Pontiac Grand Prix
The Pontiac Ventura was an automobile produced by the Pontiac Motor Division of General Motors. The word "ventura" is a derivitave of the word "bonaventure" which is Italian for "good fortune". It also shares its name with the locations of Ventura, California and Ventura, Iowa...
model left off, the Grand Prix first appeared in the Pontiac
Pontiac was an automobile brand that was established in 1926 as a companion make for General Motors' Oakland. Quickly overtaking its parent in popularity, it supplanted the Oakland brand entirely by 1933 and, for most of its life, became a companion make for Chevrolet. Pontiac was sold in the...
line for 1962. It was essentially a standard Pontiac Catalina
The Pontiac Catalina was part of Pontiac's full-sized automobile line. Initially, the name was used strictly to denote hardtop body styles, first appearing in the 1950 Chieftain Eight and DeLuxe Eight lines...
coupe with minimal outside chrome trim and a sportier interior (bucket seats and a center console). The performance-minded John De Lorean
John De Lorean
John Zachary DeLorean was an American engineer and executive in the U.S. automobile industry, most notably with General Motors, and founder of the DeLorean Motor Company....
, head of Advanced Engineering at Pontiac, contributed greatly to the development of both the Grand Prix and the GTO
The Pontiac GTO is an automobile built by Pontiac Division of General Motors in the United States from 1964 to 1974, and by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia from 2004 to 2006. It is considered an innovative, and now classic muscle car of the 1960s and 1970s...
. Early models had full access to the Pontiac performance option list, including the factory-race Super Duty 421 powertrain installed in a handful of 1962 and 1963 cars.
The full-size Catalina-based Grand Prix did very well through the 1960s, and is often credited with the move towards minimal exterior trim seen in the 1960s.