Pontiac Sunbird Turbo Coupe (Second generation 1984-87, This is an ‘86)
Born in the late ’70s as a sister vehicle to the Vega, the Sunbird had a long run before being replaced by the Sunfire. Stopping at first becasue I haven’t seen one in years, I was surprised to see that this was one of the more rare turbo configurations. Available mated to a 1.8 or 2.0L engine it was apparently pretty potent, considering that those two engines put out over 50 HP more than any other NA engine in the lineup.
As far as 80’s GM products go, and Pontiac’s in particular, this one has aged really well; not only in the paint and finish, but in the fact that it doesn’t look over designed, avoiding much of the add on plastic that would befall its siblings starting in the ’90s.
Would I drive it? No. Am I glad someone is still out there enjoying it? Absolutely.
Seen in NE Portland
1976 Pontiac LeMans
This base model sedan has seen much better days, in fact it’s so rusty I would assume it isn’t from Oregon originally (or it’s a ’70s GM product…what else is there to say?).
Looking back at the original brochures, this wasn’t actually that bad of a car. Though the scalloped fenders are a little too ’70s for my taste, the wide and low body design that became a Pontiac signature has it’s merits. I bet it’s roomy inside, and the proportions are much more appealing than the narrow and tall models that would arrive in the ’80s.
Seen in the (way) N Portland neighborhood of Hayden Island
First generation Pontiac Grand Prix (1962-67, this is a ‘63)
Before Pontiac’s unfortunate spiral into both design obsolescence (thanks, Aztek) and marketing irrelevance (thanks, G3) it was quite possibly the best thing GM had going for it.
Long, wide and understated, the Grand Prix was performance without having to look like a sports car. Next to his own little project, it was probably John DeLorean’s best idea.
A true classic seen in SW Portland
I was down the street taking pictures of a horrible brown Plymouth Scamp when my friend Shahin called me over to see something special. It was an amazing Plymouth Barracuda pulling out of a driveway down the street. The owner, Davey Loprinzi had some idle issues and we stopped to chat while he worked them out.
It was only then that we noticed the amazing 1968 Pontiac GTO stored on a lift above the ‘Cuda. I’ve never seen a blower motor so big. This one has 650 HP on tap and Davey reassured us he and his uncle spent a great deal of time to make it both comfortable to drive and race. He started it up for us and it sounded incredible.
As for the ‘Cuda it is freshly restored with a transplanted hemi, putting out 576 HP. The whole thing was perfect down to the sweet Rapid Transit sticker on the windshield.
Davey stresses that this work couldn’t have been done without his Uncle Larry, becasue “Two peoples money goes a lot further than one!” Rarely have I seen money better spent.
Seen in SE Portland
First generation Pontiac GTO (1964-67, this is a ‘65-66) in Montero Red. What’s great about the original GTO is that it is still a classy full size car that just happens to be a performance car. I am a firm believer that not all sports cars have to be fastbacks, and I have a soft spot for 3-box designs that just happen to go fast.
Seen in SE Portland.
Fourth generation Pontiac Star Chief (1959-60) in Sunrise Coral. To me, this was Pontiac at its most austentatious. 4 tailfins, 4 chrome star emblems per side and a beautiful feature line that runs into the Arrowhead logo (and must have been a challenge to stamp). A true rolling sculpture.
Seen in N Portland
1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, named after the American racing series started in 1966. This one has been pretty modified, but tastefully so. Exterior aside, it has the 7.1 Liter 455 motor from the second generation under the hood. For my money, I’d take a Firebird over a Camaro any day.
Seen in Seattle, WA
Second Generation Pontiac GTO (1968-73)
Lost in a sea of beige in SE Portland
Second Generation Pontiac Phoenix LJ (1980-84, this version ‘80-‘82). General Motors badge engineering at its finest. If grew up seeing these everywhere I would probably hate them for what they were, carbon copies of the same X-Body car in 4 different flavors (Chevy, Buick, and Olds all got one). However, they are rare these days and this one caught my eye since it was actually super clean. For what it’s worth it had great two tone paint with a Landau top, flawless chrome grille as well as borderline hilarious badging and a fuel filler door that looks like it was stolen from a Suburban.
While it’s sad to see Pontiac go the way of the Dodo, It’s good to know cars like this won’t be rising from the ashes anytime soon.
Seen in NE Portland
This is a first generation, 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix. Its beat up, rusty and the inside is pretty torn up- probably beyond saving. Under that is a great car designed in part by Mr. John DeLorean. He had a great idea that I wholly support today…that sports coupes and performance cars don’t need acres of chrome trim.
It also has some crazy optional 8 lug wheels, never seen those before. The rear graphic is quite nice too. Something which cannot be said for the sad, slow parade of ugly Grands Prix that came parading after it.
Seen in NE Portland.
This thing was probably about 20 feet long. It fit 9 people. Not including the 4 that could probably lay comfortably in the trunk.
The once luxurious interior