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Fully Loaded: 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ

Undeniably, many people will buy a car with their hearts as much as their heads. Logic dictates that an entry-level example of most models will meet a buyer’s needs, but adding a few factory options can prove irresistible. That is the story behind this 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ. It presents beautifully, features various factory options, and sports a few aftermarket upgrades. It is a turnkey proposition guaranteed to attract attention for the right reason. It needs to turn the head of a particular enthusiast, and that’s the one willing and able to give it a new home. The seller has listed the Grand Prix here on Craigslist in Swartz Creek, Michigan. They set their price at $29,500, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder T.J. for using a finely-tuned radar to spot this gem for us.

Before we delve too deeply into the condition of this Pontiac, it is worth noting a couple of aftermarket changes that will divide opinions. The PHS-supplied Window Sticker confirms the original owner splashed an additional $37 on the optional Rally II wheels. I’m positive the ones on this classic aren’t as per the Window Sticker, and they definitely don’t sport the correct center caps. They are similar, but I would search for the correct set if I found the car in my garage. That’s the easy part because the vehicle also features a glass T-Top. This doesn’t appear on the Window Sticker, and it is my understanding that Pontiac didn’t offer buyers that option in 1973. My information sources are contradictory, and I am happy to be corrected if that isn’t the case. If it isn’t a factory option, reversing the change would be so costly that many people would choose to leave well enough alone. The arrow-straight panels wear their original Valencia Gold paint, with the seller indicating it has never undergone any restoration or repair work. It shines impressively and is complemented by a flawless Tan vinyl top. There is no evidence or mention of rust, while the tinted glass and trim are all you would expect from a cherished classic that has led a sheltered life.

This Pontiac’s engine bay houses a numbers-matching 455ci V8, while the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes were standard inclusions on the Grand Prix SJ. The original owner added a Safe-T-Track rear end to help the Pontiac apply its power more effectively to the tarmac. That mighty V8 should produce 250hp and 370 ft/lbs of torque, with both figures considered respectable in a changing automotive environment. Pontiac’s primary focus may have been on luxury with this model, but its ability to cover the ¼-mile in 16.3 seconds proved it could respond if the driver poked it with a sharp stick. The mysteries with this classic extend beyond the T-Top because while the seller claims it has a genuine 28,500 miles on the clock, they don’t mention supporting evidence. I wouldn’t discount the claim out of hand because the car’s overall condition makes it seem plausible. Otherwise, it runs and drives extremely well, ready to hit the road with a new owner behind the wheel.

Buyers seeking a luxurious classic motoring experience could find the list of optional extras inside this Pontiac irresistible. The original owner wielded their pen enthusiastically on the Order Form, selecting air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a power driver’s seat, remote trunk release, Rally gauges, a tilt Custom Sports wheel, and an AM/FM radio. The Window Sticker demonstrates how evolving technology has impacted the cost of optional extras because that radio cost the original owner a cool $233. The previously quoted figure for the wheels is significantly lower. In the existing new car market, the wheels would probably attract a similar premium in relative terms, but the radio would be the bare minimum expected by buyers as standard equipment. The interior condition seems to support the mileage claim because the wrinkles on the outer edge of the driver’s seat base are the only fault worth mentioning. I won’t describe it as perfect, but there are no signs of abuse, neglect, sun damage, or aftermarket additions.

Although the values of many previously rock-solid classics have softened over the past year due to changing economic circumstances, the 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ has bucked that trend. They aren’t mega-bucks vehicles in the grand scheme of things, but prices are climbing to the point where they could soon be beyond the reach of mere mortals. Considering its condition and options, this one is a gem, and the seller’s figure is probably right on the money. Some may disagree with the modifications like the different wheels and T-Top, and the latter would pose problems for those seeking a more “factory” appearance. However, if this Pontiac appeals to you, there is nothing wrong with throwing caution to the wind. As I stated earlier, many people base their choice on their hearts rather than their heads. If you do the same, you won’t be the first, and you certainly won’t be the last.


  1. Moparman Moparman Member

    The wheels appear to be one piece alloys, an option that I resorted to, as finding the large (225/R75/14) tires was becoming problematic. This car presents well and should bring a smile to the face of the new owner as they cruise in it. GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 12
  2. Mike

    Weird perspective on the front end photo. Makes the car look like an insect.

    Like 5
  3. Maggy

    Hate the wheels like the car . Put the original Pontiac ralleyes on it with some pencil whites 225 70 15 front and 235 rear. Love the color .Overpriced imo. Are those Hurst t tops? they look like it should have a decal on the drivers door on the inside. Had a 76 lj that had em.Tp me a 15 20 k car imo.

    Like 4
  4. Keith

    Are Colonnade cars actually hitting the $30K mark now? Or is this seller just overly optimistic?

    Call me a dinosaur, but I still think of 1973+ GM intermediates as the undesirable ones. Like, if a buddy calls you up to say he spotted a Grand Prix for sale, and you get excited… until he tells you it’s a ’73. (True story.)

    Like 5
  5. Dave Grice

    Its a Unmolested HVY Rocket with Hurst T Tops a Sweet Cruizer worth 25 Tops!

    Like 2
  6. 455RAIV

    The 1969 Grand Prix SJ 428 – 390 hp was A Great Executive Hot Rod Actually weighed 500 lbs less than the 1968 GP – All in all the 73 GP SJ 455 is still a nice Touring Luxury car :)

    Like 5
  7. Paulcug

    My favorite car in the whole world. My Dad had a triple black one with red pinstripe the year I start driving. Car was still basically new with 23,000 miles in 76’ and he gave me the keys whenever I asked. I usually like cars exactly the way they came from factory but this one looks cool I have to say. Glad they didn’t put white letter tires that would have killed the look. Notice how the 73’ model sat nicer, plus it had real wood interior and no catalytic converter yet. These cars were/are a pleasure to drive.

    Like 2
  8. John Prill Member

    great looking car, excellent write-up on it !!! My heart says “YES!”, my wallet says ” NO!”. The condition of the driver’s seat troubles me, I’d have to see this one in person.

    Like 3
  9. fran

    Too much$$$$

    Like 1
  10. Richard

    Me like!!!

    Like 1
  11. Sam

    Based on the steering wheel and the t tops, I’m guessing this is a 76 or 77 Grand Prix that they put a front clip from a 73 on. You’d have to really dig in to the numbers to know for sure, but the t top was only available in 76/77 I believe.

    Like 2
    • Steve

      They would have had to swap the rear end as well as it has a 73 only rear bumper and the earlier taillights. Also 76-77 had 85 mph speedo’s as well.

      Like 2
  12. Paulcug

    You’re absolutely right about T-tops but this is without a doubt a 73’ take my word on that. My Dad had one for 4 years I know these cars. 73’ is my favorite for a few reasons. The wood inside is real, no catalytic converter yet ..ran on premium gas, prefer the round headlights and horizontal taillights. The 73’ just sat pretty.

    Like 2
  13. John Oliveri

    I own a 73 SJ 455 car, factory sunroof, black w white 1/2 top, white buckets really clean straight car, loaded w options, I’d like to watch this sale, to test the market, cause I’m planning to sell mine next year, after 19 years of ownership

    Like 2
  14. Pnuts

    I can’t imagine someone adding T Tops. Must be more to the story the look period correct.

    Like 1
  15. Patrick Curran

    My admiration for the Grand Prix ended with the conclusion of the 1972 model, but for those that like this generation, this car presents well.

    Like 0
  16. b

    The car is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay…and the seller is willing to accept.

    Like 0
  17. BlackTa

    The car is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay…and the seller is willing to accept.

    Like 0

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