Junkyard Find: 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT With Ram Air and No Fear

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

When I’m walking the rows of a big self-service wrecking yard with lots of fresh inventory, it’s the weird and/or old stuff that tends to catch my eye. The endless supply of Chrysler Sebrings, Ford Tauruses, and Hyundai Accents camouflages the interesting newer stuff that’s worthy of inclusion in this series, so I’ll try to pay more attention to discarded 21st-century vehicles with stories to tell. Cars like this California Pontiac, from the final generation of the Grand Am.

The last owner to glory in the 3.4-liter, 175-horse 60° V6 in this car was Rashawn W, who worked security in San Jose.

Rashawn had No Fear. There was a time when you never saw No Fear stuff in junkyard cars without corresponding Bad Boy Club products, but these days you’re more likely to see both replaced by stickers from vape-juice manufacturers.

When I bought a hooptie 1967 Pontiac GTO for $113 in 1983 (this would be like getting a hooptie E36 M3 for $600 today), I felt a lot of envy for the GTO owners who didn’t have mushrooms growing on the carpeting and did have Ram Air engines. The Ram Air V6 wasn’t quite as impressive as its V8 predecessors.

Not only could you get an ’02 Grand Am with no money down, you could try to murder your ex with it!

The macho voiceover artists on South Korean Daewoo ads would scoff at the whiny narrator on this faux-tough Grand Am ad.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • MrMag MrMag on Jul 28, 2015

    Its true, its hard to find newer - and interesting- stuff at the junkyard. I mean, I've seen a few newer fords, scions and such, but nothing that's caught my eye. Except recently I found a two-tone pink PT Cruiser (click my name to see it). Also, I did find a few months ago a 2012 Kia Soul with a lot of options. But needless to say it was pretty well gutted.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Jul 29, 2015

    In 85 when the 1st generation N-Body Grand Am 2 door was introduced (the 4 dr came out the next yr.) they were all over my suburban NYC town. Usually in burgundy, white or blue and driven by single females fresh out of school with fluffed hair, shoulder pads and a collection of Van Halen and Bon Jovi cassettes in the console. I guess the price point at the time, a bit more than a J-Sunbird but less than a F-body fit the key demo. With the vaulted F-41 handling package and larger wheel and tire package they were almost a Euro sport coupe. As usual with GM the sum of the good parts can't overtake the mediocre ones.

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