400 V8 Power: 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix J

The Pontiac Grand Prix debuted in 1962 as the performance-oriented replacement for the Ventura. It was a standard Catalina coupe with minimal outside chrome trim and a sportier interior (bucket seats and a center console). In some respects, it was like the Chevy Impala SS but with a greater emphasis on muscle. The cars were redesigned for the second time in 1969, so changes to the 1970 models would be minimal. The “J” was the standard version of the GP, including the seller’s edition located in Puyallup, Washington. A solid, good running car, this ’70 Pontiac is available here on craigslist for $12,000. Our thanks to Matt H. for finding this GM iron for us!

1969-72 Grand Prix’s had some of the longest hoods in production car history. Previously offered as both a sport coupe and convertible, the latter was dropped after 1968. While sales would be brisk at more than 112,000 cars in ’69, the ’70 models dropped to below 66,000 units. The decline may have been due in part to new competition within the GM camp as Chevy rolled out the Monte Carlo in 1970 and it was a sales hit.

We don’t know the history of this car, but it has seen at least 90,000 miles of use over the past fifty or so years. The body is said to be straight with no rust, holes or filler reported. The black paint is faded on those surfaces that are upward facing. Everything is said to work although this was a factory air-conditioned car and all the hardware is missing now. The seller says he/she took the car on a road trip recently and had no issues.

The buyer will receive a set of carpeting and weatherstripping to replace at his/her leisure. And the upholstery is mostly okay although the driver’s seat bottom material is stretched. A set of Pontiac Rally wheels will be thrown in along with a service manual. But the car is going to need brakes sooner rather than later. Under the hood resides the standard GP 400 cubic-inch V8 engine (2-barrel) paired with a TH-400 automatic transmission.

Although cash is king, the seller says he/she is open to trades. Hagerty estimated one of these cars in Fair condition could command about $13,000 and that number would more than triple when the Pontiac is restored. The 1970 Grand Prix would be the last of the second generation to carry quad headlights; they would go with single peepers in 1971-72, which I always thought was awkward for a car this size.


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  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Single peepers:) nice write up Russ.

    Like 8
  2. Gary Rhodes

    When I was a kid my parents traded a 66 tripower 4spd GTO in on a new 71 455 SJ. My mom worked second shift and we could hear the car coming down the road, it had a distinctive whistling sound. Beautiful gold/bronze with a tan top and interior. It was the first of four, the last a nice triple black 77, nowhere as fast as the 71 but still a nice car.

    Like 7
    • morrisangelo

      GM realized the ‘whistle’ was an undesirable design error on the 71 & 72 Prixs and subsequently offered a noise reduction kit to snap onto the fins of the upper and lower grilles, from behind the grilles.

      The kit consisted of metal push-on clips (20, I believe) designed to alter the wind flow through the grilles.

      I’m surprised the whistle made it through whatever wind tunnel testing had been done on the car, and I’m sure a high number of customer complaints at dealerships led to the clip solution.

      Like 6
  3. Paul C.

    The GP convertible was only available in 67’ These cars were a blast to drive. Very smooth and handled well for their size.

    Like 3
  4. Troy

    A friend of mine in high school had one of these with large tires on the back my school covered 5 city blocks with the streets running in between and we used to spray the tires down with diesel fuel and do burnouts in from of the main building. Lots of smoke and flame balls off the tires. Sometimes wonder how we didn’t kill ourselves or somebody else.

    Like 3
  5. Vance

    Love the beak on these, you could identify a Pontiac of this vintage a mile away. I didnt know these whistled, that’s very interesting, and it makes it more desirable. If I had it, I would have no problem giving 12 large for this barge. Being a big guy makes me appreciate this car even more, power, looks, class, and whistling, makes this car even more valuable. For BF avid devotee’s. 12k for this, or 12k for the burned out slant six Duster from Arizona that was here about a month ago. The Joker that said the Duster was worth 12k because it was rust free, who looks like a dumbass now? Great car and would love to have it.

    Like 4
  6. tompdx Member

    I wonder if the whistle prevents deer strikes … a real concern up here in the Pacific NW!

    Like 1

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