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Post Info TOPIC: '77-up "downsized" full-size Pontiacs (aka old man's car) - anybody into them?


A Poncho Legend!

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RE: '77-up "downsized" full-size Pontiacs (aka old man's car) - anybody into them?


I had a brand new light tan 1977 Pontiac Safari wagon   loaded    by 1979 it was ready for a body job    



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My Grand Father sold GM cars in Lethbridge Alberta for over 30 years. Selling at Enerson's, Pontiac/Buick was HIS brand till about 1973. He then moved to Beny's and Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles became the line he represented. As a little kid I remember him coming home with some real land yaughts as demonstrators. Lot's of chrome and architecture as we know back then.

He was there at Beny's till about 1981 when he retired. But I recall when the down sized 1977 GM line came out, it took the wind out of his sails a bit. Good thing he didn't stick around for the likes of what the 80's put out! I get the same feeling when I see the new, heavily plastic laden, electric or semi electric people movers with absolutely no style to them these days.

 

Yes, to some, those later 70's cars bring back nostalgia as at that time because it was an important part of their lives. And yes, the factories and designers had to please a people who were just starting to feel the need to save fuel and be more sensible in size. They were not so bad I guess.



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"Repulsive since 1959"

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I remember when they were about to be introduced. There were teasers sent in the mail about the new GM full-size cars, which were GMs bread and butter back in those days. The 1971-76 models were massive and thirsty, and no performance models were offered. For 1977 they whittled down the size & bulk, lightened them so that a 350 or less would give reasonable performance and economy. It was a new era of hope for better fuel economy, more rational size, and even decent handling via the well-engineered F41 suspension option. Usable trunk room & interior room was actually up in some cases, while the cars dropped 500 pounds (800 pounds on the wagons). Although they werent considered enthusiast cars, they were comfortable and roomy, easier to work on, rugged, could tow at least 6000 pounds when equipped with proper suspension & axle ratio. They were very popular & successful as taxis. There appeared some sporty-ish versions like the Buick LeSabre Sport Coupe (77-on, 78 with turbo V6, make mine a 77 with a 403 Olds), Oldmobile 88 Holiday Coupe (the return of buckets to a full-sized car in 78). The 1977 Oldsmobile 88 Coupe even paced the Indy 500 that year. Buckets & console became an option on the 1979 Pontiac Bonnevelle & Parisienne coupes. It was a new way of thinking while still holding onto the old marketing & models. I have to admit that the boxy styling was something I did not like when GM brought it out in mid 1975 on the Cadillac Seville, but by the time the 1977 big cars were introduced and they had extolled the virtues of the new and relatively efficient packaging, plus the new F41 suspension & optional gauge package I was sold.

I had ridden and driven in numerous Buick LeSabres with 350 & 403 power and found them to be comfortable & rugged. They were big, but not Moby Dick big. In the late 1980s my daily driver was a large 1977 Oldsmobile 98 Regency with a 403 & tall 2.41 rear axle. In 1989 I got rid of the thing because it had over 200,000 miles and the $50 fill ups got old ($200 today). They may have improved the mileage but still 10 mpg in town was not something I enjoyed. I was very interested in what a Barrie Chevy dealer had on the lot, a small fleet order of brand new 1989 9C1 Police caprice sedans. To me it would have been a car I could have been happy with for 10 years, but wifey said "no". I could not persuade GM to build me a Cavalier V6 5-speed wagon with factory gauges, and my insurance company did not want to hear that I had bought a 5.0 Mustang. I ended up with a new twin cam Corolla GT-S and I loved it for 355,000 kms until a 6-car accident when it was 14 years old.

I know where there is a nearby 1977 Pontiac Laurentian coupe, a rare Canada-only Pontiac with it's Bel Air seats & door panels. They guy claims it is a 305 4-barrel, but if it is factory then it is either a 305 2-barrel or a 350 4-barrel.



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Poncho Master!

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These are great cars!! I recently bought a 1981 Parisienne 2 dr. from the original owner.

Thanks
Randy


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Sherwood Park
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1981 Parisienne 400



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Delta Tango wrote:

My Grand Father sold GM cars in Lethbridge Alberta for over 30 years. Selling at Enerson's, Pontiac/Buick was HIS brand till about 1973.


 Wonder if he sold my '70 Estate?



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Vincent Jr.



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67Poncho wrote:
Delta Tango wrote:

My Grand Father sold GM cars in Lethbridge Alberta for over 30 years. Selling at Enerson's, Pontiac/Buick was HIS brand till about 1973.


 Wonder if he sold my '70 Estate?


 Could be?!?! If you still have the bill of sale.......if his name isn't on it, one of his co-sales people would. Most names from Enerson's I remember.....sortaconfuse.

 

I did come across one Firebird a few years back at a local show and shine that my Grand Father did sell new. To a lady in Coaldale Alberta in 1967. The latest owner gave me a copy of the original bill of sale with my Grand Father's name on it. There was also a few remarks on the bill of sale that would be typical of my Grand Father's sense of humor.



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"Repulsive since 1959"

2015 Camaro SS1
2014 GMC Sierra
1969 GTO
2005 Dodge Daytona Short Box Regular cab P/U
1979 Pontiac Grand Prix Enduro stock car



A Poncho Legend!

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'77-up "downsized" full-size Pontiacs


IMG_0185.JPG



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Newbie

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RE: '77-up "downsized" full-size Pontiacs (aka old man's car) - anybody into them?


I joined this forum when I bought my 70 Tempest, my first classic, still awaiting attention. Then I got a 70 Lemans Sport for a parts car, in storage. Last March I picked up this 82 Grand Prix and I am loving it. I just recently drove it to Carlisle for the GM Nationals and last summer took it the Pontiac Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. It is like a gateway car to really get me going on the older one. It is generally well received at car shows and cruise-ins likely because guys remember them from their youth when they were new.



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Welcome Newguy.

 

Here's the downsized 1977 Olds pace car, looks pretty darn good to me!  And James Garner drove it that year at Indy.

 



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1977 Can Am, W72 400

Calgary, Alberta



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One of my all time favourite cars to drive was this 1978 Buick Electra Park Avenue, owned by my father-in-law, who at that time was my girl-friend's father. He did keep it until well after we were married in 1981 and friends often called upon us to use it in their wedding party cars.

Park avenue 78.jpg

My father-in-law owned a large establishment on the Danforth and very often after closing time on Saturday (Sunday morning actually) he would swing by my home and pick me up and we would head to the cottage for the remainder of the weekend. More often than not he would sleep and I would drive. Traffic was always sparse on the 400 at 2:00 am. It was a pleasant and quick trip in his Grand Marquis but in the Electra it was taken to another level. On my first trip in the Electra I was cruising up the 400 when all of a sudden a buzzer went off and my father-in-law stirred....Slow down Boy, slow down. He had set the speed minder at 140 kph and he had caught me. This Buick was fully and overly loaded probably the nicest car I ever drove, keeping in mind I have owned a number of Cadillacs and do to this day. Nothing rides like a big Buick, even a downsized one.

 

 

 



-- Edited by 73SC on Tuesday 24th of June 2014 10:49:22 PM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

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In '86 when our son was born,grandma said the 78 Camaro Type LT we had was not practical as a family car. We found a 1981 Olds 98 Regency Brogham at an Estate Sale. As stated previously,pillowed seats,moonroof,air suspension,cruise,8-track,six seatbelts and Comfortron A/C what more could we ask? It served us well for five years and you could go camping for a few weeks from the huge trunk.

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Addicted!

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Thought I'd refresh the '77-96 B-Body forum since I just stumbled upon it. My daily driver is a '86 Caprice classic I bought 10 years ago for $350.00 US dollars. It had a overheated 305 in it which I quickly swapped for a fresh 9C1 1991 350 out of a cop car. 10 years and 186,000 milrs later still going strong which included numerous road trips and 20+MPG. Wish I could say that about my new BMW I've  owned, been getting so many recall notices on my 2009 BMW it feels like junk mail. The Caprice and the other full sizers I own are still cruising along biggrin701 002.JPG

ME 002.JPGcapriceprodiv.jpgcapriceprodiii.jpg



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RAJ REDDY


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I'm driving an '85 Parisienne I bought 10 yrs ago for $500.It's ALMOST paid for! Love the Factory shots.

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Here's my 78 Parisienne 4 door. It was my Dad's since new and was my first car. Now it's been restored and has a 454 chevy big block in it pushing 500HP. It runs the 1/4 mile in 12.3 seconds at 108 Mph. I always loved sleepers and with the sentimental attachment to the car it seemed the way to go. Considering it will be 37 years old this year it's funny how some still consider them "too new". I thoroughly enjoy driving a car that's simple, with no computers and electronics between me and the machine.

 



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I like them my first car was an 86 caprice. Retired at 427000 kms original engine. I had an 89 caprice I did 105000 in one year on it. No issues. I learned how to.drive on my parents 86 caprice classic.

Maybe not cool but good reliable cars.


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A Poncho Legend!

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Absolutely one of the best things GM ever did was that 77-96 B body platform. What a winner. Durable as all get-out, easy to fix, plentiful parts new or used, reasonably fuel efficient, lots of interior room, on and on and on. It's no accident that the police department and taxis gobbled them up. They know a good value when they see one.

My bias on them is certainly the last generation of them, Impala SS's, Roadmasters and Fleetwoods with the LT1. What a tremendous package those cars are...

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MrFreekyByg wrote:

Here's my 78 Parisienne 4 door. It was my Dad's since new and was my first car. Now it's been restored and has a 454 chevy big block in it pushing 500HP. It runs the 1/4 mile in 12.3 seconds at 108 Mph. I always loved sleepers and with the sentimental attachment to the car it seemed the way to go. Considering it will be 37 years old this year it's funny how some still consider them "too new". I thoroughly enjoy driving a car that's simple, with no computers and electronics between me and the machine.

 


 I have seen your car in numerous on line photos and you tube videos. I have to say that I love the way you packaged the 454 in there keeping the car appearing to be factory equipped. Very impressive build and car. 

 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

Tweet me @BigRaySays






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Carl Stevenson wrote:

Absolutely one of the best things GM ever did was that 77-96 B body platform. What a winner. Durable as all get-out, easy to fix, plentiful parts new or used, reasonably fuel efficient, lots of interior room, on and on and on. It's no accident that the police department and taxis gobbled them up. They know a good value when they see one.

My bias on them is certainly the last generation of them, Impala SS's, Roadmasters and Fleetwoods with the LT1. What a tremendous package those cars are...


 I agree with Carl, miss my old RWD body on frame V8.



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

Tweet me @BigRaySays






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My daughter's friends went many miles in our Fleetwood in basketball season. To this day, a number of them still comment on how they miss that car!

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image.jpg

image.jpgI'm with Carl love the SS last gen RWD



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