NASCAR-Inspired 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 Aerocoupe

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With significant effort, General Motors brought special aerodynamic G-bodied Chevrolet and Pontiac coupes to market in 1986. Dreams of dominating NASCAR’s high-speed ovals like the Daytona Motor Speedway drove the complete redesign of the rear to accommodate this long sloping rear window. Take a close look; that’s no hatchback. The sloped rear glass covers an extremely large package tray, leaving cargo accessible only through a tiny trunk opening! That compromise may account for Pontiac selling only 1225 units that year, according to MotorTrend. This 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 Aerocoupe in Lincoln, Nebraska, needs some work, but the interior plastics (some of the hardest parts to find) look great. This Grand Prix could represent a good buy for someone hoping these cars become GM’s version of the Mopar “Wing Cars,” the Charger Daytona and Plymouth Superbird… shunned early on before becoming priceless unicorns. At least 10 bidders have raised this specimen’s value beyond $2000 here on eBay.

Luxury-ish and sporty-ish gray and faux wood typifies a lull between the hard-hitting performance of the classic muscle car era and the ’90s reinvention of fuel-injected, emissions-friendly performance that continues today.

A special front end treatment also helped the 2+2 Aerocoupe on the track, adding street swagger as well. The V-shaped hood creases subtly echo the pointy-nosed third and fourth generation Grand Prix. Why the decidedly non-aerodynamic recessed square headlights? While the 1984 Lincoln Mark IV and a few other U.S. vehicles wore vehicle-specific composite headlights, most American cars including the Grand Prix still utilized standardized sealed beam units.

NASCAR inspiration fell short of the Grand Prix engine bay in 1986, where this par-for-the-course 165 HP 5.0L (305 cid) Chevrolet V8 stood ready to move you from place to place with some torque and a satisfying exhaust tone. A four-speed automatic transmission and 3.08 rear gears delivered 60 miles per hour in 9.8 seconds and a 17 second quarter-mile, according to Automobile-Catalog. You can simulate this experience by launching your Camry after pulling three or four clicks on your parking brake, though I don’t recommend it.

Aftermarket or possibly DIY head rest covers and a missing headliner predict an upholstery invoice in this Aerocoupe’s future. Don’t leave your M&Ms or ant farm on that giant package shelf! Is Pontiac’s 2+2 Aerocoupe destined for collectible greatness?

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  1. Oldschoolmuscle

    When this came out I thought this car was ugly. Today I stand by my original thought…LOL

    Like 5
    • Maggy

      Yup.I agree . Monte looked a little better but not by much imo.

      Like 5
    • bruce baker

      Looks like a Grand Prix, & a Firebird got put together on a drunken GM assembly line on ST. Pattricks Day. On wait the car ain’t green.

      Like 1
  2. Butch Smith

    I remember the Car & Driver feature in these. I had just moved back from Europe where newer cars had become more slippery. Mostly for fuel economy. When I saw these two (with the Monte Carlo), I was thinking, great, Detroit is waking up. But nah, too much, too soon. Good ol’ boys won’t buy em. They didn’t sell. I’ve seen maybe 3 Montes. No Grand Prix Aeros in my life. But my family has had 3 gen 1 and 2 Tauruses and late 80’s Tbirds. Oh never mind. Ford caught on. Hahahaha.

    Like 1
    • nlpnt

      These were stopgap cars, never intended to sell well and only enough copies were ever made to qualify them for a NASCAR template. They had considerable off-production-line hand work and seriously compromised utility (teeny tiny trunk opening where the shape leads you to expect a massive cargo-swallowing hatch).

      If the GM10 program had come in on time rather than being delayed until 1988 due to Roger Smith’s huge reorg these would never have existed.

      Like 5
  3. John EderMember

    This looks like the product of a hook up between a Grand Prix and a Jensen Interceptor…

    Like 2
  4. Davey Boy

    This is actually the first time I’ve seen the Grand Prix. I like the front end a lot more than the Monte Carlo. There is another one on EBAY. Bid is about $7.400.00 needing only headliner work. Shows about what they’re worth done. You’ll be in this one quite a bit more than that one by the time it’s done. Doubt they’ll ever be worth as much as you will pay. To bad.

    Like 1
  5. Big C

    These things were rushed into existence due to one thing. Ford’s Aero Bird’s were eating GM’s lunch on the speedways of NASCAR.

    Like 5
    • MDS47588

      And…that’s a fact.

      Like 0
  6. ruxvette

    It would make no economic sense to buy it but, damn, that thing is so ugly it is cool. Lookit the floor heater vents, the clock only the passenger can see, the trunk opening just big enuff to slip in a half case…hell, yeah!
    Slap some bondo on the rust, send it to maaco, swap in some serious motor, grow a ‘stach, put on dark glasses, and cruise like The King!
    Hot damn!!!

    Like 3
  7. liketr8

    i worked in a pont dealer for 10 years, only saw 3 of these…liked them…but…whoever buys it needs to keep in mind, every one sold to the public had to be shipped back to pontiac to repair water leaks from the body redesign. this was done at no charge…not sure where some one can find the old technical data to do the correction

    Like 0
  8. Rich in Erie pa

    These cars are way under priced in the collector car market the anemic 305 can easily get a 350 upgrade with a mild cam and real dual exhaust tey really wake up and are a lot more fun, converted several in “the” day if you have the skills do the refurbishing it would be a good investment if you have to pay to have it restored professionally youll need to be in love for the next 5 or 10 years rare , and very cool cars

    Like 0
  9. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    Looking closely at the area on either side of the rear window, I see a body panel gap where the original trunk lid would have been. This suggests these cars were built as standard coupe body examples, where the rear window was not installed, allowing installation of a special panel to accept the rear window and trunk lid, without additional body modifications.

    It appears there are 5 threaded studs holding the assembly in place on either side of the window assembly, and probably more bolt-in hardware at the front area of the original trunk lid opening. The abbreviated trunk lid appears to be fiberglass too.

    Having experienced what happens to GM cars that sit outside for long periods without the trunk lid being opened and cleaned out of accumulated organic crap, I would expect the original trunk lid channels on the rear quarters may need repair from rust through.

    I would hate to have that rear window break, and need to source a replacement!

    Like 1
  10. Owen

    Wow I looked at the outside of this car and I was like “I guess this thing grew on me over the years…” But then I saw that interior and it brought back every bad car trip memory I’ve ever had. Pass on the 80s.

    Like 0

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