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European-Inspired: 1973 Pontiac Grand Am

The Grand Am was Pontiac’s attempt to woo buyers who were attracted to European sport/luxury sedans like BMW. Based on the new Colonnade mid-size platform in 1973, it shared in the design and/or name of several existing Pontiac products, the LeMans, Grand Prix, and Trans Am. The seller’s first-year example was a one-owner car that the seller had intended to restore, but life got in the way and the desire to do so has faded away. Located in Appleton, Wisconsin, this project Pontiac has been dormant for 32 years. A tip from Tony Promo, this car is available here on craigslist for $11,900.

The first run of the Grand Am was from 1973 to 1975 (and again from 1978 to 1980). Unlike other models, the automobile was built at only a single GM plant in Pontiac, Michigan. Because of the desire to one-up the European sedans of the day, the Grand Am was offered in both two and four-door body styles. Engine choices were three. Standard was a 400 cubic inch V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor, but you could also get a 4-barrel with that engine (but only with a 4-speed manual) and a 455 V8 that was rated at just 250 hp with all the detuning that was going on at the time. The seller says a 350 resides in the engine compartment today, so that implies a swap took place at some point.

Before the seller, this Grand Am had been a one-owner vehicle. It’s been stored for more than three decades, which could include the time the seller has had it. The mileage is just 56,000, so that begs the question as to what factors led to its hibernation beginning in the 1980s. It’s said to be accident-free, and the original burgundy paint might have a little life left once rubbed on, but there’s rust to contend with, especially in the rear quarters just behind the wheels.

This was a well-optioned car including a factory power sunroof which was now Detroit’s answer to the convertible which had largely fallen out of favor with the safety gods. Pontiac built more than 70,000 Grand Ams before it went on hiatus after 1975. More than half of that number was in 1973, the year of the seller’s car, including 34,000 coupes. Perhaps the 1973 OPEC oil embargo put a crimp in demand, and it trickled to near nothing in just two years. Would like to restore this seldom-seen today Colonnade Pontiac?


  1. Doone

    Gotta love the electric tape repair of the endura front bumper. That says a whole lot about the cate this car didn’t receive

    Like 11
    • Pete R.

      I dunno, that looks a lot like the original molding strip to me. I can see where you’d think it was electrical tape though.

      Like 5
      • JW454

        I think what you guys are seeing is a large hole in the soft nose of the bumper cover. You’re looking into the abyss of a costly repair.

        Like 18
      • Don C

        yeah… that’s just a chunk missing from the original rubber nose… they didn’t fare well over time… especially in Midwest winters…

        Like 0
  2. Doone

    Gotta love the electric tape repair of the endura front bumper. That says a whole lot about the care this car didn’t receive

    Like 2
  3. George Mattar

    That once beautiful car has more rust than listing alludes to. And that Endura nose. Yikes. Also on that beautiful steering wheel there is mold. Stored wet. No thanks.

    Like 6
  4. jwaltb

    European inspired? Hahaha!

    Like 2
  5. ACZ

    Wisconsin = road salt. Look underneath if you think that this might be something more than a parts car.

    Like 2
  6. David Nelson

    I kike the front end of this year way more than later versions with the boxy front bumper!

    Like 2
  7. Rusty Rodknocker

    I have one of the original 73 400 4 speeds. The endura front bumpers on all of these are crumbled away by now. First year of the GM 15mph bumper designed to absorb impact and pop back out to the original shape. Fiberglass replacements are available. An excellent road car designed to compete with Mercedes benz of the time.

    Like 6
    • Steve

      “An excellent road car designed to compete with Mercedes Benz of the time.”

      AHAHAHAHA! Oh, please stop! You’re killing me!

      Like 0
  8. PairsNPaint

    IIRC, there are (or were) fiberglass replacements for the nose cone. Regardless, there is too much mold and rot here for the asking price.

    BTW, my ’73 Grand Am, same color and interior, had the 400 cu.in. engine with a 4 bbl carb and automatic

    Like 3
  9. Steve

    It needs a nose job.

    Like 3
  10. Pete Phillips

    One too many zeros in the price!

    Like 0
  11. Taylor

    My grandfather has one. Black with red pinstripes. It’s been sitting next to a barn for so long. Wish some life would be breathed back into it

    Like 0

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