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Pontiac Grand Prix convertible, 1967

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Pontiac Grand Prix convertible, 1967
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Hugh Talman, Negative #: 2003-15514

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Smithsonian Automobile Collection — Car collection, 1950-1969

On the Interstate:  I-10, 1956–1990
On the Interstate: I-10, 1956–1990 — See the U.S.A.

RELATED OBJECTS
Pontiac Grand Prix in Saguaro National Monument Park, Arizona


Pontiac Grand Prix at Daytona Beach, Florida


Pontiac Grand Prix convertible
Catalog #: 1999.0328.01, Accession #: 1999.0328
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection

As high-speed, limited-access highways were built across the nation in the 1960s, exploring America in a "king of the road" like this 1967 Pontiac Grand Prix convertible became the ultimate driving experience. In 1967 Guenther and Siewchin Yong Sommer set out to see America and visit as many natural and historic sites as possible. During the next 32 years they drove this car 150,000 miles, visiting 251 national parks, monuments, memorials, forests, historic sites, historic parks, seashores, recreation areas, historic trails, and scenic areas. They stayed on the road as long as a month at a time, sometimes sleeping in the car. The Sommers drove to all 49 continental states, including a trip to Alaska on the old Alaska Highway. Mrs. Sommer donated this all-original Pontiac to the Smithsonian in 1999.

Physical Description

Dimensions: 18' 1" L x '9"W x 4'9"H. Materials: steel, glass; vinyl, plastic, nylon. Weight: 4,040 lbs. Engine: 428 cubic-inch. V8 Transmission: automatic. Exterior color: burgundy painted body; white convertible top; white wall tires. Burgundy red upholstery; burgundy red carpets, imitation wood trim on center console glove compartment.

Details
Date Made:
1967
Dates Used:
1967 - 1999
Locations:
New York
Credit:
Gift of Siewchin Yong Sommer
History

More horsepower, style, comfort, and the pleasures of driving-these were the qualities that appealed to owners of "performance cars" in the 1960s. Americans were devoting more time to leisure activities on and off the road, and fast, sporty luxury cars became popular among drivers of all ages. Pontiac's performance models helped define this market. The Grand Prix typified this era with its sleek shape, rakish fenders, and optional 428 cubic-inch V-8 engine, as well as the race-car heritage of its name.

Pontiac only manufactured the Grand Prix convertible in 1967. This car is one of the 5,856 it produced.

Related People, Places, and Events
Manufacturer
Pontiac Motor Division, General Motors Corporation

Place of Use
Long Island, New York


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