driving excitement

blairlee:

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A car meet from long ago
A car club meet from two years ago. My car's the black one at the bottom. For some reason, I'm not in this photo.

Vital Stats:

  • 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Sedan
  • Ordered October 20 1999 at King Pontiac
  • Delivered December 20 1999 (my birthday!)
  • Trading in soon :(

Shortly after I graduated from college, I felt the need for some new wheels. I went through a HUGE list of cars and finally decided on the Pontiac. It was affordable, spacious, and had plenty of performance. Shortly after its arrival, I joined my local chapter of the national Grand Prix Club. Until i decided to turn it in, I had built up a fair amount of modifications. Here's a brief list:

I took my car to dragstrips and autocross events a handful of times. I quickly learned that I'm more into handling than straight-line performance, and that the Grand Prix has much to learn about handling. That said, I know several people who are very successful autocrossing their cars at the regional level.

By the time I turn in the car (around August 2002), I will have racked up well over 48,000 miles in under three years! The car has never left me stranded, even after slamming into a small deer in May 2000. I'll definitely miss the spaciousness and comfort of my first new car. I met a lot of people because of it, and some of them have become very close friends of mine. If I had my druthers, I'd keep it...but I guess life isn't perfect. :(

July 23 2002:
Today's the day I turn in this car. I'm trading it to Auto Advantage towards my '99 M3. While I'm very excited about the M3, I'm also rather sad to lose my Grand Prix.

After ordering it from the factory, I coincidentally took delivery on my birthday. I remember driving it to Hampton to surprise my then-girlfriend just a few days later. I took a different car up to Cornell to propose to her, but a week after that I drove the Pontiac up for graduation. On the way home, I hit a deer and got my first-ever speeding ticket. Later that same year (2000), I got caught doing 87 in a 50 mph zone...now that was a fun experience.

After I got my car, I joined the local Grand Prix club and met some great people. I made a lot of friends by standing around, shooting the breeze, and occasionally scraping some knuckles as we modified our cars. As a matter of fact, one of them ended up as a groomsman at my wedding. I also learned a TREMENDOUS amount about my car, and cars in general. I went to a few drag races, went autocrossing, and even drove out to Kansas for Grand Prix Gathering 2000. Through it all, my car never broke down. Not even once. Even after some hard driving on a modified engine, the powertrain never quit and is still going strong. The car looks better today than it did when I took it home. And it did everything while being comfortable, roomy, and attractive.

The story goes on and on, and I really do like the car a lot - it's just not what I really want/need at the moment. I can only hope that the next owner takes half as much pride in owning and caring for it as I did.