Live Auctions

Cheap Muscle? $2,700 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix

Pontiac would redesign the Grand Prix for 1973 and find instant sales success. Production would increase by two-thirds over 1972, from 92,000 units to 154,000. That momentum wouldn’t hold for long as the OPEC oil embargo caused gasoline prices to soar in 1973-75 and car buyers began moving to more fuel-efficient alternatives. Nonetheless, these were beautiful and popular machines at the time, including this well-used 1973 edition. Located in Gresham, Oregon, this luxury coupe can be found here on craigslist where it’s offered for just $2,700. Thanks to our bud, local_sheriff, for bringing this tip our way!

The Grand Prix would debut in 1962 as the first personal luxury car officially in the Pontiac line-up. The nameplate would be expanded to include 4-door sedans in 1998 and that version of the Grand Prix would stick around through 2008. Throughout all the changes, the GP would demonstrate a combination of luxury and performance that well established the car’s identity. The third generation of the Pontiac would arrive in 1973 as the industry was adjusting to tightening emissions standards and rising insurance costs. They were larger and heavier than before, thanks to the federally mandated five mph front bumpers. The cars would also be noted for their use of a fixed opera side window as part of the styling change that applied to the Colonnade hardtops for all General Motors intermediate cars.

If this Grand Prix could talk, it would tell you it’s seen a busy 47 years. The car has logged more than 113,000 miles with the kinds of bumps and bruises you might expect. The body is generally straight and most of the rust it wears is where most of the half-vinyl top used to be. That includes a hole in the roof that the seller says is an easy fix, but I don’t look at any rust repairs as being easy. The interior is also indicative of the mileage with a tear in the driver’s bucket seat, although the seller assures us that the seats themselves don’t need to be recovered. The dash pad is cracked, and the seller has priced a replacement at $125.

We’re told the car runs and drives, but the description is not any more optimistic than that. Under the hood is a 400 cubic inch V-8 with a 4-barrel carburetor that would have been good for an anemic 230 net hp with the Turbo-Hydramatic. If you want to enjoy the factory air conditioning, you’ll have to spring for a recharge of the system. If you desire is to pull a trailer behind you, the GP comes with an electric brake towing package.

Hagerty provides modest resale price estimates for the 1973-77 generation of the Grand Prix. Mid-$20,000’s is the high end for these cars, whereas one in fair condition like this car should be more like $5,000.  So, if this era of the car appeals to you, the seller’s vehicle may be a bargain, leaving you some wiggle room for body and interior work. Thanks, How Stuff Works, for some of the laydown on these cars.


  1. Anthony

    Yes please

    Like 2
    • Ampp02

      Solid restorable car

  2. Steve R

    The car looks like it could be a pretty good deal for the money. Much better than the piece of junk red Grand Prix featured on this site yesterday. The seller comes across too much like a white shoe wearing used car salesman, by pushing too hard he raises doubts about the cars actual condition.

    Steve R

    Like 9
  3. Keith

    Cheap driver potential. The ‘pictures of pictures’ strongly suggest this one has been advertised before and remains unsold… show up with cash, and maybe you can knock a few bucks off.

    Like 5
  4. Carlos J Guzman

    Decent car for the price. I like it.

    Like 1
  5. S

    I always thought this was a beautiful body style, and with a 400 it should be fairly quick. Even though there was some emissions control equipment in 73 (e.g. EGR valves) this would not have a catalytic converter – so it shouldn’t be a total dog. This car has some potential, but is well worn. $2700 is fair. I would never pay $5000 for this as was suggested was “fair”. There’s going to be quite a lot of work to do to make this presentable. Still, it’s a cool find. The yellow with black top is kind of unusual and could look nice if it were spruced up a bit.

    Like 2
    • S

      Interesting how there appears to be a light blue 81-86 or so Grand Prix in the background. You don’t even see those around anymore. I wonder if the seller owns both?

      Like 1
  6. Edward Nixon

    I loved these cars when I was a kid and went looking for one. After 6 Canadian winters the few that I looked at had rust holes already. Most other cars didn’t rust that quick. I still think they are beautiful cars.

  7. Glenn Hilpert

    I talked with the owner yesterday who is in his 80’s. He has several Pontiacs he is selling. He seemed like a straight shooter when asked about certain things about the car.

    Like 3
  8. Ampp02

    Solid restorable car

    Like 1
  9. David G

    The 230 horsepower 400 4 barrel engine is hardly anemic. Light years ahead of the 150-170 horsepower engines that were the norm from ’75 through the late ’90s, with very few exceptions. This is a nice car, and would be a great drive-while-restoring vehicle. Two door mid-size cars with nice styling like this will always have a good following.

    Like 1
    • Glenn Hilpert

      My bad, you were right on the horsepower rating at 230 from the 400 V-8. I was thinking about the 455. Owner called me yesterday and now the car won’t start. He is having someone look into it.

  10. Glenn Hilpert

    The standard 400 4V, dual-exhaust was rated at 250 hp according to the specs. Owner said the carb was hesitating when starting off and thinks it is an accelerator pump. Maybe, or a flat lobe on the cam? He hasn’t owned the car very long which makes me believe it may need more help than shown or revealed. Body, paint, interior, mechanical, it all adds up to mighty $ if that is what it will take to bring back.

  11. Glenn Hilpert

    Told owner almost a week ago I found a reasonable shipper and would most likely go with him. Owner said the car will not start and attempt to find out the problem. After several days, owner said he will contact a friend to see what he can do and that was last week. Left a text message if he ever got the car started. Have not heard a boo. I’m done with scenario and time to move on to something else.

  12. Steven

    I had a 74 GP with the 400. Not a dog at all.

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