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Can't wait to see the second half. Interesting story about the guy who stole the pictures, and they ended up on Automobile Magazines cover! I much prefer how the actual production car ended up vs. the clay mockup. I never really warmed up to the low grill that ended up being used on the base model vs. the more pleasing placement (to me) used on the GTP. Was there any controversy in GM about which front end design should go to the GTP vs. base models?

Did that gray trim you mentioned end up going on the Olds W-body (or was it still called the GM-10 at the time)? I swear something in that era had gray.

Many of your sketches have that cab forward look that Chrysler ended up going with on their LH cars - you guys were way ahead of them!

Do you know any of the story of the engineering behind it as well? My '94 GTP (I loved the styling on that) did not like to handle at all where the suspension was a million times better on my '02. I'd love to know what went on to spur them to make the handling so much better or what let them release the '94 generation that handled so poorly.

I really like the back end on this, reminiscent of 70's coupes but thoroughly modern!

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can't wait to see the second half. Interesting story about the guy who stole the pictures, and they ended up on Automobile Magazines cover! I much prefer how the actual production car ended up vs. the clay mockup. I never really warmed up to the low grill that ended up being used on the base model vs. the more pleasing placement (to me) used on the GTP. Was there any controversy in GM about which front end design should go to the GTP vs. base models?

Did that gray trim you mentioned end up going on the Olds W-body (or was it still called the GM-10 at the time)? I swear something in that era had gray.

Many of your sketches have that cab forward look that Chrysler ended up going with on their LH cars - you guys were way ahead of them!

Do you know any of the story of the engineering behind it as well? My '94 GTP (I loved the styling on that) did not like to handle at all where the suspension was a million times better on my '02. I'd love to know what went on to spur them to make the handling so much better or what let them release the '94 generation that handled so poorly.

I really like the back end on this, reminiscent of 70's coupes but thoroughly modern!

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There really wasn't much controversy re: the front end design. It was my job to 'sell' the design and convince everyone it was the right solution. At the time the entry level car had a 'friendlier' face vs the GTP, so we went with that. The interesting thing was they never anticipated the GTP selling as well as it did. The more 'aggressive' looking GTP sold much better than anticipated.

We were going to share the grey molding idea with the Monte Carlo or the Cutlass. Chevy finally chose not to do it, so we dropped it as well. I proposed some Olds alternatives, but only got as far as the sketch phase.

We often wondered about the LH cars. The Automobile magazine came out in 1990. Could the Chrysler designers have been inspired by the GP photos? Who knows.

The Pontiac suspension team was really great. They worked to get the handling just right on those cars. For FWD, they were effective for that time period.

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Awesome. Thanks for sharing. I love these videos with Adam.

One of the best looking cars from GM period. Would love a 2002 GP 40th Anniversary GTP.
 
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Hey John, do you know any of the goals for the final generation of Grand Prix? What I'm getting at was they lost me with the style, I saw it and wasn't interested in buying one. I felt like they were trying to make it bigger and hide it with styling which ultimately didn't do anything for me as a potential customer.

How does it work with getting your styling exercises to an actual production shape? Is it that you sketch something they like and then they give you the dimensions and then have to fit your design on those dimensions? Or do you have some back and forth with the engineering and can fight for certain hard points to be changed so as not to alter the intended style to much?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey John, do you know any of the goals for the final generation of Grand Prix? What I'm getting at was they lost me with the style, I saw it and wasn't interested in buying one. I felt like they were trying to make it bigger and hide it with styling which ultimately didn't do anything for me as a potential customer.

How does it work with getting your styling exercises to an actual production shape? Is it that you sketch something they like and then they give you the dimensions and then have to fit your design on those dimensions? Or do you have some back and forth with the engineering and can fight for certain hard points to be changed so as not to alter the intended style to much?
Do you mean the '04 GP? That car didn't do as well as the '97. I think there were issues people had with the quality and FWD, and some didn't like the revised look. After that, Pontiac transitioned over to the Holden based cars from Australia. The G8 was a product of that marriage.

Engineering provides a 'package' and the design team sketches ideas over that architecture. Once a 'theme' is chosen from a multitude of idea sketches, a full size clay is developed over the established architecture. From there it's back and forth with engineering and mfg to develop something that can be produced at a profit. The entire process usually takes @ 3 yrs. Sometimes less, sometimes more.
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I helped one of my sons buy a new 2004 Pontiac Gran Prix GT2 - silver with the optional chrome wheels, Monsoon sound system with a multiple CD deck, and a sunroof.

He loved the car, and it drove and handled nicely (we live in the Midwest snow belt and FWD was a must then).

The quality was not good, with numerous problems fixed under various TSB’s by the dealer. The 3.8 V-6 engine was very reliable. The vehicle was demolished when the car was struck in the rear-end by an elderly man driving a pickup, while my son was driving it and stopped at a red light.
 

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How can that be one generation, when the GM full-size platform was all new across the board in 1965 (except for possibly the Riviera which I believe used the X frame through 1970)?
I put 1962 - 1968 as one generation because in 1969 it switched to the A special platform. I consider the B bodies the first generation.. Others may quibble with that, and that's fine.

<EDIT> Having checked other sources, I see that there is a distinction made between 1962 - 1964 and 1965 - 1968 as separate generations.. So be it.. I'll simply say I prefer the B body versions and leave it at that..
 
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