Richard Petty Tribute: 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix

It has been a long time since a NASCAR stock car was actually a modified stock production vehicle, years and years. Cup cars were stuck in a mid-sixties time warp for a long time and as production vehicles went with the times and moved to front-wheel drive and transverse-mounted V6 and four-cylinder engines there was further distance placed between NASCAR stock cars and production stock cars. One of the marketing approaches that the US manufactures took to keep some sort of linkage (Win on Sunday, sell on Monday) between themselves and what was happening on high-bank ovals was to build “tribute” models like this 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix, “Richard Petty” example, located in Camden, Indiana and available here on craigslist for $4,500. Thanks to Pat L. for the tip!

An original 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix “Richard Petty” edition without racing decals

These commemorative models usually have some tie back to a specific driver, in this case, the honor went to Richard Petty who finished a storied NASCAR car, traversing 34 years, winning 200 races and earning seven championships; 1992 was Petty’s final year. And what did he drive in 1992? A Winston Cup version of a Pontiac Grand Prix coupe. The tribute models appeared as the image above, somewhat more subdued than our example that has been embellished by either the current or a previous owner.

This Grand Prix has an interesting powerplant under its hood, a 3.4 liter, DOHC V6, developing 210 horsepower. Many of these GM “W” bodies used pushrod 3.1 or 3.4 liter V6’s, or in some instances Buick 3.8 liter V6 so this somewhat exotic for GM engine, at least in 1992, is a really nice inclusion. The seller states that this 89,000-mile Pontiac, “runs and drives good”. Interestingly, this Grand Prix mandated engine had a five-speed manual transaxle available as an option but alas, this example is the much more commonly found four-speed automatic.

The attempt here is to replicate Petty’s number 43 Winston Cup car. From what can be seen, the exterior looks very sound though it’s hard to make out specifics through the myriad of decals. Nevertheless, nothing body-wise looks out of place or damaged. The original Neon Blue finish (red and white were additional colors available too) still looks strong. The seller claims that this Pontiac has been garaged and covered so that helps to explain its pristine external appearance.

Inside – I got nothing; no images other than these floor mats. The seller does state that the gray cloth interior is in good shape and was recently professionally shampooed. Accessories present include, power windows, power door locks, power seats, power mirrors, and AC.

Pontiac manufactured 1,000 of these Richard Petty specials in 1992 and this example is number 400 and the seller has a letter of authenticity from GM. This Pontiac is an example of a tribute car that probably won’t be seen again. Chevrolet built a Dale Earnhardt “Intimidator” Monte Carlo back in the early 2000s and there were Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart commemorative models produced but the last example offered was fifteen years ago. And, this Grand Prix is a tribute to the “King” at the conclusion of his very winning career. This is a special car but I am wondering if it would be more special if it was still stock without all of the racing decals and stripes. What do you think, does the additional racing motif help or hurt this Pontiac’s marketability?

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Comments

  1. IkeyHeyman Member

    As a Pontiac guy, I wouldn’t mind having the car as it looked when it left the factory, but I’d feel like a nincompoop driving it around with all those decals on it.

    25
    • Vin_in_NJ

      I agree.. This car is best suited to be used at local car shows, where it will get attention, but no respect.

      10
  2. Classic Steel

    I think 🤔 “1992 Pontiac Grand Prix” might be an insult to Petty personally .. (not enough ponies)

    Now a super-bird or late 60s old Fairlane was more his style 👍👀

    Fave quotes

    I quit driving, I’m not retired. …
    I’d rather be called King than other things I’ve been called.”

    3
    • Jett

      Uh, he drove a Torino Talladega in 1969, not a Fairlane…

      1
  3. robh693

    Jeez, between this and the Plymouth Volare tribute car abortion, Petty couldn’t catch a break after he retired.

    5
    • Steve R

      That’s why he started making their own special edition cars.

      Steve R

      1
      • SMDA

        This is great, but I see you in the Winnebago.

        1
    • Jett

      I kinda like the Volare…

      2
  4. Bob S

    I agree with Ikey, I like the file photo without the stickers, but love the fact that it’s a 5 speed manual, too bad there’s no interior photos. Doesn’t seem like a bad price pending an inspection, but if I bought it, them stickers would be gone!

    1
    • CCFisher

      It’s not a 5-speed.

      2
      • Bob S

        I stand corrected, read it wrong.

  5. JoeNYWF64

    Did the car originally come with yellow letter tires from the factory?
    Those look like modern tires with yellow letters from who knows where added by the owner or a shop.
    It’s hard enuf today finding WHITE letter tires & some of those turn brown quickly. lol
    At least it’s a 2 door with a good lookin front end, & you can see out of it, unlike today’s …… .

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