Hurst-Equipped: 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix J

The second generation of the Grand Prix (1969-72) was one of its most successful, combining luxury and performance in a mid-size package that was quite popular. Despite being a little shorter than the ’68 model, this grouping of Grand Prix’s had the longest hood in production car history (right up there with the early Chevy Monte Carlo’s). This ’69 J model looks be in a nice overall condition, but not perfect, and has an assortment of new or newer parts. The most interesting thing about the GP is that it has a Dual-Gate “His & Hers” Hurst shifter which was typically ordered with the GTO. This black beauty is domiciled in Northridge, California and available here on craigslist for $17,500. Kudos to MattR for bringing this tip our way!

As Pontiac was GM’s sporty division, the Grand Prix gave the intermediate-sized car buyer a lot of sporty extras that included bucket seats and an aircraft-inspired wrap-around cockpit that moved all the controls closer to the driver. And the pilot had plenty of power with the ’69 Grand Prix, as the smallest engine displaced 400 cubic inches. The redesigned car was a hit initially with consumers who bought more than 112,000 of them in 1969, far more than the 33,000 Pontiac sold the year before.

I’d like to offer a piece of advice to folks looking to sell their cars online. If you’re going to take pictures of a dark-colored vehicle, do it in the sunlight. There are a lot of dark shadows here that could either do an injustice to an otherwise beautiful car or hide things that buyers need to see. The seller describes this Pontiac as a head-turner, but there a few flaws in the paint to keep it from being perfect (looks like a repaint). The body is straight and there is no visible evidence of any cancer. The interior also looks extremely nice, mainly because it’s been redone.

Under the hood resides the 4-barrel version of the 400 cubic inch V-8 that Pontiac offered, which was good for 350 hp. We’re told the car runs and drives great, partly due to some new or replacement parts which include a new alternator, brakes, shocks, modern retro radio and speakers, air cleaner, fuel filter, and other minor items. On the to-do list is getting the air conditioner/heater to work. The factory Pontiac wheel really set off the rest of the car and they wear tires that have plenty of miles left.

Puzzling, at least to me, is that the car has a Hurst Dual-Gate “His & Hers” Shifter which I thought was only available on the GTO. This was an exclusive to cars with an automatic transmission. George Hurst introduced this set-up to the aftermarket first before making it available to the likes of Oldsmobile and Pontiac. The execution was simple, i.e. there is a shifter with two paths under the plate. The main shift pattern was your usual PRNDL set up where you put the lever in Drive and let the transmission valve body do its job. Reverse and Park were the only diversions. Next to it is a separate gate to be maneuvered manually. You could run the car through first, second and third gears with your right hand. I suppose the seller, the dealer or a prior owner could have added this set-up, not the factory.

A 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix should fetch between $16-32,000 in good to excellent condition, which this car is probably somewhere in between. I’m guessing the Hurst equipment would make it more desirable to speed demons, so perhaps it will add more to the value of this car. Assuming this Grand Prix is everything it seems to be, the seller’s asking price borders on a bargain.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    It’s odd that this one has the “His n Hers” shifter, because with the angled instrument panel, “hers’ was not going to part of the driving experience from the passenger seat! This one sports a purposeful look, I personally don’t care for the blacked out Rally II’s, though. This one’s nice! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 2
  2. GCS Member

    I like the 66 Grand Prix but this is nice. You don’t see too many anymore…

    Like 4
    • DevilDog53

      The 66 was my favorite also. Still remember the first time I got up close to one when I was 13. It was parked in the street in front of my Church, and I was just in awe of how good it looked, both inside and out…

  3. Steve R

    That’s an aftermarket Hurst dual gate shifter. Even the seller doesn’t try and pass it off as factory in his ad. The plastic Hurst emblems are new too. That shifters presence does nothing to make the car more valuable or desirable, it’s just one of at least a few performance parts added to this car.

    Steve R

    Like 13
  4. Mike

    There’s a lot of pictures for a CL ad, but many are weird angles and too much close-up.

    Like 4
  5. JoeNYWF64

    Most of these had vinyl roofs & chrome wheelwell trim. The shifter is of no benefit, I believe, because the stock one had push to the right & up lockin of 2nd & 3rd gears. Perhaps this was not realized?
    The dash may have been replaced.
    These cockpit dashes(ford also used them on the big cars back then) are very very kewl but could be a complex problem if something goes wrong behind the packed in driver’s instruments.
    I’m guessing the hood tach was a dealer only installed option. Or done by an owner.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      Reproduction hood tachs have been available for a couple of decades at a cost just of just over $200 including a wiring harness.

      You are right about the shifter, push the handle to the right and it will only move up one gear at a time. That was the case with all 70 and newer Firebird’s too, most owners never knew they had that secondary function.

      Steve R

      Steve R

      Like 3
    • Shaun Hemi

      The hood tach is a factory option available in both the model J and SJ. If you look up they were advertising the hoods of the gto, firebird and grand prix back in 69 with all 3 sporting the hood tachs.

      Like 1
      • JoeNYWF64

        Odd no hood tach avail on 2nd gen f-bodies or ANY car SINCE!!!
        I wonder why.
        I believe the only hood tach on GM cars were on just dealer Yenko Nova Deuces & fact GSXs.
        & none on Chrysler cars, i think.
        I wonder why.

  6. David Bingham

    I had a B on B “72” J with vinyl roof. I still have dreams about it.

    Like 1
  7. CCFisher

    The dual-gate shifter is an odd modification. I can’t imagine potential buyers paying extra for the conversion. In fact, I bet more potential buyers would be turned off by the console modifications that were required to fit it.

    It’s also missing a lot of trim: side window moldings, “Grand Prix” emblems on the sail panels, wheel opening moldings, and trunklid molding.

    Like 2
  8. morrisangelo

    The only ‘OEM’ Hurst shifter you could get on the 69-72 GPs was with the manual transmission, minus 1972.

    That being said, you could also get a Hurst shifter (not quite OEM) with the bench seat versions of the Hurst SSJs in 1971 and 1972. Hurst Performance (WISCO) installed the Auto/Stick 1’s during those conversions.

    Like 2
  9. Troy s

    Back in Black!!!
    That’s a bad lookin’ machine right there, only thing that could make it any more hostile would be a 428. Stock or not I get the shifter swap, hey at least it’s not another one of those big BnM mega mongo shifters, right? It’s just a ride, as Pontiac intended.
    A bit upscale from the GTO, but still stylin’ all the way. Nice!

    Like 3
  10. 3Deuces

    Hurst introduced the dual gate (a/k/a “His & Hers”) shifter to the aftermarket in 1963. The Hurst dual gate shifter for the THM400 automatic transmission was only factory available on the ’67 & ’69 Pontiac GTO with bucket seats and console. In ’69, Pontiac employed its own (non-Hurst) console-mounted ratcheting automatic shifter. Olds also offered the Hurst dual gate shifter from the factory on the bucket seat & console equipped Cutlass/442 from ’68-’72 as RPO W26. Pontiac’s dual gate shifter was straight and Olds’ was “bent”. Had one on my ’68 GTO ragtop … lots of fun for a 2-pedal car!

    Like 1
    • 3Deuces

      CORRECTION: Factory installed on the ’67 & ’68 Pontiac GTO (sorry for the typo … the dual gate was never offered as a factory option on the ’69 and later GTO)

      Like 1
  11. John Oliveri

    My sister in law had a 69 400 4 barrel Grand Prix, I learned how to do burnouts in that car, she got rid of it in 74 for a Vega!!!! Orange at that, quite a change

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