Seeing how Ford's Aerobird performed on NASCAR's speedways caught GM off guard. With a plastic nose and a glass fastback, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Pontiac helped GM's Sunday prospects, and, for $8,000, could help yours all week.
Two Lancia Beta Zagatos (Zagati?) proved not to be cheaper by the dozen yesterday as a slim 52% of you sent the dynastic duo to Crack Pipe Junction, opining that to purchase them you'd have to be Tweedledum, or perhaps, Tweedledummer. Together, those two Lancia might have made one nice car, but today we have a contender, hailing from the Show-Me state, that's already gotten its groove back.
The Pontiac (remember those guys?) Grand Prix 2+2 was a special, no-options, version of the General's tried and true G-body which was homologated for NASCAR certification. The car was differentiated from the standard GP by a chromeless pointy nose, and a big glass back window that provided a stirring vista of what is likely the largest parcel shelf ever made. The acreage is so vast under that backlight that you could have a bobble-head great dane ensconced there. All that glass and shelf meant that the trunk opening was squeezed down to mail-slot size, providing just enough room for the spacesaver spare to slide through. The idea for this car, as well as its G-body twin the Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe, arose from the King himself, Richard Petty, and Petty enterprises built the first prototype back in '83. Pontiac managed to knock out about 1,200 of the 2+2s in 1986, the only year of production. Nineteen eighty six Aerocoupe sales were even lower, at 200.
This 1986 Grand Prix 2+2 (no, not that one, that's Petty's car, you know - so you could see what it looked like, I'm talking about the one way up there at the top) is claimed to have had a body-on full restoration- a fair differentiation of the work performed as the Gs were still body-on-frame. The seller says it has less than 100K on the ticker, and that the interior has been refreshed, as well as has the paint. Down where the rubber meets the road are Pontiac's five-spokers with brushed trim rings, bringing a little bling to the scene. The arrowhead brand decreed that all the 2+2s would carry the silver over red, over dark gray tri-colored paint job, keeping buyers from getting confused, or the color they wanted.
Pontiac also limited the car to a single engine option.
And that brings us to the fly in the ointment, or the monkey in the wrench, or the 305 in the Grand Prix. You see, while the Chevy Monte Carlo Aerocoupe was available with the 190-bhp producing 305HO, the Pontiac was saddled with the standard 165-bhp version of the bow tie maker's pushrod eight. After all that pretense of performance and "I only ever want to turn left" NASCAR imagery, all the car could muster is a ten and a half second shuffle to sixty, and, according to a contemporary test in Car & Driver, a leisurely 17.6 second quarter mile time. At 88 mph.
HEY! Wake up!
So you can see that while the appearance is Grand Prix, the performance is more prix d'idiot. Not only that but the lack of performance came a cost too- C&D only managed to eke out 13MPG from their quasimodo-evoking tester.
But so what? This is a clean example of a rare car from a venerated maker who's not making much of anything anymore. And if you want to be able to light up those fat Uniroyals there's a plethora of choices, from a hopped up 305 to a time-folding LS7 from which to choose. And this car - with its claimed $12K-invested - would make an excellent base for all your performance permutations.
That claim of money-in is really irrelevant in determining the current value of the car, as you don't know where that cash was spent. Right now, the seller wants $8,000 to part (slowly, and with little drama) with his Grand Prix. And the judgement should be made on the condition (looks pretty good) and desirability (people tend to like these in the oh hellz yeah range), and it's up to you to decide if it possesses a combination of those factors that add up to $8,000 worth.
So, what do you say, eight-large for a large ‘80s NASCAR-pretender? Or, does that price make this Pontiac no prize?