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Used Grand Prix - A Study of Used Grand Prix Options

by joe johnston

With models available that date back to 1962, the used Grand Prix is one of the all time classics. Originally created as a replacement for the Pontiac Ventura, the first Grand Prix was a performance minded powerhouse of a luxury car with more focus on the inside of the car and what made it go than the aesthetics. Following this pattern, the used Grand Prix, although it may look dated on the outside, generally still has a solid motor and smooth transmission capable of giving a good quality performance even in the later years of its lifespan.
A used Grand Prix may be from any one of the seven generations of the car. Each generation differs widely in appearance, interior, and engine design with a steady exterior progression from boxier shapes to the more rounded later generations.
A first generation used Grand Prix (1962 – 1968) can be a valuable antique, if in good condition, and generally has a very simple yet distinctive, squared shape and a three or four speed manual or automatic transmission. With bucket seats and a vinyl interior, a first generation used Grand Prix is usually quite comfortable and even luxurious despite its age. Later models of the first generation Grand Prix even came with air conditioning.
A second generation used Grand Prix (1969 – 1972) differs in that, even though it is smaller and lighter, it appears to be a stretched out version of the first. With its classic “Coke bottle” shape, the second generation Grand Prix no longer had a convertible option like the first but all models came with a hardtop. Although it was considered a downsizing of the first generation, especially in body size and weight, the second generation Grand Prix was still known to have a powerful engine and a luxurious interior with a leather trim option.
A used Grand Prix from the third generation (1973 – 1977) of this highly successful personal luxury vehicle has a lower performance level than the first two generations due to the implication of a new federally controlled standard of emissions systems that forced cuts in power in a lot of cars built during this decade. This new standard made the third generation Grand Prix a slightly cleaner car than its predecessors, but not quite as opulently powerful. The body, however, was completely redesigned and the third generation Grand Prix found itself back up to its big, lumbering self again with large crash bumpers and a heavier engine block. This generation quickly outsold its two predecessors and found itself one of the best selling personal luxury coupes in the country.
While a fourth generation used Grand Prix (1978 – 1987) is very similar to first, second, and third generation models, with only a slight downshift in size, a fifth or sixth generation used Grand Prix (1988 – 1996, and 1997 – 2003) has a drastically changed appearance. Featuring rounded corners and sportier bodies, these two generations satiated the need that developed in the 1990’s for a racier styling of the exterior, while keeping up with the Grand Prix tradition of high performance. These models came packed with an array of luxurious features such as a performance shift button for the transmission and a standard tire pressure monitor. The fifth generation Grand Prix received Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award in 1988. A used Grand Prix from the sixth generation generally features either a 3.1 liter V6 engine or a powerful 3.8 liter engine, also V6, both of which come with a four speed automatic transmission.
The seventh and last generation of the Grand Prix (2004 – 2008) is one of the most popular of the used Grand Prix legacy. A tiny bit smaller than the previous two generations, this version came with either the same 3.8 liter V6 used in the sixth generation or a 5.3 liter V8 monster if you needed extra power. It came with a four speed automatic transmission on all models and an updated dynamic control system for improved handling. With superb frontal safety ratings, the seventh generation Grand Prix was finally updated both in appearance, performance, handling, and safety to fit in with the sleek modern array of personal luxury vehicles.

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