Sweet 389 Four-speed Pontiac! 1963 Grand Prix

Pontiac’s Grand Prix made a statement in ’63, and the sales brochure described it as having “an air of being able to cope with anything it might encounter.” This 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix in Tucson, Arizona features a listing here on eBay that sets a high standard for credible use of pictures and text. Not only has the seller included dozens of high-quality pictures, the listing includes paragraphs of information broken up with headlines like “Suspension,” and “Exterior.” Anyone searching for a classic car knows the pain of being brutalized by ALL CAPS, listings with three cell phone pictures and eight words (six misspelled) for a $20,000+ car, stream-of-consciousness descriptions, listings with 90% boilerplate about the dealership or 50% warnings about all the ways they’ve been reamed by deadbeat buyers. It’s refreshing to see a listing with great photos and plenty of information about this exact car, all composed in a way that makes you think they actually want to sell it. Bravo! More than two dozen bids have set the market value above $3500. For a numbers-matching 389 four-speed with most of its original equipment, that number should go up noticeably before the hammer drops.

Wide-Track Pontiacs emphasized the comfort and stability of width, a luxury to be enjoyed thanks to the expansion of paved roads and highways in post-war America. Pontiac fans love these eight-lug wheels. That’s right; those fins are part of an aluminum wheel option designed to improve brake cooling.

The stunning combination of bronze with the blinding white interior and the Grand Prix’s bountiful brightwork looks as attractive today as it did in the age of Camelot. The Grand Prix’s sporty flair combined with full-size luxury made it perfect for the country club set or those aspiring to it. I’m starting to fall for this GP, hard.

The long-idled 389 (6.4L) has been coaxed into life but only briefly because it did not sound good. Tip your hat to the seller for this confession. A complete overhaul would be wise on this four-barrel V8. If I’m decoding the engine options properly, a four-barrel 389 would have been the 303 HP version with a bountiful 430 lb-ft of torque.

The shiny console with shift pattern diagram announces this as a driver’s car. I think I made a leather key holder like that in middle school! Hitting the streets a year before the GTO, this may be my favorite Pontiac from ’63. What’s yours?

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Comments

  1. Arthell64 Member

    I always like this body style. Looks like a solid project.

    Like 6
  2. Mike D

    I guess no vacuum gauge on 4-speed cars?

    Like 2
    • local_sheriff

      Nope…instead you could order a tach…!

      Like 3
  3. TimM

    Nice car in decent shape!! Could definitely use some freshening up!!

    Like 2
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Sweet Poncho. This one checks the boxes with the 4 speed, console and 8 lug wheels. Plus it looks like it benefits from the dry Arizone climate. Great one to bring back, regardless of the level they want to take it to. Paint as is, rebuild the engine and drive the nuts off it. Would love to run this baby thru the gears once!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 8
  5. Dave

    What a great car to restore.

    Like 2
  6. Brent

    Friend had a black 63 with a 421 super duty w/ 2-4s and 4 speed. It could almost keep up with my ’67 440 4 speed Charger which was 5-600 lbs less. Grand prix was great out on the turnpike. Do 85-90 all day long and got 13 -14 mpg. with the a/c on. This car is worth every dollar put into it. One of the great classic IMO.

    Like 8
  7. George Mattar

    One of my favorite year GPs. I got a ride in a 63 Bonneville conv with a 4 speed. Very short shifter. You really need a long arm to reach it. My aunt had a blue 63 Grand Prix new. Our family bought new Pontiacs every year. I rode in it when I was 9 years old. Want to save this one, but no room in my garage.

    Like 4
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Like……

  9. local_sheriff

    Considering its AZ location there’s surprising amounts of corrotion underneath it, but I suspect it probably spent some of its years elsewhere before ending up in AZ. It’s an MI built example, I’d probably think cars destined for AZ were sourced from the South Gate, CA plant…? However it’s still in much better shape than many rust heaps we see on ebay…

    Bad: absolutely every surface will need attention to make it presentable again, as goes for driveline, electrical and interior.
    Good: of all fullsize Pontiacs the GP is by far the easiest of them all to locate parts for. Extremely many parts are being reproduced and many bits also interchange with same year Impala.

    Being more a personal car than a typical muscle car locating a 4spd GP is rare indeed – the vast majority sold with the Roto tranny, and those of you who know Pontiacs will know how fiddly it is to convert a pre ’64 Poncho to TH style trannies…

    With all the right options and its colors this GP has potential to become a killer show/ cruise night vehicle costing not much more than an Impala to get there and be considerably more unique. I’d LOVE to see her done!!

    Like 3
  10. Nick P

    I had 2 GTOs before leaving high school (still have em both). Have added a few since. Once I became an adult, I’ve always wanted either a 63-64, or 69-70 GP. They’re classier and more mature. Gotta be a 4 speed and they’re hard to find. Recently, with my 21 year old son accumulating 70-73 TA’s, my garage space is shrinking as well as my wife’s patience. Someday…

    Like 7
  11. rod444

    Hmm… relisted due to an “error in the listing”? Or did barnfinds drive so much traffic to his listing that he bailed to relist with a higher reserve? :) A mystery for the ages.

    Like 3
  12. schooner

    The future wife’s Dad had a ’63 with 421. He dove it a mile to the train station and back for the commute to NYC. Her brother “had” to take it out on occasion to clean it out that I got a couple of rides on. South on the NJ Turnpike exit 18 spitting and complaining at 60 slowly clearing out and around exit 7 or 8 the turnaround and run back at 100 or so was lots of fun. A great cruiser.

    Like 4
  13. Miguel

    Personally I would look for a 1965 or 1966 model. These didn’t scream special car to me.

  14. Del

    Did someone say 20 grand ?

    Relisted nut not much action.

    20 may be too high here ?

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