1981 Pontiac Grand Prix Review from North America

1981 Pontiac Grand Prix LJ 4.4L

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.4L Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired30000 kilometres
Most recent distance225000 kilometres

Summary:

I miss it

Faults:

Carb need re-build.

Fan blower died.

Went through 2 Heater cores.

Fly wheel broke.

Ball joints and lots of other wear and tear stuff.

The driver side mirror and it housing popped off one day and that really sucked cause it was really ugly after that. The driver door started to sag and somehow a crack developed in it and slowly got bigger which made the window pop out of the housing when at highway speeds. In the winter the driver door would freeze and the lock would not engage so the door wouldn't close. Oh the memories of slamming that door...

I know lots of other things went on it, but I can't remember. All this stuff was after I started driving it.

General Comments:

My dad bought this car in the late 80's when I was just a little kid. I loved this car even before I started driving it and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. When I started driving it after my dad died, it was at 197500km. This car is roomy, the interior was in perfect condition even after all this time. The big clock in the dash tricked everyone, they always thought it was a rpm gauge. The a/c didn't work and needed a new compressor, but I ended up ripping it out at the advise of my dumb shop teacher.

Not too long after I started driving it, it started leaving me stranded which really hurt emotionally. I put in a cam kit, rebuilt the carb, and other things like performance plugs, wires, etc. It accelerated pretty good, but it sucked the gas.

A comment I got often was that noone ever heard of a 4.4L 267ci engine. Parts guys gave me a funny look sometimes, but that's what it was and it was a very reliable engine. Lots of little things went on it, but that was almost all from wear and tear over the years.

The cruise control actually worked sometimes and considering how crude it was (this was an 81 after all..) it worked really well after 20 years.

Even though the speedometer only went to 140km/h I got it to 150km/h sometimes. After the cam kit, the acceleration was way better.

The seats were super comfortable and the interior still looked new. The exterior was another thing though. It started rusting hardcore once I started driving it.

Another important point that I have to bring up is that the transmission preformed flawlessly for it's entire life, as far as I know. It never gave me any problems and shifted perfectly.

Just want to say I really loved this car and it broke my heart that it started to run bad and was rusting badly. I got rid of it after I bought my 1994 FireBird, my mother demanded it. I would have kept it.

If gas wasn't so expensive now and I had some money I would buy it back and restore it. I practically 'gave it' to a junk yard for $75.00.

I loved that car : (

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2005

3rd Oct 2005, 22:27

**UPDATE**

Went to the wrecker that I sold it to just to check it out and found out that he got rid of it by sending it to get scrapped!!! Oh, am I hurt :* (

I wished to buy it back someday and fix it up, but oh well...

13th Nov 2010, 17:17

I have an 81 that turns 30 very soon! I have a nephew that came over today & wants to buy it. I am torn to say the least, but it has been sitting for so long that I would rather see it used.

I have to say I second the tranny comment. Mine went through 3 motors & still has the same tranny. I do have to hip shot the door closed & almost always did. The heater fan quit working "well" sometime ago. It gets warm, but blows for crap.

All in all, it was an awesome car & my nephew will enjoy it. It still looks great for its age, & is not a rust bucket (it has some).

I will miss it, & probably regret it!!!

Average review marks: 8.5 / 10, based on 1 review