Junkyard Find: 1973 Pontiac Luxury LeMans

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1973 pontiac luxury lemans

We’ll follow up yesterday’s ’73 VW Super Beetle Junkyard Find with another car from the same year. The Super Beetle listed at $2,499 and the Luxury LeMans four-door hardtop at $3,344… but now they are just so many tons of scrap metal.

The LeMans and its GM A-body siblings got a lot bigger in 1973, and— thanks to Malaise Era legislation under the watch of noted eco-socialist Richard Nixon— cleaner at the tailpipe… at the cost of engine power.

This Pontiac 350 was rated at 150 net horsepower, versus 250 for the 350 in 1971. Some of this was just the difference between gross and net horsepower, and some was the result of a big drop in oxides-of-nitrogen-producing engine compression.

Still, these were nice discount-luxury machines in their day, even with fewer horses under the hood. Unfortunately, certain events late in 1973 really trashed the resale value of cars like this one.

Even in the 5% humidity of Great Plains Colorado, GM cars of this era still manage to rust around the rear window.

If you’re bothered by the confusing climate-control interfaces in modern cars, check out this vent-control lever.

The same goes for this one-speaker “sound system.”

Billy Preston would have sounded just fine on this radio— who cares about those embargoing Arabs when you’ve got music like this on every station?

For free junkyard wallpaper images in all the popular computer monitor resolutions, check out the wallpaper downloads at the headquarters of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.

Join the conversation
2 of 46 comments
  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Jul 22, 2012

    In the mid-70's while other teens were lusting over screaming chicken Trans-Ams and it's F-Body sibling Camaro Z-28 I said negatory good buddy to those because my heart raced for the 73-75 Pontiac Grand Am. It was only available with the 400 or 455 big block Poncho. TH400 auto or 4 speed. Standard buckets, gauge pkg and console too.I always found it to be far more stylish and technically ahead of it's time with euro handling/suspension package and Endura nose which eliminated the battering ram look and made the federally mandated 5MPH bumpers look very stylish and unobtrusive. Same goes for the equally stylish Chevrolet Laguna S-3. Build quality on 73-77 Colonades was quite subpar. Lousy paint and leaky window and door weatherstiping. I had a neighbor who had the Regal 2dr with the Luxus pkg in maroon. Nice car but paint oxidation and window leaks got to it after only a few years.

  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Jun 17, 2013

    Does anyone know of a company that sells body parts for 73-77 A bodies? My heart is set on a 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham, but I don't want to be stuck hand-fabricating patch panels if rust attacks.

  • Buickman what about EMFs from riding on a giant battery?is there a vax for that?
  • ScarecrowRepair $1.2M at $1K per car is only 1200 cars, and if you spread that over 5 years, 240 cars per year, roughly one per work day and one more every weekend. Sell another every weekend for the interest. That seems plausible to me.
  • FreedMike There are the guys charging $20000 over sticker for a F150 Lightning. They won’t go broke.
  • CKNSLS Sierra SLT Some sales people I have met at Ford dealers don't appear smart enough to answer questions about EVs. They can't answer questions about payload, towing capacity and axle ratios when truck shopping.
  • Dukeisduke The E23 here is wearing steelies - so is it because it arrived at the yard wearing winter shoes, or because someone swapped the factory alloys for steelies (either before or after it arrived)?Fun fact - the turbocharged 745i was called the 745i because it used the 3.2l six with a turbo, and at the time, F1 was using a 1.4 multiplication factor for turbocharged engines to arrive at a computed displacement. So, 3,210 times 1.4, divided by 1,000 equals 4.5 (rounded up from 4.494). The 745i was way cool, with its big 7" round low beam headlights paired with the 5-3/4" high beams.