My second car: 1987 Pontiac 6000 LE

What were the odds of getting another Pontiac 6000 LE as my second car? Obviously pretty good, as my parents seemed to be quite smitten with this fine piece of automotive machinery throughout the 1980’s. It all started in 1984 or 85 (can’t recall the exact year), when my father received a burgundy 4-door 6000 as a company car. He drove that for about two years, then handed it down to my mother in order to replace her aging 1980 Chevrolet Monza. Unfortunately, that poor 6000 was totaled when another driver ran a red light and hit it broadside in late 1986 – luckily, my mother was unhurt in that accident.

In need of a new car ASAP, my parents set out to buy…what else…another Pontiac 6000. I was a 12 year old car freak at this point, and I vividly recall the car shopping experience. On the evening they were to start car shopping, they swore up and down that they were just going to look – there would be no purchases made that night. I tagged along with them as they visited a well-known Pontiac-Buick dealership in the Flint, Michigan area. While they were ogling over the lineup of fresh 1987 Pontiac 6000’s on the lot, my attention was laser-focused on the beautiful Buick Grand Nationals they had. I tried to persuade my parents to have a look, but they wanted none of it.

Two tone blue 1987 Pontiac 6000 LE

Two tone blue 1987 Pontiac 6000 LE

Despite their insistence that they were “just looking”, they purchased a car that night. This sort of thing became a pattern over the years, where my parents always insisted they were “thinking about” or just “looking at” things. Inevitably, they always came home that same day with whatever it was they were considering. At least I know where I get my impulsiveness from!

1987 pontiac 6000 LE rear view

Rear view

Long story short, they picked up the car a few days later and despite it being a 6000, I sorta liked it. It was a lot nicer than the previous one they had, with a sport interior and a fuel-injected 2.8L V6 which actually sounded pretty darn good under hard acceleration. But just like the 1983 6000 I had, this ’87 version had the same sort of identity crisis. On the outside, it sported chrome wire hubcaps and other assorted chrome trim, but the interior was sporty with a thick padded steering wheel and no chrome to be found. But I won’t berate this subject beyond this point, because I know this was a 1980’s General Motors product and that alone should be explanation enough.

2.8L fuel-injected V6 engine

2.8L fuel-injected V6 engine

The car lived a hard life from 1987-1993, serving primarily as my mother’s daily driver in the harsh Michigan climate. My sister also used this car during a summer internship in Minnesota – so it had been around.

The car finally became mine in 1993 when my father got sick and tired of trying to keep my 1983 Pontiac 6000 running. He used that one as a trade-in when he got a new car, thus handing down his old car to my mother, and her handing down this ’87 6000 to me. Being a rather poor college student at the time, I couldn’t have been more thankful to get a nicer (and better running) car.

1987 pontiac 6000 LE front view

Front view – look at that rust starting to grow!

Compared to the ’83, this ’87 was light years better. Although it only had 25 more HP, that made all the difference in the world in terms of power and acceleration. No, it was by no means quick, but it felt like a freaking rocket compared to my old ’83. The fuel injection helped too – it ran much smoother.

This car treated me well for the three years that I owned it (1993-96). It only asked for routine maintenance, and the only repair needed came in mid 1995 when the radiator finally rusted through and gave out. Considering how trouble-free it had been up to that point, I didn’t mind shelling out the cash to repair it.

It was a good car. RIP.