In the final entry of my cars growing up, we end with my best (read: fun) driver, a 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix. After the disaster of the AMC Pacer, it was nice to get ahold of a big barge again. Where the Pacer was a nice idea without the execution, the Grand Prix was a pedigree of excellence that was evident in every aspect.
Pontiac had ridden the style and performance of the Grand Prix/Bonneville/Catalina stable since a major remake in 1965. The style had remained virtually the same since that time with minor adjustments along the way.
Plush, luxury-oriented, my new gorgeous car even had a T-Top. Plush interior, bucket seats, push-button trunk, electric windows, this was a sporty, large luxury car. And was a car that was a pure joy to just hop in on a day off and cruise. Not since my first VW and the Fury after that have I simply driven a car with enjoyment instead of as a means to get from here to there.
The picture above was taken by someone to show a dashing kid leaning on my Prix. It was probably taken by the Wombie for some unknown reason or perhaps I used a timer shot. I was never "cool" but looking at me behind the wheel with the tops off one might think I was. And why not? It was a cool car. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume the driver was too.
I did find another picture of my Prix, here in an unposed head-scratcher where someone else is driving? Doesn't look I'm heading to the grocery store in this picture and words and memory fail me. But then we aren't concerned with the what was happening as much as the wheels. I loved this car, and perhaps I was marrying it on this day. For those who may be wondering where this was taken, it is at the Seaton Presbyterian church and that is the water tower in the background. And, as luck would have it, a much newer Pontiac Grand Prix or Bonneville is in the background, with the updated square headlights and a less stylish updating.
It was a bridge car: it spanned my last bachelor days to the next stage of life of marriage and kids. It spanned carefree to responsible. It spanned fun to practical. It spanned kid to man.