Real 421/4-Speed: 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

Hiding away in this garage is a potent classic that is in search of a new home. It is a 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix, and its drivetrain combination makes it one of the rarest examples to roll off the production line in that year. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder MattR for spotting the Pontiac for us. It is located in Riverside, California, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. Hand the owner $30,000, and this Grand Prix could be yours. He will also entertain a possible trade for the right vehicle.

The 1965 restyle of the Grand Prix lifted the appearance of what was already a sharp-looking car. The 1966 model year brought some further minor changes that made this the best car yet. This could be further enhanced by the right choice of color, and the Nightwatch Blue that this Grand Prix wears is a perfect example. It gives the car a sense of purpose, and provides an excellent contrast to the chrome and trim. The paint looks to be in great condition, with no signs of any significant flaws. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and there are no visible rust issues. The Dark Blue vinyl top adds an air of class to this car, and it appears to be in excellent condition. The trim all looks to be in fantastic condition, and the glass seems to be free of flaws. This Pontiac wears one of my all-time favorite options, which is the 8-lug wheels. Of all of the wheels to grace an American car through the 1960s and 1970, I don’t think that any that provided a more aggressive look than these. In this case, it helps that the wheels are free from flaws and stains.

This Pontiac rolled off the line fitted with a 421ci V8 and a 4-speed manual transmission. It also features power steering, power brakes, and a Posi rear end. The 421 was offered in a number of guises, and produced anywhere from 338hp through to 375hp. While the owner doesn’t categorically state it, I believe that this could be a numbers-matching classic. However, the 421 has been breathed upon a bit. The Tri-Power setup is a recent addition, as is the Pertronix ignition and the nickel-plated headers. If the engine and transmission are original, I would be quizing the owner about the original carburetor, intake, and exhaust manifolds. I have no doubt that the current setup would make this thing really honk. However, this is a classic that would increase in value if it was totally original. Leaving that aside, the Grand Prix has recently received a new exhaust and a new starter. The owner states that the engine is strong, the transmission shifts smoothly, and that the vehicle is very quick. That’s not something that surprises me. Referring back to the transmission for one moment, and this is significant with this car. I have done a bit of research, and several reputable Pontiac resources confirm this fact. While the 4-speed was offered across all engines in the 1966 Grand Prix range, it was not a popular option. The company built 36,757 Grand Prix in 1966, but only 917 buyers chose to equip their car with a 4-speed. That is an extraordinarily low take-up rate in a car of this type.

Opening the doors of the Grand Prix reveals an interior that is in excellent condition. The covers on the seats are new, while the remaining trim looks to be in good condition. There are no visible issues with the dash, and the original Hurst shifter can bee seen poking out of the console. This is not a car loaded with creature comforts, so you shouldn’t go searching for air conditioning or power windows. It is fitted with a factory tach, although this does stop working from time-to-time. That sounds like it might need the attention of someone with a bit of electrical knowledge to sort it out. There is an aftermarket stereo in place of the original radio, but the dash hasn’t been cut to fit this.

This 1966 Grand Prix is a stunning looking car, and with the engine in its current configuration, it is a classic that should be capable of demolishing the ¼ mile in under 15 seconds. That is fast in anyone’s book, but more so in a vehicle that weighs in at 4,250lbs. If it is a numbers-matching car, then it is one that is likely to increase in value in the coming years. I hope that the seller has the original engine ancillaries because refitting these in the future should help to increase the car’s value when the time comes to sell it. In the meantime, there would be nothing wrong with hitting the road in this Pontiac and making the most of the classic car ownership experience. That sounds like fun to me.

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Comments

  1. BOP_GUY Member

    Holy moly!! This is an absolute dream car! I have been to a number of Pontiac meetups, and I’ve seen others with a 4-speed, but none from the factory as far as I can remember. I think the asking price isn’t out of line at all, and a few facts do need verifying first. Love those gorgeous 8-lugs too. Great article, and a great find!

    Like 31
  2. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Beauty. Love the colors.

    Interesting that it has “10 cylinders”, I’d have guessed 8.

    Unless you count the cylinders which are part of the brake system, then the number is 13.

    Like 11
  3. Moparman Member

    Well, now I’ve got to wipe the drool off of my keyboard before it shorts out, LOL!! This is simply GORGEOUSLY bi-polar; all the “Homo Sapien” luxury, and then the “Neanderthal” shifter poking up from the console! I LOVE IT!! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 9
  4. alphasud Member

    That is one classy car and with the factory 4-speed and condition it’s in is worth 30K. That car is going to make somebody a very happy owner.

    Like 16
  5. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Factory 4-speed and 8-lug wheels? Yes please

    Like 21
  6. Skorzeny

    I’m not a big fan of stacked headlamps, but this is a beauty. The color, the subtle vinyl top, the 8-lugs… No worries on the lack of AC or power windows, you would have so much fun driving this you wouldn’t notice. Price is very fair given condition and rarity.

    Like 7
  7. Miguel

    This is arguably the most beautiful car to come out of that era.

    I want one.

    Like 17
  8. local_sheriff

    Big fan of 60s GM fullsizers, particularly when equipped with 4spd stick. While the majority of GPs got the TH400 transmission, a 3spd stick was actually the base transmission if buyer wanted a no-options GP. This one is lowered at least in the front and has a nice stance but would look FAR better with redlines!

    Again; each time I see fullsize Ponchos like this I scratch my head and wonder why the heck people are still loosing their heads in GTO bidding wars. IMHO such a GP would not only make a GTO-chaser but also make a WAY more unique Pontiac from a time when fullsize cars were kings. I would be extremely proud to own this beauty 😘

    Like 25
  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    That is one gorgeous car! I don’t know what it will ultimately go for, but someone will have a real driving conversation piece.

    Like 10
  10. GMoparman

    Wow! What a gorgeous car! My pulse is actually racing!

    Like 5
  11. Chris Cook

    Had a 67 GP 428 HO 376 HP auto back in the mid seventies. That car was a sleeper if there ever was one.

    Like 5
  12. Troy s

    Got to love that beautiful blue paint job. Something the youngish, highly motivated type would have owned, too grown for the GTO but still with a need for speed. Nice ride!

    Like 10
  13. Jcs

    Wow, I had no idea that GM was already making a f****ing Hybrid in 1966, must have made a mountain of torque on that 421. Does anyone know how much of a difference it made in MPG?

    Like 2
  14. 370zpp

    I always liked the 69-early seventies Grand Prix, but never even remembered or noticed what the GP looked like before that. Wow.

    Like 4
  15. TMK

    what a big boat i bet it just float as it goes down the freeway at 70 mph.

    Like 2
  16. Djjerme

    Why all the 1/4 mile times? Seriously just sounds desperate. My Ford Flex can lay down a 14.20, but can also turn corners and haul my family and the race car.

    Nobody looks at this and says “damn, that is fast.” It’s a land yacht; cool for cruising on a Friday night to the hard park crowd, but you ain’t going to win any races.

    TL;DR – the performance numbers are not what’s selling this, it’s the trunk large enough to fit a small family in.

    Like 4
    • Al

      “it’s the trunk large enough to fit a small family in.” especially if the ‘drive-in’ theaters were still active!

      Like 5
    • Rob Meyer

      For a car over 50 years ago it was quick. Modern cars with all the advanced technology are safer, ride better and get better mileage. My 64 421 HO Bonneville covertible with Muncie M21 close ratio 4 speed and 4:10 rear ran 13.9 @103.5 at National Speedway stock. Quick for a 4300 lb. car back then.

      Like 11
      • John Oliveri

        National Speedway, I was a kid, 1973, my neighbor had a 65 GTO, we towed it to National speedway, back window said Race car in tow, had a 400 Pontiac in it for a time, then that blew up and he threw a 396 Chevy in it that they happened upon, long time ago

        Like 4
  17. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    What a great find. Love everything except the 8 lug wheels that everyone seems to want. Apparently they never had to change a flat tire on those on a cold rainy night.
    God bless America

    Like 4
    • JoeBob396

      I’m not a fan of the eight lug wheels either. I think they came with aluminum brake drums, but I wonder who has a wheel balancer that fits those eight lug wheels?

      • ACZ

        On-car balancer.

        Like 1
      • local_sheriff

        A balancer adapter plate is necessary for the job – I’m not sure every 8lug equipped Pontiac would have it or whether owners had to rely on their dealer having it in the workshop.
        Either way replacement plates are available and would be a smart investment for any 8lug owner on tour

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg0PWEOUhmE

        Like 1
      • 19sixty5 Member

        I worked in a gas station when I was a kid, and I thought that the 8-lug adaptor plate was included from the factory with the 8 lug wheels. We always ensured the customer provided it when we had any tire work to do. We had an old Coates, fully manual tire machine, manual bead breakers and all!

      • David G

        Best way is to find a worn-out Front 8-lug Drum and have it accurately Zero-balanced on a known-to-be-calibrated Balancer machine (uses screw-on Steel weights).
        .
        Then individually fixture your Wheel-Tire assys to that Drum and spin the entire assembly on the Balancer, adding weights to the Wheel rim as needed.

        Turned out to be a smooooth as silk method for moi..

  18. Chris

    I would love to drive this classic

    Like 2
  19. John Oliveri

    My dads last car was a 65 Catalina in that blue, w a blue interior, 389 2 door, this GP is gorgeous, but I’d prefer more options, I love stuff that breaks. Power windows A/C and factory 8 track on the console

    • Chuck Dickinson

      67 was the first year for a factory tape deck in a GM car. Ford was a year earlier.

      Like 1
  20. Cdice

    Wonder what the difference was between the 2+2 and the 421 GP in ’66? Believe same engine and tranny options, same Catalina platform. Maybe only trim?

    Like 1
    • John Oliveri

      Think the GP was a little longer in the sheet metal

      Like 1
    • Troy s

      Dumb me, I always thought that referred to two passengers in the front two in the back.
      She’s a real classic

    • CCFisher

      Grand Prix had a formal roofline with a concave rear window (shared with the Olds Starfire), different exterior trim, full-width, “hidden” taillights, and a Bonneville-grade interior. The 2+2 was much closer to a Catalina in terms of body, exterior trim, and interior.

      Like 3
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Different roofline–Catalina ‘fastback’ roof on 2+2, while the GP had the concave rear glass shared with the Olds Starfire. Different grilles, tail panels, side trim, dash, seats, door panels. Probably more as well.

      Like 1
  21. Nomader 55

    My 1964 GP came with an eight bolt adaptor plate in the spare tire well and a factory reverberator. Still love that car.

  22. Phlathead Phil

    Gorgeous car, my favorite of the G/P.

    If Chuck Barris would have made the Bat Mobile out of a convertible it would have had more room for gadgets.

    Awesome!

  23. Dennis Zozula

    There was one of these in my town. The lady driving it looked fairly old and we wondered if she even knew what she was driving. Then one sunny spring afternoon I passed it with the hood up and the lady over the engine with a screw driver tweeking the carbs. Yup she knew.

    Like 4

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