For those of you that don’t know, Pontiac is GM’s performance marque, they introduced the Grand Prix all the way back in 1962 and it was in production until 2008; some 46 years in total.
The Grand Prix was known for pretty much one thing … having the longest hood on any production car in the history of automobiles, even today; mechanics were constantly breaking bits of engine dressing while servicing the car as they had to lean right in and over the front panel.
Sales numbers are lower than expected, but it must be noted that Pontiac had to halt production for 67 days due to the labor strike of 1971.
1971 Pontiac Grand Prix Design
Only available as a 2-door hardtop.
We’ve already mentioned the hood (it was massive), but for 1971, Pontiac dropped the quad headlight arrangement and went for a new integrated bumper & grille, featuring single headlights.
At the back, the Grand Prix had a slanted ‘boat-tail’ design with the rear lights built into the bumper, marking it out as a ’71 model year.
1971 Pontiac Grand Prix Interior
The Grand Prix was pretty sporty; of course you could have buckets, trimmed in vinyl but they also offered the wraparound jet-fighter style center console, the aim of which was to bring everything closer, making it easier to control the vehicle (especially at such high speeds!).
1971 Pontiac Grand Prix Specs
58,325 Grand Prix were shipped in 1971.
Overall length: 212.9” Wheelbase: 118” Width: 76.4” Height: 52”
3-speed manual transmission was standard until midway through the year, when Pontiac started fitting the Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission as standard. 3 & 4 speed manual transmissions were offered as options.
1971 Pontiac Grand Prix Performance
There was a choice of just two engines; the 400 ci (6.55 liter) 300 BHP V8 or the 455 ci (7.45 liter) 325 BHP V8. Performance was as you’d expect; brisk.
In today’s world, the Grand Prix feels slow and unwieldy, but back then, it was pure speed.
Transmission choices were the Turbo Hydra-Matic auto or a 3 and 4 speed manual.
1971 Pontiac Grand Prix Collectability and Price
While it isn’t in the same league as some of the more popular early 70’s muscle cars, the Pontiac Grand Prix still fetches reasonable prices; an average example will cost in the region of $11,000 while a concours example will be around $26,000.
As with all the early GM cars, you need to keep an eye out for rust and panel damage; some of the steel used back then wasn’t the greatest quality.