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Power Upgrade! 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2

Limited production models used to creep into general automobile line-ups as a way to homologate modifications that would be used in professional racing series. Some notable examples included the Dodge Charger 500 and Daytona, and the Plymouth Superbird. By the early ’70s, such specialty models weren’t commonly undertaken any longer. In 1986 GM threw its hat back into the ring with the introduction of the Monte Carlo Aerocoupe and the Grand Prix 2+2. The goal was to design and build a production vehicle that incorporated aerodynamic changes that would find favor on NASCAR superspeedways. Today, we have found an ’86 Grand Prix 2+2 version, courtesy of barn finder Rocco B. It is located in Long Island, New York and is available, here on craigslist for $8,000.

While the Monte Carlo is the more common version of the homologation specials, with about 6,200 copies built mostly in ’87, only 1,100 Grand Prix 2+2s were offered in ’86. The primary, unique 2+2 components included an aero influenced nose piece, a fiberglass decklid with integrated spoiler, and its most obvious trait, the large “bubble” rear glass. Beyond the reconfigured body components, the 2+2 was no different mechanically than a non-racing inspired Grand Prix. Additional features of the 2+2 were a two-tone silver/gray finish, discrete stripes, and wider, 15×7″ rally wheels.

This subject Grand Prix has seen some heavy pit crew action as the original 165 net HP, Chevrolet 305 CI V8 engine has been deep-sixed in favor of a 300 HP, 350 CI engine. Sadly there is no image to share. The seller adds that he has rebuilt the 200R auto transmission, added a shift kit, replaced the rear axle with a rebuilt Olds 442 unit complete with a 3.73 ratio (original was a 3.08 ratio), and swapped the front spindles for 2″ drop versions and installed new springs all around. Other mechanical improvements include a new alternator, electric fuel pump, electric cooling fan, heater core, heater blower motor, and complete brake system rebuild. It is claimed that the powertrain upgrades have experienced only 3K miles of use. In spite of all of this mechanical goodness, there is no description as to how this GP operates.

The exterior of this Poncho is, most definitely, tired. The finish is faded and flat and the nose piece has the droops. The seller advises that he has an extra driver’s door skin, a right front fender, two front air dams, taillights, and a replaced windshield. Other than the aforementioned nose, the rest of the body, including the driver’s side door, looks ok, there is no sign of rot or crash damage. Fortunately, that very distinctive rear window glass appears to be in good shape.

Regarding the interior, the seller claims,” Full interior refurbished w/ custom embroidery and full-length over-head console”. The seats look OK fabric-wise but they have that typical GM ’80s-’90s squashed look about them as if the stuffing and springs are in the process of giving it up. The rest of it looks fine, it’s quite clean, but the carpet is missing as are parts of the top of the center console. Of note is the goofy 85 MPH speedometer, it was a Federal requirement for years but even after the standard was revoked, some manufacturers continued to employ the decidedly under-inspired gauge.

In stock form, this Pontiac would have belied the image that it was attempting to portray. It seems as if that matter has been corrected with this GP! The challenge now will be to refurbish the cosmetics. This is an interesting find as the Monte Carlo version is considerably more common; these 2+2s are seldomly seen. The biggest debate may be the price; what do you think, reasonable for what it is?


  1. Dan

    Some may say these were ugly or not as popular as the aerocoupe monte carlo ss but these are more rare and to me the underdog of the two and i love it for that!

    Like 13
  2. Skorzeny

    Why in Hell would anyone put any money into rebuilding an automatic? SMH.

    Like 1
    • TimS Member

      Because not everyone is enamored with a manual.

      Like 24
    • Joe Fair

      Because when cruising, automatics just reign supreme.

      Like 5
    • JDF

      Some of use can no longer drive a stick due to health issues. Live long enough and it may happen to anyone.

      Like 6
  3. Stevonivich

    These weren’t ugly, they were fugly and still are. Why would you create a hot car that had the same lines of the Chevy Citation/ Pontiac Phoenix. Those are just as rare and fugly as this is today.

    Like 2
    • Joe Fair

      You’ve no idea what this is. There is zero DNA shared with the cars you mentioned. The Cutlass and Monte Carlo, sure.

      Like 1
      • Stevonivich

        Joe, this car shares the exact same flavor of fulgy as the Citation/Phoenix. There is no chance there is any DNA in this car, everything goes flaccid and dry upon even the slightest gaze upon this car.

        Like 1
  4. Patrick Farmer

    I love this car. I want at least two. I would love to place that nose on a station wagon or a GMC “Camino”. It reminds me of my Can Am, or a Grand Am. I have seen a black one and it looked GOOD. I have always wondered what a Trans Am shaker would look like on this car. It has a historic nameplate. This one has been driven hard. It’s a Hot Rod. Bigger engine than stock, Transmission has been hopped up. Dropped spindles along with a Olds 442 rear end. The Rally II wheels are painted correctly, but the originals were 14″ not 15″. Everything been touched except for paint and body. I’m willing to bet that the A/C compressor is missing. 97K on the clock and you want $8,000. Good Luck Don’t get me wrong if I had $8,000 I would buy it today.

    Like 1
    • Mike Reynolds

      These cars came with 15×7 factory rally wheels.

  5. Ed Hardt

    Do you know why they only made just enough to qualify for NASCAR because even back in the day they were considered butt ugly.

    Like 4
  6. Evan

    The other fun fact about these is that the enormous rear window made the trunk opening so ridiculously small that a normal spare tire couldn’t pass through it. They all came with a deflated space saver spare and an inflator kit.

    Like 4
    • Phil Detweiler

      Nor could much of anything else pass through it. When the trunk is open, it’s only slightly bigger than the opening to a FedEx or UPS drop box..

      Like 1
  7. Steve Clinton

    With that sagging plastic nose, was this GP parked in Death Valley for decades?

    Like 3
  8. jwzg

    A crate 350/290 Crate Engine with 308 HP in one of these in front of a beefed up 200R4 would be plenty stout with those 3.73’s. A fun, unique car could be had if the price was about half of what’s being asked.

    Like 4
  9. jerry z

    May have mentioned this before but why did Pontiac use a diffetent rear window than the Monte? You eill be screeed if that rear window breaks. The nose is also drooping on the car.

    Like 1
    • Guardstang

      Different window and different engine-the Monte got the HO 305 and the GP the regular 305. I always thought the GP had the cooler dash.

      Like 1
      • Phil Detweiler

        Chevrolet built the Monte Carlo SS aerocoupe to sell at retail, which is why they’re more plentiful, and you’ll see a lot more variety as far as colors, trims, and options.

        Pontiac built the Grand Prix 2+2 to homologate them for NASCAR, and nothing more. That’s why they’re all the same, and entered the market the same way: through the Product Evaluation Program. Pontiac’s zone management and sales and service representatives used them, then sold them at a discount to the dealers due to their “something less than new” status.

    • SubGothius

      The GP 2+2 rear window is more aerodynamic than the MC Aerocoupe, as it’s rounder and extends further back.

  10. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Regardless of condition, there is nothing Grand about this incarnation of the Pontiac Grand Prix.

    Like 3
  11. Jcs


    Like 2
  12. Allen L

    If it was good enough for Richard Petty to win races with one, it’s good enough for me!

    Like 1
  13. Ed

    The odometer displays the obvious sign of having been rolled back – misaligned numbers.

    Like 1
    • Joe Fair

      Owned a few like that. Nothing to do with being rolled back. Everything to do with being mechanical.

      Like 1
  14. RL-ZL1

    I always laugh at people talking about manual transmission and hate automatic , i can bet these same folks don’t even know how to drive stick shift cars properly, drivers choose what they like the most and feel comfortable
    Stop speakin for yourself

    Like 1

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