1971 Pontiac Grand Ville
The early ’70s were good times for the Pontiac Motor Division. During the ’60s, the company re-imagined itself and proved to be a leader in several segments with a high annual production. So, in the 1971, Pontiac management decided to enter the luxury car segment by introducing a new, top of the line model they called the Grand Ville. Until then, the Bonneville was their premium model.
With several body styles available, a nice lineup of engines and lots of optional extras, the Bonneville sold reasonably well and was a wise choice in the luxury field. However, Pontiac wanted something that would be closer to the Cadillac or Oldsmobile than to the Chevrolet Caprice. So they presented the Grand Ville using a Bonneville platform. But, they added a few trim details that differentiated two models.
The Bonneville stayed in production, but they downgraded it below the Grand Ville. Pontiac decided to offer the 400 V8 engine as standard and the 455 as optional, with a high level of equipment. But for those who wanted something extra, Pontiac offered a leather interior, climate control and a heavy-duty suspension. They also offered an AM/FM radio, and even adjustable brake and accelerator pedals.
The Grand Ville came as a two and four-door hardtop and luxury convertible. However, the market didn’t respond well, so the sales figures were low. At the same time, the energy crisis hit America, so those big gas guzzlers fell out of favor with most customers. They discontinued the Grand Ville in 1975. So, the Bonneville returned to the top spot in the Pontiac model lineup.