Posted December 11th, 2013 @ 11:34am
1977 Pontiac Grand Prix - What is Love?
General Motors didn't invent the personal luxury car. They did, though, come to dominate the market segment with stylish cars like the Pontiac Grand Prix.
Experts divide the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment.
The 1969-1977 Grand Prix was built off what was known as the GM "g-body", a modified GM "a-body" intermediate platform. Grand Prix shared the g-body with the Pontiac Grand Am, Can Am and LeMans, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Malibu and El Camino, Buick Regal and Century and Oldsmobile Cutlass,
Lust is the initial passionate desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen.
Grand Prix were known for baroque styling, luxury and to some degree and particular to the era, (high) performance. This Pontiac built 301 V-8, available as the base engine in 1977 GP's, with only 135 net horsepower, not withstanding.
Pontiac, somewhat whimsically, used Dusenberg vehicle model nomenclature to distinguish various levels of trim and available equipment. Grand Prix "L" (our subject car) was the base model. There was "LJ "for luxury and "SJ" for sport.
Recent studies in neuroscience has found that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals. These include pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These chemicals act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement.
Insurance surcharges and federal mandates for safety and fuel economy, the latter necessitated by the 1973 energy crisis, eroded much of the performance of the Grand Prix. As a result, 1969-1972 Grand Prix, in general, are much stronger performers than 1977 models. A base, "L", in 1969, had a 265 horsepower (SAE net, approximately 200 hp net), 400 cubic inch engine. Subsequently, values of earlier GP's of this vintage have much higher values today compared to later models like our '77.
Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships.
The Grand Prix' interior was not immune to GM's notorious cost cutting. The interior of our L suffering from fake wood appliques and plastic injection molded bits that plagued interiors across the entire company.
Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests.
Pontiac sold 270,000 Grand Prix in 1977. Over the years, shifts in consumer taste have made personal luxury cars obsolete.
It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxycontin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-term relationships have.
pictures and words charles connolly