Times were not great back in the mid Seventies for the American motor industry what with the oil crisis hitting manufacturers hard but when you were behind the wheel of the big, luxurious 1975 Grand Ville Brougham convertible, all of those troubles simply floated away.
Four years earlier it had replaced the Bonneville — which served as Pontiac’s top-trim model since 1958 — to become flagship and it was evident that luxury was more important than performance during this period for the GM brand.
This was Poncho’s last open-top model for 12 years (convertibles were being phased out by all of the major carmakers due to the US governments toughened stance on accident rollover standards) and it had one aim — to beat Chevrolet’s Caprice Classic convertible and Oldsmobile’s Delta 88 Royale convertible in both quality and price and that it did.
In spite of a host of other government rules (most notably bulky “crash” bumpers that hampered design) the Grand Ville Brougham convertible, of which 4,519 were built that year, was pretty tasteful considering it was conceived during the much-maligned Disco Era and it came with power everything including steering, windows, driver’s seat, and brakes. It also featured air conditioning and cruise control while a rare option were adjustable brake and accelerator pedals.
Under the bonnet sat a detuned Pontiac 400 cubic-inch (6.6-litre) V8 mated to a turbo-hydramatic three-speed auto which had an output of 185 horses (the optional 455 cubic-inch, 7.5-litre, had 200 horses) and though it wasn’t a rocket ship, it could still scoot. They’re hard to come by today but if you get lucky, and it’s mint condition, it’ll cost around Dh120,000.