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17-year Slumber: 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix LJ

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Well, hello there; come here often? What a beauty! I know, I know, it’s not a “classic”, it’s a 1970s GM car (insert “malaise era” joke after joke here). But, man, what find! This 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix is in the City of Angels – Los Angeles, California – and it’s an angel of a car.

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This was a one-owner car bought new in Glendale, California in December of 1976. It traveled about 91,000 mostly highway miles between the owner’s house and a friend’s casino in Las Vegas until the owner passed away in 1987. His widow rarely used the car and it was then put away to rest for the next seventeen years. This photo shows it in its former resting spot.

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And, here it is now; what a transformation! Ok, it isn’t a Delahaye or a Duesenberg, but it sure is beautifully well-preserved for a 39-year old car.

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This is the LJ, or luxury model, Grand Prix, as opposed to the SJ, the sport version, or the base model, the plain ol’ J. 1977 was the last year of the third-generation Grand Prix before GM went to a smaller car in 1978. 1977 was also the best year ever for Grand Prix sales with 288,430 cars sold and 66,741 of them were the LJ models.

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This car looks perfect from the photos, but the seller mentions that there are a few “small paint chips and a few dings but nothing too major, small dings on the stainless trim around the wheel arches.” The Mandarin Orange paint isn’t faded from either the California or Las Vegas sun and the vinyl top looks almost as good as new, too.

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I can picture the former owner taking the 4.5-hour drive to Las Vegas twice a month, sitting in this seat, the AC cranked, maybe some jazz on the in-dash 8-track player; there’s nothing like a road trip! The seller bought the car from the original owners’ daughter and she said that they used to put beach towels on the seats to preserve them; it looks like it worked! Even the trunk looks almost like new.

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This car is powered by the Oldsmobile 6.6L, 403 V8; a 1977-only option. Only Oldsmobile engines would pass California’s tougher emissions regulations, so a Pontiac V8 wasn’t available for cars sold in the Golden State. This beautiful time machine is found on eBay with bids going strong and steady and currently at $6,500 with seven full days left on the auction! Would you take this car on road trips or would you keep it mostly in storage to preserve it? I’d drive the heck out of this beautifully-preserved Pontiac!


  1. Rick

    Not crazy about metallic orange

    Like 1
    • Barry T

      And I do not recall ever seeing one this color.

      Like 0
  2. Rob

    “Curl up and dye” reminds me of a certain movie with Carrie Fisher :)

    Like 0
    • grant

      I understand your reference, but what is its context to this car?

      Like 0
  3. Anastos

    Love the Mandarin Orange! Been looking for a 74/75 Cadillac in the same color for ages but they’re hard to find and stupid priced when they’re for sale.

    Like 0
  4. Charles

    Weekend cruiser.

    Like 0
  5. Sukey

    Looks awesome
    Love the colour and the wheels
    Might be a little hard on fuel for daily use
    Would make an awesome weekend show car
    I hope those aren’t the original tires though

    Like 1
  6. Cattoo CattooButt Member

    I’d drive that car plenty and in spite of the odd looking blinkers between the headlights front end. I had a 1976 Gran Prix with the 400 in it. Had it shipped home from Hawaii in 1991 and ended up having to get rid of it before rebuilding the motor to include a large cam and two Holley 600cfm carbs on a offy manifold. Still have much of the parts too. Pistons, fuel pump, high volume oil pick up, valve springs and valves and such. Never got to put that built 400 in my ’69 Custom S. Bummer time in life for me but I made it through.

    Like 0
  7. Howard A Member

    Last of the big GP’s, ( although it looks a little smaller than the earlier ones, but it’s not) I always liked these dashboards, and that long hood. I’m sure there will be issues that will pop up, but this is a “left lane” car, for sure. Made to roll, and with the way people drive now, you’d fit right in. Very cool car. I like the color too. Not black or silver.

    Like 0
  8. Bob S

    Never seen a bench seat and column shifter in this era Grand Prix. The car I learned to drive on was a 73 6.6l. What a great driving car. I actually though it handled like a sports car. My Mother almost always cruised at 100 MPH driving this car in Quebec going up and down the Laurentian Autoroute.

    Like 0

    Odd color and no console. I don’t know if I could live with it. Make mine black.

    Like 0
  10. Chris

    My mom had one of these when I was in high school. Same year, but it was gold. What a great ride! Sadly, I totaled that car by T-boning a drunk driver in a Dodge Ramcharger. I wish I had the scratch to jump into this auction because this one’s a beauty.

    Like 0
  11. Dairymen

    One owner car, and current owner bought it from daughter of 1st owner. So technically it’s a 3 owner car, or if you want to call dad & daughter 1 owner it’s still a 2 owner car.

    Like 0
  12. JACKinNWPA Jack NWPA Member

    I had a 1977 SJ for nine years,charcoal and silver tu-tone 400/400 console,full gages,wire covers and Hurst T-tops. great car. makes me want to buy this but I to would be repelled by the bench seat.

    Like 0
  13. grant

    It is well preserved if you are interested in this era of car. Personally, the sellers ad is so hard to read I would be more interested in giving him a remedial English course…

    Like 0
    • cyclemikey

      Oh please. The ad text is very easy to understand and reasonably comprehensive, with a few minor typos. He could have used a better font and some paragraph breaks, but this is Ebay, not the Literary Guild.

      I’m as turned off by semi-literate ad copy as the next guy. But let’s give it a rest – there’s a difference between being a pedant and a being a pill.

      BTW and FYI, the word ‘personally’ in your second sentence is a textbook example of a dangling modifier.

      Like 2
  14. Anthony

    Its a nice clean car. That color looks better with black trim and top.

    Like 0
  15. Geoff S.

    I had a 77 Olds Cutlass with the the same vinyl roof and the same interior. Wonderful car for road trips, but my car had a 350 and made it a bit of a slug in the city. One of those “why did I ever sell that car?” moments…

    Like 0
  16. Cattoo CattooButt Member

    Flip the air cleaner lid upside down and hit the 4 bbl kick down and you’ll be motor boating.

    Like 0
  17. geomechs geomechs Member

    I loved these cars. As far as I was concerned, 1977 models were the nicest looking of that body style. A friend of mine owned one for many years. I would’ve bought one myself but I wasn’t ready till the next year. Of course when I saw what replaced it in ’78, I settled for a Grand Am. Pontiac’s designers must have started drinking their own bath water when they came up with that chopped up POS that replaced this…

    Like 0
  18. Canso Mike

    While everyone seems to be a critic this is a 60/40 seat not a bench . Very nice car .

    Like 1
    • Tony Cox

      Wow…that’s what I was going to say. Thanks Canso Mike!

      Like 0
  19. Vegas Vic

    These big two doors from sweet seventies will see a rise in values
    As will the station wagons
    That orange is lovely!
    And an eight track deck for cheap trick, Frampton, Kansas , Styx and Tge Allmans!

    Like 1
  20. DWF

    I bought an identical type LJ for $150 running. It had crazy multi color prismatic paint scheme. I pulled the 403-th350 drive-train out to put in my camaro which it still resides to this day. I have severely abused the 403/350 setup and it still runs great after all these years. I’ve had quite a few of these 70’s superboats. They are neat and comfortable cars that had a lot of options but for the sort of money they are asking for this one you can get your hands on a simpler and better looking car from the 60’s.

    Like 0
  21. jeff

    I had this car in 1990 — black with red buckets and Console. Unfortunately I had the 301 – 2 barrel — but still drove great and could bury speedometer at 120 on the highway. Very Smooth highway cruiser. For a car that is in original condition,…,.. looks Great :) . I was able to fit in this car comfortably… 6′ 3″ –225 lbs .

    Like 0
  22. Rando

    My first car was a 73 in 83 in this color or close to it. Faded and dull Black bucket interior and top. 400 with Q-jet, duals. Would smoke one tire forever. And then get 20 mpg the rest of the time. $300. Wish I had it now to tinker with.

    Like 0
  23. JK of Miami

    Thanks to this great website and the comments on this car, I pulled the trigger and bought this ride. This Mandarin Orange beauty is coming to Florida to be treated right and glisten in the sun.
    Cheers mates!

    PS: this is my favorite automotive website. Great job guys!

    Like 1
  24. Cattoo CattooButt Member

    That’s awesome JK. I do miss my old boat. Light blue on light blue. Bench seat with column shift.

    Like 0
  25. Geri Russell

    That color is strange. I bought a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix in October 1976 and it was Tangerine with a buckskin leather interior. My favorite car ever.

    Like 0

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