hotrod ever for me.Everything else is just another one of those. I’m in awe. It’s the most bad ass beast I’ve ever seen that I could picture myself owning. Someone is going to be very lucky to have this.

    Like 4
  18. MJD

    This car is museum quality, ultra rare one family owned jewel. The family should keep it forever. However whatever the price may be the new owner shall own one of the best ones existing.

    Like 1
  19. Desert Rat

    Love the car, hate the black steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps, sorry I know to each his own but it amazes me how much people like this look and how much I can’t stand it. I just can’t believe that anyone that had a car back in the 60s or 70s would drive around with that combination for more than the time it took to drive to the nearest wheel shope and install a set of mag wheels. And I don’t want to hear that’s the way the came from the factory, so what, they also came with plastic covering on the seats and a paper floor mat to protect the carpeting but no drives around with that on there restored cars .

    Like 9
    • Dave

      My parents’ generation put plastic covers over car seats, kitchen chairs, living room furniture, you name it. They worked hard and paid a lot of money and wanted it to last forever. Plastic floor mats too. To your point, if someone ordered this car hoping that it would somehow be inconspicuous they missed the mark.

      Like 4
  20. Dave Rhodes

    where’s the video man !

  21. Jcs

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    They both lack the requisite (for me) A/C, but this and the green Challenger T/A also shown here today have me seriously debating updating my collection and making room regardless. Just damn.

    Outstanding write ups on both examples, both drool worthy.

    Like 3
    • Dana

      428 HO not available with AC.

  22. Cdice

    Photos of shifter aren’t clear but I rode in an SJ in 69 or 70 and the shifter had a kink in it bringing the knob a little closer to driver.

  23. Keith

    The more I look at this car the more I want to own it. Of course I would put power steering on it and not sure about that 3:23 gear maybe a 3:73 would work better.

    Like 2
  24. Russ Hackenburg

    With 3:23 gears I wonder if you had to slip the clutch to get it rolling in first gear?

    • Goatsnvairs

      Put a 3:23 posi in my GTO. Actually a nice gear if your plan is to cruise it more than drag it. That 428HO will still smoke the tires off with it.

  25. 455RAIV

    Friend had a 69 GP 428HO 390 hp Auto Mostly drove it in the 70’s used to leave Camaro’s etc. in the Dust > Royal Pontiac etc. would put the 428 in Lighter Firebirds – GTO’s – they would Leave a lot of the Street Rats in the Weeds – looking :)

    Like 1
  26. bill pressler

    I love these cars, but full wheelcovers were standard on Grand Prixs, not dog-dish caps like a Tempest, and the front seats have been reupholstered in what appears to be a non-stock pattern. I love original looks. Still, nice car.

    Like 2
  27. Steve Bush Member

    Final bid of $39,450.00 at 7 seconds before the 9 pm cdt deadline doesn’t met the reserve. There were 53 bids.

    Like 1
  28. Gus Fring

    The color is Espresso Brown, not “Expresso Brown”. There is no such word as “expresso”. There is no “x” in “espresso”.

  29. Trey Bien

    Just to be clear, 119 were ordered with the 428 HO and manual transmission, but only 94 had the wide-ratio 4-speed.

    Like 3
    • Keith

      There was 1014 manual GP cars in 69 277 of them were 3-sp floor shift cars.There was actually 302 M-22 cars built. Going to have to dig out my old parts book to see how that was broken down. I think it has to do with rear gear ratio on what trans is going in the car.

  30. Keith

    As I dig more into the 428HO 4 speed cars there was 116 . 94 M-20 cars and 22 M-21 cars the 22 M-21 cars were 3:90 geared.Seems the M-22 cars and once I get to the parts books to confirm were all 400 4-sp cars.. Might be easier to call PHS .

    • Trey Bien

      The only manual transmissions available in 1969 were M13, M20, and M21. Production numbers with the HO were, respectively:

      3
      94
      22

      That’s a total of 119.

      I do believe the M21 cars received 3.90 gears or better.

      • Keith

        I was a parts manger for Pontiac starting in 1972 . I have some of the old books and will look up if the parts are listed for a M-22 G body. I had three 69-70 GP’s and one was a 4-sp 400 car.The first Pontiac I bought was a Ram Air 2 68 GTO convertible one of 4 built. It is in a collection in Chicago. Rob Lozins owns it now.

        Like 1
  31. PapaCharlie

    What a great car,I had one and drove it as a daily driver for years back in the mid 90’s. It was a head turner and everybody always commented on it. I kick myself for letting a friend take it from me. Out of all the cars I had I wish I had my bad-A 69 GrandPrix….if you have the money buy it!

  32. Mark L

    I own a PHS documented 69 GP 428HO with all matching nos. Survivor car… I’m the 3rd owner. Its a TH400 car with factory air and 3.23 rear. As stated earlier in these comments a/c was only available with the TH400.

    • Keith

      Being I was a parts manger back in those days the auto cars had the smaller cam but the good exhaust manifolds. The 4-sp cars with the bigger cam ran a bit better but the HO motor was a great engine and I built up my HO with the Ram Air 4 cam but you have to gear it. I had 3:90 gears. The idle was like a race car with that cam. Remember Sunoco 260 was the gas of choice back then.

  33. SIXNESS

    I own a 69 GP 428 H.O . It is a automatic with A/C . I also have PHS showing it.

    Like 1

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