1966 Pontiac Grand Prix: A Hidden Gem Found With a Big Surprise Under the Hood After 31 Years In Hiding

When it comes to classic Pontiacs from the 1960s, the GTO often steals the spotlight in the collector car market. However, Pontiac offered a range of exciting vehicles during that era, and the Grand Prix is one of them.

Introduced in 1962, a year prior to the GTO, the Pontiac Grand Prix was the brand’s response to the emerging “personal luxury car” segment. This niche, established in the 1950s by vehicles like the Cadillac Eldorado, Ford Thunderbird, and Packard Caribbean, attracted several manufacturers in the 1960s, including Buick, Mercury, and AMC.

Pontiac was quick to embrace this trend during the early years of the decade. Positioned as a grand tourer and available exclusively as a two-door coupe, the Grand Prix utilized the Catalina coupe platform and incorporated luxury features typically found in the longer and more luxurious Bonneville model. Powering the Grand Prix was Pontiac’s V8 engine lineup, while the car boasted a distinct grille and taillights.

As one of Pontiac’s longest-running nameplates, the Grand Prix remained in production until 2008. However, the car transitioned into the midsize market in 1988. The first two generations of the Grand Prix are particularly coveted by enthusiasts.

While the GTOs from the same era tend to overshadow them, many of these Grand Prix coupes ended up spending their retirement years neglected in junkyards or barns. The 1966 model showcased here last hit the road in 1992 and was subsequently abandoned in a shed. Fortunately, in 2023, after an astounding 31 years of hibernation, this car was rescued.

What’s truly remarkable is that this Grand Prix has survived in remarkably good condition, showing no significant signs of rust and remaining complete, except for the missing front bumper. Even more astonishing, it retains the original 389-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8 engine it was equipped with when it rolled off the factory floor in 1966. While not as impressive as the optional 421-cubic-inch (6.9-liter) engine available that year, it is still a step above the base version.

Specifically, this particular Grand Prix left the assembly line with the four-barrel version of the 389 V8. With a rating of 333 horsepower, it provided an additional 67 horses over the base two-barrel variant. Other engine options for 1966 included a four-barrel 421 with 338 horsepower, a 421 “Tri-Power” with 356 horses, and a 421 HO mill with an impressive 375 horsepower. Although the latter is exceptionally rare, the four-barrel 389 V8 in this car, matching the original specifications, is still quite spectacular.

Adding to its uniqueness, this Grand Prix stands out with its distinctive color combination, featuring a white exterior and “parchment” upholstery. Unfortunately, there is no production breakdown based on powerplant and colors, but it is likely that only a few hundred units were produced with this specific configuration.

The even better news is that the current owner has managed to revive the V8 engine, and plans are in motion to bring this Grand Prix back on the road. While a full restoration might not be immediately on the horizon, the car’s fate has been rescued from the clutches of a decaying shed. After all, every Pontiac from the 1960s deserves to be preserved and appreciated. Check more information in the video below

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