This is a 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix, a model developed as a full-size performance coupe under the watchful eye of John DeLorean, who was head of Advanced Engineering at Pontiac at the time.

The Grand Prix was sold over eight model generations between 1962 and 2008, though collectors and enthusiasts are typically most interested in the first two generations due to their classic status and styling – not to mention their hefty V8s that were developed pre-emissions regulations.

Fast Facts – The Pontiac Grand Prix

  • The Pontiac Grand Prix was introduced in 1962 as a luxury performance car, a response to the growing market for such vehicles. It was initially a trim upgrade for the Pontiac Catalina coupe, featuring distinctive styling, a more luxurious interior, and various performance upgrades.
  • The Grand Prix entered its second generation in 1969 with a complete redesign. This generation was notable for its distinct styling, which included a long hood, a short rear deck, and a pronounced “coke bottle” body profile. The car was built on General Motors’ new G-body platform, which it shared with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo among others.
  • The Grand Prix model series would be produced over eight generations right the way through until 2008. Collectors generally consider the first two generations to be the most collectible, and they offer an interesting alternative for prospective Ford Thunderbird buyers of the same era.
  • The car you see in this article is a 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix finished in Burgundy over Plum vinyl upholstery. It’s powered by the 389 cubic inch V8 which sends power to the rear wheels via a 3-speed automatic transmission. It now being offered for sale out of Thousand Oaks, California with a clean Arizona title.

John DeLorean And The Pontiac Grand Prix

The two cars that John DeLorean is best known for would have to be the Pontiac GTO and the DeLorean DMC-12, he oversaw the development of the cars with much of the engineering done by the legendary Bill Collins. Both became major cultural icons in their own right, though the latter car did famously end in tears. And a private jet full of FBI agents and Bolivian marching powder.

1966 Pontiac Grand Prix Brochure

Image DescriptionThis page from the 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix brochure sings the praises of the car in no uncertain terms, going so far to call the split grille design “arrogant,” which may have been a world first. Image courtesy of Pontiac.

Back in the early 1960, before the Pontiac GTO and long before the DMC-12, John DeLorean was working on another project. He was the Head of Advanced Engineering at Pontiac at the time, the youngest person to ever hold the title, and he had a way of developing cars that people actually wanted to buy.

DeLorean saw the potential for a new Pontiac model to challenge the best-selling Ford Thunderbird, a car that had transformed from a Corvette rival in the 1950s into a much larger personal luxury car by the 1960s.

The result of this vision was the Grand Prix, a European-influenced name in the same vein as a couple of other major Pontiacs from the 1960s – the Le Mans and the GTO (for “Grand Turismo Omolgato” in Italian, meaning “Grand Touring Homologated” in English).

In the original French, “Grand Prix” simply means “Grand Prize” and it’s traditionally used to describe top tier motorsport events. If you win the Grand Prix, you win the grand prize, typically a trophy cup or plate accompanied by a bottle of champagne for spraying about the place.

Given this dual meaning, the name was perfect for the new Pontiac which was released in 1962 as a full-size performance coupe with plenty of sporting chops thanks to its 389 cubic inch (6.4 liter) Pontiac V8 producing up to 348 bhp in Tri-Power configuration.

The first generation Pontiac Grand Prix was built from 1962 to 1964, it came as a coupe with bucket seats separated by a center console, and it was based on the Catalina coupe platform. The second generation car appeared for 1965 based on the GM B-platform with new styling including a “Coke bottle” side profile, fender skirts over the rear wheels, and a 1 inch longer wheelbase.

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Image DescriptionThe similarity to the styling of the Pontiac GTO of the same era is unmistakable, but the Grand Prix was quite a different car.

The second generation Grand Prix would remain in production from 1965 until 1968, quickly becoming a favorite among the boulevard cruiser crowd, with whom it remains popular to the current day.

The 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix Shown Here

The car you see here is a 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix that was factory finished in Burgundy (NN) over chrome bumpers and trim. It has dual side mirrors, stacked headlights, taillight louvers, rear fender skirts, reverse lamps, and dual exhaust outlets.

It rides on correct painted 14″ steel wheels with full covers and PMD center emblems, and it has both power steering and power-assisted four-wheel drum brakes.

Inside the car you’ll find front bucket seats separated by a center console, the dashboard and console feature ample wood trim, and the interior is finished in Plum Vinyl (584) upholstery which covers the seats, inner door trim, and dashboard.

The car comes with factory-fitted air conditioning, lap belts, and dual-speed windshield wipers. It should be noted that the radio and horn are both currently not working, and this is something the new owner will need to troubleshoot.

Power is provided by a 389 cubic inch V8, that’s 6.4 liters, and it’s equipped with a four-barrel carburetor. It’s good for 325 bhp according to factory literature, and power is sent back to the rear wheels through a 3-speed automatic transmission with a console-mounted shifter.

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Image DescriptionThe center console and dashboard are finished in wood trim, the ample use of chrome and tactile switchgear make the driver’s seat of the Grand Prix seem aircraft-like.

The car’s original framed build sheet is included with the sale, as well as an owner’s manual and multiple keys for the vehicle. It’s being sold out of Thousand Oaks, California with a clean Arizona title on dealer consignment.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can visit the listing on Bring a Trailer here.

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Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer

Published by Ben Branch -