The Pontiac that brought the personal luxury concept closer to the masses. Others followed.
Our Cars: Greg Ingold’s 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix
Greg Ingold’s love for automobiles follows a familiar storyline. He grew up around cars and swapped the engine in his first vehicle – a 1989 Chevrolet half-ton pickup – while in high school. “I remember carrying tools for my dad as a 10 year old while we were at the local salvage yard grabbing parts to restore the interior of a 1973 (Oldsmobile) Cutlass Supreme,” he said. The car later became his. During his teenage years, Greg also drove a 1982 Oldsmobile 98 Regency that was “pristine” – quite a feat considering Michigan’s notoriously brutal winters. Later car projects with his father included a 1970 Chevy Suburban and 1966 Chevy Caprice. He and his dad scored his 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix last summer.
Name: Greg Ingold
Position at Hagerty: Valuation Data Support Specialist
Years at Hagerty: 4
Vehicle: 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix
Why did you choose a 1969 Grand Prix? The Grand Prix is such a unique looking car and you never see them. They’re essentially a GTO underneath, but you’d never expect that sort of punch under the hood of such a formal looking car. It is somewhat of a “sleeper” muscle car, and the only thing that gives the car away is the nasty sounding idle.
My dad and I found it a couple hours away, and the two of us got to work replacing worn parts and fine tuning it as soon as we brought it home. My family is big on the collector car hobby and making sure everyone can be involved, so everyone gets to drive the cars no matter who owns them.
Repairs and Modifications: The only non-stock parts are Hooker Aero Chamber mufflers for a more aggressive note. We plan to freshen up the 350-hp, 400-ci V-8 and more cosmetics down the road. That’s it.
Hobby activities: I’ve attended a few local shows and cruise-ins. The Grand Prix is just a blast to drive.
Interesting Car Stories: My wife, Angela, and I used the Pontiac in our wedding last November (before the snow arrived, of course). We enjoyed cruising around town and having our pictures taken with the car. After a long day, we drove to the reception. About a half-mile away we ran out of gas. Luckily the groomsmen got us to the hall and bought gas so that the Pontiac could attend the reception.
Favorite Drive: The Old Mission Peninsula (on Lake Michigan in Traverse City, Mich.) is a gorgeous drive no matter the time of year. It offers a variety of scenic routes and road types to try out.
Best and Worst Moments: The best moments with the Grand Prix are the interactions you have with people. It’s a car that draws people to it. It can be parked next to a prettier, more collectible car and people are still drawn to it. Makes for some really cool conversations and stories.
The worst moment was days before the wedding; the passenger door would not open. The panels are original and we found out that an inner fender support was corroded and needed strengthening. Our family friend Steve, who has years of body work experience, fixed the fender, repaired some paint and detailed it finishing it the evening before our ceremony.