Tri-Power 4-Speed! 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix

The Grand Prix was Pontiac’s first foray into the personal luxury segment, but as often was the case with Pontiac automobiles, there was an emphasis on performance as well. The 1964 Grand Prix was an extension of the prior year’s model, but with more curves and smoother lines. This car is a spectacular-looking specimen with black paint, black vinyl top, and black interior. It also has a rebuilt 389 Tri-Power V8 with a 4-speed gearbox, so it will lay down some rubber. It’s available here on craigslist for $30,000 and can be seen in Hayward, California. Thank you, Matt R, for sending this tip our way!

As a two-door coupe, the Grand Prix would be built by Pontiac from 1962 through 2002 and another six years as a sedan, as well. While it started out as a full-size mean machine, the Grand Prix would vary over the years in terms of size, accommodations, and performance during its run. The most noticeable styling difference between the 1964 and 1963 models would be the headlights frenched into the fender and bumper instead of cutting into the body and a similar approach with the taillights. One of the upgrades on the ’64 Grand Prix was to replace the single 4-barrel carb on the 389 cubic inch V-8 with three 2-barrel carbs, creating a Tri-Power set-up and an increase in horsepower from 303 to 330.

The seller’s car sports one of my favorite appearance combinations, triple black (I had a ’70 Nova done up that way and it was hot looking). The body on this car looks straight with no obvious flaws. The seller doesn’t mention if the car has been repainted or if any rust has ever presented itself in the past, but it looks righteous as it sits right now. One of the cool features of the car is the unusual 8-lug wheels, whereas I doubt any other passenger car used more than 5-lug wheels in those days. The original California “black plates” are there in plain view.

This car came out of the factory with almost every option box checked: factory air conditioning (but it looks as though the belt has been removed), cruise control, tilt steering, rear defroster, power trunk release, power radio antenna, power steering, and brakes, power seats and windows, and the list goes on. Pontiac produced nearly 64,000 Grand Prix’s in 1964 (a coincidence?), down about 12% from the prior year. Sales may have suffered a bit with the introduction of a Catalina 2+2 that year. Thanks, Wikipedia, for some tidbits of information.

The real treat with this car is the 389 Tri-Power V-8 (which has been rebuilt) paired with the Super T-10 4-speed transmission and a 3.42 gear ratio. The rebuild took place just 500 miles back and included the use of High Output exhaust manifolds. Hagerty considers $40,000 about the top end for a ’64 Grand Prix, but that would likely increase with the Tri-Power and 4-speed set-up. While this car brand new may have sold for around $5,000 (a tidy sum in those days), the seller’s asking price doesn’t sound out of line unless there are some unknown mysteries with the car (like does the A/C work?)

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Comments

  1. Big_Fun Member

    Checking out the PHS documents, this car was a 389 4bbl with the automatic transmission.
    It was shipped to the Pontiac Warehouse in San Francisco, so it could have been a press car, zone manager’s car, or marketing car.
    Also has a code for special paint – don’t know if black was the special paint, or another color.
    The options, documentation, and the power train, plus the southern California residence make this the one to have!

    Like 12
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    I had a ’64 Catalina (389/automatic) in that odd
    Watermelon color.It was a great transportation car.I paid
    $325 from a dealer in the mid ’70’s.
    The Grand Prix’s were a lot cooler car.I love the
    front turn signals,& the clear rear taillights,& the interiors
    were much more sporting.

    Like 5
  3. Mark

    Interesting that a rebuild was done without fixing the AC

    Like 9
  4. Jcs

    Very cool Grand Prix, even though neither the tri-power nor the 4-speed are original to the car.

    One of the things that I have always loved most about this generation of full size Pontiacs is the optional Dual Radios, that this car is equipped with. One radio for the driver, another for the passenger. Love it.

    Like 9
    • Jim in FL

      That’s funny. Our 66 Bonneville convertible had the same heater controls. When I was a kid I loved turning the knob on the right and watching the roller things turn up the heat. While dad yelled at me for fiddling with it of course. I was too young so I really don’t remember. I’m guessing left knob was the fan and the buttons were heat / def?

      Like 6
    • Michael Tockey

      That’s not another radio. The one on the drivers side is the climate control. They both have push buttons and do actually look like two radios.

      Like 5
      • Jcs

        Exactly.

        Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Jcs,

      Love the comment about the dual radios.

      I was in the middle east [before the wars in the 1990s] and saw a ’64 Gran Prix in a large car collection. Like many US cars sold new in the Arabic world, it had no options. 389 4 barrel with 3-speed on the console, Power steering but no power brakes, and being in a very hot climate, it had no heater [or A/C]. There were 2 metal plates covering the holes for the radio and the HVAC controls, both plates having the same wood veneer as the other section of the dash. That suggests to me without any HVAC, you could have dual radios!

      Like 6
  5. jerry z

    I agree too bad the a/c is not working, especially for that price. Change it back the the 4bbl and add a hotter cam!

    • Dave

      Not knowing much about Pontiac, but would that intake manifold bolt on a 455?

      Like 2
      • Fred

        That intake won’t fit on the 1966 and newer heads

        Like 7
  6. local_sheriff

    It’s nice but not 30k nice – it would be more than interesting to find out exactly what color it came with, ’cause it was NOT Starlight Black. If so its cowl tag would have an A after the ‘paint’ print, this tag clearly says ‘special!

    Truly a highly optioned version, power vent windows and trunk opening how lazy is it possible to be…?! The PHS docs also show it should have wooden steering wheel, remote mirror and door edge guards, all missing items. Replacing the Roto-Hydramatic with a 4spd and the 3×2 setup is what really sets this one apart from other GPs in the market. Though not excactly worn I think the interior looks ‘old’ to justify the tag.

    It’s a very nice GP indeed but has obviously been ‘refurbished’ at some point leaving some OE features behind. It could’ve been even more desirable wearing the special order paint, wooden wheel and a better interior. Details perhaps but at 30k I think it’s acceptable to nit-pick

    Like 11
  7. Comet

    It’s exactly what I wished my folks would have driven as a family car.

    Like 7
  8. Danger Dan

    I known the seller, nicest guy you could meet. He has an extensive collection of rivieras. Very knowledgeable and generous fellow.

    Like 5
    • Danger Dan

      *know

      Like 2
  9. Troy s

    Price reduced to $27,000, I’ve read above about the non original tri power and 4 speed,, got to admit I never would have thought it had an automatic
    looking at the console. It is 56 years old and the transformations could have been several times over the many decades. Nice looking car and as heavily optioned as it is I also would have figured a 421 under that hood.
    Maybe a few buyers looked to the GTO in ’64 for a sporty performance car instead, just a few.

    Like 3
  10. Bigbird

    My cousin had one a ’64 convert 421 with a 4-speed. The car was so long it would not fit in a std. garage. It always amazed me of how many of these big cars were ordered with the 4-speed. Nice….

    Like 5
  11. George Mattar

    Enough n it picking. Many care were slightly modified back in the day. At least he used GM stuff and not JC Whitney or put on other stupid China made garbage. Beautiful car. When I see total rust bucket Mopars on here for $20,000 that need to be crushed, this is a great deal. Sold my Grand Prix 16 years. Dumb.

    Like 6
  12. Rick Rothermel

    Neat car. The 4-gear console itself is worth a bundle. Maybe too much $, just a little too soon.

    Like 2
  13. Ralph Boone

    My 64 GP was a 421 Tri-power 4sp stick Red with red interior.

    Like 2
  14. MLM

    This and the Impala SS is my favorite full size cars from 1964.When guys was craving Mustangs,Camaros,Trans Ams, etc in high school,I was dreaming of these machines especially the ’63 Grand Prix.

    Like 2
  15. David C

    I had a 64 GP with 389 4 Barrel and factory 4 speed. Black with Gold color interior.Loved that car but got married in 68 and wife didn’t like driving a 4 speed. Traded in for a 68 Lemans
    Wish I still had it

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