Simply Stunning: 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix Coupe

Tackling a restoration project can be a pretty trying experience, but the finished product instills an unparalleled sense of pride in the owner. Sometimes a classic car will appear on the market that can create that same feeling, but without the time-consuming labor involved in a restoration. That would seem to be the case with this 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix because I simply couldn’t imagine anyone being anything but proud to own this car. Its condition is stunning, and it is just waiting for a new owner to slide behind the wheel and hit the road. The Grand Prix is located in Torrance, California, and has been listed for sale here on craigslist. If you fancy parking this classic in your driveway, you will need to hand over $27,500 for that privilege.

The Pontiac has spent its life in California, so it is no surprise to find that it is rust-free. The fact that the car has always been garage-kept has aided its cause enormously. The Saddle Bronze Metallic paint shines beautifully, with no signs of any chips or dings. The panels are as straight as an arrow, while the condition of the trim and chrome is just as impressive as the rest of the exterior. The car features tinted glass, and this appears to be flawless. The original owner pushed the boat out when he was looking at the order form because this is a classic that comes loaded with optional extras. One of my favorite Pontiac options from this period is the 8-lug wheels. At $122, these were not an expensive item. However, they add a touch of class and purpose to the Grand Prix’s appearance. You will find these on this vehicle, and there are no signs of any marks or stains.

The owner didn’t supply any engine photos in his listing, but I did find the vehicle offered for sale on another site. It was from there that I managed to locate the engine photos that I have included in this article. There were several versions of the 389ci V8 available to Grand Prix buyers in 1963, and this car is fitted with the optional L74 version. The engine is said to be original and should be producing 303hp. The transmission would have been a 3-speed Hydramatic, but this has been replaced by a Turbo 350 unit. The Pontiac also comes equipped with power steering and power brakes. The presentation of the engine bay is just as impressive as the rest of the vehicle, but it isn’t just looks that count here. The seller states that the Grand Prix runs well, it drives perfectly, and the transmission shifts smoothly. He also claims that the vehicle has covered a genuine 69,000 miles, although he doesn’t indicate whether he holds evidence to verify this claim. What is included in the sale is the original Owner’s Manual, along with full PHS documentation on the vehicle.

The Grand Prix was designed to provide its occupants with a feeling of luxury. To this end, Pontiac chose to include real Walnut veneer inside the vehicle. This all remains in place today and is in excellent condition. There isn’t a lot to fault here, with the Fawn upholstery being free of defects, and no noticeable wear or fading on the carpet. The dash and console remain unmolested and present as impressively as the rest of the interior. An aftermarket wheel has been fitted, but the original Deluxe wheel is also included in the sale. There is an amplifier in the trunk, which suggests that there is an aftermarket stereo hidden away somewhere. As well as all of the standard Grand Prix features like bucket seats, a console, a vacuum gauge, and an electric clock, the Pontiac has been fitted with some optional extras. This includes air conditioning, along with an AM radio with a rear speaker.

The decision by General Motors to “retire” the Pontiac brand was a sad one for the automotive industry. It is cars like this 1963 Grand Prix that demonstrate the company’s ability to produce distinctive and individual models that were capable of capturing the hearts and minds of the buying public. I openly admit that I am a massive fan of anything that wears the blue oval, but I always find it hard to go past a classic Pontiac. These are a car that possesses that indefinable quality that motivates people who aren’t searching for a classic car to lay down their cash. I would happily park this vehicle in my garage, and I suspect that we have quite a few readers who would gladly do the same.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Stackies!

    Like 5
  2. Leland

    I find this to be truly amazing. So much so, I finally decided to start commenting.

    Like 11
  3. Skorzeny

    I don’t like stacked headlamps but I would drive this to Sonic EVERY night! Wow. Without the whitewalls of course…

    Like 4
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      I dunno…

      Trying to envision the car with just blackwalls, and in my mind at least is just doesn’t “pop” as much. On this car, narrow white rings on the tires look right to me.

      Like 18
      • Redwagon

        Envision it with redlines! Then everything pops.

        Like 13
  4. Milt

    This is THE car that got me loving cars as a kid. I still love these after 40 years.Stunning machine!

    Like 11
    • Chryco

      I was 4 years old when my Grandfather brought home his brand new white on white 63 GP. His trade in was my first love though, a 59 Bonneville 2dr hardtop that was this great metallic green in and out. I hear you and thanks for the memory. This one IS pretty nice.

      Like 1
  5. Sherminator

    An absolutley stunning classic car. If my garage were only 2 feet longer and had an extra space… I can always dream.

    Like 6
  6. Cerno

    Pretty special car in its day for sure !! If you could get your hands on one. That’s a mans car all day long for any curve life could throw at ya !! Pontiac always had a attitude for looks and dash boards to back it up . They always had more gauges and air vents then anyone else and were simply a quality built vehicle. I’ve owned many and plan on owning more . So go buy your Camaro’s and your Mustangs and Challengers cause Pontiac is still one of the ones that Excites me .

    Like 23
  7. Phil B.

    My first comment too. A neighbor lady owned one of these (except in black) and drove it like a cowboy. Well her son was a town cop. She used to floor it up and down our road when she left or came home. One particular day, her son lit her up and wrote her a ticket. We laughed about that for years. Beautiful car here.

    Like 8
  8. Turbo

    Sexy. Even with the less than exciting color.

    Like 2
    • Turbo

      Just like my Uncle Eddy likes ’em. Full bodied and brown.

      Like 10
      • Turbo

        Like his Buick.

        Like 3
  9. Mr.BZ

    Beautiful car!! Miss my 66, and I find myself saying that all too often.

    Like 2
  10. jerry z

    For the price, at least take a picture of the engine and trunk area. It’s really not that hard.

    Like 1
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Check out the linked site where there are TONS of photographs.
      Looks like a big-time modern stereo has been installed, based on the electronics in the trunk!

      Might need a good stereo to be heard over the pipes. Those “mufflers” probably don’t so much to quiet the riot emanating from the 389.

      Like 3
      • Thomas Lyons

        Pontiac had resonators at the back just before the rear bumper, they were fairly quiet actually

  11. CCFisher

    My bucket list of cars is not long, but the ’63 Grand Prix is definitely on it. Every time I see a beautiful example like this, it moves up a spot on the list.

    Like 2
  12. angliagt angliagt Member

    I always wondered why they put the mirrors on the
    front fenders,rather than the doors?I think they look cleaner
    without that.

    Like 3
    • CCFisher

      A google search will turn up examples with fender-mounted mirros and examples with door-mounted mirrors. If I had to guess, I’d say the ones with mirrors on the doors have optional remote-control mirrors.

      Like 1
      • egads

        My 63 Catalina has the factory remote- control mirrors on the fender. Safer to use because you dont have to take your eyes off the road to look at the door mounted style.

        Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey

        Most of GM’s cars didn’t come from the factory with outside rear view mirrors unless they were specifically ordered with them. So the dealer had the responsibility of installing them. Typically the instruction paper was to put them on the door, but sometimes they were installed on the fenders. About 90% of GM cars only got the driver’s side mirror.

        Like 1
  13. local_sheriff

    This color is what my brother calls an ‘adult’ color – as a kid anything but flashy bright hues are worthless, it’s just when you’re older you’re fully capable to appreciate just how sophisticated and subtle this hue really is. Then add the white upholstery (IMPOSSIBLE to keep looking fresh!) and it’s easy to understand this was a cherished car by grown-ups from day one.

    Due to covid there have been only TWO car shows for my part this year – at one of them I saw this one’s identical twin, with Saddle upholstery though but with factory 421(!) and well-behaving Roto-Hydramatic(also !). When I see cars like this I cannot comprehend why there still are so many car guys chasing down GTOs and Firebirds – not only is a GP like this a GTO for adults; its also a piece of Americana from a time when the automotive industry put PRIDE, ELEGANCE and DIGNITY into their products!

    I really don’t care about the Pontiac brand(or Olds for that matter) being gone, simply ’cause I know cars like this would never return in 2020 anyway.

    Like 6
  14. Don Page

    Of all the Grand Prix’s, the 63 is my favorite. Love the 8 lugs but in 63, $122 was a lot of money.

    Like 3
  15. Comet

    Beautiful car! A very close runner up to the classy lines of the 63 Riviera.

    Like 3
  16. Dean

    My cousin had one when I was growing up. Blue with white interior 389 with 3 2 barrels and a 4 speed with 8 lug wheels. God I would love to have that car today!

    Like 3
  17. PatrickM

    This is a beautiful car and it might be worth every cent of the asking price. but, the one thing I do not like about most of these fancy collector pics is they usually do not show the underside and engine bay. I didn’t see the engine until I read the BF write-up. Still beautiful. Still too expensive for me. Shucks.

    • local_sheriff

      It’s a beautiful Pontiac indeed but a pricey one too. If you sniff around there are quality GPs to be had at 10-12K less than this and being a ‘personal luxury car’ coined at a mature audience the GP survival rate is good.

      Like 1
  18. Dave

    One of my buddies Dad had one with 389 auto. Four or five of us had morning paper routes and would sneak our parents cars out when we were 15 and take turns driving. Loved that center console with the big vacuum gauge.

    Like 1
  19. Bill McCoskey

    As to the amplifier in the trunk, I’ll wager the owner has not installed a late-model stereo, so it’s likely the original amplifier, hanging from the underside of the package shelf, is actually a factory “Reverberation” amplifier for the rear seat speaker, making it sound like you’re in a concert hall [GM’s marking department’s words, not mine!].

    There is likely a switch hanging just under the front edge of the upper dash panel, near the radio area, marked “Reverb”. My best friend had one on his 1966 GTO.

    That 1966 GTO was loaded with almost every option, and it had 3 switches: Power Antenna, Reverb, and Rear Speaker [vol]. It was maroon with black vinyl roof & black interior. 389 Tri-Power, 4-speed, 411 rear, rallye 1 wheels, AM/FM radio, power windows, it even had a reclining right front bucket with extending headrest.

    He bought it in 1970 for only $950, it had done only about 10,000 miles and it was near mint. Too bad he got drunk and totaled the car around a phone pole early one Sunday morning. This happened right in front of the US Navy Hospital on Wisconsin Ave in Bethesda, MD. His father was a rear Admiral, so his son was released into his custody by the firefighters from the hospital. No charges from the local cops were ever filed.

    Like 3
    • Harry

      My first car was a 1959 Catalina. It had belonged to my older lady nest door neighbor and was a stripper. AM radio was the high point of the options. I fished the wire for a rear speaker and added an aftermarket reverb. Just like a concert hall, except for for thudding and banging over railroad tracks or pot holes and the like.

      Like 2
      • Rex Kahrs Member

        The old lady next door was a stripper? Lucky guy!

        Like 6
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Great bit of knowledge, and history too, Bill.

      But you didn’t look at the photos on the “other site” did you?
      I’m thinking that the big red and black Amp, and the XM radio connector are probably not original, what say you?

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        DayDreamBeliever,

        Yeah, my bad. That amp certainly isn’t from 1963!

        Like 1
  20. DN

    For those of you making observations about the price- this dealer overpriced all of his inventory. The eBay auctions “start” at what would ordinarily be a fair market price but of course there’s a reserve and corresponding Buy It Now that’s generally $10-15k more.

    Like 1
  21. K. R. V.

    A old friend of mine in Pawtucket R.I., has an almost exact twin of this car, inside and out, except for being a low mileage (19,000), plus having a 398 TRI Carb, with power windows, locks, seats, full instruments and AC. Plus the 8 lug wheels, that I believe helped keep the brakes cooler.

    Like 1
  22. ERIC B LANDIS

    beautiful car, thanks for posting :-) was wondering if having a Turbo 350 instead of the Hydramatic has much effect on this cars value as far as originality

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