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Misunderstood Mid-Size? 1973 Pontiac Grand Am

Looking to thwart the growing presence of European sporty cars like Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Pontiac came out with the Grand Am in 1973. It was something of a cross between the Grand Prix and the Trans Am in both style and naming convention. They arrived at an awkward time (the OPEC oil embargo) and sales didn’t take off, so first-generation production ended in 1975 (a smaller car with that name would come out in 1978). This beauty has only had two owners who’ve put on just 61,000 miles. Located in Amherst, New York, this apparent survivor looks like a turnkey car that’s available here on craigslist for $28,000. Our thanks to T.J. for another interesting GM tip!

In the 1970s, a lot of American sports cars lacked luxury features and many of the luxury cars were void of sports features. So, Pontiac decided to hybrid the Grand Prix and Trans Am on the mid-sized A-body platform shared with the Pontiac LeMans. The car would have the body of a GTO, the interior of a Grand Prix, and larger engines usually found in the Grand Prix, Bonneville, and Grand Ville. As GM had switched its intermediates to the new “Colonnade” styling in 1973, that same design was applied to the new Grand Am. It’s not much of a stretch to say that the Grand Am was put together from the existing Pontiac parts bin.

Coupes like the seller’s Grand Am saw the production of 34,445 units in 1973 and sales would dwindle to 8,786 in 1975, leading Pontiac to cancel the car. While the OPEC situation didn’t help, you could hypothesize the cars weren’t marketed well and thus were not understood by the buying public. But they were attractive cars nonetheless, thanks to the Grand Am’s unique flexible urethane front fascia center nose (known as the ‘Endura’ snoot) that was squeezable and could return to its original shape following a minor impact. The seller bought this beautiful example from the original owner around 2016. The only work we’re told that has been done of late is to place new tires on all four wheels.

We assume this car is in good running condition. The seller doesn’t talk about the engine, so it could be a 400 cubic inch V8 with either a 2-barrel carburetor (170 hp) or a 4-barrel (200 hp). Either way, there’s a TH-400 automatic transmission to handle the shifting of gears. The body, paint, and vinyl top all look great and the interior looks quite inviting, as well. So, this appears to be a great car to have in your garage, assuming you agree with the asking price.

Comments

  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Pontiac really had a knack for sporty interiors.
    The tail section of this car looks odd IMO, but it’s a looker overall. $28k though? Seems like it’s $10-12k overpriced to me, but I suppose I think that about everything on the road lately.

    Like 21
    • al8apex

      Sold, so obviously someone didn’t agree with your appraisal

      Great car, try to find a nice one

      Like 11
      • Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

        It’s a nice car, just seemed like an awful lot of money for what it is, at least two people disagree, so maybe it’s just me..

        Like 12
    • Mike

      Yeah it 10K over price.

      Like 10
  2. Dave

    It’s worth whatever someone’s willing to pay. Consider for a moment how much $ it would cost to restore one to this condition.

    Like 11
  3. Ben

    A friend in high school had the same color with a 455 and man it was fast

    Like 7
  4. CCFisher

    A 455 was also available, but not the 455 SD, despite it being listed in the brochure.

    Like 3
  5. JLHudson

    @CCFisher: There was one 1973 Grand Am with the SD455. How do i know this? There is a picture of the car in two automotive books. If the car was sold to the public & its fate are unknown to me

    Like 2
    • W72WW3

      The only legit SD 455 Grand Ams were photographed at GMs Milford Proving Ground facility.

      Like 2
  6. Desert Rat

    Beautiful car.

    Like 3
  7. Naptown mark

    I’ve wanted one of these for a long time. I’ve never wanted one $20k+ bad. Perhaps I’ve missed the boat on these.

    Like 4
    • Walter

      I’m with you on wanting the car but not being down with the price. I even showed this to my 20 year old daughter who is a bit of a car nut. Her reaction was “cool but a lot of money.”
      I do envy the buyer but my pockets just aren’t that deep.

  8. PairsNPaint

    I loved my ’73. Burgundy paint, red(ish) interior, 4bbl 400, TH-400. Smooth as silk tooling up I-95 at 90-100 mph. VA state trooper pulled up along side of me once and just motioned for me to ease it up. Thought I was going to jail!

    Like 4
  9. Keith D

    Very Nice car..my father owned a 67 Pontiac Executive back in the late 60’s and an 81 Bonneville Brougham in the early 90’s My first Pontiac was an 81 Parisseine Brougham 2-door I bought in 1993 I had a 1990 Bonneville SSE I bought in 1999 I bought my wife an 89 Grand Am coupe that same year. My last Pontiac was an 05 Bonny SSEi Grey on Grey the final year for the Bonneville nameplate went out of production replaced with the G8 a few years later with poor sales. Never experienced any major mechanical issues with any of my Pontiacs, always loved the sporty styling and the airplane styled dash was always a delightful favorite for me. One of a kind for an American automobile. The Pontiac division was one of the BEST for GM I was deeply saddened by it’s demise in 2010. I will always certainly miss Pontiac.

    Like 7
    • FireAxeGXP

      Amen Keith! Amen. However, the SSEi Bonneville ceased production in 2003. I have an 05 Bonneville GXP which replaced SSEi as the top Bonneville. I like it so much I am looking for an SSEi to add to my garage. I too ( and I bet many other BF readers deeply miss Pontiac.
      However, death of the marque may be a better fate than that of Buick. Can you imagine GchinaM announcing new Pontiac models that would not be sold in the USA? What a damned disgrace.

      Like 3
      • Keith D.

        Yes I’m sorry I had a 2005 Bonneville GXP my mistake

      • Keith D.

        Yes Correction it was a GXP I was stuck on the SSE and the appropriate badging name had slipped my mind Thanks!

  10. Jim in FL

    I had a pair of 73s. Both white with red vinyl top and the dark red ( burgundy) interior. One was a ratty 400, then after I had it about 6 months a 455 was being traded in at the dealer where I worked.

    At the time, the look wasn’t for everyone, but I thought it was pretty cool with the enduro nose and chrome rear bumper. I junked up the 400 with glass packs and a waaaaay too big Holley carb. Gave it to my brother. Sold the 455 for a lot more than I paid.

    The automatic trans had a cool feature. If you shifted straight up it was a normal prndsl, but if you launched In first and pushed up and to the right it would shift to second only.

    I remember repainting the stripe decals with a pin striping brush. Good times.

    Like 3
  11. Jonathan A Green

    We had a ’73 4 door version, with a 350. Brown with white vinyl interior. No AC, AM radio. For reasons that I can’t fathom, I took some red spray paint we had in the garage and spritzed a little on the hubcap. I remember the paint dripping down the shiny Chrome hubcap and thinking, “why did I do this?” I was maybe 5 or 6. I never said anything, and years later, I found out my dad thought some vandals did it. Which, I guess, was true…

    Like 5
  12. SirLurxaLot

    I’ve always liked these but, just like everything else these days, it looks like I’ll never be able to afford a nice one. I’m glad that I got to enjoy a lot of cool cars in my past because I think I am out of the game these days.

    Like 4
  13. Emel

    The Grand Am was always one of the better prizes on:
    The Who, What or Where Game.

    I think the top prize was the Pontiac Grand Ville Convertible.

    Like 2
  14. Emel

    Buzzed around Miami & Miami Beach in the Holiday season of 1973….in a very close sibling of the Grand Am. The Pontiac LeMans. That, the Grand Am and our Malibu were all colonnades.
    For one year., there was also a Pontiac Can Am.
    Toucan Sam owned one. :)

  15. Glenn Schwass Member

    The bright red interiors back then still throw me off since they are a thing of the past now. That is a nice car.

  16. JLHudson

    @W72WW3. The two pictures i know of are probably the same car.

  17. jwaltb

    Yuck, a Colonnade. Ugly buckets.

  18. mark mastrangelo

    In 1973 my dad bought a new 4 door version of this with the same colors for my mom to drive.Fully optioned and a pleasure to drive.My sister and I used to beg my mom to let us use it.A reliable car, very few repairs.We put over 200K miles on it before the northeast climate rusted it away.

  19. mark mastrangelo

    I have read in multiple places that the only SD455 Grand Am made was destroyed by GM.

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