Sunday Driver: 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

Grand Prix front 3

Ford may well get the credit for inventing the “personal luxury coupe” category with the 1958 Thunderbird. With the performance minded Pete Estes and John De Lorean running Pontiac, that marque entered this category with the full size Grand Prix in 1962, offering a big V8, bucket seats, a center console, full instruments, and dual exhausts in the relatively lightweight (for Pontiac) Catalina body.

GP Front fender

Despite their size, these were definitely considered “sporty” cars in the early sixties, bringing somewhat of an adult appeal to the muscle car category. The base engine was Pontiac’s 303 hp 389 cid V-8, which could be optioned to produce a lot more horsepower, or buyers could even check off Pontiac’s fire breathing 421 engine for the best performance (at a much higher cost).

GP int

By 1966, Pontiac’s large cars had adopted the “coke bottle” fuselage and their larger muscle cars were being somewhat eclipsed by the wildly successful GTO, and Grand Prix sales in 1966 were half of what they were in 1963.

66 Grand Prix

These cars are big, but the Grand Prix does have a lot of style. This particular one for sale here on craigslist in Queens, New York is claimed by the seller to be a “barn find” and “one owner, always garaged, never saw snow or rain, perfect condition, sunday drive car.” The asking price is a very ambitious at $13,995, despite what appears to be a very clean and rust free exterior, and a very nice interior as well.

Grand Prix stickers

I do wish there was more information provided by the seller. There is no picture of the engine, or underneath the car, and nothing is stated about its drivetrain or options. It would be good to see what the front grille looks like too. The speedometer shows 02037 miles, and the 1998 emissions sticker shows 01610, which we must assume means the car has traveled over 100,000 miles in its lifetime. How this car managed to stay so clean despite being a New York city car is a story the seller should be telling us. I would also like to know if this car has had body work and a repaint at some point during its long life.

GP Dash

Presumably this car’s condition will dictate its actual value and selling price. Even though this example does not feature the desirable 8-lug wheels, and most likely has only the base 389 engine, if it’s in really great condition throughout, and also if it has a documented great story, this Grand Prix might warrant the kind of price the seller is asking.

1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

But if you are a fan of the mid-sixties full size muscle cars, the Grand Prix is a pretty sharp car and this looks like a very clean example and possibly a legitimate garage find. Any takers out there?

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Comments

  1. JW

    These were nice highway cruisers, if the chassis and engine bay are as clean as the rest of the car it just might pull in that kind of cash, but I would want either more pictures and info or a personal inspection before making a offer.

  2. Roseland Pete

    Nice car but if I were in the market and had $14k to spend, it would not be on this car.

  3. Tom Member

    cool car. I am a bit lost on the mileage. what is the story there? Is the owner suggesting this is a 2037 mile car or 102037? that would be what, 40 miles per year? Oddly the 98 emissions tag of 1610 miles to a now 2037 miles is 427 miles in 18 years or 25 miles a year?? I actually have cars with mileage stories like this where I have had them for years (decades) and put no miles on them. Are there more details on the mileage? If this is a 2K mile car, it is my favorite color…..

    • David Wilk Member

      Tom – I think if this car had 2037 miles on it, the seller would be trumpeting that fact. My guess – just a guess – is that it does have 102037, and that it was put away for the most part after 1998 when it had 101610. But of course only the seller can say for sure!

  4. ydnar

    I liked all of the Grand Prix’s until ’78. I think he’ll get the price, he’ll have to be patient.

  5. boxdin

    My friends mom bought a yellow 2+2 GP w 421 new in 66 and it was the bomb.
    My mom in 65 bought a olds 98 2 door w a 455. It was 19 ft long w a trunk for 4.
    Both were very fast for such large barges.

    • ydnar

      We have to know, how bad did the GP beat the 98?

      Like 1
    • David G

      I thought the only “2+2” model Pontiac produced in 66 was the Catalina 2+2, a sortof ‘sportiest Catalina’ model with Console. Almost a GP but not quite…

  6. Dennis

    Not fond of the aftermarket radio.

  7. Charles

    If this car is as clean as it looks, I would love to own it. I honestly don’t care if the mileage is 102k or 202K if the car is rust free and accident free. My parents had a 66 Bonneville coupe in this same color with the 421 Tri-power engine in it. I have lots of childhood memories that included that car. This one is not exact, but similar.

    There is a pristine 66 GP with a 421 Tri-power, factory 4 speed, factory air car that shown up at the Pontiac’s in Pigeon Forge TN charity car show for St Jude’s Hospital in June 15 that is for sale for 41K. Of course the list of desirable options is what the owner is using to justify his price. This car is a fully PHS documented low mileage original. Everyone at the show debated the price, some expressing that it is outrageously high, and others expressing that it is justified.

    Unless this car is a real POS hidden under a whole bunch of bondo, it should be about right on the price.

  8. George

    It’s been off the road since 99 and last registered in 2000.

  9. charlie Member

    My 2002 Audi has 170,000 miles, all in northern New England, driven year round, garaged some but not all winters, and NO rust. My ’93 Allante, has 150,000 miles, no winter driving, always garaged, no rust. So finding a car with 100,000 miles with no rust, even a ’60’s GM, in the snow belt, is possible. But I would want to look underneath this one, and I bet the front end is in need of lots of work given the NYC potholes.

  10. ben

    had a few gps my self like the 62 and 63 conv gp/ bonnevlle only have seen a couple 389 4 speed 8 lug wheels should have kept that one as well as a 61 225 conv with a 4 speed got my drivers lic on that one rember my dad tapeing a hocky puck on the clutch peddel so my mon could shift it those were the days as far as this ones price if he gets the right bite he might my self a riv is more my style those the 389 was a great engine

  11. pontiactivist

    There is one a lot like this in n.c. for sale on craigslist for $7500 with the tri-power 421 and 8 lugs.

  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Interesting that a car with 100+ K miles has never been in the rain.
    Weird claim to make.

  13. charlie Member

    In parts of CA, NM, AZ, NV, UT, TX, entirely credible.

  14. Robert

    I am happy to say the I am now the second proud owner of this very well cared for 66 Grand Prix just like of my late fathers, color and all. I ran across this car on Craigslist and contacted the owner who was the son that went with his father, his father in his early 50’s at the time of purchase on Jan. 18, 1966, the son now son in his early 70’s. The car is everything any collector would expect for a car so well cared for it’s entire life. It was garage kept, is entirely rust free and clearly was the owners pride and joy given the cars exceptional condition. While my search for a 66 Grand Prix like that of my fathers is over, the mission ahead is to bring the car to its prior showroom condition, an undertaking not real difficult given the cars condition.

    ~ While not all craigslist ads are well written to the detailed standards we car enthusiasts might desire nor the area of the vehicles posting an area of choice given its weather conditions or reputation, not always will one find his or her life treasure where he or she might expect to do so.

    I would have never believed I would have purchased this car in this condition out of Brooklyn, New York. The investment of time was well worth the trip to see and retrieve this true survivor.

    • Robert

      Should have read “I am happy to say that I am now the second proud owner”

  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Robert: Great score!

    Hard to believe that it was still available after almost 2 years.

    • Robert

      PRA4SNW: Thanks!

      I don’t think the seller was overly edger to sell the car perhaps due to the emotional connection many of us understand given it was his fathers car.

      The photos in this post were during the period of time in which the car remained in the late owners garage prior to the family home being sold. It was after the home sale that the vehicle was moved from the garage it had spent many years in, that the car was relisted on Craigslist.

      Having just sold a beautiful 64 Country Sedan weeks prior, the Grand Prix in now tucked in the garage where it awaits its restoration.

  16. Robert

    We’ll I’m happy to say that after a few hours of motor preparation on this beautiful 66 GP, it fired right up and purrs like any 389 with 10.5-1 compression of its era ever did.

    An hour of detailing the interior and it looks like it just rolled out of the dealer showroom, only item needing replacing are the rubber sun visor tips which have been ordered.

    A little research on the car and it happens that it might be 1 of very few ordered with the factory rally gages / vacuum gage delete.

    The Saf-T-Track (post rear) with 323 gears are also an added plus for this otherwise sleeper.

    Hoping to post some photos along the way as the car is brought back to it’s fromer glory.

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Yes, photos please!

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