Groundhog Day is celebrated every year on February 2. But no offense to meteorologically-minded rodents, we’re thinking about establishing an alternative holiday: Pontiac 2+2 Day.

Are you listening Hallmark?

And to kick off the celebration, let’s talk about an oft-overlooked flavor of the once-ubiquitous GM G-body, the Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2.

rear view of a 1986 pontiac 2+2 aerocoupe
The 2+2 backglass is far larger than the Monte Carlo Aerocoupe, and it was not a hatchback. The result is a laughably small trunk lid for access to the rear cargo area. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

For starters, the 2+2 name wasn’t new. Pontiac had been using it to denote performance variants of its full-size Catalina as far back as 1964. The designation was borrowed from European automakers, who had used 2+2 to describe a two front/two back seating arrangement on coupes.

pontiac 2+2 on street at a car show
Offered from 1964 to 1967, the performance-oriented 2+2 came with either a 389, 421, or 428 Pontiac V8, depending on the year. (Image/Jeff Smith)

After its heydey in the 1960s, Pontiac shelved the 2+2 until the mid-1980s, when it needed a name for its new, limited-run G-body Grand Prix variant designed for NASCAR. (Chevy was simultaneously developing the Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe for the exact same reason.)

The Chevy Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe is more common, yet both models are rare nowadays. Note the distinct rear window backglass on this 1987 model. (Image/Summit Racing)

Up front, the 2+2 wears a unique urethane nose that’s completely different from its Grand Prix stablemates. Move around back and the party starts to get really interesting with its large, sloping rear backglass—a design tweak that helped improve the 2+2’s aerodynamic profile on NASCAR Super Speedways. (The Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe shared a similar, albeit distinct rear window.)

1986 pontiac grand prix 2+2 aerocoupe
Unlike the Monte Carlo Aerocoupe, the 2+2’s front end was significantly restyled from the traditional Grand Prix coupe from which it was derived. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

But before Pontiac could use them in competition, the car needed to be homologated first. In other words, Pontiac had to build a certain number of 2+2 models for sale to the public, in order to get the car onto NASCAR tracks.

So it did, cranking out around 1,200 Grand Prix 2+2 models, exclusively for the 1986 model year.

(Conversely, Chevy made its Monte Carlo Aerocoupes from 1986 to 1987, with a total production surpassing 6,000 cars. So relatively speaking, the Monte Carlo Aerocoupe is more common, though they’re both still pretty rare.)

Fun Fact: Pontiac never referred to the 2+2 as an Aerocoupe; that name was reserved exclusively for the Chevy Monte Carlo SS variant.

chevy 305 5.0 liter v8 engine in a 1986 pontiac 2+2
The 305ci V8 in the 2+2 made 165 hp, which was about on-par with the LG4 305 found in the contemporary Firebird. (Image/OnAllCylinders)

In addition to the aerodynamic updates fore and aft, showroom-bound Pontiac 2+2 models got 15 inch Pontiac-styled Rally wheels. Under the hood was a mandatory 305ci small block Chevy V8, good for about 165 horsepower, mated to a 200-4R automatic. Curiously, GM’s more potent, 190 hp “H.O.” 305ci V8 was not an option in the 2+2, though it was available in the Firebird.

Into Grand Prixs…errr….Grand Prixes…err…well, whatever, you’ll probably enjoy this story too: This 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ has a Factory 4-Speed Manual

Pontiac Grand Prix 2+2 Aercoupe
While this particular Pontiac 2+2 is wearing custom wheels and tires, with its hood down you can see the full aesthetic impact of that unique front end. (Image/OnAlLCylinders)

Much like the Daytona/Superbird twins of the late 1960s, Pontiac’s NASCAR homologation special was not a hot seller. The polarizing front end and mail-slot rear trunk likely put-off potential buyers, as did the 2+2’s 20 percent price bump over a typical Grand Prix.

Suffice it to say, these 1986-only Grand Prix 2+2 coupes a rare sight today.

All the more reason to make February 2 National Pontiac 2+2 Day—so, who’s with us?

door decal for a 1986 pontiac 2+2 grand prix
Happy 2+2 Day!

…Seriously, let’s make this a thing. (Image/OnAllCylinders)


If you dig rare GM G-bodies, you’ll enjoy this one too: We Hopped in a Buick Grand National to Search for an Ultra-Rare GNX

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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or roof leaks in 1972 Corvette ragtop. Thanks to a penchant for vintage Honda motorcycles, he spends the rest of his time fiddling with carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.