Sleeper Sedan: 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix STE Turbo

I remain somewhat melancholy that this era of Pontiac engineering didn’t set the company on a course for continued success. Whatever the motivation was, Pontiac seems to desperately want to build something European car shoppers would consider. They never got close, despite throwing the entire playbook at cars like this 1990 Grand Prix STE, which featured a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, jet-fighter inspired cockpit, and unique body cladding and alloy wheels. Find this survivor-grade example here on craigslist with a $2,500 asking price.

The turbocharged Grand Prixs pushed out a healthy 200 b.h.p. when equipped with an automatic transmission like this car. They also featured lots of gadgetry inside the cabin as well as this turbo boost gauge to let you know the ASC-supplied turbo system was indeed spooling. The Grand Prix was capable of an impressive top speed of 135 m.p.h., but that alone was not enough to convince shoppers to leave their stodgy W124-series Mercedes behind. This example has 116,000 miles on the clock.

Inside, occupants were treated to deeply bolstered leather bucket seats and tons of buttons. The steering wheel has become a running joke among car enthusiasts, and looks absolutely garish today. However, the Grand Prix did pioneer the idea of a driver infotainment system, with a small screen mounted in the lower center console to read out common diagnostic figures, like MPGs and miles to empty. Make fun of it all you want, but Pontiac may have actually pioneered a thing or two that we take for granted in modern interiors.

The seller has owned this Grand Prix for the last 15 years, which is likely one of the longest-tenured current owners of an oddball like this. Recent maintenance includes new ball joints, brakes, intake gaskets, motor mounts, and more, and the trunk is full of extra parts. While not very collectible, these are interesting cars that you don’t often see in a preserved condition like this – and are likely far easier to live with than a Ford Taurus SHO or any European performance sedan of the same era.

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  1. Jeff

    At that price, someone will snatch it up. And soon after, sorely regret it.

  2. Keith

    Post eighties GM junk car……

    • Daved

      Better than post eighties Ford junk car….

  3. Stilbo

    The Indiana State Police had one of these in ‘Turd Brown’ and used it as an unmarked pursuit cruiser on a stretch of I-94.
    They never even washed it.. It blended in well..
    One morning during my commute it pased me and had to be traveling well over 100 mph with the blue and whites flashing.
    About five miles down the road it was on the shoulder behind an RS Camaro…

  4. Superdessucke

    Wow. I don’t even remember these. Basically the McLaren Turbo Grand Prix in a 4-door body? Anyone know the production figures on these?

  5. JimO

    I had the SE version of this in 1990. Mechanically, it was fine, electrical was the problem….a lot of gremlins.

  6. theGasHole

    Having had a 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix McLaren Turbo, I am shocked to learn of the existence of this STE. Thanks again Barn Finds for more knowledge!

  7. Coventrycat

    Every one I ever saw always had one or more lights out in that front center piece.

    • Daved

      Light bulbs are easy to replace 🙄

  8. John

    Has those awful GM door mounted seat belts. I hate those. Can’t buy any car that has them.

  9. Michael A Groves

    Some photo’s of how the car looks would be nice.

    • Daved

      The listing depicts several photos of the exterior/interior…

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