1989 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix: The Garish '80s American Coupe With a McLaren Engine
It's a funky sleeper by ASC/McLaren.
Looking for a McLaren that won't break the bank and is disguised as a flamboyantly cladded child of the 1980s? Look no further than this bright red 1989 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix that's on the block with no reserve on BringaTrailer.com. Sure, it looks like an uncommonly clean version of a Grand Prix SE that you can probably find loitering in any scrap yard for less than $100 bucks, but this sleeper has a secret McLaren link—1980s engine tuner McLaren (which is sort of that McLaren, but not really, but also yes really—long story).
Under its hood, the Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix ASC/McLaren packs a McLaren-massaged turbocharged 3.1-liter V-6 that's good for about 205 horsepower (up from 130 hp for a SE) and 220 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that sends all that crazy power to its front-wheels. Woo-hoo. ASC (American Sunroof Company) contributed the muscular flared bodywork and functional hood louvers, and fitted suspension mods and the enhanced powertrain for Pontiac. A stainless steel dual exhaust pokes out of the tail, while Turbo Grand Prix badging seems oh-so-period, as do the gold-painted 16-inch cross-lace rims shod with chunky 245/50 Goodyear Eagle ZR50 rubber.
It wasn't all about performance, though. Inside, the pampering Pontiac's cabin looks like a living room ripped out a Seaman's Furniture catalog with tan leather Barcalounger seats as far as the eye can see. They are 10-way power-adjustable too and look super comfy for big tokuses. If you like buttons there are at least 186 of them including a bunch of big ones on the steering wheel and lots of factory flair including a Delco cassette deck with a graphic equalizer to crank up your vintage Poison collection.
Despite being over three decades old, the Pontiac pictured has only 5,500 miles or so on the clock, according to its current seller who only added about 300 miles to the total. (The owner also spent $5,000 or so to fix those pesky ABS brakes.) The headliner is not original and has been recently replaced and the darn low fuel light is broken (hate that) according to the Arizona-based seller. Some of the badging is oxidized. But, oh boy, does this rare, two-year-only Pontiac model (of which fewer than 3,500 are said to have been built between 1989 and 1990) look sweet.
It comes with three sets of keys (remember those?), original owner's manuals, window sticker, and a Carfax report that reveals a mileage discrepancy in Canada that was noted by a prior seller. Check out the Grand Prix at BAT for more photos and info if you want to relieve the late Eighties all over again.
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