The Truth About Cars » Pontiac Grand Prix http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 20 Apr 2014 19:03:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Pontiac Grand Prix http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Raging Hormones Pull TTAC Author in Odd Directions – Assistance Needed! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/raging-hormones-pull-ttac-author-in-odd-directions-assistance-needed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/raging-hormones-pull-ttac-author-in-odd-directions-assistance-needed/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:02:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=490173 Photo couretsy of turbododge.com

Photo couretsy of turbododge.com

The empty space in my driveway mocks me. The 300 is gone and I know it is not coming back. I have accepted that and I really believe in my heart-of-hearts that the car has gone to someone who will give it the use it actually deserves. But the sun still shines and the money in my pocket burns like fire against my thigh. I dare not ask my wife to allow me to buy another toy, she’s small but feisty, but never the less I still find myself on Craigslist considering all the possibilities. Help me, oh best and brightest, help me to exorcise this demon before I do something rash.

GP1

This weekend one of the cars I wrote about a few weeks ago in my article, Psycho Love, suddenly appeared for sale right in my own neighborhood. The 1993 Grand Prix is on my short list of cars I wish I had bought back in the day, and this one appears to be in pretty amazing shape; especially when you consider the evil that road salt works on cars of this age in this part of the country. I managed to stop myself from calling this young man up and rushing right over, but I did, in the name of putting my youngest child to sleep in her car seat, drive up and down dozens of streets in my neighborhood hoping to “stumble across” it. I never did find it, but I note that as of this morning the ad is still up so perhaps…

The ad says this car has just 90K miles on it, is still inspected and is on the road as of this writing. It also comes with a cold air intake, an aftermarket Magnaflow exhaust, a sunroof that doesn’t leak the speedometer projection and aftermarket rims. The owner claims that there is not a scratch or spot of rust on it and that it even comes with its own cover. All this for just $2900.

DT3

Compounding my crisis of the soul I just happened to be perusing the classified section of my favorite Turbo Dodge website on Saturday when I came across a 1987 Dodge Daytona Pacifica. Truth be told, back in the day I thought Daytonas were girls’ cars and of them all the Pacifica, with its puffy padded seats and snooty sounding name, was especially evocative of overweight women in their 40s who thought themselves just too cool to buy into the LeBaron. Before you get angry, just bear in mind that I can back up my assertion with the fact that the vast majority of Daytonas I see today, yes even the turbo Daytonas, have automatic transmissions.

dt4

The Daytona Pacifica I found just a few hundred miles away in North Eastern Ohio however shatters my preconceptions. Just read the ad and judge for yourself:

91,000 miles, 5 speed manual, 2.2 Turbocharged Block. Car has been converted from a Turbo I to a Turbo II. Car is in great condition and has many extras. Some extras are: 2 piece intake. mildly ported head, ported exhaust manifold, custom built turbo a little larger than stock,+40 injectors, heavy duty motor mounts, Koni adjustable shocks and struts, strut tower brace and custom rear shock tower brace, 255 ltr/hr high pressure high volume in tank fuel pump, Accufab adjustable fuel pressure regulator, rising rate regulator, Hella E Beam headlight lenses, custom front mount intercooler, talon blow off valve (modified for high boost), 3 stage manual boost control, switches at console ( can be adjusted to any settings), kumho 205X55ZR16 tires, braided steel turbo lines, 2 1/2″ mandrel bent exhaust, alarm with aftermarket power door locks, Alpine CD player. $3200.00.

To make my crisis even worse, when I asked a simple question about where exactly in Ohio he was, I got this response:

I’m North East Ohio, about 4 hours from Buffalo. Owned the car for the last 16 yrs. Been running the tuneup for the past 10 yrs without a problem. Passes E-check just fine with the existing tuneup. This car is more Shelby Daytona than a Shelby Daytona. I built this car to be dependable, fast and handle. This car is nothing like the Pacificas that people write about. No digital dash, no power windows, no factory power locks, no automatic.

Crisis acute. I’m a sucker for the days of my youth and this car looks like it was hand built by Doc Brown with the should intention of returning me to the 1980s. A turbo Dodge with all the right mods and a 5 speed. Of course, recent medical tests have revealed that I am producing less testosterone than I should be so that might be part of this crazy attraction I am feeling, but that Gel was supposed to fix that! It might just be puppy love, I know, but then again it might also be that I happen to know a really cool car when I see one. I’m so conflicted!

OK, so what the hell do I do? Do I face that tiny but extremely vociferous typhoon of a woman that I brought home from the far East ten years ago with the full knowledge that we will be going overseas in another year and that the money I drop on one of these cars may not entirely return to the account from which it came? Or do I keep my money safely in my pocket, and my head attached to my neck, and know that this sudden bout of infatuation will pass in due time? Help a brother out, your advice is much appreciated.

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He writes for any car website that will have him and enjoys public speaking. According to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

DT3 DT2 dt4 GP2 GP1 GP3 Photo couretsy of turbododge.com ]]>
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Psycho Love: Sticking Your Key In Crazy http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/psycho-love-sticking-your-key-in-crazy/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/psycho-love-sticking-your-key-in-crazy/#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 17:19:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=484511 Click here to view the embedded video.

I saw it this morning. Slipping along the in the dim, pre-dawn light and shrouded in the thin early morning fog that wicked up in wispy tendrils from the damp pavement, it was an apparition, a beast from another age. Like poor Yorick, alas I knew it well and although, in time, it has become the subject of infinite jest, it was in its day the most excellent fancy of many young men and it bore my youthful dreams upon its back a thousand times. It had, I thought, no right to be among the living when so many other, better, vehicles of its era were consigned to their graves, rotting away in fields, pulled apart for their components or crushed, shredded and melted wholesale back into their base elements. Why then, knowing through the clarifying lens of history the terrible truth about the trouble that lurked beneath its slick sheet metal, did its unexpected appearance stir a long-forgotten longing in my heart?

“May you live,” So goes the Chinese curse, “in interesting times.” Now well into my 40s, I can tell you that the times, especially from an automotive standpoint, have indeed been interesting. Waxing less rhapsodic, there has been a whole lot of suck built in the last four decades but the awful truth is that some of those cars still set my heart aflutter. I’m not sure what the attraction is, honestly. Is it the curve of a fender, the sweep of a windshield, or is it the fact that just seeing one sends me back to a more innocent time in my life when many of these cars were aspirational? I don’t know.

20/20 hindsight tells me many of these cars lack power and have an unacceptably high level of fuel consumption. They lack most real, modern safety equipment. They lack build quality, hell most of them came off the assembly line with issues, but I still fantasize about them. Crazy as it may seem, the following are “bad cars” that I would like to own –

Pontiac Grand Prix GTP

It’s hard to tell people today what a breath of fresh air the 1991 Pontiac Grand Prix was. It looked clean and its plastic body cladding accentuated just the right spots, making the car look wide and muscular. Door handles up on the door frame seemed like a real innovation as well and the interior, complete with buttons on the steering wheel and various switches mounted on the gauge cowl made feel like you were sitting in a rocketship. In GTP trim, the V6 produced more than 200 horsepower and could be had with an automatic or a stick. Frankly, I thought these cars looked great back in the day, and I think they look pretty darn good today, too.

Chrysler LeBaron Turbo, Coupe

When Kitty changed her name to Karen and traded her MG for a white Chrylser LeBaron, this is the one the she got. With their long hood line and short rear deck lids, the mid to late 80s Chrysler LeBarons are still, in my opinion, one of the best looking cars ever. By 1990 a V6 had been added to the mix, but I am a Chrysler Turbo guy and that would be my first choice. I understand that the 148 horsepower turbo could also be ordered with a 5 speed manual, but I have never seen one in person. Inside they are “budget plush” and they don’t come anywhere equaling the interior design and build quality of a modern sub compact like the new Dart, but they were functional and comfortable enough for long trips. Many convertible LeBarons have survived into the present day and I even see them offered occasionally on the Buffalo area Craigslist at reasonable prices, but my preference is for the coupe.

Jaguar XJS- V12

When I was a kid I used to stay up past my bed time and watch a British TV show called “The New Avengers.” I don’t remember much about it, but one thing that has stuck in my mind was the car used in the show, a pre-production Jaguar XJS-V12. They have terrible reputations, I know, but that classic shape, the hand built interiors and the idea of 12 cylinders under the hood stills sets my heart aflutter. I would love to own one of these, providing I could find one in good condition and then not have to rely upon it. As usual, my inclination is to avoid the convertible and stick with the coupe.

So there you have it, three “bad cars” that I would still love to own. Don’t try to talk me out of it, love is a funny thing. Fortunately, I am in a committed relationship so I won’t be sticking my key in crazy anytime soon. Tell me though, validate my unexpected rush of emotion and tell us about the cars that bring out your own psycho love.

Thomas M Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He also enjoys writing and public speaking where, according to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-pontiac-grand-prix/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/junkyard-find-1977-pontiac-grand-prix/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=464077 When shopping for personal luxury coupes in the late 1970s, you might have bought the 1977 Mercury Cougar (seen in yesterday’s Junkyard Find), or maybe a Chrysler Cordoba, or perhaps even an AMC Matador Barcelona. If you wanted to go with a General Motors product for your long-hooded, big-on-the-outside/small-on-the-inside coupe, Pontiac had just the car: the Grand Prix!
The Cougar had Cheryl Tiegs as pitchwoman and the Matador Barcelona had crypto-Spanish provenance, but the Grand Prix had these classy emblems on the quarter windows.
Not to be outdone by the Cordoba’s small round taillight medallions, the Grand Prix boasted big hexagonal octagonal medallions.
301 cubic inches under the hood. How many horsepower? We’ll just say that this engine made fewer horses than the base 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine in the 2013 Kia Rio and leave the rest to your imagination.
A full set of these Pontiac rally wheels can fetch dozens of dollars these days, thanks to the enormous quantities manufactured. I like these wheels so much that I used them on my 1965 Impala sedan.
The Cougar’s suspension was “Ride-Engineered,” but Pontiacs had Radial Tuned suspensions.
Once again, much as we like to make fun of these cars, I must admit that they were actually pretty good daily drivers. Thirsty as hell, of course, but what big Detroit car wasn’t back then?

23 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix Down On The Junkayrd - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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Junkyard Find: 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1998-pontiac-grand-prix-gtp/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/junkyard-find-1998-pontiac-grand-prix-gtp/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=454982 The General produced quite a few not-so-quick front-drive cars with sporty-looking graphics and spoilers during the 1990s (e.g., the Beretta Z26), but the addition of an Eaton supercharger to the good old Buick V6 engine resulted in some fairly fast 90s machinery. Here’s a Grand Prix that had 240 horsepower at the front wheels during happier times.
These things managed to get into the 14s in the quarter-mile, which is quite hairy for a front-drive street car of the 1990s. Rapid depreciation and the resulting nothing-to-lose leadfoot drivers tended to kill them off in a hurry.
ABS was still special enough in 1998 to warrant badges on the wheels.
By the late 1990s, GM had finally figured out that the squiggly pink-and-green decals of the previous decade were considered passé by even the most out-of-touch car buyers. These more restrained GTP badges look much more dignified.

13 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On The Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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