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RE: '82 Pontiac Grand Prix: should I continue restoring or sell it...?

Have always wanted a G-Body GP for a long time. In the process of restoring it and then started having issues when using the wipers, a faint puff of smoke came out at the turn signal lever. Parked the car, unhooked battery and then when I had the chance, my mechanic checked it out and couldn’t find anything wrong. Drove it again and started smelling something like burning wire. Parked the car again. Wanted to have someone else look at it, but started having health issues. The GP has sat for a few years, but starts right up when needs to be moved. Have kept the battery unhooked, in case of wiring issues with the wipers that could cause HUGE problems. Wondering if the wiper switch should be replaced. The back-up lights don’t work either. The switches at the bottom of the steering column have a light coating of surface rust. Windshield looks like it may have leaked at one time, as there’s white sealer around the moldings. Don’t know if this has anything to do with the rust on the switches and possibly the wiper issue.

Would really like to start driving the car again, but am wondering how much it would cost for the above problem. It’s got a lot of things that need fixed (i.e. infamous GM G-Body A/C module to firewall water leak which has rusted the right passenger floor board and other body stuff along with various mechanical things that come with old age…). With it sitting for a few years, that certainly has not helped it. Having health issues, of course, slowly put getting it restored on hold. The car isn’t is real bad shape, but it isn’t in perfect shape either. Am torn as to whether to continue restoring the car, or sell it, especially since it sits outside. I wish I could have afforded a GP that was in very good to mint condition. You don’t see them much anymore and when I saw this one, I bought it for $550. I did look it over before buying it. Of course, I didn’t know about the firewall leak until after the fact… It needs a new paint job. At least it’s not smashed up etc. All it needs is some TLC…

Would probably been money ahead if I had saved up and found a GP in VG to mint condition to begin with. But what is the chance of that? Right now, am unable to save much toward another GP, which would take YEARS to do. Really don’t want to sell the car. I enjoy driving it. As in life, may not get another chance to own a Grand Prix. That’s why I’m torn on whether to keep it, restore it or have to sell it. Thanks.


Do you know anyone else who wants an '82 Gran Prix that needs a lot of work including new paint? It is not really a collector item. You may end up keeping it, not by choice, but by the difficulty of finding a buyer.

Start by placing an ad in Hemmings Motor News, at See if you get any interest. Any at all. Then you can decide. Quite likely you will have the opportunity to enjoy driving this car for a long time.

Put it up for sale. Its a money pit. Sorry. You will put more money in that car than you can buy one for that in real good shape. Paint and body work alone will cost you over $3000.00 The windshield will have to replaced to fix the leak. See were I am going? The more you get into this the more its going to cost. Sell it or drive it as is. Oh and Hemmings is not a place to sell a car like this. Try craigslist.

Sell it and move on. Then explain why an '82 Grand Prix is your car of choice.

You’re going to sink incredible amounts of money into a car that’s worth next to nothing. To you it’s worth something, but try to find a buyer for it after you’ve “restored” it.

Good luck.

At some point you have to accept reality.

If this car means something special to you, for whatever reason, go ahead and spend your money. Everybody needs something.

It’s always less expensive to buy a car that’s already been restored than to restore one yourself. You’re about to learn this lesson.

Sell this heap, and go find yourself a nicely preserved '82 Grand Prix. You’ll be much better off in the long run.

I don’t disagree with the others, but if this is the car that you dream of, go ahead. My Dad had one of those and really didn’t think it was anything special and parts were pretty cheap. I bought a fender for it for $20. I think though that to fix the windshield leak, the windshield will have to come out and most likely there is rust in the rail by the roof that needs to be fixed before a new windshield is put on. If you can’t do it yourself though, you’ll have to pay someone. Then you can address replacing the multifunction switch that is likely the cause of the smoke for maybe $200 unless you do it yourself. Then you can weld the floor back up or pay someone to do it. That fixes the immediate issues. Then you can start making sure the interior is up to par, and start sanding for painting. Bottom line if you can do the work yourself, you can minimize the expense but can get pretty expensive if you have to hire it all.

I don’t think you should spend money restoring the car. It isn’t going to return on the money you invest in it as the car really isn’t a classic and isn’t going to become one as it ages.

If you spend money on it, then it is because you are emotionally attached to the car and want to keep driving it and that’s fine. If you have the time and money for parts and materials, go ahead. Your reward will be the enjoyment you get out of driving a nice old car.

From a purely financial perspective this isn’t a good idea.