As a kid that grew up in the 1980s and had a dad who restored a 1964 Pontiac GTO, I was (and still am) a fan of Pontiacs. They were GM’s excitement division and while I was likely too young to know it, I thought the cars were pretty cool, especially stuff like this 1992 Pontiac Grand Am GT. Sounds lame, right?
Historically it might be, but in the moment, in that 1992 time frame, these cars stood on their own two feet and Pontiac could barely build them fast enough. It was festinating to me that they were available with a stick and the fact that it ran the quarter in right around 16 seconds and the Firebird barely went a second quicker kind of reinforced the idea that they were a performance car.
You may be interested to see who this review goes and what MotorWeek had to say about this Grand Am GT when it was the newest ticket out of Pontiac factories. Base level models got the weak suck little engine and a slushy automatic, but the GT with the hotted up, vibrating, angry little Quad 4 and the five speed stick were neat in their own weird way.
Performance was no longer something that had to be remembered from Detroit in 1992. It was back and growing stronger every year. The fourth generation Firebird and Camaro were soon to arrive and with them the LT1 V8 would really make some thunder and once that happened, 14 year old me forgot about these cars and really went all in on the rumblers that Pontiac sold.
It is fun to look back and see cars like this in their proper context. It was no loser.