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Eighties Excitement: Pontiac’s 1986 full-line brochure, 30 years later

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Images are from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News

Devoted fans of GM’s Pontiac Motor Division still mourn the 2010 death of the 83-year-old brand, an unfortunate result of the company’s 2009 bankruptcy. Many felt Pontiac’s last offerings, which included the G8 and Solstice, had great potential as unique sporting vehicles. With this in mind, it’s interesting to look back 30 years to 1986, when Pontiac had a very full lineup that was in a state of flux. There were some old-fashioned, late-1970s-style carry-over vehicles like the Parisienne, Bonneville (here, amusingly called “a very contemporary car”), Grand Prix and 1000, sharing showroom space with more recently introduced and still-relevant models like the Fiero, Firebird/Trans Am, 6000, Sunbird (née J2000) and Grand Am.

While it was key to Pontiac’s performance-minded image, the Firebird and upscale Trans Am were largely carried over. The uniquely cool Fiero would gain a fastback GT model later in the year; that variant wasn’t mentioned in this brochure. The new-for-1985 Grand Am returned with a sporty, monochromatic look on the new SE . The 6000 STE was still lauded as GM’s best sport sedan, and the Sunbird -whose available convertible body style dated back to 1984- gained GT trim with semi-hidden headlamps.


Interestingly, the one-year-only homologation special Grand Prix 2+2 was also not included in this full-line brochure.

1986 would be the last full model year for the largest sedan in Pontiac’s lineup, with the Parisienne going away in 1987 (the Parisienne-based Safari station wagon would return). The Bonneville would be completely redesigned on an aero-styled front-wheel drive platform for 1987, with the Grand Prix following suit for 1988. Pontiac was on the move, and the division’s booming sales popularity proved it.

Have you owned or driven any of these models?

For more details, click on the brochure page thumbnails below to enlarge.