Rare 4-Speed: 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix

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One of the early personal luxury cars, the Grand Prix mixed muscle with comfort right from the beginning. Launched in 1962, the first generation of the car would run through 1968. The nameplate itself would end up being one of the auto industry’s longest surviving at 47 consecutive model years. This 1964 edition has the somewhat rare speed, which may have gone into less than two percent of Grand Prix production that year. Available in Pomona, California, this one can be found here on eBay where the starting bid of $8,000 has not been made. Our thanks to local_sheriff for bringing this car to our attention.

The Grand Prix’s predecessor was the Ventura, which was a Catalina-based sporty full-size car. But the GP would gain its own styling cues, such as a squared-off roof rather than a fastback look. Performance would also be at the forefront, and the Grand Prix would come with nothing less than a 389 cubic inch V8 engine. Inside, the car would be trimmed with Morrokide vinyl over bucket seats and a 2+2 set-up with a fold-down armrest breaking up the back seat. A console, of course, was standard fare.

In its third year, Pontiac built 63,810 copies of the Grand Prix and just 3,124 were equipped with a manual transmission of any kind. The seller has an options/production document that may indicate as few as 1,131 of those were a 4-speed, like this car. Most buyers opted for the automatic transmission. So, the seller’s car is in rare territory mechanically. The Grand Prix shared its engines with the Bonneville, so no less than five 389 and two 421 V8s were available. The seller doesn’t identify which is in this car, so we’re going with a 389.

This is a non-running car, as witnessed by the lack of any hoses, radiator cap, fan belts, or carburetor. The seller says the engine and compartment have been detailed, but the quality of the work on the motor has a rattle can look to it. We’re told all the missing parts are with the car, but the main issue preventing it from running is a clutch that was incorrectly installed and needs correcting.

While the original black paint has developed a fair amount of surface rust, there appears to be no corrosion gremlins lurking elsewhere (but you never know for sure). The seller says there have never been any rust repairs or Bondo added to the sheet metal. This is an 8-lug car and the trim rings and center caps on the wheels look to have held up nicely. Once inside the Pontiac, you’ll want to make plans to recover the front seats and replace the carpeting, but the back seat looks as though all it might need is cleaning. And the console shifter needs a new ball on it.

Hagerty estimates the resale value of a ’64 Grand Prix to be $8,500 in Fair condition. Add $30,000 to that for the nicest one around. The 4-speed transmission would probably command an upcharge due to its low production numbers. Once the cosmetic and mechanical work this car needs is done, this GP would be one impressive sight among the sea of GTOs that dominate vintage Pontiac groups.

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  1. jerry z

    A 4 speed GP. What a find! If this was on the right coast, would check it out.

    Like 7
    • tom wasil

      hope they can get the aluminum wheels off . they will metallicaly weld to the drums

      Like 1
  2. local_sheriff

    GPs don’t sell for massive $ so I think the seller has set starting bid too optimistically since this one needs it all. With that said GPs are luckily the fullsize Pontiacs that are best served by the aftermarket.

    It’s the 4spd that makes this one special and of course the bare bones body. So if it doesn’t sell I think this is the kind of project it could be beneficial to put on the ‘save’ list and return to the seller at a later date with an appropriate offer

    Like 11
  3. Clement

    I love Grand Prix’s and the 4-speed makes it unique but not necessarily more desirable. Too much work and $$$ needed for a car that will never have great market appeal.

    Like 8
  4. Jon

    I’m invested in this one

    Like 1
  5. Ralph Boone

    I had the 64 GP 421,Tri power 4 sp. weighed the same as the 55 chevy.

    Like 7
  6. Bob Mck

    I have a phenomenal 63. Wish it had a 4 speed in it. I wonder how hard it would be to change out.

    Like 2
    • Ralph Boone

      Hard !! the brake and clutch assembly will need to be added. the brake booster also. Need bell housing, pressure plate, clutch and flywheel. don’t forget the input shaft bushing.

      Like 7
      • Mark

        Fabcraft in Texas sells clutch pedal assemblies, but finding a manual bell housing is really difficult!! I converted my 63 Catalina to a 4 speed and found it easier to change the motor out for a newer one that allowed me to use a standard BOP bell housing.

        Like 1
  7. Mountainwoodie

    Insert same complaint here……( ). Rattle can paint on an engine with no hoses no belts no nada………..car has been sitting a long time. Its Pomona California………..pretty rusty…..kinda strange for the area……tranny problems…….seller gives up..don’t let your lying eyes fool you!

    Like 7
  8. Rick Rothermel

    Neat car! Wish I had room.
    My dad had a new one, worst of his five new Pontiacs ’60-’65. I had a pair of beaters in 1980, even deteriorated the interiors are magnificent!

    Like 1
  9. David Peterson

    Automotive News used to publish what they called rear wheel horsepower numbers. Pontiac was always On top. I have no clue as to the method of calculation, but 125 from the 389 is what comes up in my memory. Of course I was used to the gross numbers of the day, so paid it no mind, and I was yet to acquire a butt dyno.

    Like 0

    If memory serves, in 1964, the 8-lug wheels only came with the 421 engine. 423HP I believe. I helped a buddy bring one back to life in the mid-1980’s when we were in the Marine Corps.

    Like 3
    • local_sheriff

      Any Pontiac fullsize could theoretically be ordered with the 8lugs, regardless of engine size or trim. It’s just that the 8lugs usually were orderd on higher end Pontiacs that we don’t see them so often

      Like 2
  11. Kevin

    Could be a nice car again, but I’m going to be the guy putting 25-30k in this to make nice again, good luck.

    Like 2
  12. chuck dickinson

    A real stripper. Manual steering & brakes, clear glass, no side mirror. Only options visible are the wheels, radio and the 4 spd.

    Like 2
  13. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I was at the airport when my boat came in. I love this car.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  14. MLM

    A real classy car in it’s day and still is IMO.I have always loved these along with the ’63s.I hope somebody saves this one because it’s good to see a machine like this at a car show.

    Like 2
  15. george mattar

    Duh, a Marimba Red 63 421 just sold on BAT last week for almost $68,000. I wouldn’t call that pocket change. Great find. My dad had a 64 new and like a dunce traded it on a 67 Catalina. I remember riding in it as a 10 year old.

    Like 1
  16. Steve L

    4 Speed trans in these cars is of the extended tail housing type. Can be difficult to find.

    Like 0
    • local_sheriff

      Are you 100% sure about that? I know Bonnies/ Star Chiefs would, but I thought that was due to their longer WB, and that the shorter WB GPs/ Cats used the regular tail housing? I’m no expert on this subject so please enlighten me

      Like 0
    • Ralph Boone

      broke my 4spd put in 3spd temp. no problem

      Like 0
      • local_sheriff

        Was the 3spd donor car same WB as yours? Also, do you remember whether that 3spd had anything in common with the 3spds found in same years Chevs…? I’ve never had the opportunity to have a peek under any manually shifted ’64 Poncho so I’m trying to learn

        Like 1
      • Ralph Boone

        Short shaft borg warner had to move support and add to drive shaft.

        Like 0
  17. Burger

    Such an elegant car ! I would happily dump stupid money into one of these to make it right. With the 8 lugs and 4-speed, and perhaps a few other options … what a car. But no red paint ! ANY color but red !

    Like 4
  18. Ralph Boone

    mine was Red with res int. YUK

    Like 0
  19. 4501 Safari

    This is a curious car. My favourite year is the 1964 big Pontiacs. I wanted a ’64 GP when I graduated from High School in 1964. Being poor put that on hold as did some other issues but…there’s a 2847 with a 421 tri-power, 8-lugs and every option I’d have ordered in 1964 but the 4 speed.

    As mentioned, this is a real stripper. No evidence of mirrors, which outside were optional. Then the pedals have no bright trim which a GP would have had. There’s also those two Pontiac switches under the left lower dash. Never seen that and they are the same appearance as those for reverb, rear speaker, power antenna, etc. So??? The tach is in the correct position for a ’64 but no vacuum gauge on the console or, apparently the full instrumentation option. I have to go back through my archives and dealer information for the proper 4-speed console in a GP. Something does not look right. It, however, appears to have potential for a really unique and nice build. I have a complete and perfect full option AC ’64 GP dash on the shop wall and a spare tilt column…tempting. More information is needed.

    Like 1

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