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My 1969 Grand PrixHi! I've built this site to share information about my car--a 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix. That's the grille and taillights at the top and bottom of the page, respectively.

Most people don't think of the Grand Prix as a "musclecar." Most associate GTOs, Firebirds, Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, and Chevelles with the "musclecar" term. Truth is, the 1969 Grand Prix was a pretty potent car when introduced--though it was larger and heavier than most musclecars.

The "standard" model came with a 400 cubic inch engine rated at 350 horsepower--though lower horsepower engines could also be had. The "top-of-the-line" Grand Prix--designated by the letters "SJ"--came with a 390 horsepower 428 cubic inch engine featuring 10.75:1 compression, four bolt mains, large valve heads, high output exhaust manifolds, and a four barrel carburetor among other things. The Grand Prix "428" was also available in 370 and 360 horsepower versions (available as options in "J" models). There weren't too many cars at the time that came with more powerful engines than the 370 and 390 horsepower versions of the 428. The "strongest" GTO engine of the same year was a 400 cubic inch engine rated at 370 horsepower. Even the "Boss" and Mach I 428 & 429 Mustang engines were rated at lower horsepower numbers (335 & 375 respectively). You had to buy a COPO Camero, a Hemi Roadrunner, or an LS7 Chevelle to out-horsepower the Grand Prix 428.

Of course, "real" horsepower numbers back then were often higher or lower than those advertised. But even so, the Grand Prix 428 was one of the "top" power producers of the musclecar era.

As powerful as the "SJ" and "J" Grand Prix models were, they were also meant to handle slightly better than the average musclecar. The 1969 Grand Prix was mounted on an altered "A" body chassis (designated the "G" body), giving the car a 118 inch wheelbase. The '69 Grand Prix was also shorter, narrower, and lower than any of the "big" Pontiacs. The engine was lowered two inches and moved back slightly toward the firewall--lowering and moving back the centre of gravity. I've learned this in practical terms, since I had to have the GTO headers (no one makes "off-the-shelf" headers for a 69-70 Grand Prix) shortened to gain reasonable ground clearance.

The result was what some termed a "Tiger in a Tux." In other words, a "better mannered" GTO. The 1969 Grand Prix also came with some innovations such as the radio antenna hidden in the windsheild, a "wrap-around" dash, rear window defogger, hide-away wipers, and a unique recessed exterior door handle.

So, take a look around and send me an e-mail if you like. It's great to hear from other Grand Prix and musclecar owners.

 

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