Greatness In Green: 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix

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Well, it’s green which is a great start for me. It’s likely Wilderness Green, and this 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix looks marvelous. From its inception in ’62, the Grand Prix was a special Pontiac but made that much more so, in my estimation, when it moved to a stretched A-body intermediate platform for the ’69 model year – it was a real sock knocker offer. An update in ’71 just enhanced its high style and today’s ’72 is a follow-on to the ’71. T.J. found this beaut for us, it’s located in Mitchell, South Dakota and is available, here on eBay for $17,200 with the reserve not yet met.

The Grand Prix’s A-body transformation was courtesy of a lot of people at Pontiac but John DeLorean, the guy behind the GTO, is most often credited with its inception. It was a clean sheet of paper compared to its 1968 predecessor which had become a bit bloat-o and festooned with a hawk-like beak. One of the most obvious styling differences between the ’69-’70 version and the ’71-’72 variation is the sculpted deck lid – it adds some flair while going away. Popular the ’72 model was, its single two-door hardtop body style mustered sales of almost 92K units.

The debate here is whether this GP is a survivor or a redo – the listing is silent to that point. The mileage recording is 24K miles and the entire exterior presentation is neat as a pin so I suppose originality is possible. Anyway, nothing is out of place, the green finish is as deep as the Emerald Isle itself, and the vinyl top is without blemish. Strong chrome and stainless trim, all rolling on Pontiac Rally II wheels complete the stunning visuals.

Under the runway length hood is a 250 net HP, 400 CI V8 engine married up to a Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission. Nothing is said about running or driving characteristics but there is a phone number to direct inquiries. Of note, this 400 CI engine was rated at 300 gross HP in ’71 and the reduction to 250 for ’72 isn’t a real reduction at all, it’s just the result of domestic manufacturers switching from the SAE gross measurement standard to the new for ’72 net, or as installed, calculation.

The interior reflects the excellence of the exterior. Sure, there’s a lot of green going on in there but that was a very popular ’70s shade, inside or outside. Carpet often tells a story and the nylon loop floor covering in this Pontiac has either never seen the flat side of a foot, or has been replaced. Same with those sumptuous strato-bucket seats, there clearly hasn’t been a lot of sliding in or out action going on. Of note is the wrap-around dash – a Grand Prix styling cue since the big ’69 transformation.

Much like yesterday’s post of this ’54 Buick Special Riviera, here we have another great GM car, and in this case, the entire Pontiac marque, that ceases to exist – what a letdown! We won’t see another automobile like this big two-door hardtop, so if you favor such a model, this is one of the finest that I’ve encountered. Pontiac -“We build excitement!” right?

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  1. Moparman MoparmanMember

    This looks to be a very nice car! Green would not be an obstacle to parking this beauty in my garage, if I were in the merket for one! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 13
  2. Darrell Caldwell

    A Picture of the back Seat on the E-Bay Listing shows a Oval Opra Window thought that was Strange

    Like 20
    • MoparDoug

      Yeah, no doubt. What’s up with that?

      Like 9
    • Todd W. Maynor


      I was literally fixing to say the exact same thing. Something doesn’t add up.

      Like 3
    • Patrick J Curran

      I caught that too. The seller needs to explain why. Other than this, it is a beautiful car.

      Like 1
    • Steve O

      Good eye !! I noticed that too ? Did they offer an “opera window” on Gran Prixs ? The interior seems to match the other photos. It will be interesting to see if the seller responds to this.

      Like 3
      • Jim ODonnellAuthor

        It is a good eye, and I’ll admit that I missed it – I got caught up in this GP’s excellent outward appearance.

        I must admit, it does seem fishy!



        Like 3
    • Don Bob

      Nice catch! They definitely did some photoshopping on this car’s picture. It obviously has that opera window installed b/c it’s easy to white out the pic from the outside. It looks so out of place on the GP and may not be met with as much high regard on here as well. It’s like a facial tattoo, something you can’t not notice.

      Like 1
  3. BA

    I’m going to hold out for a SJ with 428 or at least a 455 as these were not the lightest cars but there is no denying what a sharp looking car this is & IMHO a Buick Riviera with a Buick 455 (big block ) being a Trump card no pun intended.

    Like 3
    • Bert Kanne

      An SJ is the only version I would want. Otherwise I would want to upgrade the chassis, suspension and brakes at least.

      Like 0
  4. Stephen Payne

    I want to cry. I have pined for one of theses for 40 years. Since I had one just like it, but bronze & cream vinyl top. If I had the $$, 24K miles, original or no I would love to have one.

    Like 10
  5. Stan

    Beauty GP 3.08 gear ⚙️ std equip. Head for the highway 🛣

    Like 3
  6. HoA Howard AMember

    Green! Like Scottys moms oven mitts and my parents bathroom. Go ahead and laugh, color is making a comeback, slowly, but in my hippy Colorado community, I see some green and blue Subarus trickling in. My son in law, lives in L.A., and him and my daughter are “dinks”, and expressed interest in a classic car of some sort. He thought of a early Riv, but was silent when I told him what to expect to pay for one. I then suggested, why not a GP? Pretty amazing how these great cars come out of the woodwork in this condition, they were once such popular cars and for good reason. Planes were still falling out of the sky, and highway travel was the seemingly safest way to travel, cars like this adorned every interstate. They were the ultimate cruisers and not much could top this even today. No buyers remorse here, that’s for sure.

    Like 15
  7. George Mattar

    Comfort and style. Easy to repair. No stupid TPMS sensor staring you in the face. Beautiful. How GM could kill Pontiac is beyond my thinking. All it builds today is way overpriced garbage.

    Like 20
  8. Maggy

    These are cool looking cars . Always loved the exterior door handles. Putting a timing chain in one is about as bad as a 70-72 monte.Owww… my back and knees in the old days from bending over the front of the car.

    Like 7
  9. BigBlocksRock

    Pontiac had it going on with their cars in the early 70’s.
    Parents owned a 71 Firebird 350 & a 74 GP SJ with a 455 that they bought new. Both were great cars & fun to drive.

    Like 8
  10. Lance Platt

    The Grand Prix from 1969-77 had superlative styling, handled and steered ptecisely for its size, usually came with the best options and married the perfect blend of luxury with a sporty bucket seat interior. Green would not be my first personal choice of an exterior color but earthtones dominated car colors in 1972. Absent a test drive and professional mechanical inspection, this GP certainly shows well in photographs. It will go to a very lucky owner who will experience GM at its best 51 model years ago. I guess it’s obvious I loved the Grand Prix model.

    Like 12
  11. Mike Smith

    My first American car, purchased in 1979 for £1,500, was a red with black vinyl top 69′ Pontiac GP model SJ with the 4 bolt mains 428ci, auto box, power steering, brakes, windows, A/C and leather bucket seats. I used it as my daily driver for five years before letting it go. This was in London, UK.

    Like 11
    • Solosolo UK KEN TILLY UKMember

      Must have been fun driving that barge around London back in the day. Even worse now where we have a Mayor that is determined to get cars off the streets at any cost. As from August 2023 it would cost you £12.50/day just to drive across the M25 ring road to get into the London borough. My cousin lives just outside the M25 but works just inside the M25 maybe half a mile, and it will cost him the £12.50 every day. If he goes home for lunch it will most likely cost him another 12.50 to come back to complete his day job.

      Like 1
  12. Eddie LaCorcia

    It’s forest green. J.S.

    Like 2
  13. Solosolo UK Solosolo UKMember

    Jim, you and Richard Rawlings have the same taste in colour, Green! Me, I bought a brand new Ford pick-up back in 1975, had so much trouble with it that I GAVE it away in 1979. Never owned a green car since!

    Like 0
    • DON

      Wow, good thing it wasn’t silver or you’d be having a hard time buying a car today !

      Like 3
      • DVSCAPRI

        TRUE!! About a year ago I had to replace my DD… looking at new, only because the used cars were just as much – this way I’d have better & more warranty. After looking at hod knows how many different “economy” cars (I drive about 100 miles a day, just to & from work) I finally blew up.. I’m personally SO sick of grey interiors!! Pretty much everything I’ve driven in the last 20 years has had grey interior.
        So, sitting with a salesman I blurted out “don’t even tell me it has grey interior” – I looked at her & told her flat out, “I don’t care if it’s brand new or not, if we leave here with a grey interior – it won’t be grey anymore by the end of the weekend”. Saleman was shocked to say the least. I got a black interior… not the best choice, but other than grey, the only choice.
        Back in the early – mid eighties working at a dealer- we all used to cheer when a new car arrived with an interior other than grey… yeah, this crap was going on back then & I was sick of it then.

        Like 1
  14. angliagt angliagtMember

    Mitchell,SD,home of the Corn Palace.I stopped there on
    my move to Virginia.I have a picture of my Parents when
    they were there 60 years before.
    This is a nice car.Is it the same body as a ’69? It looks
    a lot bigger.

    Like 0
  15. Wayne Thomas

    I had a 71 GP Model J from 1974 until 2000. Quit driving in 1978, Had a 455 and did good to get 13 MPG. One of the most trouble-free autos I ever owned. Only one I ever saw with a small Leather wrapped steering wheel. It was Beige with a Brown Vinyl Roof. I still miss the whistle noise from the grill. Always wanted to see the speedometer hit 140 MPH Did see 137 MPH one time, not enough room to widen it out. When I was in the Navy, I sat in a 69 at the Pontiac Dealer and said I will have one of these someday. Wish I had restored and not sold it.

    Like 5
    • Brian Manners

      Waybe Thomas if your 71 J came with the 455 from the factory it was a rare car . Only 2365 71 GP model J came with the 455.

      Like 0
  16. 64 Bonneville

    Paint looks to shiny to be factory. Maybe a couple of coats of clear, after a scuff and buff? I’m thinking that it could possibly have gone around once on the odometer Without a personal inspection, can’t really say. I did notice the difference in the paint color on the “A” pillar when the driver door was opened. Early 70s’ GM paints had a tendency to fade if parked outside for several years, not to mention the peeling of it, also. Had many a GM scuffed, buffed and reshot to look good on my lot.

    Like 3
  17. Dr Ron

    This Poncho is beautiful! And I usually recoil at the sight of a green car… but this one wouldn’t get kicked outta my garage.
    A buddy in high school had a rich dad who bought him a red ‘72 Grand Prix with a white interior.
    That thing was like sitting in a fighter jet cockpit with that wrap around dash and buckets…
    The one thing I remember most is the view from the driver’s seat over that hood was like looking out over an aircraft carrier deck from the bridge.
    It had to be the longest hood on any car of that vintage.

    Like 4
  18. Emel

    Must come with an optional Opera window according the ebay pic of the back seat. lol

    Other than that strangeness this is very nice ride that also is putting out some HP and torque for a non-muscle car.

    If that is the real interior it looks almost new. Which is kind hard to believe, as even the gas pedal shows little or no wear. Guy must have drove barefoot and never sweated. lol

    Like 1
    • Chuck Dickinson

      If the one inside photo shows an opera window, and the outside of the car does not, something’s rotten in Denmark!

      Like 3
      • Emel

        Yep. The seller only has a listing since Dec as well. The positive feedbacks don’t jive either. That phone number is also associated with some other cars like a 66 Pontiac Catalina.
        And the ebay page doesn’t exist. Could be a scam.

        The plumage in the pics doesn’t look like South Dakota either.

        Like 3
  19. Steve

    That back seat picture is not from the same car. You can see thru to the outside with that window, and looks like the back glass is not swept back as much as in a GP. Seats look the same though.

    Like 3
  20. Dave Schulz

    We’re any GP’s built with the 455 Super Duty engine and 4-speed trans?

    Like 0
    • Emel

      Did you ever respond to the name ‘the Hammer’ ?

      Like 0

      No, sales materials were printed up but the 455 SD was cancelled in everything but the Trans Am & Formula. Grand Prix, Lemans, Grand Am were all supposed to get the SD motor.
      Another odd tidbit about the SD – If you ordered a Formula with the SD motor, you got a shaker in place of the twin scoops. If you didn’t order the rear spoiler (optional) it looked like a base model Firebird with a shaker! Then if you were being really cheap – don’t order the “floor console” & then not only did you not have a console, but the shifter was then on the column! And yes, there are a few!!

      Like 1
      • Solosolo UK ken tilly UKMember

        Even worse for me than a grey interior is a GREY car! Must be the least inspiring colour for a car ever marketed.

        Like 1
  21. Mick

    They should have left opera window on one side and nothing on the other.

    Like 0
  22. JoeNYWF64

    The main difference on a ’72 vs ’71 is the new EGR valve for ’72 which after a while could cause the car to run rough at idle. Plug the hose to it to see if the motor smooths out.

    Even this lux car does not have cruise control – don’t understand why it was so an uncommon option back in the day – plenty of long trips being taken!
    I’m hoping a green vinyl roof was not available on any GP. lol

    Dave Schulz, i believe you meant the 455 HO motor. The SD was only in ’73-’74 & only in formulas & t/as.

    Like 2
    • maggy

      GM began using EGR valves in 1973 not 72. the valves can become stuck from carbon. I would feel if the diaphragm was stuck and tap on them to free them then clean them or replace them if they were really carboned up..A lot of them had delay valves that were controlled by coolant temp off the thermostat housing.

      Like 1
  23. Idiot Boy

    This car sold on BaT for $40,002 on 10-31-21 so the seller’s either taking a hit or the winning bidder never paid

    Like 2

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