TTAC Rewind: A Daytona Junkyard Find

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today's TTAC Rewind is a special Daytona 500 edition.

We're throwing it back a few years to when Murilee found this 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix Daytona 500 Edition in a junkyard.

This replica pace car had an unfortunate end -- it wound up in a boneyard instead of in a car collector's garage. That's a shame because it looked pretty cool, even by the standards of 23 years ago -- an aesthetic that is often looked upon as cheesy and corny. Heck, it was often looked upon that way AT THE TIME -- I was there.

Anyway, go check it out during one of the cautions that will be sure to happen during today's race.

Speaking of the race, enjoy it, and let's hope there's no "big one" on the final laps.

[Image © Murilee Martin/TTAC, 2016/2023]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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Join the conversation
  • El scotto El scotto on Feb 20, 2023

    Ole Jimmy was checking his pager and making sure he had a roll of quarters handy when he was looking for a 7-11 and a pay phone. My gold chain is shiny and my mullet is looking good he thought.

    The number was a page from his girlfriend du jour Amy. He dialed the phone between the exhaust fumes from the pumps and the electronic chimes of the 7-11's doors opening and closing. All Amy had to say was I've taken three pregnancy tests and they were all positive.

    A quick wedding and a honeymoon in Orlando. The Grand Prix got traded in on a Pontiac minivan. Jimmy was a hardcore Poncho after all. Oh, he'd see his old car every now and then. Each time it looked a little worse for wear. The last owner was broke and did absolutely no maintenance on what had been one of Pontiac's finest vehicles. Even a GM 3800 needs some maintenance, not much, but some.

    The last owner got a $200 check from the junkyard and Jimmy & Amy went to Wal-Mart to buy another car seat.

    • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on Feb 20, 2023

      John Mellencamp lives about 30 miles north of here. I'll find him and give him your song idea there! ;-)

  • Bryan Karlan Bryan Karlan on Feb 20, 2023

    I worked at a Pontiac store at the time, selling cars, and I was top guy at the Anaheim store for 8 months straight. As a prize, they let me drive a Red GTP along with 25 other GTP's and Black Trans Am-Ram Airs around the California Speedway just before the drivers came out for the inaugural race for the circuit. As we came around the corner, 3 abreast, I was in the front, if I remember correctly, and I saw the packed house cheering, 200,000 people, it was an incredible moment that I will never forget.

    It's sad to see one of these in such bad shape. But I'm glad it got a lot of use.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Kwik_Shift_Pro4X on Feb 20, 2023

    During a time I liked GM.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Feb 21, 2023

    I wonder if the blower got rescued? It's sad to think of a supercharger going through the crusher. The seats looked great, especially for 200+ thousand miles.