By on March 15, 2011

Have you ever seen a car truly ratted out? I’m not talking about the Oscar Madisons amongst us who leave their food wrappers in their cars til’ kingdom come. I’m talking about a real rat car. Interior seats with more thread than fabric. Transmission shifts that make the car jerk quicker than John Ashcroft at a Mardi Gras. Panels with more dents than…. you get the idea.  The owner of this Grand Prix decided to get an advanced pharmacology degree during the waning moments of ownership. He was kind enough to bring what was left of the car after his latest meeting with the local magistrate, and with $410 left on the note I could…

Smash: You think I’m kidding? Believe it or not, this car may make more money going through this route first. For someone else that is. One of my good friends in the business decided to bring a 20+year old conversion van for a high school fundraiser a few years ago. $20 per window. 2 good panel whacks for $5.  $5 per headlight and taillight. Throw in a few ‘all you can whacks’ when it’s all said and done, my friend managed to raise about $700 for intramural activities at the nearby high school. I’m thinking that a $500 contribution to the neighborhood school would be more than worthwhile.

Part: There are some things that may be worth keeping in this vehicle. The recently installled junkyard transmission in this model can go into an endless slew of GM models from this era. The 3.1L had a 4-speed automatic that  was used in everything short of a Cadillac or Saturn back then. I have a few cars on the road with similar specs. As well as a few auction vehicles which may be bought on the cheap with a bad tranny. The alloy wheels on this model would also go nicely with a low mileage 1996 Bonneville I just got from Carmax. Toss in an extra compressor and a few other odds and ends… and you have a nice parts reserve for a rainy day.

Scrap: Then it’s on to the carcass. Catalytic converters can be cut out and sold for $40 to $60  at this point, and metal is still out there for $10 to $11 per 100 on the wholesale level. This car coming in at 3200+ pounds would net somewhere close to $360 or so for the steel and cat alone. That leaves me with a lot of good spare parts for about $50. Not too bad of a deal.

Race: I can see it now. LeMons riders quaking in their high heel boots from the awesome power of a heavily imblanced front-wheel drive Pontiac from the Clinton Era. Baruth begging to get the keys off his umpteenth racer and terrorize the tarmac with a mid-90’s… grocery getter.  To be frank I never understood the charm of this vehicle. From the front it looks like a squinting turtle. The rear is almost Bangle butted and the middle is a portly Beretta. It’s time to change this car into something Chinese and worthwhile.

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23 Comments on “Smash, Scrap, Part,or Race: 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix...”


  • avatar
    mazder3

    Yank the tranny and then let the kids have at it!!!!

  • avatar
    Marko

    These cars are great for demolition derbies…

  • avatar
    snabster

    As someone who owns an drives a car of that vintage, part of me just wants to  smack up your drug addled friend.
     
    What is the line — your car is who you want to be, your house is what you are.  Get some respect for yourself, and clean up your damn car.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Even though I used to live there, it still amazes me how well cars hold up in the Atlanta area (no rust). If it were up to me, I’d keep it as I like that size of car, especially a coupe. Rip out the 3.1, stuff in a 3.8 and drive it another 100K miles.
     
    You could offer it up to the B&B on this board here, so they can take out their irrational Pontiac hate. Offer a package deal, flight to Atlanta, transportation to your place of slaughter to beat their brains out and back to the airport $500. Then, yank the trans, the wheels, the front and rear fascias (don’t forget the exhaust trumpets-they fit on a lot of Pontiacs), and get the scrap money…
     
    OTOH, that WOULD make a nice LeMons racer…

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “The rear is almost Bangle butted and the middle is a portly Beretta.” Yeah, the Pontiac Lumina. It’s a wonder Poncho lasted so long, as it was pretty much dead by then. My first boss after moving to Cincinnati had a 4-door version as his company car – the “black bullet” he called it. I think his was a 1992 edition. Sell or keep easily-sold parts, either donate or scrap the rest. I never understood those who live in their cars – obbop not included, as to why they never clean them out or keep them neat. It’s a scientific fact that cars run better and are much happier when clean.

  • avatar
    mikey

     Disgusting that anyone would let a car get that bad. But it is, what it is. Pick the best parts off ,and scrap it.

    @Zackman… I won’t tolerate dust in my car. I think my Impala is very happy.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Akin to Charley Brown’s Christmas tree it may only need a little lovin’.
     
    And, yes…. thine assumption is correct, Zackman. even minimal effort kept the conveyance undismal and un-unkempt.
    Frequent airings were a requisite during humid winters.

  • avatar
    MoppyMop

    Part out anything worth money, smash it, then send it off to the crusher.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    I’d like a whack at one of those glass blocks transmissions…

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Race it. These cars have pretty good handling.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Tidy it up, paint it red, and shoot a remake of Josh and S.A.M.
    -  Or bet yet, don’t.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    So many fun options… and the good part is that you can do most of them.
     
    Racing would be the last of my choices. Lemons would take money for prepare it and a demo derby would kill the remaining good parts it may have left, and also need some preparation money. Fun but not worth.
     
    However, you can strip the biatch of the worth parts and slap some steelies on it. You keep the good stuff for your business.
     
    Then take it to the school for the kids to smash it. A good youtube video of that is a must. Are the kidZ allowed to graffiti it?
     
    After they’re finished, it’s crusher time. Sadly Jesse James is not going to crush it to make it youtube worth.
     
    If I got the explanation right you end with many benefits:
    1) Help fund the school, and those kidZ relieving some of their energy.
    2) Help your business case
    3) You’re green because it gets recycled…

  • avatar
    Carlsberg1966

    If it is semi-reliable, it would  make a fine first car for a high school kid for $500.00.

    Ah …memories. I had a 1994 GP SE, just like this one, but white, bought at 2 years old at 22K miles, with the 3.1L six.    I thought this was actually a very handsome car, in an all show, no go sort of way, back when Pontiac’s M.O. was the more plastic body cladding, the better.  All in all I really liked this car, had it for almost six years. A lot of people I know here in SE Michigan have driven Cutlas’s/Grand Prix’s/Lumina’s and Regals of this generation well north of 150K miles with few problems, as these cars are plentiful, cheap second hand, easy to work on, and parts are cheap. I however, was not one of them.

    Not long after, I noticed when I turned the wheels, they would scrape on the inner wheel well. At a Pontiac dealer, the mechanic stated that there was mass damage to the engine cradle, shame on me for not having it inspected but I thought I was buying a low mileage creampuff. The selling dealer stated that in Michigan, they were not obliged to inspect the car before selling, pleaded innocence, and agreed to do a bit of suspension work no charge and it did correct the problem. Wheel bearings on both sides needed to be replaced just out of warranty – $600.00. Smooth sailing until it dropped a transmission at 90K miles, then smooth sailing until it dropped another one at 134K. Not two weeks after I put a new one in (after debating whether it was worth fixing) for $2000.00, it threw a rod in what may (or may not ) have  been caused by me running it dry of oil. The world will never know. I sold it to the local mechanic at the corner , who dropped a new motor in it, gave it to his daughter, and she drove it another 5 years.  Next week I went out and bought a Mazda Protege 5, fun little car.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      You made me think of my Uncle Tim who purchased a 3.4 DOHC V6 powered Cutlass Convertibe (one of the last of the breed) and drove it as a “cruisin’ and heading off to his golf leauge car” until it destroyed it’s head gaskets in the 3.4s quite fashion.  He used it as partial trade with his cousin who owned a body shop for a salvage Monte Carlo SS (W-body) with the 3800V6.  Said cousin dropped a 3.1V6 in the Cutlass and gave it to his no-account adult son. 

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      A few years back I was car shopping and looked at a 91 Cutlass Convert 3.1 High miles 150K Nice car well mantained by the original owner w/full service history. I’ve always a mid-size coupe fan and owner thinking that these W-Body’s suite my fancy. I had owned a G-Body Monte in the past. The car drove nice but what turned me off was the cheepo Roger Smith era interior and the door mounted seat belts. Apparently these cars 3.1 have intake gasket issues. I went for the another T-Bird instead, Ford quality just seems much better.

  • avatar
    mvlbr

    Look it’s winking…

  • avatar
    ajla

    Paint it up like a “Fireball” Roberts tribute car!

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    Burn it like the rest of them

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r48_PfuEeIs

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I hate seeing this, its sad, even on otherwise crappy cars.  Why cant people see the value in taking care of a car?? But this car is actually a nice ride, I love that front end design.  There is a guy near me who has one in absolutely MINT showroom condition, its amazing, just looks perfect, his paint is nicer than my 2008 (probably a re-spray but still!).  Only problem is its dark green with tan interior, and gold emblems and pinstripes.  Kind of dated, but still so nice to see him keep it up.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    When I was 16, and knew nothing about cars, one of these teased me from a tote the note lot near my parents’ house. I thought they were the best looking examples of this platform at that time and still do. Then I grew up, bought a GM B-body, and am on #11 at the moment 15 years later. :D


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