I’m about 90 percent more likely to take back roads than I am to drive in the highway for one reason: when you’re on the highway you miss seeing cool stuff like this for sale. This 1975 Pontiac GP SJ is in the lot at Foley Motorsports on Route 9 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
In ’75, the Grand Prix was in its second generation based on the same A-body chassis as the LeMans. It had such a long nose that the fan shroud needed about four inches more depth to help the fan draw cool air through the radiator.
The rear of the Grand Prix and Chevy’s Monte Carlo was abbreviated to the point that you could only get a few bags in the trunk, which was perfect for the swingin’ ’70s Camel-ad bachelor who wouldn’t require a lot of clothing for the chick he was taking to the lake for the weekend.
GPs of this era were great because when you made the decision to purchase one, you started out with a very well equipped car. Checking the cheapest car in the line got you a 400-cu.in. V-8 with a two barrel carb. A four barrel was optional, and so was the standard engine in this SJ, a massive 455-cu.in. V-8. Good for only 250hp, the 455 still churned out tons of torque.
A sunroof in 2013 is ubiquitous, but in 1975, a real, power-operated moonroof was a rarity. It added $350 to a car that had a base price of just over $5,600.
Only two things bother me about this Grand Prix, which has only covered 89,000 miles since new. The first is the exhaust, with straight cut pipes that extend well past the bumper, which don’t look right at all. The second is this God-awful modern radio, that sticks out like BJ Hunnicut’s Three Dog Night mustache on a Korean War Army base.
What’s worse is it’s a single DIN radio that I’m fairly sure required significant dash modification to fit. I hope the original radio is in the trunk somewhere. It’s so easy and inexpensive to add an auxiliary jack to an original radio, there’s really no excuse to butcher a goofy 16-year old’s radio into an otherwise perfect dash.
The dealer’s asking $13,995. It’s a long stretch for a car that needs the exhaust and radio replaced to bring it back to more or less original specification. Nice, clean examples like this get harder to find every day, but a silver ’75 Grand Prix J — the lowest trim with the 400-c.i. V-8 — sold in eBay in Maine for $7,500. NADA’s classic car price guide puts the value at about $8,000.
Photos: Foley Motorsports