Thursday, January 15, 2015

5k: There's No Place Like Home: 1963 Pontaic Grand Prix

In 1962 GM was enjoying a great start to the NASCAR Grand National season, they'd won 18 of the first 20 races and 12 of those wins were full sized Poncho two doors. It was also the year that Pontiac introduced the Grand Prix on the full sized B-body (Catalina) chassis.  The name hinted at its racing pedigree, after all, it had bucket seats, 8-lug wheels on huge finned aluminum brakes, and a center shift console, it had to be a sports car! In 1963, the Grand Prix was given a minor restyling (along will all other full sized Pontiacs) -- it got a cool squared off roof treatment and unique concave rear glass.  Find this 1963 Pontaic Grand Prix offered for $5,500 here on craigslist, located in Brimfield, MA. Tip from Jim.

The Grand Prix was categorized as a personal luxury car like a third generation Ford T-bird, Lincoln Conti MkII or Studebaker Golden Hawk.  It started life where the Pontiac Ventura dropped off and was essentially a re-optioned Catalina with minimalist exterior and upmarket options like a Bonneville.  The personal luxury segment emphasized driver comfort and style over performance, but ability to accelerate on demand was essential.   This car was designed for the guy that had fantasies of hauling azz instead of hauling kids, but still needed room for five.  

Acceleration in the case of the Grand Prix was accomplished by Pontiac's 389 V8, a 4-barrel fed version borrowed from the Bonneville and good for 303 horsepower. Combined with a Borg-Warner T-10 4-speed manual gearbox and standard limited slip differential, the Grand Prix will do a nice squat-and-go impression of a gooney bird at take off. 

The car looks really nice in the pictures for the current asking price, but the seller makes the following ominous statement: Solid Frame & Floors, not a perfect paint job but its a Tornado survivor, has some body filler cracks, not rotted or swiss cheese.  You can't see any ruby slippers poking out from under this beast, so its doubtful that the Grand Prix did any aerial maneuvers, gotta wonder what tornado survivor means.

See a better deal on 4-speed big block muscle machine?


  1. He obviously meant Toronado survivor. Be thankful you have never gone head to head with a Toronado on a stormy evening amidst the corn. You will be lucky to escape unscathed.

    1. They happen up there from time to time and tend to really rip things up because of the number of trees they grab. There not as powerful, but are just as scary. Looks like this one on June 1, 2011 might have been the culprit. (Its the 0 between the signs for I-90 and Rt 20)

  2. I'm wondering if the bondo was done after the tornado or before. In the pics (crappy) it looks like it would be a decent driver. If I brought this car up here and stored it until the weather was nice enough to drive it, this thing would show me every battle scar it has. Still I would love to have it and maybe fix some of the filler with more filler and paint and just drive it until it showed and then fix it right maybe restore it.


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