Goat’s Big Brother – 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix

If you like the styling of post-war European cars, you definitely owe it to yourself to take a closer look at American cars of the 1960s. Their simple, clean styling is very mid-century modern, in stark contrast to the garish designs of the 1950s and many of the dated and/or cliched designs of the 1970s. Among the design icons of that period, people might quickly come up with a list including the Lincoln Continental, Buick Riviera, and Oldsmobile Toronado (and get angry with you for leaving out the Mustang and the Impala, which, while successful cars in their own right, were not design icons). In that shortlist, however, they’d be forgetting Pontiac’s Grand Prix, which had equal measures of innovation and style. Check out this 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix, for sale for $3000 in Jay, FL (just north of Pensacola).

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix right front

Dark blue paint looks fantastic on this sparse shape, and the 8-lug aluminum integral-drum wheels really make the design stand out. These wheels alone seem to be fairly valuable, and could make up a substantial part of the car’s asking price (which means, watch out that the owner’s not just selling a set of wheels with a car thrown in). The stacked headlights and twin-nostril grill look elegant but aggressive, and the lines on the front of the car suggest speed.

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix left front

Here’s some of the ugly truth – damage to the driver’s door, possibly covered with filler at some point, and missing rocker trim. Rust? Yes! But look at the beautiful body lines, sir, and she’s still got her 389 with 306hp (assuming this is the 4-barrel carb and not the tri-power car), which will materialize as soon as you rebuild the carb. After that, she’ll run just fine, because this isn’t some finicky little Alfa Romeo. Right?

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix wheel

Here’s a detail shot of one of the wheels. The trim ring looks remarkably scrape-free, and the fender lip seems to have no rust, although the same is not true of the area aft of the wheel. Oh well, perfect was never in the offering. Center caps alone have some value, so if you find complete disaster, you know you can easily get your money back in parts. Wait, get your money back out of an old car? Wasn’t blowing your 401k on an old car supposed to be irrationally fun (and, uh, shouldn’t you have more than $3000 in your 401k?)?

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix interior

The interior clearly shows a European influence too – individual bucket seats, center console, steering wheel, window crank handles (okay, kidding on those last two). Seats are covered in Morrokide vinyl – a recently-invented legend has it Morrokide was so named for being tough, yet smooth, like the skin of a Moroccan camel. The center console features a vacuum gauge in cars equipped with the Hydramatic – what exactly would you do with that information? Rest assured your power locks and windshield wipers will continue to function? The one clear bonus is seeing the needle swing around the gauge when you decide you don’t care gas is $4.50/gallon. Yes, this car needs work, and lots of it, but in dollars per pound, this is another great deal.

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