Grand In Green: 1969 Pontic Grand Prix J

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You know how some cars just leave an indelible imprint in your memory? It seems that it usually happens at a young age when minds are impressionable and I know that’s the case for me. When I was in high school, a good friend’s mother had a ’69 Pontiac Grand Prix and we use to “borrow” it and go hot-footing around. It was a Model J like today’s Hackensack, New Jersey discovery but it was powered by a 428 CI engine and man-o-man, was that thing a rocket. No muss, no fuss, it just quietly got up and went like a scalded dog. Today’s find doesn’t have quite the forward motivation that the GP from my high school daze possessed but it’s in decent nick (it’s green!) and it’s available, here on eBay for a current bid of $13,100 with the reserve not yet met.

The 1969 downsizing of Pontiac’s performance coupe is an oft-told tale and GM’s wunderkind John DeLorean is generally given credit for the bold move. Technically, the GP rode on a G platform, which was a 118″ wheelbase stretched A platform – I guess I always thought it went by the “A” designation. It was a hot hit with 112K units hitting the street that year – close to twice what the nearly identical ’70 version managed to muster.

First up, the listing images are lousy, sorry! They’re so poor that I debated not writing this post but a ’69 Grand Prix is a special car and worth the effort so I’ll work with what I got. Verdoro green is the color of the day and I think it was the color of the year in ’68 and ’69 – lots of Ponchos wore it and I always thought it was a top-flight shade. This GP wears it well, and it looks pretty good but there are what appear to be some scratches, particularly on the driver’s side. It also appears as if the lower belt-line bump strip has mostly fallen off. The seller tells us that this one’s always been garaged and is 100% original. Note the full-wheel covers as opposed to the more commonly found Rally II wheels, my friend’s mother’s car was so adorned.

The bucket seat/center console interior is, what else, green! The seller claims that it “is original and in immaculate condition, no major damage/rips/tears whatsoever“.  It does appear to be in excellent shape, complete with the cool wrap-around driver’s side dash and instrument panel. No demerits are warranted – it even still has its original Delco radio.

Under that runway length hood is the standard 350 gross HP, 400 CI V8 engine which is tethered to a Turbo-Hydramatic 400, three-speed automatic transmission. The seller states, “Engine starts and runs” – I was hoping for a little more enthusiasm. If the 62K mile recording is accurate, this svelte Tin Indian ought to still have a lot of forward progression capability. It is suggested that the tires should be replaced.

Yes, reviewing this Grand Prix does take me back to my high school years. And while I am unlikely to own a car like this going forward, it’s an important piece of American Automania. Big, V8-powered, rear-wheel drive, two-door coupes, such as this Model J, are not coming back. Do I know that with certainty? No, my crystal ball’s reception isn’t that sharp but I’d have a very tough time believing that we’ll see the likes of a similar car again. So, that leaves us with examples like this; get ’em while you can, right?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. Bub

    Mystery toggle on dash front just left of steering wheel does not look like factory installed.

    Like 3
    • John Morrissey

      Remember kill switches were popular, usually hidden.

      Like 6
    • Billy

      Bub, it’s for the parachute. All land yachts have them. They are not factory. Dealers have to install
      them.

      Like 7
    • JW454

      Bub,
      That switch may be used to activate the auxiliary horn mounted to the right of the radiator on the right inner fender. Those horns became popular after a 1970’s T.V. series Dodge Charger had one that played a portion “Dixie”.

      Like 4
    • Al Dee

      That’s to switch on the afterburner – or a passenger seat ejection button – but you usually only see those on convertibles – and with hard tops that come to have a big bump in the roof above the passenger seat…..

      Like 2
    • Randy Reed

      I had a’69 SJ and think I recall switches there. I think it was rear defroster/defogger and mine had a factory install reverberation amp that had a switch of some kind on. Mine also had the 8-track tape player mounted at the rear of the center console.

      That car was the one that got away. Miss it but I have memories out the wazoo with that car!

      Like 5
  2. BA

    I think that’s the Klingon cloaking device popular in that time period & everything is green so much easier to camouflage & remain unseen in the wild.

    Like 9
  3. Richard

    This is the first 69 Grand Prix that I’ve ever seen with bumperettes.

    Like 9
    • Robert Proulx

      And massive ones at that, in front i’d say ok but the ones in back are way to much.

      Like 11
  4. Sam61

    Great writeup… here’s the bit. The door handles need an honorable mention/footnote. I think they were unique to this car only… don’t recall this on a Corvette.

    Would love some insight.

    Like 7
    • 19sixty5Member

      They are indeed unique, only the 1969-1972 Grand Prix’s had them.

      Like 5
    • Rick Rothermel

      Copied from mid-50s DeSotos

      Like 2
  5. Billy

    Kinda reminds me to make that optometrist appointment.
    Sometimes does anyone else wonder if possibly the seller “might” have a friend or two that just “might” go to the website and just “might” plug in some numbers that just “might” be alittle bit before the reserve?
    Nah, I didn’t think so…pretty color tho.

    Like 9
  6. angliagt angliagtMember

    Nice car in that ubiquitous Pontiac Green of the ’60’s.

    Like 6
  7. Sean Howard

    Far from “excellent” condition, as described in the eBay posting. Plenty of other 69-70 Grand Prix Model Js out there in the $20k range. This car needs $15k+ to get it even presentable.

    Owner should take the high bid and run.

    Like 9
  8. CadmanlsMember

    Those bumper guards are a hoot, almost like they put them on the wrong end. The rear are large and the fronts serve no purpose whatsoever with the front end design. Like these cars, like the SJ even more!

    Like 5
    • Ron

      The funny part is the front bumperettes. They look like they sit behind the point on the nose, so they really would serve no purpose at all.

      Like 5
      • Billy

        Well, you’re on the correct trail.
        First thing to go living on my planet would be everything under the radiator cap. Have a Kool week!

        Like 0
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    The first thing to go would be the bumper guards, front and rear. And I believe these are aftermarket add-ons. I never understood bumper guards. The bumpers purpose is to bump against something to protect the body. Now, on top of that we have bumper guards to protect the bumpers. Makes no sense to me.
    The second thing to go would be the aftermarket horn. I hated those things then and still hate them now.
    The third thing to go would be the hubcaps and replaced with rally wheels.
    Ok, I’m done.

    Like 5
    • Billy

      Well, you’re on the correct trail.
      First thing to go living on my planet would be everything under the radiator cap. Have a Kool week!

      Like 0
    • Bert Kanne

      Agree totally. Factory replica rally wheels and remove those bumper guards!

      Like 1
  10. Old Beach Guy

    Those bumper guards were a popular NY/NJ aftermarket accessory back in the day. My cousin bought salvage cars up there. Many he brought back had those awful looking things.

    Like 2
  11. Sixone

    I’d go for this 100%. Except it having wheelcovers instead of upgrade wheels, it’s very nicely equipped and best of all the car sits nice and absolutely original and not a beater in any way. Yes I can tell from the photos. If I had the money I’d be there right now.

    Like 3
  12. Al Dee

    If this was my GP, I’d get those back bumper guards off there ASAP — as they smack big time of the car not running well and thus needing them for a lot of push starts…. Besides that, they just look absolutely ridiculous there. — Otherwise, this Grand looks to be in really good shape for its age.

    Like 0
    • Billy

      I’ve always wondered at what speed (mph) do you have to push a land yacht with a all-geee-matic tranny to turn the cranky shaft to make the pistons go up and down ???
      Hope they’re at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

      Like 1
  13. Charles ross

    They better grab that 13000 before it gets away it wouldn’t fetch much more if it was perfect which it ain’t and will not be.

    Like 2
  14. John Oliveri

    My sister in law had this exact car, full PMD wheel covers and all, except in ice blue w a darker blue interior, and no bumper guards, I learned how to do burnouts in that car, NYC, age 13, fast mother!

    Like 0
  15. Duckmam

    Had a 69 model sj in 71 428 HO no problem tearing up pavement to young an dumb to know what I had back then to many rpms one nite all I have is the big valve heads after all these years

    Like 1
  16. Purple sky

    J.C. Whitney bumper guards…. Could they be any bigger? LOL

    Like 3
  17. Big bill

    In 1969 I was a 15 year old sophomore in high school I had a paper route one of my customers bought a new 69 Pontiac Gran Prix model J I believe it was maroon color I’ve always wanted one close as I’ve came is a 73 monte carlo Landu.maybe someday I’ll have a Gran Prix I did have a 69 firebird 400/400 engine trans.

    Like 0

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