Car Culture & Entertainment

Ride Guides: A Quick Guide to Identifying 1962-’72 Pontiac Grand Prixs

The Pontiac Grand Prix was born in model-year 1962.

It was mostly the handiwork of famed auto engineer John DeLorean, who was also responsible for creating the Pontiac GTO, Pontiac Firebird, Chevrolet Vega, and time machines.

The first Grand Prix generation lasted through model-year 1968 on GM’s B-body platform, before switching to a stretched platform in 1969 dubbed the G-body.

Through the first two generations, the Grand Prix was always powered by a large V8 engine, ranging on the small end from a 6.4L, 389-cubic-inch V8 that churned out 303 horsepower, up to a 7.5L, 455-cubic-inch big block in the second-gen, early ’70s models. But because of a corporate-wide decision to build engines for lower-octane rated fuels, the second-gen engines were given lower compression ratios, which limited the power they produced from the factory.

The Pontiac Grand Prix remains an iconic piece of American automotive history and beloved by Pontiac enthusiasts.

Learn more about the first two generations of the Grand Prix from our latest Ride Guide:

grand-prix-63-72

(Infographic by OnAllCylinders’ Lori Sams)

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One Comment

  1. Just a few ‘minor’ nits; the 389 was a “6.5 Litre” in metric-speak, at least that’s what the badges claimed on GTOs of similar vintage. Second, the 2nd gen ’69 & ’70 models still had high compression – 10.75:1 in the ’69 428 HO with 390 HP and all 4 bbl 400s had 10.5:1 in ’70.

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