26K Mile Rust-Free 1973 Pontiac Ventura

It’s hard to categorize this one. Is it a low-mile, rust-free original spec beauty with a V8 engine and factory air-conditioning, or… Well, actually that sounds pretty good to me, let’s stick with that. The seller of this gorgeous 1973 Pontiac Ventura has it listed here on craigslist in beautiful, historic Yorktown, Virginia and they’re asking $16,000. Thanks to Ian C. for sending in this tip!

Our next-door neighbor back in the early-70s bought a four-door Ventura brand new in a pea soup green color and he drove that thing forever. He went to that car from a 1958 Ford sedan in black and white so it was quite an upgrade, or downgrade depending on how a person feels about GM’s X-body cars in this era. The second-generation Ventura was made from 1971 to 1977.

The Ventura was available in a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan, and a two-door hatchback. The X-body cars also came as a Chevrolet Nova, Oldsmobile Omega, Buick Apollo, and starting in 1977, the Pontiac Phoenix which was basically a Ventura with a new grille and a few other details. This car looks almost like new but the seller does say that it was painted around twenty years ago due to fading. They also mention that it sat in a dealer’s showroom for years.

The word “original” is always a subject for a good, friendly debate. Can a car be “original” if it’s been repainted? I say no, that’s why I always try to say original spec, not original, but that’s just my opinion. Original is original, as in as it left the factory. Thoughts? We don’t see the back seat and I don’t know if I’ve seen that seat pattern before, it’s pretty unique if it’s original and the seller says it’s all original inside. A GM turbo-hydramatic 350 with a column shift provides the gear changes.

Speaking of 350, this one has a Pontiac 350 cubic-inch V8 which by 1974 had 150 horsepower. The seller says that this car has a mere 25,531 miles on it and it’s a rust-free Texas car. Jamie showed us another incredible original 1973 Ventura a few years ago here on Barn Finds so they’re out there, but they aren’t cheap. Have any of you owned one?

Fast Finds


  1. JoeNYWF64

    Odd it has delux wheels covers & door panels, bumper strips, vinyl roof & a/c, but only manual discs & no carpet.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      That looks like a drum brake master cylinder. Disc brakes didn’t become standard until they were updated in 1974 or 1975 and switched to the 70 and later Camaro/Firebird style subframes.

      For years me and my buddy’s would look at every one of this generation Nova and siblings at the local Pick Your Part wrecking yards hoping to find disc brakes since it was a direct swap into 67-69 F-body and was a quick $200 profit for 15 minutes of work. The quick “tell” was whether the steering box was located in front or behind the front subframes cross member.

      Steve R

      Like 12
      • Chester

        For a clever guy, you really should work on your grammar. “me and my buddy”? People judge you on many things, not the least of is style and refinement. In life, one should always strive to be more like James Bond than Vinnie Barbarino.

        Like 10
      • Daleone3

        Disregard Chester. He seems to be a lurker that gets off on correcting people. Probably a joy to be around at a car show as he walks around measuring emblem placement and proper positioning of hose clamps.
        Chester- get a hobby that you can enjoy by yourself, you will make us all a bit happier.

        Like 39
      • Gus Fring

        I, for one, commend Chester on his grammar nazism. It’s a tough job but, someone really does have to do it. Thanks for your service, Chester.

        Like 11
      • CCFisher

        Chester, your grammar for “me and my buddy” is incorrect. Because the quote is the beginning of your sentence, but is not the beginning of the quoted sentence, it should be “[M]e and my buddy.” Also, I believe “not the least of is style and refinement” should be “not the least of *which are* style and refinement.” If you’re going to appoint yourself the grammar police and annoy everyone with critiques completely irrelevant to the subject material, the least you could do is get it right.

        Like 20
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Chester is Steve R’s old BF friend.
        They go way back.

        Like 4
      • Curt Lemay

        Vinnie Barbarino! Fun stuff.

        Like 3
  2. Jcs

    Pontiac had some of the best dashboards of the era, I’ve always thought it a missed opportunity on these to not offer better spec gauges than your standard Nova.

    Like 6
  3. Bultaco

    Great car with an actual Pontiac V8 and a/c. A Poncho 400 will bolt in and look exactly like the wimpy 350, but make for a much more fun driving experience.

    Like 7
    • Duaney

      When so many of these Ventura’s gave adequate performance with the 250 six, the 350 makes this really fast that should satisfy anyone. I don’t know why anyone would want more, unless roasting the tires is the only goal. The Pontiac 350 in the 4,000 lb Lemans is potent enough as well. I know, someone will want to install a twin turbo LS, but for why?

      Like 2
      • bone

        I once bought a mustard/beige 4 door Olds Omega to put in an Enduro race. When I opened the hood I found it had a Rocket 350 4bbl under the hood , factory original . Now that car would smoke some tires !

  4. Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice one, Scotty. In high school I mowed lawns using the home owners’ gas and equipment. One of my elderly clients had a similar green two-door Ventura of this vintage with about 17,000 miles on the clock. She let me back it out of the one-car garage to get her tractor out and I remember thinking how pristine it was and how awesome it would be after it was jacked up in the rear and fitted with Cragar S/S wheels. lol

    Like 17
  5. Macfly

    Interesting they had it painted but claim it still has original bias ply tires. Better to look good than to feel good!

    Like 1
  6. Shawn

    A real clean looker for sure. I always thought the Nova’s siblings looked better with the bigger bumpers of 73/74. As another guy mentioned, an odd build to have all those options, then just vinyl floor, but who knows what the buyer was thinking when they ordered it. Being from Texas, it’s not like they had to worry about snow getting all over the green carpets.

    Like 1
    • Miguel - Mexican Spec

      Mud is a problem though.

      Like 2
    • DON

      Wow , another guy that likes the big bumper Novas – And I thought I was the only one !

  7. Don Eladio

    This car would look great jacked up with some Cragars and fat tires in the rear. Maybe some ladder bars, a Posi, and some bolt-ons like headers, aluminum intake, 4bbl, and some dual exhaust. Totally what I would do…oh, and a Pioneer Super Tuner.

    Like 3
  8. Tom

    A buddy of mine has a very nice ‘72 and my brother has a ‘74 4 speed GTO, also very nice.
    It’s pretty rare to see one these days. Cool cars

    Like 3
  9. Bob C.

    Makes me want to jump in and chase a black Pontiac Grand Ville through New York.

    Like 5
    • Charlie

      Just watch out for parked semi trailers on the side of the road.

  10. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    That is a very expensive daily driver.

    Like 1
  11. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Back in 1984 I was working at a Buick dealership when someone traded in a 1974 Buick Apollo for a new Buick.
    I bought that Apollo for $200 from the dealer. Brown with beige vinyl top and interior. That car rocked! It had a 350 V-8 and I could lay rubber at any stop light all the way across the intersection.
    It was a great little car, fun.
    After only about a year of driving it, some old lady in a Chevy Vega slammed into the rear, causing quite extensive damage. After the insurance totalled it, my father purchased it from the insurance company and I ended up selling it for $900.
    For a small car, (ya’ll know I’m a land yacht girl) it was a fun thing to drive.

    Like 6
  12. Bamapoppy

    When I was in high school a cute girl drove a Ventura that was painted Orange. I wonder whatever happened to Shannon and her 2-door Pontiac?

    Like 1
  13. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member


    Look her up on Classmates.com

    • Bamapoppy

      Let me check with my wife and get back with you on that.

      She said, “Sure. Just remember, you gotta sleep sometime.”

      Like 3
  14. Wayne

    I worked at a Pontiac store when these were new. We had a service loaner that was this color with the”Sprint” package and the side stripe. It was loaded with every option including the buckets seats and console. It was a favorite with all the employees. And it was used for many vacations with the employees.(Yes, I was one of them.) At the end of the year it had accrued 30,000 plus miles and it still looked like new. The dealer installed new tires and had the odo. rolled pack to about 3,400 miles. (not illegal back then, but certainly immoral) The car was sold to a local police officer and about 3 weeks alter when the odo. went to turn over to “4,000” miles it flipped over to 34,000. So the customer received a new “warrantied” one and the dealership bought the parts and labor.
    Also, IF, you going to the trouble (actually as easy as replacing the 350) of removing the 350, why not just go all the way and install a 455? The weight and size is the same and would make for a VERY TRACTABLE car. Just don’t send the tire bills to me!

    Like 1
  15. sWAG

    I think this model is actually a 1974. Most 1974 model have the oversized bumper, due to a federal mandate. The car still looks damn good for it’s age though👍🏾

  16. Jim

    My first car was a 72 Ventura. Loved that car. Wish I could find one. It didn’t have the oversized bumpers this one has….and I liked the taillights better.

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