Home Page About Us Contribute

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto

GM Icons
By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Pontiac Grand Safari

Grand Safari
Vehicle Model

Topic Navigation
Wikipedia: Pontiac Grand Safari

Page Sections
A station wagon produced by Pontiac from 1971-1978.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Pontiac Grand Safari page on 2 October 2019, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Pontiac Grand Safari was Pontiac's top-of-the-line full-size station wagon offered from 1971 to 1978. The Grand Safari used the grille and interior trim of the Bonneville and Grand Ville passenger car series, and most (but not all) examples were trimmed with woodgrain paneling on the sides and tailgate.

First generation (1971–1976)

The 1971 to 1976 models were the largest Pontiacs ever built. The 1971-76 GM full-size bodies, at 64.3-inch (1,630 mm) front shoulder room and 63.4-inch (1,610 mm) rear shoulder room set a record for interior width that would not be matched by any car until the full-size GM rear-wheel drive models of the early to mid-1990s. The Grand Safari wagons, as did other GM full-sized wagons during these years, used a unique rear suspension with multi-leaf springs instead of the coil springs used on other full-sized Pontiacs, and other full-sized GM cars.

The Grand Safari wagons also featured a new 'Clamshell' tailgate design, marketed as the Glide-away Tailgate, where the rear power-operated glass slid up into the roof as the tailgate (manually or with power assist), slid into a recess under the cargo floor. The power tailgate, the first in station wagon history, ultimately supplanted the manual tailgate, which required marked effort to lift from storage. The power system was operated by switches on the instrument panel or a key switch on the rear quarter panel. The Clamshell system, heavy and complex, made it easier to load and unload the extremely long wagons in tight spaces. But it remained unique to GM, and would be subsequently eliminated when GM reduced the length of their wagons by about a foot in 1977, and the overriding concern became increased fuel economy.

The 1971-76 Grand Safaris, shared their 127.0 in (3,226 mm) wheelbase with the Buick and Oldsmobile C-body cars but were designated as B-bodies. At 231.3 in (5,875 mm) in length the 1974-76 Grand Safaris are the longest Pontiacs ever built. And at 5,112 lb (2,319 kg) shipping weight, or about 5,300 lb (2,400 kg) curb weight, the three-seat 1974 Grand Safari wagons are easily the heaviest Pontiacs ever built.

These wagons ran with V8 engines of either 400 or 455 cubic inches.

Second generation (1977–1978)

The 1977 Grand Safari was downsized considerably, with wheelbase cut to 115.9-inch (2,940 mm) inches, length to less than 216-inch (5.5 m) and weight to just over 4,000-pound (1,800 kg) pounds. These wagons thus could run with smaller engines, either a standard 301-cubic-inch (4.93 l) or optional 403-cubic-inch (6.60 l) V8; a 350-cubic-inch (5.7 l) V8 was additionally offered on 1978 models. Replacing the Glide-Away Tailgate was a three-way tailgate not unlike that used on Ford and Chrysler station wagons. In 1979, the Grand Safari's name was changed to Bonneville Safari.


DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
19 December 1973NHTSA Recall 73V250000
1974 Buick Century, 1974 Buick Electra, 1974 Buick Estate, 1974 Buick LeSabre, 1974 Buick Regal, 1974 Buick Riviera, 1974 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1974 Chevrolet Camaro, 1974 Chevrolet Caprice, 1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate, 1974 Chevrolet Chevelle, 1974 Chevrolet El Camino, 1974 Chevrolet Impala, 1974 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1974 GMC Sprint, 1974 Oldsmobile 88, 1974 Oldsmobile 98, 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass, 1974 Pontiac Bonneville, 1974 Pontiac Catalina, 1974 Pontiac Firebird, 1974 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1974 Pontiac Grand Safari, 1974 Pontiac Grand Ville, 1974 Pontiac Le Mans
Suspension:Front:Control Arm:Upper Arm
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute