1962 Pontiac Grand Prix

The new-for-1959 Wide-Track models became the basis for Pontiac's sales success that would carry them into third place in American sales rankings by 1962. The styling was wider, lower, longer and more aggressive than the competition. Along with successes at the dealership, the cars achieved great success on NASCAR ovals, dragstrips, and the street.

Ford's four-seat Thunderbird offered performance and personal luxury. Pontiac lacked a model that offered this combination, and after several design studies, the Pontiac Grand Prix was readied for production. It was introduced in 1962 and would remain in the lineup through 2008, including seven generations of bodystyle changes. When introduced, it was the performance-oriented replacement for the car that previously held that distinction, the Ventura, which became a luxury trim level on the full-size Catalina. John DeLorean, head of Advanced Engineering at Pontiac, was instrumental in the development of the Grand Prix and the GTO. The Grand Prix joined the Oldsmobile Starfire and Buick Wildcat in General Motors' upscale challenge to Ford Motor Company's highly successful Thunderbird.

The Grand Prix was a Catalina hardtop coupe with standard equipment similar to the top-of-the-line Bonnevile. They had a unique grille and taillight arrangement, checkered flag badge in the concave section of side spears, and special rear end styling. The interior featured bucket seats, solid color Morrokide upholstery, and center console with tachometer and shifter. There was a deluxe steering wheel and padded instrument panel. In the back was a bench seat that had a center fold-down armrest and a speaker grille that could be made functional with the optional Bi-Phonic rear speaker.

Power was provided by the Bonneville's 303 horsepower 389 cubic-inch V8 with four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust. With the three two-barrel carburetor (Tri-Power), horsepower rose to 318 hp. Two other high-performance 389s were offered, including a four-barrel version rated at 333 hp and a 348 hp Tri-Power. During the year, a race-oriented 421 engine with four-barrel configuration became available, offering 320 horsepower. The 421 Super Duty with two four-barrel carburetors delivered 405 horsepower and was a $2,250 option. Pontiac built just 16 examples of the 421 Super Duty Grand Prix at the factory for racing in addition to the 162 Catalinas built with 421 SD power. Both versions of the 421 SD cars were largely hand-built in the production-line aisles at the Pontiac factory.

The standard transmission was a three-speed manual. An optional Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed with Hurst shifter and three-speed Roto Hydra-matic were available.

The Grand Prix was a success and went on to become an important and long-running part of Pontiac's model line. During its introductory year, 30,195 examples were sold.


by Daniel Vaughan | May 2019

Related Reading : Pontiac Grand Prix History

One of the signature most popular personal vehicles of the 1960s, the Pontiac Grand Prix was also the first in a long line of posh Pontiacs this still continue today. During the 60s, luxury stood for performance, and the Grand Prix had tons of it. Released in 1962, the Pontiac Grand Prix has become a legendary vehicle that set the styling trend for the entire industry, and has continued to be popularly....
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1962 Vehicle Profiles

1962 Pontiac Grand Prix vehicle information

Hardtop

This Pontiac Grand Prix was sold new in North Carolina and has spent time there and in Virginia.....[continue reading]

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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$390-$3,490
1962 Grand Prix
$3,490-$16,700
1962 Pontiac Grand Prix Base Price : $3,490

$2,726 - $3,300

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Pontiac
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)782,734
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)831,331
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)802,000
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)715,261
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)590,071
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)521,933
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)340,635
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)396,716
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)383,320
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)217,303
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)334,041

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