NASCAR Special: 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2

The desire to succeed in NASCAR competition drove Pontiac to produce the Grand Prix 2+2 in 1986. Only 1,225 examples were built, and it remained in production for a single model year. This example needs some cosmetic work, but it does appear to be a solid and complete classic. The owner has chosen to part with it, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Mobile, Alabama, and with the bidding sitting at a mere $2,550, the reserve hasn’t been met.

Racing is said to improve the breed, and in the case of the 2+2, it was the desire to tackle the dominant Ford Thunderbird on the high-speed NASCAR ovals that motivated the company to produce such a distinctive model. Of course, this wasn’t the first time a manufacturer had followed this path because few enthusiasts can forget the Dodge Daytona or the Plymouth Superbird. The Grand Prix (and its cousin, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo), suffered significant rear-end lift at high speeds, so Pontiac developed what was essentially a semi-fastback version of their offering. This was achieved by incorporating an enormous sloping rear window that channeled the airflow to a large rear spoiler. This solved the problem and created a car that was nothing if not distinctive. The front end was also modified to help the 2+2 to slice through the air better. The result was an incredible 25% reduction in aero drag, along with the elimination of rear-end lift at high speeds. However, it also brought with it a few shortcomings as a road car. The first was that the rear window acted as a glass-house. Having effective air conditioning was essential in warmer climes, or the vehicle’s occupants would eventually wind up lightly cooked. The other issue was the size of the trunk opening. The trunk size was virtually unchanged from the standard Grand Prix, but the trunk lid had to be reduced in size to accommodate the new rear glass. This left an opening about the size of a letter slot and meant that larger objects were not an option. This Grand Prix looks to be complete and unmolested, but it does need some cosmetic work. It wears its original color combination of Silver and Gunmetal, but it shows a few scars and marks. A repaint will be on the cards, but it doesn’t look like the buyer will be facing a pile of preparation work before they tackle that task. The panels were a few minor dings, but there is no evidence of rust. The distinctive nose shows no appreciable damage, while the rear spoiler also looks good. The car rolls on its original Rally II wheels, and while one of the center caps appears to be missing, the wheels and trim rings look to be in good condition.

Buyers who were considering handing over their cash for a Grand Prix 2+2 often expected a classic muscle car, so many found the drivetrain underwhelming. The vehicle came equipped with a 305ci V8, which was hooked to a 700-R4 automatic transmission. This placed 165hp at the driver’s disposal and meant that the journey down the ¼ mile took around 17 seconds. However, that was to miss what the 2+2 was all about because a few drivers found that their purchase came into its own when speed increased. The car cut through the air efficiently, and it felt far more stable than a standard Grand Prix at higher speeds. That’s precisely what a driver needed at Daytona and Talladega. The good news with this Grand Prix is that it is in sound mechanical health. The owner uses the car on a regular basis and says that it runs very well.

The interior of the Pontiac is like the rest of the vehicle. It is original and unmolested, but it looks tired. The significant issues here are the state of the seat upholstery and the carpet. The seats show considerable deterioration, and the buyer can choose to replace the covers or buy a set of aftermarket slipcovers to hide the damage. The latter is the cheaper option because a set of new covers in the correct color and material will cost around $550. However, with most of the remaining interior trim appearing to be in good order, it might be worth the cost. When combined with the new covers and a new carpet set, a deep clean would make an enormous difference in this case. Comfort and convenience features include air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio and cassette player.

Performance enthusiasts seem to have developed a love/hate relationship with the 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2. Some of them love it, while others seem to hate it. This was a model that was built for a single purpose, and it achieved its stated aim with style. The company only produced 1,225 cars, and while some NASCAR homologation specials now command incredible prices, the Grand Prix 2+2 remains affordable. It is possible to find reasonable examples for under $10,000, but really nice ones usually sell for between $15,000 and $20,000. With those figures in mind, it will be interesting to see what this one ultimately sells for.

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Comments

  1. Rustytech Member

    Decent car. I think we will see right around $10k on this one.

    Like 2
  2. nlpnt

    I always used to think these and the Chevys were hatchbacks until I saw one with the trunk open.

    Like 2
  3. Mr.BZ

    Back when Nascar used “real” cars, and had a race instead of a series of odd little contests. Does everything have to be a ^#! game show?

    Like 5
  4. Jcs

    I understand that looks are a subjective thing, but I have never warmed up to these. Flat out ugly to me, and I am a G-body fan. The fact that Pontiac did absolutely nothing in the performance department as did the other GM divisions doesn’t help either.

    Some do like them however, whatever their reasons. The right person might just find his treasure here at a reasonable price, assuming the reserve is not over $6K or less, based on it’s apparent condition overall.

    Like 10
    • Tom Bell

      Above comments all on point. More muscle and three pedals would have made this closer to the real deal.

      Like 1
  5. 200mph

    “The whale”. That’s what it was called in the Nascar garage area. Nuff said.

    Like 1
  6. Tom

    I always felt that Pontiac missed a golden opportunity to resurrect the GTO with this car. Borrow a tuned port 350 from Chevy mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. Or better yet use the Buick 3.8 turbo and driveline from the GN, although that wouldn’t have been a likely option. These cars used the 2004R overdrive transmission as I believe all G bodies did.
    I could have bought a beautiful 2+2 for $8000 a few years ago and still wish I had

    Like 1
  7. Frank

    I agree with you guys, Like G bodies, hated these aerocoupes. Sounds like they did the job at high speeds, but the ones we got were not capable of high speeds lol.
    Like the idea of the tuned port and a 5 speed swap.

    Like 1
  8. Mike

    Ranks right up there with Aztec styling. Ick.

  9. Mike S.

    I don’t remember if it was on Barnfinds or somewhere else, but I think maybe this same car was online a year or two ago. Had been in a field (maybe in Georgia?) with little attempt to try and make it look presentable. If it’s the same car, it has been “cleaned” up now as much as it can be, but honestly this is one previously abandoned looking problem car that I wouldn’t touch. And bidding is up to almost 6,000. Can’t imagine how much time and money it would take to get this car even decent appearing. No thanks. If you could find one in near perfect shape, it would be nice to buy at 20K absolutely tops.

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