1971 Pontiac Grand Prix
By Vern Parker
Ninety years ago General Motors took action to close a price gap that existed between Chevrolet and Oakland. The car chosen for the task was named Pontiac which proved to be so successful that it replaced Oakland.
For 15 years Pontiacs were produced until World War II halted all civilian automobile manufacturing in 1942. After the war was won Pontiac production resumed.
About three decades passed and although young Jack Jones didn't yet have a license to drive he noticed the attention a slightly older friend received whenever he drove by in his father's nearly new 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix.
The striking image of that Pontiac on the streets of Brooklyn, New York never faded from Jones' memory.
Many years later Jones, now living in Stafford, Virginia, received a tip that a 1971 Pontiac was being offered for sale.
He recalls that it was in the spring of 2012 when he went to nearby Fredericksburg, Virginia, to check on the condition of the Pontiac.
One look at the long, sculpted nose of the 17-foot, 9-inch-long Grand Prix and Jones was so enraptured that he bought the car without further ado.
According to the original paperwork that came with the car the original color was green. The Pontiac new sports a new red body crowned by a cream-colored vinyl top. The lines of the car are accented by tan pin striping.
Only 58,325 Grand Prix model Pontiacs were manufactured in the 1971 model year, all of them hardtop coupes.
The 3,863-pound Grand Prix rolls on honeycomb wheels mounted on a 118-inch wheelbase which delivers a luxurious ride to the passengers.
Beneath the lengthy hood of Jones' Grand Prix is a thirsty 455-cubic-inch V-8 engine that develops a powerful 325 horsepower to the rear wheels. A four-barrel Edlebrock carburetor drinks fuel from a 20-gallon gasoline tank.
The well-appointed car is equipped with power windows, power brakes and power steering. The beige upholstery appears like new with a pair of vents under the dashboard.
The gear selector sprouts from the offset console between the front bucket sears with the gear selection from front to rear of:
When new Pontiac priced the Grand Prix at $4,557 but keep in mind that price was for a base model with few extra cost optional extras.
Since acquiring the gorgeous car Jones has become used to the attention his car receives whenever he takes it out for some road therapy. While seated at the three-spoke steering wheel (each spoke has it's own horn button) Jones has a clear view of the instrument panel. He believes the 52,579 miles recorded on the odometer reflect the actual mileage.
Jones has been pleased with his Pontiac Grand Prix from the day he got the car. Since then he has gone so far as to make some minor alterations and adjustments to his garage to accommodate his L-O-N-G car.
“There have been no surprises and no regrets,” he says.