Stalled Project: 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix

The Grand Prix represented Pontiac’s gateway into the personal luxury segment, but one with some punch. It joined the Pontiac line-up in 1962 as a performance-oriented replacement for the Ventura. It was essentially a Catalina coupe with a limited use of outside trim and a sportier interior featuring bucket seats and a center console. This edition of the car found its way from Colorado to Michigan some years ago, but the seller has too many projects so this one gets the boot. Located in Clarkston, it’s available here on eBay where the bidding rests at $1,500 but the reserve has not yet been met. Hats off to Larry D for finding this one for us!

Grand Prix’s would serve in several roles throughout their tenure at Pontiac. Coupes were produced from 1962-02, while sedans would be output during 1989-08. The car is said to be the brainchild of John DeLorean, who was then Head of Advanced Engineering at Pontiac, and was also behind the development of the GTO. The entry engine for the Grand Prix was a 389 cubic inch V8 that produced 303 hp. You could get adjustments to the 389 that came with Tri-Power (3×2 carburetors) which could juice it up to as much as 348 hp. There was also a 421 V8 available mid-year, but we assume the seller’s car has the basic 389 if for no other reason that no mention is made of it.

When the buyer bought this car, it was in running condition with 56,000 miles. But we don’t know how long ago that may have been. At one point, the seller removed the front clip and drivetrain to begin a restoration that didn’t happen. So, he put it all back together for purposes of selling. But it’s not totally buttoned up and – as a result – cannot be started. It’s since been sitting in his barn for an undetermined amount of time. Some of the glass ended up getting broken out and while part of it has been replaced, several pieces have not.

While the body is said to be solid, there is no shortage of surface rust that probably goes beyond what might be thought of as patina. The car will need repair work in the trunk as well as in the quarter panels around the rear wheels. The buyer of this car will receive some solid cut out pieces that came from a 1962 Pontiac parts car. There is also some hail damage in the roof that will need correction. We’re told that the interior is in better shape than it looks and that a good cleaning will do wonders. But the carpeting is shot, and the dashboard will need to be re-done (the instrument cluster is in the trunk). One savings grace is that the unique 8-lug wheels are said to have held up well.

Some 30,000 of these cars were produced for 1962 and Hagerty tags one in Fair condition to be worth $10,000. This car is far from that right now, but top dollar on these machines could exceed $40,000. If the seller’s reserve isn’t too high, perhaps there’s enough stretch to warrant restoring this car. Or maybe not. Depends on how much rust is really there.

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Comments

  1. jerry z

    I like these style Pontiacs from ’61-’64. Its a basket case but its all in one basket! Do they even reproduce those 8 luh wheels?

    Like 4
    • local_sheriff

      Yup they are reproduced and also made in dimensions not available OE. However die hard Pontiac aficionados will prefer the real deal. One minor detail is that pre’63 wheels have shorter fins

      https://www.bopengineering.com/pontiac_full_size.shtml

      Like 2
      • John Taylor

        That price on those wheels doesn’t seem too bad either.

      • local_sheriff

        Perhaps it is John, however you’ll need more than just the wheels/drums if your Poncho isn’t already 8lug equipped. Keep in mind the center of such a wheel is in fact the drum so numerous other 8lug specific parts have to be located.

        Never done such a conversion myself but I must admit the 8lugs are über-desirable and if there ever was a wheels’ hall of fame the 8lug deserves to be in it

  2. JW454

    During my high school days in the early ’70s, a good friend and his brothers all drove Pontiacs. My friend had one of these that had a tri-power and 4 speed. I don’t want to get into religion but, suffice to say there were 2 girls and 11 boys in the family. There were so many GTOs, 421 Bonnevilles and Catalinas, and a host of tri-power cars with 4 speeds. What I remember most is they were all top shelf cars. Of course, they were cheap and more plentiful back then too. I think of this everytime I see one of this vintage.

    Like 7
    • moosie moosie

      JW454, Sounds like someone in that family owned a Pontiac Dealership. Brand loyalty is an amazing thing to see.

      Like 2
  3. Paul Murphy

    A parts car at best, probably cost more to restore than it will ever be worth, needs everything gone over from bumper to bumper. my advice, take the 1500. and run…..

    Like 8
  4. Old Car Guy

    Get the mechanicals updated and dependable, and give the old girl a good cleaning, then have a lot of fun until someone comes along with a big wad of cash. Right now Patina is hotter than a 10K paint job.

  5. john hugh

    no thanks

    Like 4
  6. karl

    Looks like the glass was missing for a long time and the barn was missing the roof- that’s one crusty interior !

    Like 4
  7. Steve Clinton

    How much for just the instrument cluster?

    The interior looks like a rodent motel.

    Like 1
  8. Tort Member

    Heyday of Pontiac styling whether the exterior, interior and for options available under the hood. With all its needs to restore back to the day when new the cost for parts and restoration even if most labor done by the new owner would probably be more than its worth when completed. Always wanted on but never happened.

    Like 1
  9. ACZ

    This is what happens if a car sits in Michigan for more than 10 minutes. Rust plus more rust. Should have left it in Colorado. Many cars are born in Michigan but it is sure death for those that stay there.

    Like 2
  10. John Taylor

    Have it caustic dipped first and etch primed at the same time, they dip it then wash them in a second bath and you can have them etch primed to stop any further rust, I had a 46 Ford coupe that went through this process and worked out very well. Years later not a sign of rust again.

  11. Gary Rhodes

    Very restorable car, 8 lug wheels just icing on the cake. Do it in Dodge truck Hydro Blue with white interior and blue carpet. Put on a TriPower and have a nice crusier

    Like 1

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