Taken from the
Grand Prix luxury and
Trans Am performance, the Pontiac Grand Am remains true to its name as a perfect balance of performance and luxury. Planting its roots in the international rally stage, the midsize to compact auto has redefined its raciness with family oriented features for a more versatile performance. Despite its end in 2005, the Grand Am has set its mark in the automobile world.
1973-1975: Unique front fascia
The first generation of the Pontiac Grand Am came with coupe or sedan bodies and was produced as an answer to Europe’s luxury and sport sedans. It was easily differentiated from other coupe and sedan vehicles because of its unique and flexible front fascia. Aside from providing it with a distinctive appeal, the fascia’s center nose is designed to return to its original shape when damaged by a minor collision.
By 1974, it received the biggest changes with a larger body and a rear bumper with new vertical tail lights. Despite its unique styling and early boom, the model declined due to the oil crisis. As a result, its sales totaled about 17,000, which is more than 50% less than the previous sales.
1978-1980: Revived from the oil crisis
Despite the international oil crisis, the Pontiac found its way back in 1978. The revived auto sported a new body shape and engine to address the increasingly strict emission regulations. It fact, it was also smaller than the original muscle cars. By 1979, it became a staple of NASCAR adding another mark to its credentials as a sports car. Still, the manufacturers decided to withdraw the model to make way for the more compact STE 6000 in 1983.
1985-1991: Rebirth again
Reborn for the second time, the third generation of the Pontiac Grand Am was introduced with an all-new front wheel drive N-body as it replaced the X-body Phoenix. This 1985 model came with a 2.5 liter base engine coupled with either a five-speed or three-speed automatic transmission with an optional V6 engine. By 1986, all models received a center high-mounted stop lamp. Furthermore, the LE and SE trim levels were released to the public. In the end of its batch, all models were equipped with sloped-back grille and headlights.
1992-1998: Standard anti-lock brakes
This batch of the Pontiac Grand Am was the most popular as it lead all other generations in sales. In fact, its steady sales lead it past its N-body corporate mates, the Buick Skylark and Oldsmobile Achieva. It was offered in coupe and sedan in either SE or GT trim levels. As a safety measure, the Pontiac also standardized the anti-lock brakes on all US models. The models may have earned a larger and heavier frame but it lost 5horspower to compensate for emissions.
1999-2005: Paving the way for G6
Given another facelift and yet a larger body frame, the Grand Am debuted in March 1998 and eventually became America’s top selling car. By early 2000’s, the Pontiac’s rear spoiler became a standard, however, the anti-lock brakes were now downgraded as an optional feature. Despite its success, it was discontinued in 2005 to make way for the all-new G6 series.