Librarian Driven: 1973 Grand Am 7.4L V8

I am always fascinated by the giant 2 door cars from the 60’s and 70’s. This 1973 Pontiac Grand Am isn’t as big as the Lincoln Mark V or Cadillac Eldorado from the same era but it is still a serious land yacht. Submitted by Pat L. and found here on craigslist in West Hills, California is this 1973 with a 7.4L, 455 cui V8. The listing doesn’t state if the numbers match, but the car does sport the original 7.4L badging. The nose piece has been changed to the ’74 version giving it a unique look.

The extremely thirsty engine was rated at 250 horsepower out of the factory and probably produced some excellent tire wrecking abilities. Although, it may not have been put to the test as the seller claims the odometer shows only 53k miles and this car wasn’t just lady driven, it was lady librarian driven! I’m having a hard time picturing a quiet, conservative librarian roaring down the road in this beast. Then again, maybe she wasn’t the average librarian. The engine was either barely broken in by a quiet proper lady on her daily commute or it was drag raced and used to rebel against a quiet day job by a librarian with a cause. Either way, if the mileage is accurate this engine should have lots of life left.

The color combination between the paint and the new gun metal grey vinyl roof is excellent.  There appears to be lots of spots that need work like dents near the wheel wells, cracks in the nose piece and a rusty trunk.  I’d be tempted to clean it up and put it back the same color.  The seller is also including two new front fenders to make the repairs a little easier.  The rally rims and the white lettered tires are such a perfect look for this beast I hope that the new owner sticks with them.  Some cars suit the wide wheels with low profile rubber but this one looks so good as it is.

The engine is clean and interior looks solid but the red may have faded a bit too pink.  Combined with the fake wood  around the gauges and I’d probably spend as much money on the inside as I did on the outside.  Particularly if I was going to spend much time driving it.   I really like the style of this car and it wouldn’t take much to turn this into a good daily driver.  It might cost more to operate than to restore.  When upgrading the cabin, it might be wise to figure out how to add a nav system to help point you from one gas station to another.  Would you quick fix and drive this beast or would you modify it, take it down low and modernize it?

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Comments

  1. Wade Anderson

    I think the front end price is original to the car my boss had a 4Dr Grandam set up the same way and the Winter Garden Police Dept had about 8 lemons set up with the 455 in them

    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      It’s not original to the car. The ’73 has three larger grills per side and round turn signals. The ’74 has six smaller grills per side and square turn signals. The front clip has clearly been replaced as the article says.

      Like 3
    • Jeff Smith

      That’s a 74 or 75 front end. I had an original 73 ordered new. Not the same front end

      Like 2
    • mark

      The First Car I Ever Purchased in My Life, was in 1973 special edition by Pontiac grand am. Wow was the coolest car I’ve ever owned. If I had understood that at the time I would have kept it when overseas in the military. Yes the front of this car is a 1974 Grill. Still and all looks good. I’ve never seen a Grand Am 455 without the hood scoops. I noticed this one does not have those. Interesting

      Like 1
      • Gord

        I still own my 455 1975 Grand Am & I’ve never seen a Grand Am with hood scoops. Lemans sport coupe had hood scoops with certain packages. The nose is from a 75 with vertical grill bars the 74 had horizontal grill bars.

  2. Anthony R from RI

    Since the paint is in much better shape on the hood than on the trunk and its wearing a 74 nose piece i am thinking the front clip was replaced at some point in the cars history but still a very nice car

    • Vin in NJ

      Possibly the nose was replaced to repair a front end crash, hence the paint being in much better shape on the hood than on the trunk

      • Superdessucke

        I wonder if prim and proper librarian lady planted that nose into something after getting all sideways during a smokey burnout.

    • Jim

      I think it’s probably where the car was parked nose in, in the garage. Plus, it’s GM Silver. It never lasted very long, even when new.

      Like 1
  3. R.hernandez

    Weird how that trunk lid rusted like that
    Other than that. Fresh tune,fresh fluids
    I’d more than likely make it a daily driver!

  4. T Mel

    Wow, what a great car. I agree just paint and some interior and down the road I would go.
    Jon, just FYI, Pontiac-heads say big displacement or large displacement or simply 455/400/350/etc, or something like that. The blocks on Pontiac V8’s are not like Chevy’s where you have big and small blocks, all Pontiac blocks are the same size.

    Like 3
    • Tonhei B.

      I hate to burst your bubble but not all Pontiac blocks are the same size…I have 3 and neither are the same sized displacement or otherwise

      • Rick Byrne

        Right, 455/400/389 are all the same. 350/326 were different. And then there was the 303 race motor, which I was never sure where it came from. Wasn’t there also a 301 in the 1980s?

  5. Gunner

    I would wager that the car was covered for a period of time hence the rust on the trunk from condensation. The rust on the top of the rear quarters are probably wear marks from it as well. I agree that the front clip was likely replaced. I always liked these body styles and really dig the grill on this one.

    • bob fernandez

      i think your right the front grill has been replaced the one i owned i bought back in76 had a sponge type rubber nose this one has a fiber glass nose. theres a company that bought the rights to refabricate that pontiac grill i think for around 700.00 dollars. thats just a guesstimate maybe more. thanks for your input im having the car painted back to factory color andnew interior puy in this summer. got to keep appearances with my buddies 72 gto thats A1 condition. he was getting ready to sell his until i bought this so now he has someone to ride and go to shows with. thanks again

  6. Chuck

    These are super smooth cruisers that handle surprisingly well for how massive they are. Paint it, tune it, fix the AC and drive it.

    Like 2
  7. Mark

    The front fenders appear to be a slightly different color from the rest of the car so I suspect that the reason why the front facia is from a 74 model is due to an accident of some significance.

    I also think that this would be fun to fix up if the price is right.

    Like 1
    • bob fernandez

      i purchaced this 73 pontiac grand am last year and it has been kept in a heated garage for the winter. just recently was able to take it out for a drive and if a little old librairian drove this as a daily driver she got to work in a hurry. your right the power and the handling of this car is unbelievable. im looking into having it taking down to bare metal by having it soda blasted with baking soda and putting it back to factory color. by the way the seller also gave me 2 new seats to replace the torn ones with 2 new front fenders. this is deffinitly a keeper. thanks for the heads up on the front grill

      Like 2
      • TMD

        Hey Bob, congratulations on buying a really outstanding car, hope you love it as much as I do mine. Not sure where you’re located, but I have a nice set of original seats if you’re interested?
        Since re-reading this post, I must correct Jon, the ’73 used real wood for the dash and console, not fake (though they rarely survived after 45 years). Great cars !

        Like 1
  8. nessy

    Spray the trunk, the rest looks fine. Ah, a 455 Grand Am. You have featured several in the past but not a 455. Whenever you post a Grand Am from this era, the first thing I look for is that neat 7.4 trunk badge or just a 6.5 badge. A rare bird at a fair price. That nose cap can’t be original, they fell apart within the first 5 years or so and the grill looks to be a 74. Here is a photo of my 74 455 Grand Am, also with the rare power sunroof.

    Like 1
  9. 68 custom

    wonderful car loaded with options, whats not to like? looks like it even has power buckets? and the 455 and sunroof. bet it is one of one left!

    Like 1
    • nessy

      Ah, “68 custom” How could it be 1 of 1 left when there is a photo of another loaded up 455 sunroof example just above your comment? The white car above was ordered with every possible option, even the cornering lamps as you can see in the photos.

      • 68 custom

        ok my bad I guess I assumed (falsely) that yours was long gone. but on the other hand it does not have the cornering lights so one of one left could still be possible! :)

    • Tommy D

      There’s a few left…Nessy has one, and I do too…

      Like 1
    • bob fernandez

      your right they made just under 50,000 of these 73 grand ams for the first year of production. ive been to quite a few shows with my buddy who has a 1972 gto thats mint condition andhave not seen one yet. im getting this one ready for paint and interior work so i can go to these shows and let people see what a class act this car was for its day. thanks for your post keep in touch and ill send pictures when its done.

  10. redwagon

    Nice color combo. I like the gold on red or the grey on red. I’d be tempted to make it gold or grey and forget the vinyl roof. Wonder if the librarian ever let her hair down in it? Lots of low end torque in ’73 but if it could be de-smogged look out! Now I’m thinking how hard would it be to de-smog it, put in some go fast pieces and swap in a modern 6 speed manual tranny?

  11. Billy Bob

    Having a hard time believing the mileage claim. The driver’s side carpet is extremely worn for only 53K. And where is the A/C compressor? Have always liked this body style.

    Like 1
    • bob fernandez

      the interior carpet is shot but this is a california car and it does have a rare sun roof which could have been left open during some rainey days. And the way this car runs i do believe the odometer is correct right now it sits at 53,1460 and the tires are brand new that still have the factory little rubber stipends on them. im having the car soda blasted with baking soda to bare metal and going back to factory color and already having new carpet put in. this car is a keeper. keep in touch and ill send you pictures. thanks for the post

      Like 1
  12. Mark

    I had a 1973 Grand Am when I got out of the army in 1983. I’m not sure of the engine size but it was a monster. It had the 4 on the floor with a tachometer on the console in front of the shifts with a positive rear end . It was triple black and it was a lot of fun. I wish I still had it.

    Like 2
  13. Craig U

    The Craig’s List post says this is a ’74 nose. Keep the 455, but add some Edelbrock Performer heads and a big cam and lose the smog stuff. Should be good for a least 600 horsepower and 500 foot pounds of torque.

    Like 1
  14. Nrg8

    Looks like it wasn’t the sexy librarian that owned this judging by that seat. That being said when you roll in and out, there will be wear. To me it looks honest, but these are all gone up here in central Canada. It’s too bad I’m so far away. Part of my guilty pleasure of owning and driving old iron is the look of disgust by the people who are so correct they poop rainbows. This would make an awsome cruiser as is. Maybe … You can’t go wrong really.

    Like 1
  15. Ed Rosko

    I like this car. I have a soft spot for “B-side” performance cars of this era. Probably , in part, because I can still afford to buy one.

  16. Jim

    not all Nrg8 as here in Calgary all summer long, a fellow drives his mint 73 to work and back daily

    • Nrg8

      I do agree they can be had, just alot more money for a lot less car.

  17. Maestro1 Member

    Very sexy cars. Fix it and drive it.

  18. John C Cargill

    My 73 Grand Am had the sunroof, and was dark red metallic. But was only a base 400 2bbl, Averaged about 12 mpg in city driving.

  19. glen

    I like this car. I just hope there’s nothing ” scary” under the new vinyl roof. I’ll keep my librarian fantasy to myself.

  20. KevinR

    Great car. Paint, some 17″ wheels in a retro style with modern tires, with a thorough mechanical review. Then just drive and smile.

  21. Rustytech Member

    I don’t consider this car giant. I had a 73 Buick Centurian, now that was giant. The Buick was also a 455 4v and it was fast. This has got to be a rocket. I would love to have this as a winter project, just too much going on right now to take on another project. Great and rare find!

  22. Art M.

    The nose piece may be from a 74, but is was the same in 73. I had a 73 in the early 80’s. Handled great for a land barge. Single digit fuel economy, but that could have been an issue with my right foot.

  23. Art M.

    I just looked at some old pictures of my 73 and I was wrong, the nose piece was different in 74. Oops, I guess my memory is not 20/20.

  24. DG

    I don’t like the colonnade era cars, but besides maybe a ’77 Can-Am, this one I would want. Right color combo, right motor, rare sunroof.

  25. Tom

    A 73 455 anything was a dog. Gas crunch engines.

    • stevef

      Not really. The gas crunch didn’t happen until late 73, which was during the 74 model year. So 73’s aren’t gas crunch engines. And that wasn’t what affected performance anyway. It was compression ratios that started getting lower starting in 71, and emissions controls that came later. 73’s weren’t much different from 71’s and 72’s performance wise, so still had some punch left.

      • Tommy D

        Agree, 1970 was the end of high compression, and soon the gas that could support it would be gone too. No one today would build a pump gas motor over 10:1 because detonation would kill the motor. The ’71-73′ Pontiac motors all shared the same cc heads, with the top dogs being the HO and SD at 111 cc’s rated about 8.4 CR vs the standard 455 114 cc’s.

  26. Taco Juan

    a yabba dabba do!!!

  27. Dave

    Ohhh, how I miss my 1973 Grand Ams. I miss the 4 of them that passed through my life. The 400 turbo hyrdamatic with a ram air three cam, hooker headers, a cross over pipe, HO carb rejet and timing kit made that a pretty fast, far faster than the 4 speed I owned. What a highway cruiser, way ahead of its time, so easy for me to forget that if I looked at it cross eyed it rusted. Smoked every 455 Pontiac I ever encountered. Something about that cam and the wake up from the carb rejet and recurved distributor.

    Drive it and love it. I pine for a nice clean original just like they came in 1973.

  28. LAB3

    With a 455 and the front end having that shape you could pull up to a 36″ Oak tree, gun the engine and have your firewood for the garage split for the winter!

  29. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    This posting has been deleted by its author. Anybody catch the Price?

    • nessy

      I think they were asking 7500 or best offer. Looks like someone grabbed it.

      • Tommy D

        Sold in one day on ebay yesterday, buy it now was 7900 or 8900 I think. If solid, it was a great buy with those options!

  30. Jubjub

    And the wood on the dash is actually a real veneer! Believe it was called crossfire mohagany.

    Love the color combo on this one…Ascot Silver. These came in some really great metallic colors.

    Like 1
  31. David Miraglia

    one of my favorite two coupe designs of the 1970’s

  32. Karl in Sydney

    The car was on ebay too. It’s a “completed listing” showing that it sold for $7999.

    • bob fernandez

      yes i paid 7900.00 hundred for that grand am and it was worth it. the month before i lost a bid by a hundred bucks in the last 2 seconds of the clock for a cherry 73 grand am so i paid asking price for this one. other than the trunk theres not a speck of rust on this car. the owner said just the back end stuck out of the car port sprinklers and rain did the damage. im having the car painted and a new interior put in this summer. even after the money i put in this car its still gonna be cheaper than the one i lost at auction that one sold for16,000

  33. Jay

    Must have sold it has been deleted. The 455 was a definite plus.

  34. Adddyboy

    It is a number matching car……..

  35. stevef

    Although the 74 and 75 GA noses are the same, the grilles are different. This one has 75 grilles, so the nose is likely from a 75 GA, not 74. Good looking, well-optioned 73 at a reasonable price, even considering the wrong nose.

    • Tommy D

      Since ALL the original noses have or will disintegrate, the fix is to buy a Motorealm fiberglass nose. This seller apparently found a ’74 donor and swapped the nose, which he admits has issues. Keeping or finding the “Pontiac” script for the nose is a challenge…it was only used on the GA’s and not reproduced to my knowledge.

      Like 1
      • bob fernandez

        there is a number to call to buy a repllica nose for 1970s cars or maybe even older go tow.w.w replica plastics.com or call the plant office at 1-800-873-5871 either watch the video as i did or call them. you wont be disapointed. your welcome i just did your homework for you

  36. Addyboy

    enjoy…….

  37. Utes

    Shame about the slider in the roof, that junk vinyl top, & the incorrect nose piece!
    There’s nothing “unique” about that “look”. The ’73 front end was iconic…should’a left well enough alone!
    As well….why market a rusty deck lid?

  38. Randy Hudson

    One would have to be on drugs to not restore this back to factory original. The correct nose is available in aftermarket even if it is fiberglass. They didn’t make a lot of 455 Grand Am’s and finding one in this condition is like a needle in a haystack.

    That will be worth some serous cash one day, that is unless you kill the value by “modifying” it.

    Like 1
    • bob fernandez

      your right im keeping it as from the factory going back to original paint same seats just having them recovered new carpet and a tune up and this car is back as a daily driver. this car is amazing and fun to drive. its very hard not to step on it from time to time but its got brand new tires so what the heck. thanks for the post ill send some pictures when its done

      • Tom

        Hey Bob, how’s the restoration going…did you paint yet?

  39. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    Popular Science magazine, I think it was 1973 or 1974, compared the Grand Am to the Mercury Montego and Dodge Coronet and I think AMC Matador. Jim Dunne and Jan Norbye stated the Grand Am was in a class by itself, head over heals superior to any other Detroit intermediate. They used the phrase “forcibly demonstrates” to make their point. I miss the Pop Sci head to head tests ie Acceleration, Braking, Handling, Maneuverability, Roominess, Ease of Entry/Exit, Fuel Economy. Funny how one remember things like this from when one was 12 years old.

    Like 2
  40. Tony Welch

    You are absolutely right. The correct price is 800.00 bucks. I bought one fur my 1973 455 grand am. The header panel factory was the piece but the company that bought the rights makes its one whole piece header panel.

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