Photos: Classic Cars V.5 (1975 Pontiac Grand Prix)

It’s been a while since we posted some classic cars here on – so here we go with another one we spotted recently in Bridgewater, NJ.

From what we can tell – it’s a 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix.

It could also be either a 1973 or 1974, but we think because of the types of taillights, that it was a 1975 model.

And man, does it look great!

In fact – it looks better today (45 years later) than it did when it was new!

The original “new” model just seemed much more “rickety” before this guy souped it up! Gone are also the thin whitewall tires which were a big thing back in the 70’s.

About the 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix

Conventional wisdom has it that the Seventies were dismal years for American cars. So long confident in its ability to master the public’s tastes and needs, Detroit suddenly found itself whipsawed by strong competition from abroad and new layers of regulation at home. Trying to adapt the cars it had on hand to meet these challenges didn’t always result in the happiest outcomes.

Tremendous gains in performance, as measured in raw horsepower, were swept away with a rising tide of safety and exhaust emissions standards. With that avenue closed to them, automakers turned to luxury as a selling point. All kinds of cars were newly dolled-up in plush trappings. The trick worked especially well on mid-sized, two-door “personal” cars that sustained the Big Three through these difficult times.

That the 1973-1977 Pontiac Grand Prix would also turn out to be one of these successes seems to be no sure thing in retrospect. The car arrived under less than ideal circumstances. Through a series of delays triggered by the infamous General Motors strike in the fall of 1970, Pontiac was forced to delay its release. Instead of coming out for 1972, the all-new GP was held over to 1973. Though it did a very good job of continuing the Grand Prix tradition of personal luxury combined with sporty flair, it represented the beginning of GM’s homogenization of its mid-size car platforms. The bold individual statement the GP had previously made was beginning to be quieted.

The 1975 Grand Prix was essentially a carryover from 1974 in terms of styling changes. The few changes that were made were concentrated in the grille, which had fewer slats, and in the taillamps, which had a number of fine vertical ribs running through them. The genuine mahagony inserts on the dash were dropped, however. Wood-grained plastic trim took their place.

The Grand Prix was now divided into three trim levels. First was the standard J coupe, next up was the SJ, which became more tightly imaged as the “sporty” version, and the new luxury-based LJ featuring velour upholstery and a choice of two-tone paint schemes.

(About info from the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide “1973-1977 Pontiac Grand Prix” (7 November 2007) and (17 February 2020).)

Other Classic Cars in New Jersey

Below are some of the other classic cars we’ve documented here on this website.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.