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1972 Grand Prix Model J
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My 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix Model J

My 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix Model J

Here are photos from July, 2006. Click here.

This is the car that I came home from the hospital a newborn baby in.  My first ride in it, I weighed a little over 5 lbs.  Now, ummm....

It was a daily driver for 18 years.  Growing up in this car was something else.  "I didn't know what I had" until I was about age thirteen.  I had always like Trans Am's (Smokey and the Bandit and Knight Rider). When I realized there were books out there other than those my teachers made me read, I began snatching up every Pontiac book I could find!  This was around 1986-1989, and due the MuscleCar boom of the mid to late 80s, most book stores had tons of automotive books covering musclecars.

After finding several books, what did I see?  Several pages devoted to '69 - '72 GPs!  I then knew this aging car that took me to school everyday was a classic.  The radiator was leaking, and the carb was a chronic problem.  Sometimes it didn't act like a classic.  In the fall of 1990, she was put into retirement when we bought my grandmother's car.  About a year later, I decided she'd look better with no vinyl top than one that is peeling off.  The paint still looked fine with the exception of the typical rust spots - around the rear window and wheel wells.

After sitting up for nearly four years, she went back into duty serving as my daily driver the last three semesters of college.  In the summer of 1996 after I graduated, I got a '93 Grand Cherokee with very low miles.  The GP happily went back into retirement.

Bone stock, with 105,000 miles on it, the GP ran a 15.87 at 87 mph back in the spring of '94.  That was also with a full 26-gallon tank of gas. It has the YS 400 4bbl and a THM-400. Net power is 250 hp at 4400 rpm, and torque is 325 ft-lbs at 3200 rpm.  Just prior to finishing college, I added a set of Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers and a HEI distributor.

With only those two mods and 1/3 tank of gas, the GP ran a best ET of 15.74 at 88.18 mph and had a high trap speed of 89.4 (15.89 ET).  That was not bad considering those runs were made on a relatively hot night, 90-95 degrees with high-humidity.  Back then, I wondered about my launch.  Even with 3.08 or 3.23 gears, it is hard to launch. 60' times were usually in the 2.5-2.6 second range with ample wheelspin (open rear - that right rear loves getting loose).

I ran it one other time around 1996 and I pulled a 15.4 at 90.x.  I do recall the weather was somewhere in the 80s.  The timeslip is somewhere around here.  I'd like to see that 60 foot time...

In October, 2001 I took her to the track for the last ET Bracket night of the season.  I was joined by several members of my local Camaro and Firebird club (WTFBA).  Big Girl (as I now call her) stood out in the crowd of the sleek F-bodies.  Her lines are still the sexiest, though. She's full framed and big-boned is all! That night the temps fell with the sunset, and the air and track were perfect.  My first run was against some super-loud Nova.  My tach is dead, but I could tell the right rear was spinning.  The Nova was so loud, I couldn't hear the 400 rev, so I let off for a split second.  The timeslip showed a 15.75 with a 2.67 60 ft time.  My speed was the same old 89-90 mph.  The next several runs, I made sure I lined up with a quiet car!

A few runs later, I pulled a 15.25, my best ever!  That was with a 2.287 60 ft time.  Out of over a 20-car field in the Trophy class, I made it to the final round!  I knew the launch was perfect, and I stayed on the throttle and didn't care if I broke out.  Well???  I did break out on my way to pulling a best ever 15.129 at 90.28.  The 60 ft was a 2.216!  I didn't think that was possible with the open rearend, heavy weight, and highway gears!  This was with a full tank of gas, at least 100 pounds I didn't need to haul down the track.  I know with a fresh set of plugs, a fresh carb, cold air ducting, and 1/3 tank of gas, mid 14s are possible.

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