ERTL The original Grand Am was introduced in the fall of 1972 as a 1973 model. It was
based on the GM A platform (A-body) along with other cars such as the Pontiac
LeMans, Pontiac GTO, Chevrolet Chevelle, Buick Century, and the Oldsmobile
Cutlass Supreme. The GM A-body platform had major design revisions in 1973 that
included the elimination of pillarless hardtops due to proposed federal rollover
standards, but with frameless windows similar to that of a hardtop. No
convertibles were produced due to those same federal rollover standards (that
never were enacted). In addition to federal emissions regulations that reduced
performance, new federal standards required a 5 mph (8.0 km/h) impact-resistant
front bumper and a 2.5 mph (4.0 km/h) impact-resistant rear bumper, which
increased to 5 mph (8.0 km/h) for 1974.
The Grand Am, coined by Pontiac with a name derived from two other cars in its
lineup ("Grand" signifying "Grand Prix luxury" and "Am" for "Trans Am
performance") was designed as America's answer to European luxury/sport sedans
and available as a 4-door Colonnade sedan or a 2-door Colonnade coupe. 43,136
Grand Ams were built during the first year of production (both two door and four
The 1973 Pontiac Grand Am style had a unique flexible urethane front fascia
center nose (known as the 'Endura' nose) that was squeezable and could return
back to its original shape following a minor collision along with the new
energy-absorbing bumpers, a total of 6 grille openings with vertical bars, round
front turn signals with a cross-hair design, horizontal rear tail lights, and
chrome rear bumper. Additionally, Grand Ams featured a Radial Tuned Suspension
(RTS) as standard equipment which included the radial-ply tires, Pliacell shock
absorbers and front and rear sway bars for improved ride and handling. This
basic suspension tuning also came standard with the Grand Prix SJ option in 1973
and optional on two other Pontiac models that year including the full-sized
Bonneville and the sporty Firebird. The Grand Am was one of only three GM cars
to come standard with radial tires and appropriate suspension tuning in 1973
with the others being the Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon and Chevrolet Monte Carlo S.
For a 4200 pound car, it handled quite well, being both predictable and
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