Pontiac Grand Prix

Design of the 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix sought elegance in simplicity. It was rather unusual for the era when bigger was better and the price of a car could be told easily from looking at the number of chrome surfaces.

The Grand Prix, however, was nearly devoid of bright side trim with the fine-mesh design grille, accented by a racing chequered flag badge.

The rear-panel treatment mimicked the grille design fulfilling the idea of a tastefully restrained exterior. John De Lorean, leader of Advanced Engineering at Pontiac, greatly influenced the development of Grand Prix. Following the success of Pontiac Ventura model, the Grand Prix first appeared in the Pontiac line for early 1962.

Early models had full access to the Pontiac performance option list, including the factory-race Super Duty 421 powertrain which created a much stronger performance image than its competitors.

The standard engine was the Bonneville's 303 hp 389 cu in (6.4 L) V8 with four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts. A street version of the larger racing 421 engine became available for the general public as a US$2,250 option. Super Duty 421 had two four-barrel carburetors, rated at 405 hp (302 kW), which was more than enough to make an impression on the competition.

A three-speed manual transmission was standard equipment, while optional transmissions included a Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed with Hurst shifter or the three-speed Roto Hydra-matic. At the time the basic Pontiac Grand Prix model had a cost of $3,490.

Interior design was based on bucket seats upholstered from Morrokide vinyl and separated by a center console including a floor shifter, storage compartment and tachometer at the front end. The rear seat was of the bench type with a center armrest below a radio speaker grille combined with nylon loop-blend carpeting covering the floor.

Grand prix also had a padded instrument panel, deluxe steering wheel, courtesy lights and other miscellaneous items as finishing touches which improved the model image of a personal luxury car. For 1963, the Grand Prix Also was equipped with entirely new Pontiac-trademark split grille with vertical headlights. Among the other editions to the model were round parking lights and "hidden" taillights on the back of the vehicle.

Concave rear window contrasted with the convertible-like roofline of the 1962 Grand Prix. New available options included an AM/FM radio, cruise control and a tilt steering wheel that could be adjusted to seven different positions.

Pontiac's reputation for performance had captured the attention of several different markets segments such as stock car racing, drag racing and on the street. Grand Prix became the flagship of the Pontiac fleet, a car that embodied performance, luxury, and style in one single design.

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