Car: Pontiac Grand Prix
What makes it special: Pontiac Head Honcho John Z. DeLorean wanted a new design for their Grand Prix model for the ’69 model year. What he got was a more dramatic body style with a longer nosed version of their intermediate GM A-Platform with a chrome, highly-pronounced grill, which became GM’s G-Body Platform.
What made it famous: The new Grand Prix rode the fine line between being a personal luxury car with the handling of a performance/muscle car, like the Dodge Charger or Mercury Cougar. It not only grabbed your attention style-wise, but with the option of a manually-shifted transmission, you had a muscle car. V8 engine options ran the gamut from the 390 hp, 428 HO at the top of the list, to a 265 or 350 hp 400 cu in V8. The car was also famed for it’s “Command Seat” for the ultimate driving experience, with a wraparound, airplane cockpit style instrumented dashboard with all gauges within easy reach. Twin “Strato-Style” bucket seats were separated by an integrated console that slanted towards the driver. Luxury came in the form of fabric and leather interior options.
Why I would want one: It’s not only luxurious, but delivered performance, making it a “Gentleman’s hot rod.”
Fun fact: Pontiac also attempted a special steam-powered SE 101 Concept that featured a 101 hp V8 that ended up being about 450 lbs heavier that a standard V8. Being three times more expensive to produce, they quickly scrapped that idea.
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