By 1972, the era of full-sized luxury muscle was starting to die,
just like the rest of the high-horsepower machines, but that didn't
stop Pontiac from building cars like this ultra-cool 1972 Grand
Prix Model J. There's still a rumbling 400-inch V8 under the hood,
a pair of bucket seats inside, and enough performance to make it a
legitimate piece of the Pontiac legend.
Time has been kind to the Grand Prix, whose design stands out as
one of the better ones of the period. Of course, long hoods and
short decks have been in fashion since the dawn of the industry,
but this Grand Prix gets it exactly right. A slight freshening for
the '71 model year only helps, adding a neo-boat-tail rear end.
This car has been nicely preserved in its original, survivor-grade
Anaconda Gold, which suits the upscale Poncho just fine, especially
with the light tan vinyl top providing contrast. Befitting a car of
this one's stature, fit and finish are quite good, particularly
with that massive hood sitting flush which is no small achievement.
The big doors line up well, too, and although the survivor paint
obviously has some flaws after all these years, it still shows well
in person with a nice soft shine that seems well-suited to the
period. This one just looks right. Note the crisp line along the
lower edges of the body that makes panel alignment so critical, as
well as neat details like the slotted rear side marker lights and
pinstripes that highlight some of the more dramatic sheetmetal
curves. Thankfully, Pontiac took it easy on the chrome, using it
sparingly on the tightly-fitted bumpers to make a statement, and
they remain in good condition as well.
Pontiac's commitment to luxury and performance is quite evident
inside, where you get a couple very comfortable yet sporty beige
buckets up front, split by a Model J-spec center console. A
wrap-around instrument panel was new and Pontiac advertising called
it "aircraft-inspired" which might be a reach, but it sure looks
good. The beige cloth-and-vinyl are correct but appear to be a bit
more recent, as they're just too nice to be original and those
appear to be fresh carpets and mats on the floor as well. However,
the door panels are likely original and their condition suggests
that this car has lived an exceptionally easy life. The car
includes factory air conditioning, a tilt column, power brakes and
steering (mandatory on a beast this size, I'd think), and a TH400
3-speed automatic transmission that's a reliable travelling
partner. The trunk is original and very spacious, but that also
means that there are no secrets hiding under a mat, and you can see
that this car is really clean.
Mechanically, the original numbers matching 400 cubic inch Pontiac
V8 is hard to beat. Torquey, smooth, and versatile, it moves the
big GP with ease. Not detailed for show, it takes its influences
from contemporary Trans Ams and wears light blue on the block and
valve covers, and maintains its original black snorkeled air
cleaner up top. The intake and 4-barrel are stock spec, although
the stock-style headers now feed a throaty stainless steel dual
exhaust system. The underside is original and solid, and the light
dusting of undercoating does nothing to hide the fact that this car
doesn't suffer from the tin worm like so many of its
contemporaries. And those handsome Pontiac Rally II wheels look as
good here as they do on its siblings, wearing big 225/70/14 Cooper
Cobra white-letter radials at all four corners.
These cars have a dedicated following and with values only going
up, now is the time to put a clean, attractive Grand Prix Model J
in your stable. Call today!