By on May 19, 2015

03 - 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

We had Volkswagen Junkyard Finds all last week, and this week we’re going to have 21st Century Junkyard Finds. To start things off, how about a genuine, numbers-matching, 240-supercharged-horses-havin’ sixth-gen Pontiac Grand Prix?
02 - 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Eric Rood, who lives in Illinois and understands the local culture, dubbed this car the JuggaLambo, because Juggalos— who tend to be a Midwestern phenomenon— seem to love GM cars of the 1990s and 2000s (even those who are cast out of the Juggalo community drive 1990s Pontiacs), and thus the Grand Prix GTP is the pinnacle of this category of cars.
12 - 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The Eaton blowers found on GM 3800s of this era are always easy to find at cheap self-serve junkyards, and the current street price for them is about 50 bucks. You can even put two of them on a Chevy 454 in a Murilee Martin-themed Rambler Marlin (yes, the blowers exploded).

15 - 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

These cars are not particularly uncommon in wrecking yards these days, so I assume you can find runners for low, low, low prices.


This ad is for the following generation of Grand Prix GTP, but the ’02 was just as good for blind drivers.

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106 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP “JuggaLambo”...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Today’s Rare Ebay Find is a very different sort of coupe.

    A 1975 Jensen Interceptor convertible, with huge factory 440ci V8 (the provenance of which I’m guessing started in the US?) For some reason filed under Infiniti.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Infiniti-G-/181735068385?forcerrptr=true&hash=item2a504112e1&item=181735068385

    It’s very beauty. I didn’t know an Interceptor cabrio existed until watching the first part of The Red Riding trilogy (the one set in 1974) this past weekend. Also worth a watch. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259574/)

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Jensen Interceptors all had Chrysler V8s.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Jensen made some cool stuff, including a 4wd version of the Interceptor.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I thought the original idea of the Interceptor was that it were 4WD – was that a later development?

        EDIT:

        So the FF was the 4WD one, and while similar in appearance to the Interceptor was a different car entirely, and was 5″ longer. The FF was 4WD from the outset, and was the first passenger “non-agricultural” car with 4WD.

        And here all this time I thought they were the same car.

    • 0 avatar
      DownUnder2014

      Jensen Interceptors had the 383 (1966-71), 440 (1971-76) and also the 360 as well (S4, late 1980’s-1990, when they restarted production for a brief while). The FF version only had the 383 in it.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’ve been in a few of these, and I was always appalled at the interior of Playskool quality and generally numb ride and handling.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Oh man, I had it bad for these. I wanted one for a long time and had I come across one when car shopping I probably would have ended up with one.
    I wanted one of the Daytona Pace Car themed ones – in blue, specifically.

    http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/42267389.jpg

    My understanding was that they did not age well. That the superchargers were not known for longevity. Though I also read that most of the issues were due to neglecting the maintenance schedule for them.

    I doubt it could have been any worse than the Audi I bought around the same time I was looking at these.

    I am not a Juggalo, nor have I ever been, but I was a 1990s Pontiac lover for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Keeping the supercharger oil level proper does wonders for there longevity. We sell bucket loads of these cars all the time and many examples have well over 200K and even 300k miles and still run as new.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Well yes and no. Even if you are religious about keeping the oil level up, there are two items that wear out regardless:

        1) The plastic coupler disc in the nose cone (easy to change).

        2) the rear rotor bearings (the ones on the opposite end from the drive pulley) which are sealed needle-bearing cups exactly as used in the rear of GM Delco alternators from the 1960s into the 1980s. These receive no lubrication from the front oil reservoir.

        In my experience, both of the above need to be replaced between 150-200K miles.

        And those rear bearings are pressed into the housing and are hard to get out unless you know this trick: drill & tap a passage into the space behind each bearing, screw in zerk fittings, and use your grease gun to pop the bearings out of the housing. It works like a charm!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    It’s even the desirable coupe GTP model. A well to do Juggalo would have paid upwards of $3,000 for a running/driving version of one of these. I wonder what sent it to the yard.

  • avatar

    Dang, I need that engine for my Lemons “racecar” which just spun a bearing.

  • avatar
    Jason

    I had the ’97 coupe of this car (first model year). Everything broke (excluding stuff under the hood), including the transmission. The interior was only vaguely connected to the frame and squeaked atrociously. The red lights and general “futuristic” design (including a HUD) seemed rather immature.

    I loved the engine, though. I wish I could have kept it and shoved it into some other cars that I’ve owned. Despite a four-speed slushbox it pulled strongly and immediately, making it a fun highway car that made passing slowpokes an entertainment event.

    My nostalgia is tempered by the memories of it trying to ruin me while I was a contract worker with a pregnant fiance’.

  • avatar
    paxman356

    I almost bought a regular Grand Prix, no blower. If it had been on the lot, and checked out after a test drive, that is. But someone else got to it first. It was a 2001 with 120k for around $2000. And it was on a dealer lot. That 3800 motor just runs and runs, my dad has taken 3 Park Aves up to 250k+ with very few issues.

  • avatar
    S1L1SC

    My second car was a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GT… Went through two engines even without a supercharger. It also went through tires like crazy and all the little plastic pieces that GM cost-controlled just loved to break.

    The interior was absolutely miserable as far as fit and finish went – huge panel gaps, lots of cheap plastic and things would work themselves loose and start to rattle and creak.

    Fun experiences included the headlight falling apart (plastic piece decided to fall off one night – epoxied it back into place), tail lights filling with water on a regular basis, door panel clips breaking all the time (I had the 2-door, so that made it even worse – giant door with loose panel), and intermittent AC issues that the dealership never really could figure out.

    Loved the styling on the car, but the quality was pure junk.

    The final straw was the second (crate replacement) engine blowing on the way back from a job interview – It decided to send a couple of pistons through the block without advance warning. It got junked after that.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    A nice combination of real world torque for stoplight surges and good highway fuel econ.
    All hail the 3.8 SC!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The Church is pleased to hear this.

    • 0 avatar
      Mieden

      I learned to drive in a 3800SC Bonneville. Once I was legit, my mom would let me drive it to school on days she didn’t feel like getting up to take me to my early morning AP English class. I abused it regularly. I vividly remember racing my buddy in his Fox body 5.0 one afternoon. I had him through the twisties, but he beat me by two car-lengths in a makeshift 1/4 mile cause my neutral-bomb launch smoked away my start. She drove it to 280K till the trans literally wouldn’t move it anymore. She replaced it with a shiny E46 BMW and my uncle put the crosslace wheels on his Monte Carlo, pulled out the HUD and towed it off to the scrap heap. I moved on to German cars long before her, but I can attest to the greatness that is 3800. When you factor in reliability and cost of maintenance, it just may be the best engine GM ever made. Definitely the best V6.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    When I was house-shopping last year, there was one house in a neighborhood I was looking in that had six of these cars parked in the driveway/on the street. I can’t imagine being that dedicated to these cars. I bought elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That would push me out of being interested, if I saw that. I imagine only half of them were working properly at any given time. Those are the sorts of people who always have cousins/company over, making lots of noise.

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        LOL on the “cousins” comment. What is with trashy people and their GD cousins??

        (I say this with a smile, but I’m only half joking).

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I don’t get it either. But it’s a neighborhood rot which I’d avoid. Seek out the places where almost all the cars are garaged, or there’s one car in the drive – not six.

          In my experience people with that number of cars and cousins rarely find time to maintain their yards, either.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            Oh they maintain them by parking inop cars in the grass; the leaking fluids kills most all vegetation.
            Once they’ve filled the driveway and yard, then they park their six pickup trucks in the street on both sides. This also serves as a speed control device now that you’ve got a one-way street.
            Thankfully I don’t live near these charming people, but I drive by on occasion as they’re not far off.
            I feel bad for the neighbors who lived there first.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re very familiar with this type, eh?

            My parents had the misfortune of having a similar family move in next door to them – and live there for about 12 years.

            At first everything was okay, then lack of yard and house maintenance suddenly. More cars added to drive. More cousins over. Now there is a trampoline and a couple cars in the back yard.

            Then the wife passed away suddenly, more relatives move in. Father is a drunk and loses job (was driver for Mayflower, parked semi on street – wtf). Father moves out with new girlfriend, only kids are left there to “maintain” house and party.

            They don’t pay bills, so their Intrigue and Cavalier get repossessed. Couple other broke cars left sitting around. Gets so bad they’re burning furniture and cabinets in the fireplace for warmth in the winter.

            One or two of them go to jail, bank takes house. House sits there three years in disrepair before going up at bank auction.

            My parents buy the house, and tear it down. Now they have a very large yard.

            All of this occurred in town, not in the country.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “My parents buy the house, and tear it down. Now they have a very large yard.”

            Yay Corey’s parents! Best possible solution; a thorough de-lousing and a bigger yard.

            And people cast FEMA camps in such a bad light. I think they should be used for spot-emergencies like trashy neighbors. Once the extended family and attendant spawn move in, call the Relocators!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It was seriously bad there for a long time. Even being in our driveway next door, you could smell the stench of dirty and cigarettes from that house.

            Because by god they were dirt poor and jobless, but they weren’t gonna give up their cigs.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Always amazes me how the destitute seem to often have money for cigs, booze, and tats.

          • 0 avatar
            gzuckier

            Bad sign, when there are 6 old cars in the yard around the house, and the only one that still has wheels on it is the house.

  • avatar
    dragoniv

    I owned a 2000 GTP, sold it in 2011 with 150k miles on it. Original, slightly modified engine and tranny, good for maybe an additional 20-30 hp.

    Fit and finish on the car was abysmal as many have noted. Electrical system was crappy, and the car leaked from every damn orifice. Typical W-body handling, but the engine and tranny held up well and had no major issues when I sold it.

    That said, I think I replaced every other thing in that car. By 2011, I had enough and bought me…another used Pontiac. :)

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The only real interior things we see break are the cup holders, which are rather flimsy, and the occasional worn off paint on knobs etc. If anything the majority of GP’s from 1997-2003 we get still have interiors that are in overall good shape. Sometimes we get a car traded back in that was trashed by a young kid with broken knobs and stained seats and filthy steering wheels but I see little difference between these and similar year Chrysler and Fords such as the Taurus which suffers from the door panel vinyl pieces falling off the doors, misaligned glove box doors and many crude rough cut lines where Ford cheaped out.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The HVAC control knobs all break, as do the driver door master window switches.

      • 0 avatar

        Pet Peeve Dept. How much can it cost to make a good switch or knob ? I had a GM era SAAB which went through two HVAC cables, and the third was a recall. In the back was tiny piece of plastic that was, in the recall, finally pinned down with a metal rivet. I can’t imagine they saved money after the recall.

        I know this is a game of cents, but really ?

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      I sold these for about a year back in 1996 or 97. They would take two days to fix right off.the truck before anyone could even touch it. Air vents would fall off, spark plugs would be loose. I guess after they were fixed they lasted. But damn it was hard to sell a car when the air vent falls off into your hand. Firebird’s and TransAm’s were even worse. The whole center console fell into to the passenger lap.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The only coupes that seem to have survived in my area of the country are all supercharged 3800s. A few guys have treated them like collectors items, especially the 40th Anniversary Editions.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    youtube.com/watch?v=D4d5Eeq-9L4

    Tossing the Pontiac’s door shut, Adriana hurried across the Sam’s Club parking lot in a frenzied pace. She neglected to look both ways before crossing the striped pedestrian pavement, taking one last drag of her cigarette before flicking it onto the sidewalk. The club’s doors opened and she dashed past the Customer Service area where Tim turned his wrist to reveal 11:01 on his digital Casio. She opened the door to the break area and punched the clock right at 11:03.

    “Sh*t” she thought “Monday is off to a great start”.

    Adriana stood at register number seven and put on her best face to greet the customers. Kaleigh waved from her register on number seven and she returned the wave. The customers were the same as they always were, as a matter of fact it could be the same five carts over and over Adriana could hardly see the difference. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Punch in, punch out; customers in, customers out. The only thing to look forward too being smoke breaks with Kaleigh and time with her daughter Marilyn. She felt a tap on the back of her shoulder that particular Friday.

    “I need to see you” Tim whispered in her ear.

    She sat down in the cheap plastic seat in dull grey office facing Tim, her left leg shaking uncontrollably. Air escaped as Tim slowly eased himself into a faux leather chair and eyed Adriana up and down.

    “Look. I’ll get right to the point. You have been late four days in a row. What’s going on?” Tim asked calmly.
    “My husband recently left me and its been difficult to find a sitter for my daughter and my mom-” She replied as Tim put up the palm of his hand in a stopping motion.
    “Ok. You’ve been here for seven years and have never gotten a warning. I’m not going to terminate you, but consider this your warning” he said with a wry smile as he stared at her. Adriana felt a little uncomfortable as he stared right at her and she did not return his glance, instead looking down at her shaking leg.
    “I understand, sir” she replied.
    “Good, I’m glad we understand each other.” he said as he stood up. Adriana held back tears as she slowly stood up and headed back to her register.

    Later in the break room, she stared at the government employee postings on the aged bulletin board and relived some of the key moments of her life. Growing up an only child and befriending Kaleigh. High school graduation. Meeting her soon to be ex husband Adam. The birth of her daughter Marilyn. The passing of her father Paul. Just an ordinary life. She’d never been late, she was always on top of things. She was a good wife, mother, daughter and yet things were in disarray. Where did she go wrong? She felt another tap on the shoulder.

    “Hey, what happened earlier?” Kaleigh asked.
    “I got a warning for being late.” Adriana replied.
    “Oh. What happened with the lawyer?”
    “He’s a sh*thead. He said if he pushes for the child support I’m asking for he said Adam will ask for joint custody just to punish me. I don’t want Marilyn around his mother, she’s a violent drunk.”
    “You need to get a new lawyer” Kaleigh said.
    “I can’t afford a better one” Adriana replied as she threw up her hands. “I could really go for a cigarette” she said as she chuckled and looked at the no smoking sign posted on the wall.

    Kaleigh wrapped her arms around Adriana reassuringly as her long red hair brushed against her skin.

    “Its going to be ok Addie”.

    Night had fallen and Adriana slowly walked toward her Pontiac while checking her text messages.

    MOM: Marilyn fussy, running slight fever. Get home.

    She unlocked the car and turned the key to find the car would not turn over. Tears began to well up in her eyes and she pounded the steering wheel with her hands.

    “Damn car!” sobbing. “Damn stupid car!” she cried. “Just like everything else in my life, it fails on me just when I need it most!”. Her tears smeared the mascara and she reached into her purse for a tissue to wipe her eyes. She was startled by the knock on the driver’s side window.

    “Everything alright?” Kaleigh asked muffled by the window glass.
    “Oh, Kaleigh” Adriana, now calmer, said out loud as she opened the door. “The car won’t start”
    “Well Roger is right over there, maybe we can jump it?” Kaleigh replied while turning and pointing.
    “Oh that would be great” Adriana said as Kaleigh started to wave Roger over. The late model GMC pickup parked next to the Pontiac and Addie popped the hood. Roger reached into his extended cab producing a jumpbox and attached the leads to the Pontiac’s battery.

    “Ok, hit it” Roger said rather loudly to Addie as she turned the key and the motor came to life.
    “Told you everything would be alright sweetie” Kaleigh said smiling ear to ear. Roger unattached the jumpbox and placed it behind the driver’s seat in his truck. He came over to the girls and leaned on the open driver’s door.

    “How many miles are on this thing now?” he asked.
    “The odometer broke last year at 203 and it was 150 when we bought it for my older sister in 2010” Addie replied.
    “Okay. As much as I love these things, this one overall seems a little tired” he reached into his wallet and produced a business card.

    “My buddy Brian down 422 has a lot. He has alot of different stuff but he puts out near new Volkswagens cheap and I know could get you financed. As much as I hate Volkswagen, right now you need something which just turns and goes; at least that’s how I see it.” Roger said as he handed her the card.

    “Thank you Roger, I’ll give him a call. But now I have to go” Addie said shutting the door and putting down the driver’s window.
    “Wait, Addie”. Kaleigh said. Addie took a slight breath and looked up at her best friend. Kaleigh smiled as she laid her hand on the edge of the door revealing a diamond ring.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    My neighbor has a Buick version of this car in the four door form. The supercharged 3800, I think it is a GS. He iis constantly tinkering with something from the interior, at least one Saturday a month. Thus far, he has had the car for two years, he really likes it. He turned in an Infiniti Luxo barge lease and decided he had enough of the payment game and paid cash I for the rig. He is quite mechanically astute, his one motor issue was a head gasket swap, with he did himself in the garage.

    I guess, for him a check for 6k and some minor brain damage has a greater value than a $600 lease stroke every month and no brain damage. I tend to agree with him, I prefer to have a couple of older cars than one new myself.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Oh, can someone explain to me what a Juggalo or juggalambo is?

  • avatar
    Mattias

    I haven’t seen one of these nor any other Pontiac in years in California. These were popular cars around 2003 at most west coast high schools. These were typical American of the era; great styling but otherwise complete junk. Most recent owner of a Grand Prix I knew of was a girl who took horrible care of it and was a stoner as well. It does kind of bring back memories to see a 21st century junkyard find.

    Murilee Martin, what are the most common 21st century junked cars???

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      In order:
      1.Caravan and co.
      2.PT Cruiser/Neon
      3.J-Body
      4.GMX130 (Alero, ‘Bu, etc)
      5.Focus
      6.Chevy/Ford 1/2 and 3/4 ton pickups and vans
      7.Taurus/Sable
      8.Panther
      9.W-body
      10.U-body

      These are surging lately:
      -Lincoln LS
      -Magnum
      -Altima
      -Aveo
      -Windstar
      -Trailblazer and co.
      -Increase in all Koreans

      • 0 avatar
        Mattias

        Not surprised except the Magnum, Focus, Trucks and Panthers. Surprised by the lack of Durangos, Explorers, Blazers and LH/Stratus/Sebring

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Gen 1 Focus motors and transmissions can have issues (ask me how I know). Not sure about subsequent generations. I think most LH, Exploders, and Blazers were gone 2010 and earlier.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Late 90s Durangos were rusted and broken by 2003. So we missed those by about 10 years.

        • 0 avatar
          Crabspirits

          Oh they are there in small numbers consistently , but they just didn’t make as many of them in the first place as the ones I mentioned. Strangely, I don’t recall seeing more than a handful of Explorers newer than 2002. Guess they do okay or at least hold their value.

          The Magnums are always the V6 model. I’m almost tempted to buy one from the “builder” lot out front.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Trucks and Panthers are commonly used in hard service like fleet duty and get used up quickly.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        I wonder how it looks for European OEMs.

      • 0 avatar
        spreadsheet monkey

        Interesting no Toyotas or Hondas on that list, despite their huge sales volumes. I think someone on here said they often get exported to Central America or the Caribbean to live out their final years.

    • 0 avatar
      rpm773

      When I got out of school and landed in Chicagoland in 1998, these and the Grand Ams were big with the new grad set.

      I agree, they disappeared fairly quickly. I’ve wondered Cash for Clunkers/Handouts for Heaps scooped them up, despite that they would have been fairly young vehicles at the time.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        No, the MPG wasn’t low enough for C4C. These were typical ’90s GM “drive for 4 years and throw away” cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Mattias

        @Crabspirits

        Most of the Magnums are probably the 2.7 (everybody knows about that one). Most former Magnum owners probably own/lease Raptors or other so-called penis extenders, because many who bought/leased the Magnum were “trendy” people. I now know why I see almost none yet however see plenty 300/Charger in ghettos like Hayward or Oakland CA. Some of the stuff I was surprised by on your list probably rusted in the Midwest (most people on this blog live in the Midwest from what I’ve guessed), I do see a lot of Panthers in Hayward/Oakland

    • 0 avatar

      Much depends on the region. Here in Colorado, we’re starting to get tremendous quantities of early-2000s Subaru Legacies/Outbacks in the yards, presumably as the insurance companies lower the dollar-figure bar for totaling a car. I’d say that the top 21st-century cars here include many Chrysler Sebrings and relatives, lots of Kias and Daewoos and other edge-case-in-2001 marques, and a surprising number of Audis and Volvos.

      • 0 avatar
        Mattias

        You been to a junkyard in the Bay lately? You’ve mentioned you’re from Oakland, I’ve never been to a junkyard but i am born and raised in Hayward. What are the trends there in terms of 21st century/most common ?

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        I have two friends who have 15-year-old Audis and Volvos.

        It’s no surprise to me. It’s either death by Christmas-tree dash/electrical gremlins, or one major issue like a blown auto tranny.

        If you don’t do your own work, these cars can be extremely expensive (add in your lost time for the car being in the shop for a week or two per year) to keep going.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m not surprised, the early P2 Volvos, 850s, and gen 1 C70 present a variety of challenges. They can be kept going but the costs outweigh the car’s values by year twelve.

  • avatar

    The supercharged 3800s (L67, L32) are some of my favorite engines.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    What in hell is this?

    http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2013/02/03/17/38/2003_buick_regal_gs-pic-8102936204056973535.jpeg

  • avatar
    rpm773

    Still a good amount of Pontiac plastic cladding and copious fog light use on this specimen to be had/enjoyed.

  • avatar

    This is one of the cars you’ll never see in the NY metro area. It didn’t sell well here to start, the few early adopters long ago sold it down the line (probably with a GM rant to go with it), and once the infamous Check Engine/Service Engine Soon/Malfunction Indicator Light goes on, it is sold outside the “NY Emissions Area” downstate.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      CELs are the death of many of this type of car here in Maine, even though we don’t actually have emissions inspection. It’s still an annual inspection failure. Add in some rust and worn suspension bits and it is a one-way ticket to the junkyard for a lot of 10yo undesirable cars that would probably be on the road another 5 years or more elsewhere.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    Ahh yes. When I was 15 and just got my “to-school” license my parents bought me an 02 GTP. It had about 130k on it and it wasn’t anything special, especially the interior which was failing apart pretty bad. Unfortunately, I don’t remember a whole lot about it except that it was fast. I got rear ended by a delivery truck about 5 months after I got it, totalling it.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    GM’s parts bin is certainly massive. The glovebox lock is the same as in my car, mine is just grey.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I’m sure the speedo cluster in my now-junked 1995 Skylark, with some minor changes, was used for what is now my sister’s 2005 Malibu Classic.

      Not to mention my 1987 Nova and 1995 Skylark having basically the exact same Delco radio, with the Skylark having a tape deck.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I wanted one of these in the worst way when they came out, but looking back, it’s amazing Pontiac was in business as long as they were.

    These GTP models were not “cheap” in terms of purchase price, my guess is in today’s dollars most were probably over $30,000 out the door. So GM really didn’t have that excuse for why the fit and finish were so horrible. It wasn’t like you were buying a Cavalier.

    I also really liked the Buick Regal twin, my guess is the interior would have held up better.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I always liked the Grand Prix going way back. So a few years ago I considered converting to a church of 3800 GTP coupe from a 87 T-Bird. The 3800 SC was smooth and powerful with no lag and little torque steer. One of GM’s best motors ever. However even though the seats were comfy for my 6’2″ frame I could not get over the cheapness of the Roger Smith bean counter era interior. I also considered a “basket handle” Cutlass Supreme convertible with the 3.1 as well as a Monte Carlo with the trouble prone 3.4 DOHC. I stuck with the Ford product, like I have most of my life and went for a 95 T-Bird LX 4.6 instead with few regrets.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I’m sure this 3800SC will get plucked fairly quickly for a replacement, Grand AM upgrade or a Fiero conversion. I wonder if anyone ever built a 3800SC Aztec?

  • avatar
    mikey

    I have a girl that comes in to help me out. Single Mom low. Income. She had a 04 GP. When the brake and fuel lines rotted out , she sold it for scrap price. Some guy got a hold of it ,and got it back on the road. She managed to pick up a 6 year old Mazda. Within 18 months the rear quarter showed serious rust. Now the Mazda needs brake lines.

    She told me she sees her old GP on the road everyday.

    • 0 avatar
      Grant404

      One of my minor hobbies from which I get a lot of satisfaction is “rescuing” cars that still have a lot of life left in them, but someone has given up on them for relatively easily fixable reasons. For example, in 2006 I picked up a Saturn for less than $2k because a transmission issue scared the previous owners out of it. A couple hours of work and a rebuilt valve body later, no more transmission problems.

      That was nine years and 65,000 miles ago and she’s still doing great. We towed it all over the US behind our motorhome for a few years, then I drove it as a third car/grocery getter especially through the $4+ per gallon gasoline years, it went to Florida for spring break a couple of times, it got one of my sons through his last two years of high school, and it’s now it’s about to do school duty again for my youngest son. I’ve always kept up on the maintenance and along the way did some upgrades with nice OEM items from Pick-n-Pull, and in many ways it’s in better shape now than ever. It looks great and runs and drives well. Not bad for a car someone gave up on nine years ago. I bet they’d be surprised if they saw it and/or found out it was still going strong and looking better than ever.

  • avatar
    thrashette

    I’m late here, but my first car was a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix. I actually quite liked it. The worst thing about the car was that everything would fall apart around it, while the engine and trans kept truckin’. The parts were cheap and readily available, and the car was very easy to work on even for a complete novice. I got it up to 250k miles before rust really started eating at it. It was shoddily maintained, but didn’t see a check engine light past 100k miles. I don’t think it handled too badly at all, considering its weight and size (sedan was actually eeking into full-size category.) In typical Pontiac fashion, I have it sitting in my yard, unsure what to do with it. Body and interior in awful condition (rainwater leaks were a huge issue,) but it still drives beautifully. Never let me down, ever. It’s sad. And, yes, the interior was awfully ugly, but very practical. The controls all made sense and were very easily accessible, and there were TONS of storage compartments.

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