This one-of-a-kind Pontiac prototype is for sale—at a Kia dealership
A Connecticut Kia dealer is currently offering a rare Pontiac XP-833 prototype for
$753,950 $750,000. (At least they’ve already knocked $3950 off the price!) Ask real nice and maybe they’ll throw in TruCoat for free.
We’ve covered the history of these gorgeous prototypes before. You may remember the story published in the Hagerty Drivers Club magazine. John DeLorean envisioned Pontiac’s competitor to the Mustang as a lightweight, two-seat coupe and convertible built from fiberglass. Scores of sketches and designs let to the XP-833’s final form.
Pontiac constructed four non-driving full-scale models in 1964. DeLorean truly wanted to sell GM’s bigwigs on the car’s potential, so two additional prototypes were built for road testing and tuning.
This XP-833 has unique looks, thanks to its removable hardtop. Its counterpart got a soft top and a 326-cubic-inch V-8, while this example used the Pontiac-exclusive overhead-cam inline-six. Despite its sporty looks, the XP-833 didn’t get the power-packed Sprint version of the engine, with its higher-flowing exhaust and four-barrel intake good for 215 hp, settling instead for the 165-hp version with its one-barrel carb.
The styling similarities between the XP-833 and 1968 Corvette are hard to miss. The front fenders and roof especially seem to have carried on to the C3 Corvettes. The rear of the car, with its tapered tail, evokes the second-generation Firebird while the slotted taillights came to fruition in the 1966 GTO. The oval headlight buckets, which would presumably roll over to reveal the lamps underneath, foreshadowed the Opel GT. In truth, there were never any actual headlights on the prototypes.
As is often the case with overachieving models, execs didn’t want it to outshine GM’s crown jewel, the Corvette. Although DeLorean’s insisted that it was a Mustang competitor, GM brass saw the attractive, sport Pontiac as a threat to Corvette’s place on top of the company’s performance hierarchy. Pontiac would threaten it again with the second-generation Fiero that was also cancelled, as well as the Turbo Trans Am.
This car sold for $214,500 in 2006 at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction and was offered for sale in 2010 and 2015. It was a no-sale both times at $400,000 and $390,000, respectively. The current asking price of $750,000 seems, therefore, optimistic. Then again, it does make the K900 seem like a bargain.