400 V8 Black Beauty! 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ

There are 3 specific phases of the third-generation Pontiac Grand Prix I can decisively remember seeing the car go through, although it’s likely the same scenario for many cars of this era.  I was 12 when the ’77 model arrived and it was one of my childhood favorites, as I was already quite obsessed with cars, both the sporty and luxury types.  We lived near a Pontiac dealer in the mid-seventies and the entire front row was always the Grand Prix, plus these cars were all over the streets driving around.  Then, several years later when I was scouting junkyards to find parts for my own projects, they were popular fixtures in most salvage yards.  Phase 3 is more recent, with nice examples pulling prices I would have never imagined in my earlier years.  But that was then and this is now, and this 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ is a beauty.  It’s located in Lockport, Illinois, and can be found here on eBay with an asking price of $23,500.

1977 was the final year for the third-generation Grand Prix, and the sleek styling still looks tasteful 45 years later.  Three trim levels were available, starting with the base J model, or you could choose the LJ package which featured some luxurious touches, and the SJ such as the car featured here was the more sporty choice.  The current owner has had the Pontiac for 2 years and says it was a one-family-owned West Coast car until he acquired it.  All of the sheet metal is said to be original, with no rust of any type prior to the body receiving a new paint job in April of 2021.  The finish is said to be near show quality, with the only imperfections being under the deck lid and inside the door jambs.  Also new are the opera window moldings and vinyl top.

Things inside are original, and while they still look decent, the interior quality doesn’t quite match the exterior.  The front seats are showing wear, as is the carpet, and the top of the dash is faded and has some cracking.  A velour cover has been placed on the dash as a band-aid, but the $750 the seller says he was quoted to repair the damage may be well worth it to return the dashboard to top-notch condition.  A sparkly vinyl covering has been placed over the woodgrain pieces, which can be easily removed if you prefer, or at least the seller thinks so.

Under the hood is a 400 cubic inch V8, which produced 180 horsepower from the factory when it was new.  There’s no word on whether or not it’s ever had a rebuild, but with the claimed 65,000 miles it may have never needed an overhaul.  Both the engine and transmission are said to be strong, though the valve covers do seep some oil and there’s a small leak from either an exhaust manifold or heat riser valve, all likely simple repairs.  If you like the car but find the price a bit optimistic, there’s also the opportunity to submit your best offer.  What are your thoughts on this 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ?

Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    1977 is my ultimate favorite Grand Prix. Working for a small dealership in a wide spot in the road the ‘77 GP made its presence known as we sold 15 units. We would be lucky to sell 40 cars in a year compared to over 100 trucks. That year we set a car record of 100 which was a result of increased demand for Grand Prix and Trans Ams. Then enter 1978 and that anemic little excuse for a Grand Prix. The designers were drinking their own bath water. We couldn’t supply the demand in ‘77 and in ‘78 we not only had to give them away but we had to supply the new owners with paper sacks to put over their heads so no one would recognize them…

    Like 41
    • JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPA Member

      Geomechs, thanks for your input, I could not have said it better. I bought the most beautiful 1977 in 1980. Tu-tone silver red velour buckets and Hurst T tops. Now I have a ‘75 that needs restored and just found another ‘77 like the one that got away. So needless to say I won’t be buying this one…maybe.

      Like 11
    • MrBZ

      Right there with you, geomechs—the ’78 GM downsize was hideous. Like they ran the cars through a giant tablesaw and hacked off all the character. Had a couple friends that ended up buying one, and they genuinely told people “I don’t think they look that bad”.

      Like 4
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        We sold all the ’77 models we could get our hands on but the General gave us our allotment and that was IT. Four or five customers decided to carry their orders over to the ’78 models (Surely they could change ALL that much could they?) and they all wanted to cancel when they saw what they were going to look like. I didn’t blame them…

        Like 8
    • S

      Yes – but the reason they did it was the CAFE standards that were going into effect for 1978. GM could have never met the fuel economy standards the government put on them without downsizing their cars or using smaller engines. I like the 77 GP, but a lot of them had 301 V8s. I wouldn’t want one of those. The 455 was no longer an option – so the 400 was the best choice buyers had in 77. The mid size 77 GM cars, like this car, were actually ever so slightly bigger than the downsized 77 full sized B body cars.

      Like 5
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        The 301 wasn’t all that bad from what I saw. We sold 4 GP’s and a couple of Firebirds with the 301 and no complaints. I had a Grand Am with a 301/4bbl and it hopped along pretty well.

        Like 3
  2. CCFisher

    Beautiful! It’s crying out for a set of original, snowflake wheels, though. The aftermarket wheels are nice enough, but Pontiac had some of the best OEM wheel designs.

    Like 12
  3. George Mattar

    I owned a loaded 77 SJ in 2005. Silver, red velour buckets, Hurst Hatches, snowflakes, loaded. $8,000 new. Lost storage and I could not leave the 52,000 mile near perfect car outside so it had to go. Worth 5 times what I sold it for. Found it in Texas but owner refused my blank check offer. Although Pontiac built like 240,000 GPs for 77, getting hard to find with that many options. And the stupid aftermarket completely ignores these beautiful cars.

  4. John Oliveri

    I own a 73 SJ with every option in the book including factory sunroof, black car, white half top, white interior 455, great car, real head turner at the shows, no one else has one, and that’s fine by me

    Like 6
  5. Howie

    I had a 77 years ago, mine had a black interior and a sunroof, this is mighty clean.

    Like 3
  6. Steve Clinton

    I remember when the ’69 Grand Prix was introduced, I thought it was the most beautiful design I’d ever seen (as opposed to the ’68, which was the ugliest, IMHO)

    Like 1
  7. John Oliveri

    I had a new 79 2 tone blue Grand Prix, with the 301, for its size it was adequate, but for the 77, way underpowered, my 73 455 is only 250 hp, stock, what was the 301, 145 hp?

    Like 1
  8. douglas hunt

    I had a 76 silver with charcoal hood and trunk paint/red pinstripe between with red leather/400 only mods was distributor spring kit and a TransAm steering wheel.
    I was 20 and man I loved that car.

    Like 3
  9. Jim Benjaminson

    Bought a ’77 gp new – still have it.

    Like 4
  10. Gary

    My favorite GP is 71-72. My parents had a loaded 71 SJ with a/c, buckets, console, power everything, Bronze with Buckskin top and interior. They really liked the 70 GP my uncle bought and when the restyled GP came out they ordered one. The dealership sold Chevrolet, Cadillac, Pontiac and didn’t think the color combo was good and wanted a deposit. After waiting a couple of months it shows up and the salesman called them before it got off the carrier. Mom told him we would be in when pop got off work to get it. When we got there the salesman asked if they could keep it in the showroom for a week as they had already sold three other GM cars in that color combination that day. As the dealership as only five minutes away my pop said “Sure, but I thought the color combination was not complimentary?” with a grin. The dealership owner and pop had a laugh and he gave pop a little more for trade in on his 66 GTO for the favor. Mom had a 75, 76 and ordered a loaded 77 in triple black that was just like this one but with a black interior.

    Like 2
  11. Rabbit

    Back in the mid-80’s, these were the ultimate used car (along with Cutlasses & Monte Carlos) and the shop/dealer I was working at at the time moved a ton of these. If I had a buck for every door bottom I had to rebuild…We’re deep in the Rust Belt and even Ziebart didn’t help.

    Like 2
  12. Lance Platt

    The 1978 redesign made the car easier to park without the too long hood and yielded better mileage but the available engines made the GP junkyard and crusher worthy upon arrival new at dealerships. The 1977 still had the handsome stylng so is nice to look at with the red bucket seat interior. Car for sales needs some work as expected of a 45 year old vehicle so the price needs lowered to reflect that.

  13. bone

    The 301 was the worst V8 Pontiac ever had. Our junkyard had plenty of them, they were all junk. No one ever asked about getting a used one either. The downsized GPs were the ugliest of all the 78 midsize line, and sales must have plummeted compared to 1977 . Cutlasses, Regals Montes and Malibu’s sold well , GPs , not so much .

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      The 301 engines out west held up fine except for when someone decided to turbocharge them, like in the Trans Am. Melted pistons; terrible oil pressure; they were garbage….

  14. joenywf64

    Are those aftermkt ALUMINMUM “rally II” type wheels? 15 inch? Who makes them?
    Yet, IMO, with that hood ornament & this being a luxury car with no hi po motor available, not only do the wheels seem out of place, so do the RWL tires, the sport mirrors, & the engine turned dash plate as well.

  15. trav66

    Beautiful Pontiac and only 65K miles! the BIN has dropped to $21K now, sounds like a fair deal IMO.

  16. joenywf64

    Can’t say i ever seen those white lens cornering lights in the front fenders before – a rare option?
    I wonder why they are not used on modern “cars”.

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    “Auction” ended with no takers.

  18. Jim Jordan Member

    Does anyone know more about this car? I am late to the game but would love to own it.
    Thanks

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