Sinister SJ 455 Package: 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix

This 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix Model J is equipped with the optional SJ package that included a four-barrel 455, upgraded suspension, and rally gauge cluster. While the seller doesn’t explain whether the paint is original, the rest of the presentation indicates this Grand Prix may in fact be a survivor. Although not as rare as the factory four-speed cars (yes, really), this Grand Prix listed here on craigslist is still a treat with an asking price of $10K. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rocco B. for the find.

Pontiac has to be the master of confusing options packages, almost as if they were perpetually trying to be a luxury car company first, with the backup of serving as a performance car company second, if that’s what buyers wanted (gee, I wonder if this brand confusion is why they’re not around anymore?) Regardless, it makes for interesting combinations like this SJ-pack Grand Prix, which offered drivers very respectable performance while wrapped in a boat tail-like exterior.

The interior certainly seemed like more of a performance car than a luxurious cruiser, with Strato bucket seats, a full console, contrasting red carpeting, and genuine “African Crossfire Mahogany” woodgrain inserts in the dash, console, and door panels. The split seam on the driver’s seat give the impression that this Grand Prix is an unrestored example, which would make the rest of the cosmetics truly impressive if it’s survived this well.

The back seat looks unused, and the woodgrain inserts in the side panels appear quite minty. Like the Bonneville SSEi of the 80s and 90s, this Grand Prix tries to wear a few different hats as a muscular performance car with sport-tuned suspension while still placing a great deal of emphasis on a high-end experience while sitting in the cockpit, staring out over the acres-long hood. They rarely come in condition as nice as this one, and especially with the upgraded performance of the SJ package.


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  1. Moparman Member

    OOOOOHHH!! Nice, Nice, Nice! Get the front seats redone and cruise away!! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 11
    • Steve R

      The front seats and replace that red carpeting.Otherwise a beautiful car.

      Like 11
      • Tom

        It was a popular choice on black GP’s to have red carpeting. Maybe it looks better in person???

        Like 5
    • Bill Hall

      The seats aren’t that bad leae em alone

      Like 3
  2. Arthell64 Member

    Appears to be a good car.

    Like 4
  3. Will Fox

    Beautiful `73, but that carpet must’ve been on a mark-down shelf. Pontiac never put red carpet in a black interior. First thing I would do is source some black carpet, and get that driver’s seat cushion repaired/reupholstered. But otherwise, what’s not to like? `73 was a good year for these, and the 455 still had respectable performance, given the emission-choked period of time back then. The 4-speed would make it ultra-rare, as well as the factory power sunroof but hey–can’t have everything. I like this.

    Like 16
    • al8apex

      73 was the year GM used CONTRASTING carpet colors, for example red carpets with black interiors, blue carpets with white interiors, etc

      I worked at Pontiac in Pontiac Michigan from 71-74 and this is an original style for 73.

      Many years later I owned a maroon 73 Type LT RS Z28 Camaro with black interior and bright red carpets, have seen MANY others

      Carpet is OG

      Like 21
      • Pat L Member

        Back in the days when colour matched seatbelts were still an option.

        Like 7
      • v

        what al8apex said. he’s right

        Like 1
  4. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    Yummy. Me like.

    Like 4
  5. GTPRED99 Member

    Yes, Pontiac did put red carpet in black interiors. Back in 1988 I looked at a 73 2 door HT Catalina with the same color combo as this GP and it had red carpet. The seller was the original owner, and when I asked him why he changed the carpet he said he hadn’t, it came that way. I wished i had bought it.

    Like 6
    • Superdessucke

      I had a 1974 Century Luxus with white vinyl interior and tan carpet. But then again, everything else in the interior – door panels, steering wheel, dashboard, and headliner – were also tan.

      My uncle had a ’74 Cutlass with white seats with black everything else. I’ve also seen white seats with red everything else. I’ve never seen a red carpet stuck in the middle of an all-black interior like this one on any GM A-body from this era.

      I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I would be very surprised if this was a factory combo. Even if it was, I would change to a black carpet. The red one sticks out like a sore thumb.

      Like 3
      • Ken Neal-Rosario

        The white seats were an option on any interior in 74 model Buicks and Oldsmobiles, along with the standard “all white ” interior. This car, being a Pontiac, is easy to verify through the Pontiac Historical Society. And if it is truly an original Contrasting Carpet option car, it adds to the rarity of this velvet hammer. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

        Like 2
  6. Erich S.

    I bought a maroon ‘73 SJ with the 455 in ‘79 for $1500.00 and couldn’t keep back tires on it! Too much fun! Oh, the stories I could tell about that car. And I was blessed with a silver tongue for talking cops out of writing tickets.

    Like 7
  7. Marko

    I like this Grand Prix. Fix the bucket seats, and drive and enjoy.

    I had a ’73 Model J, from 1979 till 1987. 400cid 4 barrel. Not a lot of options, but it did have a/c, and tilt wheel.

    Like 3
  8. JoeNYWF64

    I see what is i believe optional front cornering lights.
    I would have sworn this was a ’74. That rear bumper has to be the most massive required for ’73 2.5 mph rear bumper ever fitted.
    Maybe it IS a 5mph bumper! Certainly more than 2.5 mph.
    Compare that rear bumper to a ’73 firebird’s bumper! Or a ’73 torino’s.
    I remember reading that the Brickin’s bumpers could take a 12 mph hit!
    I bet this heavy bumper 455 car sat the WHOLE TIME of the gas shortage back then. lol
    Good optional gages with NUMBERS but it deserves the optional(not std with the other gages?!) tach with tiny clock..
    I believe late ’60’s mustangs started the odd interior colors – the red floor mats.
    Those are the same fat/shorter delux seats avail in the firebird. I wonder if the std firebird taller thinner better lookling(IMO) firebird seats could have been specially ordered for grand prix. Certainly not difficult to bolt them in on the assembly line.

    Like 3
    • Andrew M Pappas

      My grandfather bought a 73 gp with the 455 brand new. It got better gas mileage than the 400 because it had a much taller geared rear end. He ran it from 73 to 79 putting well over 100k on it on a reverse commute from MA to NH.

      Like 3
  9. sparkster

    Great car , I wish the ad included engine pictures . I owed a 1972 Grand Prix with a 400 cu. in. Bought it for $200 with a bad rocker arm on #4 intake valve. Bought another at pick a part for 50 cents, changed the oil and burned rubber all the way down the block.

    Like 3
  10. bigdoc

    What a beautiful car and a great price.

    Like 1
  11. Del Gray

    Nice car for Price.

    If under the hood is not a disaster

    Like 3
  12. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    I like the red with black. Great combo.

    Like 3
  13. Fred

    I am pretty confident that manual transmissions in Grand Prix’s ended in 1971

    A 4 speed wasn’t an option in 1972 and later Grand Prix’s until 1978

    Like 2
  14. Troy s

    Nice ride.
    The confusion didn’t come on until much later when all GM cars began to not only look an awful lot alike but were powered by “corporate” engines. That’s what killed em off really.
    I would only expect sportiness from Pontiac back then, regardless of model, in both appearance and power. That interior belongs in a Pontiac, even though Chevy, Buick, and definitely Olds had similar equipped cars like this. Just drive and enjoy that luxury performance car.

    Like 3
  15. James martin

    10000 is a nice price? Wow that seems to be the new price for ever thing old. Nice car don’t get me wrong but I personally wouldn’t pay 10000 for it.

    Like 1
  16. Del Gray

    Hagertys values this car at 12,000 in #3 which is Good condition.

    This appears to be in Good or better shape. But no pics of engine.

    These have been selling from 7500 and up with prices curving way up the last few years.

    This one is not selling so far so he may have to come down or give more details

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