The Pontiac Phoenix was in production from 1977 to 1984. From 1977 to 1979, the Phoenix had a rear-wheel drive configuration. For 1980, it became front-wheel drive.
The Phoenix was based on popular Chevrolet models and rested on GM's X-platform. The name 'Phoenix' was sourced for the Phoenix bird in the mythologies of Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, and Phoenicians that would live for about 500 to 1000 years, die in a self-inflicted fire and be reborn from the ashes.
For 1977, the Phoenix was the top-level trim on the Pontiac Ventura. It replaced the Ventura entirely in 1978. The differences between the Ventura and the Phoenix were minimal, such as the grille and its square headlights.
The Phoenix was available as a two-door coupe or a four-door sedan. In 1979 (the only year it was offered), the Phoenix was also available as a two-door hatchback.
The Phoenix was available in three trim levels consisting of the base, LJ and SJ. Available engines included a 110 horsepower V56 and a 140 horsepower V8 mated to a 3-speed either manual or automatic and a 4-speed floor mounted manual.
For 1980, the Phoenix received a front-drive layout and it was downsized. Bodystyles included a 2-door coupe or a 5-door hatchback. In 1983, it received a minor exterior re-freshening.
The sister cars for the 1980-84 Phoenix was the Chevrolet Citation, Buick Skylark and the Oldsmobile Omega.
In 1985, the Phoenix was replaced by the revived Grand Am.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2012