Saturday, September 16, 2023

Cars in Yards: 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix, All Red, All Wrong

Red 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix view of headlights and grille.

Big, Red, Dirty, Beauty! I rarely find a Grand Prix of any vintage in my travels, but I did it right this time. A 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix finds me and draws me in with the seductive allure these special cars possess. We Junkyard Life Grand Prix/Grand Am geeks will go to great lengths to look at one. In this case, I pulled over and stepped out of the truck. It may not have been that great of a length. Let’s be honest. You had me at Grand Prix.

    One of my favorite years of my favorite era — personal luxury and performance? Any Grand Prix is a treat for us, but we love the Colonnade era of 1973-1977. All right! The 1973 model year was the Johnnie-come-lately. The new kid in town. Very different from the 1969-1972 GP models, but had every bit of Pontiac styling and impact you could only find in the Grand Prix. 

Rear view of red 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix rotting in yard.
1973-only Grand Prix parts back here.
And cumbersome below bumper gas filler neck behind tag.

All Wrong!
    This red example did have a few options. The push bars on the bumpers were actually an option but not very rare. The color was obviously a repaint in a bright red. That doesn’t sound unusual. It seems I have seen Grand Prixs wearing their sporty red coats. The cowl tag was illegible and the 1973 brochure only sort of verified. “Sort of?” What could that mean? See? The brochure that I have stops right at Buccaneer Red. I feel that Pontiac would have wanted their personal luxury muscle mobile painted that popular color. This had to be correct color, right?

Another option, not present here, would have been the vinyl top. We see no evidence of the sporty roof trim of the 70’s that turned the body into a future crime scene.  Also, notice the steering column and sporty Pontiac spoked steering wheel? Nice try with the PMD horn button, but again—not correct for THIS Pontiac. There was evidence of this Grand Prix being a bucket seat with console model. That steering column has a shifter on it. Also, by 1973, Pontiac had phased the PMD off of center piece trim and horn buttons and transitioned into the 
 red arrowhead emblem.

PMD emblem on 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix horn button?
Should this be PMD? We think horn button is wrong.

Buccaneer Up, Little Soldier
    Under the little red riding hood was a Pontiac 400. Maybe? It was a Pontiac motor and the radiator designation implied the 400 cube version. Wiring was a little confusing. It seems to be more of a spaghetti fest than a wiring job.
    This Prix didn’t have the analog gauges which would have been standard with the SJ package. That means this Grand Prix was probably not an SJ. Still cool though. However, I couldn’t find a “J” designation on the car anywhere either. Well, we know it is a Grand Prix.

Rear view of long red 1973 Pontiac Grand Prix rotting in yard.
Buccaneer Red Paint? The Trans Am made that color famous in 1973.

    I hope this classic Pontiac falls into the right hands, because it is a coveted 1973 model. 1973 being the first year for that generation Prix would contain several parts indigenous to the ’73. Jody and I (Ron) both have 1973 Pontiacs and we know the struggle is real. As for the fate of saved or scrapped? We hope this car can either be fixed or sacrifice itself to other Grand Prixs for valuable parts. Maybe, even ours?

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life: 
The Story Beneath the Rust

So many great angles on this generation Pontiac Grand Prix.

Interior equipped with optional greenhouse package. Lol.

Cheap paint job alert! Overspray on the emblems is a no-no.

Enough gauges to fill your hot rod dreams.

Underhood sticker shows this originally equipped with a Poncho 400 engine.

A lot of room under here and it still has A/C parts attached!

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