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      Car History: Car History Year 1988
    Posted on Monday, September 27 @ 13:35:45 UTC by Cars
      Cars Pontiac started using the slogan "We Build Excitement" in 1983, as a means of focusing attention on the sporting nature of the cars it produced. But a new slogan didn't automatically mean that all cars carrying a Pontiac badge were exciting. In 1988, for example, there was the return of the LeMans model name after an absence of seven years, but this car was now a subcompact built in Korea by Daewoo and little more than a mildly reworked Opel Kadett. This year also marked the end of the line for the Fiero but the top-of-the-range Bonneville SSE remained, wearing showy plumage but hiding some impressive technical advances including anti-lock brakes. Sales of the new Bonnevilie range reached 124,000 in the first year of production, even without the advantage of the coupe styling of the Delta and LeSabre.

    The introduction of the all-new fourth-generation Grand Prix created quite a bit of excitement - especially when the model picked up the prestigious Motor Trend Car of the Year award. The front-wheel-drive 2-door coupe (the only body style available) came in three trim levels: base, LE and SE. One of the most aerodynamically efficient production cars then around, the Grand Prix had flush fitting windows and headlamps, door handles recessed in the B-pillars and hidden windshield wipers. These refinements paid dividends as they all added up to give a drag coefficient (cd) of just .299. The wheelbase, at 107.6 inches, was half an inch less than before but the overall length had come down by six inches and there was also a weight reduction of around 200 pounds. The standard Grand Prix engine was Pontiac's 2.8-liter multi-port fuel injected, 130 horsepower V6 coupled to a four-speed automatic overdrive transaxle. The top of the range SE came with different front-end styling that included integral foglamps and there were also special taillamps and side body moldings. Another feature of the SE was the use of a five-speed manual transaxle with overdrive in place of the automatic. Prices for the base Grand Prix started at just over $12,500, with the LE priced at $13,200 and the SE at $15,250. Production of the '88 Grand Prix totaled 86,357 units, more than twice the number sold the previous year. There was no doubt that it a very successful debut indeed. Overall, Pontiac sales went up only slightly, but the small increase was enough to put them back into third place in the charts for the first time since 1969. This saw them taking over from fellow GM division Oldsmobile, who were now starting to suffer rather badly in the production stakes. In the meantime, Chevrolet had a restyled Cavalier plus new Beretta and Corsica models to promote. The sales catalog described the Cavalier's facelift in glowing terms: "You'll love the surprising new look that extends from Cavalier's new grille and hood, along its body-side molding, around its wheels, all the way to its new rear bumper." The Cavalier model range also got the full treatment: "...the coupe, sedan and wagon; very stylish RS coupe and sedan; aggressive Z24 coupe and posh convertible." Specification PONTIAC GRAND PRIX Engine V6 - cast iron block Displacement 173 cu. ins Bore and stroke 3.5x3.0 ins. Horsepower 130 Body styles Coupe No. of seats 5 Weight (lbs) 3,100lbs Price $12,539-$15,249 Produced 86,357     Specification CHEVROLET CAVALIER Engine Cast iron - 4 Cylinders in line Displacement 121 cu. ins Bore and stroke 3.50x3.15 ins. Horsepower 90 Body styles 2 door coupe;4 door sedan; 5 door station wagon; Convertible coupe No. of seats 5-7 Weight (lbs) 2,359 Ibs-2,665 Ibs Price $8,120-$15,990 Produced 325,000-all models     Specification FORD MUSTANG SALEEN CONVERSION Engine V8 - cast iron block Displacement 302 cu. ins Bore and stroke 4.0x3.0 ins. Horsepower <300 Body styles Hatchback coupe / Convertible No. of seats 4 Weight (lbs) 3,200 Ibs Price $17,500 Produced -  
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