Both plastic grilles somehow survived the test of time despite the lower mounting panel completely rusting away, leaving each piece literally hanging by two bolts at the top of the header panel. I removed the LH one hoping to somehow gain access to the primary hood release but all that gained was…well, removing half the grille.
Since the the cable itself had snapped somewhere within its sheathing, I removed the left front plastic kick panel & hacked away at the sheath — thankfully, the cable snapped close to the end and one pull with some needlenose pliers popped the catch.
The hood did not budge though…as the hood hinges had frozen over the years. After fifteen minutes of gently prying around the circumference with screwdrivers and scrapers (imagine opening a gigantic paint can lid with a butter knife), the hood lifted enough to drown the hinges with WD-40.
After the hood rose enough to access its mounting bolts, I detached one hinge, de-springed, oiled, banged it repeatedly on the concrete until it eventually freed itself up, & reinstalled it. After doing both sides, we have a functional hood. Functional normally implies “Ram Air” but in my world means “it opens”.
The fruit of this labor was a relatively intact engine compartment.
Incredibly the yellow emission decal survived along with the “Keep your GM car all GM” sticker. It’s hard to notice but I believe water running through the hood louvers pooled up on the air cleaner lid & eventually rusted its way down the carb stud and into the engine. Inside the air cleaner looks horrible & the chances of this engine ever turning over are somewhat slim. But “we” (I) will pull the plugs, oil the cylinders and give it the old college try for giggles.
Realistically, this car is more of a Funmobile at this point and there’s an otherwise useless running 307 sitting less than 20 feet away…
so there may be a transplant. I’ve got to clear out the driveway and this just may be the catalyst to “process the Pontiac”.