As car enthusiasts, we are pretty fortunate to be living in Calgary. Our city is home to many ultra high-end vehicles from manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bentley. A large number of classics reside here and regularly make the trek to shows, such as Mustangs, Chargers, Camaros, and more. We also get to take advantage of the favourable import laws so it’s not uncommon to run across R34 Skylines, S15 Silvias, and many other iconic RHD vehicles on the roads either.
With the huge range of vehicles calling Calgary home, it’s not too often that I am left speechless by an encounter. I have been able to witness pretty much everything from a LaFerrari to an original Shelby GT500, but what I found at a recent Pontiac show caught me completely off-guard.
First though, a little context may be helpful for newer readers who aren’t aware that the Focus isn’t my only car. I also have this, a 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix SE. In terms of spec it’s nothing crazy, just an automatic sedan with Bright White paint and the Garnet Red cloth interior. It’s very rarely seen at events because I realize most don’t ‘get’ it, and truthfully I mainly keep it for sentimental reasons while the Focus is the car that has been built to be taken to shows.
To move on to the point of today’s post though, because I have this car and spent time learning more about the platform when I first got it, that’s how I came to know about the existence of a particular Grand Prix model, one which I never really expected to see in person…
The Turbo Grand Prix! Notice the capital T on Turbo – that’s the actual name for this model. It would be like calling the Focus ST the Turbo Focus instead.
There are a few reasons why I never thought I’d see one in person. For starters the Turbo Grand Prix (TGP for short) was only produced for two model years (’89 and ’90) and in very low numbers. To be truthful they weren’t the most reliable Grand Prixs ever, so combined with the amount of time that has passed since they were produced and the difficulty in finding parts, many have been scrapped over the years.
On top of all of this however, TGPs were never sold new in Canada so any that reside here now were likely sourced and brought up by enthusiasts over the years. It’s also a somewhat unknown car so not as many people would know about its significance in the first place.
As soon as I found out that this car was at the show I made a beeline for it. As shocked as I was to see it in the first place though, my attention was quickly diverted to just how clean it was so I looked at it a little closer…this was a 1989 model and since new, had covered just over 5000 MILES!
As a result every area of the car – the exterior, interior, and especially under the hood – looked new. It was basically showroom quality.
Even all of the parts that like to wear out first on these cars – namely the tail lights – were in perfect condition. Over the years I have actually collected numerous sets of spare tail lights for my GP, just for when (not if) I need to replace them.
The owner even had the original window sticker on display to make it that much better. This car cost $25,445 in 1989, whereas my sedan cost roughly $20,000 a few years later. Also worth noting is that GM was fitting these cars with what was some fairly cool tech for the era, such as a heads-up display, remote entry, and ABS…none of which mine has. Haha
Of course I didn’t pass up the opportunity to film a quick video of the car either, so please hit play above if you care to see a bit more of it. It was a truly special opportunity to not only see one in person, but one which was so incredibly clean.
Hopefully today’s post was interesting for you all even though it was a slight change of pace from the regular content; my Focus is the much better known of my cars but before I bought it, it was my Grand Prix which I would take out to shows and meets around the city. It isn’t shown much on the blog but I still have it, still adore it, and I always enjoy seeing other Grand Prixs of the various generations at events. This one though, I don’t think can be beat.