Stored 35 Years: 14K-Mile 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix

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It’s been over a dozen years now, but some of us still find it hard to believe that Pontiac is gone. Thankfully, there are still nice used vehicles to be found, such as this 1980 Pontiac Grand Prix LJ model in red. The seller has this one posted here on craigslist in Des Plaines, Illinois and they’re asking $9,000. Here is the original listing, and thanks to Rocco B. for sending in this tip!

You may have noticed in the first photo of the left front 3/4 view, the front bumper filler material is gone. That’s fairly common with cars of this age. Thankfully, it’s still available, you’ll just have to paint it to match the beautiful red color of this good-looking Grand Prix LJ. The seller refers to this color as Firemist Red, but I think it may be Mayan Red, what do you think? There are some Pontiac experts out there, please set us (me) straight on the official color.

You can see the rear bumper filler material has deteriorated to the point of being AWOL, too. Other than that, I don’t really see a flaw in or on this car anywhere. This is the era when I started driving, or just after, so I naturally have good memories of the fifth-generation Grand Prix. They were made from 1978 to 1987 and they were the last rear-wheel-drive Grand Prix, as when the sixth-gen cars came out, they were based on GM’s front-drive W-body.

This Grand Prix is a luxury model, the LJ, and it appears to have optional 60/40 split-back seats in the front. The steering wheel cover is the only thing I see out of the ordinary here, how about you? The back seat looks perfect as does the trunk. The seller says that this car has just 14,000 miles and was stored in a heated garage for 35 years.

The engine is a mystery, other than being listed as an eight-cylinder. I’m assuming that it has a 4.9-liter OHV V8, and depending on if it had a two-barrel or four-barrel carburetor, it would have had between 135 and 150 horsepower. One of the Pontiac gurus out there will know by looking at it, most likely. Any thoughts on this era of Grand Prix? Yea, or nay? It’s a big yea for me.

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  1. Big_FunMember

    That color is code 77 Agate Red. On 1980 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, it was called Cinnabar. Almost bought one with a black landau top. Also available on Malibu .

    Like 6
  2. Fred

    I love these cars.

    There might still be a maroon 1979 Grand Prix on Long Island with a W72 400 in it, backed by a T350. I did the swap in the mid 80’s and it was a blast to drive even with the AC on.

    Most likely a 301 4bbl, pretty anemic. But any other Pontiac V8 will bolt in using every existing bracket.

    Like 9
  3. Kirk

    Beautiful example of this year Grand Prix . Pontiac did make a nice car. All 79s I’ve seen had the 301 but starting seeing Chevy engines a lot in the later years mostly 305 and 267s

    Like 5
    • 🇨🇦 Christopher Douglas

      All Canadian spec (Z49) cars had the Chevy 305, I think (but not 100%!)

      Like 0
  4. CCFisher

    Very dirty under the hood for 14,000 miles.

    Like 5
  5. Stan

    These ride real nice. Comfortable cruising 🙌🏁

    Like 3
  6. DGMinGA

    14,000 miles, kept in air conditioned garage, but the bumper fillers are disintegrated? I know the bumper fillers on these A/G bodies are known to be somewhat fragile, but that doesn’t seem right. I have owned 2, both 79 Olds Cutlasses. The first I drove from 84 to 93. Rarely garaged, daily driven well over 100k, and the bumper fillers didn’t fall apart. The second I bought in 2021 with 39k miles on it, had been stored inside, I doubt with heat or AC, & bumper fillers are original and intact. Either Oldsmobile had better material, I’m just really lucky, or buyer should look closely. I also note the wheel well trim straps are not OEM, better check under those.

    Like 2
    • Greg S.

      Those bumper fillers are a crap shoot. I have three Caprices, a 78, and 86 and a 90. All stored inside, all have about 30k original miles. The 78 ones are mostly ok, the 86 and 90 had to be replaced bc they were falling apart. I had a 89 with 80k miles and those were fine. No clue why.

      Like 2
  7. Wade

    Would that be a late production 1979? The tail lights look like they are from a 1980. I had a 79 and the tail lights had vertical lines. The 78 had horizontal lines.

    Like 3
  8. Lance

    Listing was deleted by the author. Regardless, loved the red color with contrasting white vinyl top. Did not have bucket seats, floor mounted automatic transmission and Rally II wheels. A 4 barrel on rhe 301 would have made a difference in driveability merging on the Interstate and passing.

    Like 1
  9. Troy

    It may have been stored in a heated garage but that odometer has rolled at least once the fiberglass molding behind the front bumper and below the trunk lid is completely shot and even here on barn finds we have seen
    50k mileage cars where that is still intact

    Like 2
  10. Paulcug

    I remember how disappointed I was when these came out. I was driving a 73’ triple black GP at the time. At least they kept the dashboard nice. The Cutlass and Regal was the nicest

    Like 1
  11. Jeffrey A Bryan

    Not a 1979 a 1980

    Like 0
  12. Steve

    “It’s been over a dozen years now, but some of us still find it hard to believe that Pontiac is gone.”
    As long as there is a Grand Prix, GTO, Bonneville, G8 GT, or Safari on the road, Pontiac will NOT be gone, nor forgotten.

    Like 0
  13. Jim

    This is a 1980 unless someone swapped the grill and rear tail lights.

    Like 1
  14. AnthonyD

    Why cover the steering wheel of a 14k miles car? The only reason I can think of is so we wouldn’t see the wear and tear on it. This coupled with the bumper filler deterioration problem sheds a lot of doubt on the mileage claim…IMO.

    Like 2
  15. PRA4SNW

    Not too surprised that this one didn’t last too long.

    Like 1
  16. John Oliveri

    Those tail lights are to a 1980, not 79, I don’t think it’s 14,000 miles if it’s been altered, I owned both years brand new, the steering wheel is 1980, to my recollection the grille on this car is a 79, buyer beware

    Like 0
  17. John Oliveri

    Also those wheel opening moldings are 1980, 79 had the smaller lips

    Like 0
  18. DON

    There was a time I wouldn’t have paid more than 100 bucks for any of these downsized mid size GM cars – cheesy interiors , crappy 200 ,231, 301 engines or no horsepower 305s , and rear frame rails that rotted away quickly Now, seeing a survivor like this brings back a lot of memories . If the price was right, who knows ? You’d certainly be the only one at a cruise night with one !

    Like 0
  19. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Thanks for knocking my skull on it being a 1980, it’s right in the dang listing, too. My apologies.

    Like 0

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