From Chrysler's Superbird to the Ford Talladega, NASCAR has been influencing special edition wind cheaters for decades. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Pontiac Aero Coupe is one of the last, but will you find this Grand Prix to have a grand price?
You might think that if you want a mid-engine'd minivan your only options are something as extreme and purpose-built as this, or perhaps if you have a competitive streak, this. But for the prudent and perhaps the lazy, there's also a factory-built mid-engine people mover, and yesterday's 1991 Toyota Previa was just such a beast. Not only that but fully 75% of you found its price to be much better than just fair to middlin'.
Stock car racing. You know, it's been so long since stock car racing actually raced stock cars that I don't even think that description is in common parlance these days. Nowadays we more typically just call it NASCAR, and openly wonder if its fans buy beer at the track or still bring their own jugs of moonshine.
Today's NASCAR rides are only remotely related to their on-street siblings in the same manner that movie stunt people double for celebrities- they just need to vaguely look like them. In fact, NASCAR has a set of templates - one for each model - that the race cars are expected to match, so that each car's profile at least, is 'stock.'
That means that the template must have been sourced from a production model, and that has resulted over the years in a number of homologation models that have attempted to stretch the boundaries of aerodynamics with special, and usually very pointy bodywork.
One of the last of those special models was the Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aero Coupe, which Chevy developed as a response to Ford's '80s smooth move Thunderbird. Chevy built 200 of the Aero Coupes in '86, which was the minimum NASCAR demanded for homologation approval, and then a little over 6,000 of them in the following, and what would be the model's final year.
Now, if you're a NASCAR fan, but find the Chevy to be a little too common for your blood then perhaps you'll kitten to this 1986 Pontiac Grand Prix Aero Coupe which was only offered for a single model year in which only 1,225 were built. It still offers the same nifty glass fastback and truncated trunk opening as the Chevy, but also gains a unique drop-grille nose that's far pointier, and not just a little bit uglier than that of the full Monte.
Perhaps that's too harsh an assessment of the car's looks, and quite unexpectedly this one has had its looks updated with a set of spoked bling rings. Those 22-inch American Racing wheels are not perhaps the first thing you might think of adding to a NASCAR homologation, but hey, this is America and we do weird shit here. Hey Finland, stop judging us!
Where the Chevy and Pontiac did part ways was under the hood. There the Monte had an H.O. edition of the Chevy 305, good for 180-horses, while the Pontiac was only made available with a 165-horse version of the same mill. Interestingly, the LG4 in the Grand Prix Aero had 20 more ft-lbs of torque than the horsier Chevy, so perhaps in the end it's a wash. The only transmission choice for the car was the 200-R4 4-speed.
This particular Aero has six year old paint job in the original colors, and the ad claims that the interior is just as nice as the exterior. The seller says that everything works with the exception of the odometer, which has stopped at 42K. If this were a horror movie that would have some importance and perhaps at every 42,000 miles the ghost of Smokey Yunik would appear in the back seat to tell you that you won't be beatin' if you ain't gonna' be cheatin' and then eats your soul. Or something like that... where were we?
So this bad boy is rare, it's in seemingly nice shape, and, if you don't like the highboy wheels, it comes with the stock rollers too. On the downside, it's kind of an '80s afterthought, and the seller has peppered his ad with screenshots from his phone rather than actual pictures so you have to kind of wonder just how invested he is in this whole trying to sell the car thing.
If you want to be invested in buying it, or just to weigh in on this Aero Coupe's price, this would be a good time to bring up that the seller is asking $15,000 for his ride. What do you think about that price for this Pontiac? Is that a number that might get a potential buyer homologating their dollars? Or, is this Grand Prix with a price that's no prize?
H/T to Brian Black for the hookup!
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