"My choices cater more to the budget side of the spectrum, and some are in a more eclectic vein. The advantages are that the purchase prices are much lower than those of the rarer, more popular models, and these Pontiacs will make excellent driver/show cars with a minimum of worry or hassle.
"Though they will increase in value, albeit at a slow pace, these choices will not surpass the more popular higher-priced models, now or probably ever. They will, however, provide a pleasurable ownership experience because they are unique, perform well given their eras of manufacture, and are comfortable and user-friendly. My 'closet classics' won't make you wealthy on a bank statement, but they will make you rich in memories behind the wheel."
'65-'67 2+2s: "Like a Goat on steroids, the 2+2 was for the grownup GTO fan who wanted Big-Car status and musclecar grunt. With standard 421 power (428 in the '67) there were no slow 2+2s. Styling was outstanding for the day, and cruising in one can be effortless with optional power steering and brakes. Pristine examples bring real money, but they always lag behind like-year GTOs. Factory Tri-Power-optioned examples are the most collectible in the '65-'66, and for the '67, the 428 H.O. is desirable as is the disc brake option, an upgrade over drums.
'70½-'02 Formulas: "I know this is trip-ping over Dana's forecast a bit, but I must state that there are no 'bad' Formulas. Sure there are some slower late-model Second-Gens with 265s and 301s (I owned one myself) and there were some 350 two-barrels made earlier, but by-and-large the Second-, Third-, and Fourth-Gen Formulas are all spirited-accelerating and -handling Pontiacs. However, they will always be cheaper than like-equipped T/As, even though in many cases they gave up nothing in styling or performance to their big brothers. Be they 350-400 or 455 four-barrel Second-Gens, TPI 305 or 350 Third-Gens, or LT1 or LS1 Fourth-Gens, all can provide Pontiac excitement from the driver seat and should steadily increase in value (the Third-Gens more slowly)."
'73-'75 Grand Ams: "These Pontiacs have been grossly underrated from day one. However, what they lack in straight-line performance, they more than make up for in luxury. Styling is very bold, even for its era, so you will not go unnoticed on the street or at the shows. With 400 or 455 power available, upgrades are easy. Try to get a 455 or a four-barrel version of the 400 instead of the two-barrel if power is a prerequisite. Asking prices for Grand Ams are well under those of GTOs of previous years, yet they offer a Grand Touring experience from the cockpit."
'73-'77 Grand Prixs: "If you don't need to be the quickest one to the party but do like to be the coolest to arrive, Grand Prixs of this era will never disappoint. The 400 and especially the SJ 455 models are preferred by most and increase in value more steadily, but the 350 and later 301s can be bottom-dollar bargains if you don't mind less power under the hood."
'74-'75 T/As: "As discussed in 'Last Man Standing' in this issue, the '74-'75 'shovel nose' Trans Ams have gotten less respect (unless it's a '74 SD-455) than they deserve by collectors over the years. These 400- and 455-powered T/As still have a lot to offer the hobbyist who places more value in the on-the-road experience than the resale potential. As expected, 455 models bring more cash."