The Grand Prix was introduced in 1962 as Pontiac's answer to the four-seat Ford Thunderbird, which established itself as a family sports car. The Grand Prix was a full-size Catalina coupe with styling touches and a high-performance V-8 engine that made it something of a personal sports car for the family man. The Grand Prix replaced the Ventura in the Pontiac lineup, making front bucket seats, a center console and a tachometer standard equipment. Touches included a relatively clean side with rocker panel molding. Grand Prix offered just one model, the two-door hardtop, with all the features of the Bonneville line. The Grand Prix also offered buyers a choice of V-8 engines with horsepower ranging from a base of 230 to 348 with three two-barrel carburetors. Those with a zest for speed could order the car with a standard floor-mounted, four-speed transmission. And like all the other Pontiac hardtops that year, the roofline had pseudo-convertible ribbing in an effort to add to its sportiness.

Price $3,490

Engine 389-cubic-inch overhead-valve V-8

Horsepower 230 at 3,600 rpm

Wheelbase 120 inches

Overall length 211.6 inches

Passenger capacity 5

Year 1962

President John F. Kennedy

Median family income $5,956

Dow Jones industrial average (year-end) 652.10

Academy Award movie "Lawrence of Arabia"

Milestone Tab-opening aluminum cans introduced.