Sell a classic car Pontiac Bonneville. The Pontiac Bonneville was a full-sized automobile (mid-size car from 1982 to 1986) which was built by Pontiac from 1957 to 2005.
It was introduced as a limited production performance convertible during the 1957 model year.
The Bonneville (known as the Parisienne in Canada until 1981), and its platform partner, the Grand Ville, are some of the largest Pontiacs ever built
Station wagon body styles they reached over 19 feet (5.8 m) long and were also some of the heaviest cars produced at the time (2.5 short tons, 5,000 lb or 2,300 kg).
The Bonneville name first appeared in 1954 on a pair of bubble-topped GM Motorama concept cars called the Bonneville Special.
It entered the production lineup as a:
- High-performance fuel-injected luxury convertible within the Star Chief line in the 1957 model year.
It was loaded with every conceivable option as standard equipment.
This put the Bonneville in a Cadillac-like price range of $5,782.00
Only 630 units were produced that first year
The name was taken from the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
First generation (1958)
Bonneville became a separate model in 1958
It was available as a two-door hardtop or a convertible.
As a separate model, Bonneville had a significantly lower price tag of around $3,000 thanks to the demotion of most of the luxury items found on the 1957 Star Chief Bodystyle from standard equipment to the options list.
Also, a 300 horsepower (220 kW) 370 cubic inches (6,100 cc) V8 with four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts was now standard equipment.
The fuel-injection system offered with:
The standard engine on the 1957 Star Chief.
Bodystyle was now listed as an extra cost option but very few 1958 Bonnevilles were so equipped due to a towering price tag of over $500 USD
The electric clock was standard.
Second generation (1959–1960)
The 1959 Bonneville became a full top-line series with the addition of the four-door hardtop sedan and Safari station wagon body styles.
The Bonneville played an important part that year in the introduction of two of Pontiac’s greatest marketing inspirations:
- The split grille
- Wide Track slogan
The latter was not just ad copy, either, as Pontiac pushed its wheels further out toward the fenders than anyone else and created the best-cornering full-size cars in the industry.
Both the grille design and the Wide Track phrase remained part of Pontiac’s image up to its termination.
A “Safe-T-Track” differential, used to minimize wheel spin, was an option beginning in 1959.
Third generation (1961–1964)
The Bonneville remained Pontiac’s costliest and most luxurious model throughout the 1960s and was instrumental in pushing Pontiac to third place in sales from 1962 to 1970.
The distinctive protruding grille made its appearance on all Pontiac products during the early 1960s
The Bonneville differed by featuring:
- More luxurious interior trim with upgraded cloth and Morrokide viny
- Expanded Morrokide upholstery in sedans and coupes
- Expanded Morrokide in Safari wagons and genuine leather seating in convertibles
Bonnevilles were also built on a longer wheelbase version of GM’s B-Body.
The Bonneville also had:
- Instrument panels and door panels with walnut veneer trim
- Carpeted lower door panels
- Grab bar on the passenger side of the dash and courtesy lights
- A rear armrest
Beginning in 1964, a Bonneville Brougham option package was available that included:
- An even more luxurious interior trim level with front and rear seats featuring center armrests
- Upgraded door panels
- A standard Cordova (vinyl) roof with “Brougham” nameplates
The two-door hardtop was marketed as the “Sports Coupe”, the four-door pillarless models were called “Vistas”.
Bonneville models were standard equipped with Hydra-Matic (through 1964) or Turbo Hydra-Matic (1965-on) automatic transmissions.
Other options included:
- Power steering
- Power brakes
- Air conditioning.
- Other popular options included:
- Power windows
- Power seats
- Cruise control
- 8-lug aluminum wheels that included integral brake drums for improved stopping power
The Bonneville also had:
More powerful standard V8 engines than other full-sized Pontiacs including the 389 cu in (6.4 l) or 400 cu in (6.6 l) V8s with four-barrel carburetors
Many optional V8 offerings available including:
- Tri-Power (three two-barrel carburetors) options on both the 389 cu in (6.4 l) and 421 cu in (6.9 l) V8s that offered up to 376 hp (280 kW) through 1966
For 1962, Pontiac also offered:
- The 421 cu in (6.9 l) Super Duty with two four-barrel carburetors, rated at 405 hp (302 kW), as a US$2,250 option (when the base Bonneville listed at US$3,349).
Fourth generation (1965–1970)
For 1965, All GM “B” body cars were dramatically restyled
- Swooping rooflines
- Rakish fender lines
- “Coke bottle” profile
The Bonneville got the new styling.
- Plenty of bright trim on the lower body sides and on the rear deck
- New upholstery and instrumentation were featured.
- Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission quadrant featured “reverse” in between “park” and “neutral”, instead of at the bottom of the selections (below “L”), the old arrangement having been sharply criticized as a safety hazard.
A General Motors corporate edict that took effect with the 1967 model year led Pontiac to discontinue the Tri-Power engine options on all of its cars.
That year also brought a larger 400 cu in (6.6 L) V8 as the standard engine for Bonnevilles and other full-sized Pontiacs to replace the previous 389, while the 421 cu in (6.9 L) V8 was replaced by a new 428 cu in (7.0 L) engine that offered as much as 390 horsepower (290 kW).
Also beginning in 1967:
- Carburetion was changed
- The previous standard 600 cfm Carter square bore four-barrel and optional Tri-Power was replaced with the new Quadarajet spread bore carburetor delivering 800 cfm
For 1969, a 360 hp (270 kW) 428 became the standard Bonneville engine, which in turn was replaced for 1970 by an even larger 455 cu in (7.5 L) V8 rated at 370 hp (280 kW).
The 1965-70 GM B platform was the fourth best-selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T, and the Lada Riva.
Fifth generation (1971–1976)
For 1971, the Bonneville was downgraded in the model hierarchy.
In effect, it replaced the discontinued Executive between the lower-priced Catalina and the Grand Ville.
The Bonneville was offered in three body styles:
- A pillared four-door sedan
- Four-door hardtop sedan
- Two-door hardtop coupe
The standard engine for 1971-72 was a 455 cubic-inch V8 with a two-barrel carburetor that was rated at 280 gross horsepower for 1971 and 185 net horsepower for 1972
Optionally available was the four-barrel version of the 455 rated at 325 gross horsepower in 1971 and 250 net horsepower in 1972.
The on-paper power ratings reflect the change in power measurement undertaken by the industry for 1972.
1971 was also the first year for Pontiac and other GM divisions to reduce compression ratios on all engines across the board in order to enable the use of lower-octane regular leaded, low-lead or unleaded gasoline.
In mid-1971, standard equipment included:
- A Turbo-Hydramatic transmission
- Power steering
- Power front disc brakes
From 1973 to 1976, the Bonneville’s standard engine:
- Dropped to a 170-horsepower 400 cubic-inch V8
Also available was the 455 four-barrel V8 rated at 250 horsepower (190 kW) for 1973-74 and 200 for 1975-76.
In 1973, Bonneville was the only full-sized Pontiac to offer a “Radial Tuned Suspension” option package which included the steel-belted radial tires along with an upgraded suspension with Pliacell shock absorbers and front and rear sway bars.
The RTS option was expanded in 1974 to all full-sized Pontiacs and radial-ply tires became standard on all 1975 models through an upgraded “RTS” package was still available as an option.
- The end of the pillarless 2-door hardtop model
- Replaced by a coupe with frameless door glass
- Thick “B” pillar
- Fixed rear “opera” window.
The 1975 model year introduced:
- Rectangular headlights – its frontal appearance was similar to the Cadillac DeVilles and Fleetwoods of the same era.
With the demise of the Grand Ville series after 1975, Bonneville once again became the top-line full-sized Pontiac series
1976 was the last year of the Bonneville pillarless 4-door hardtop body style.
All models would have:
- A thick “B” pillar
- Metal-framed door glass
- Adjustable pedals were optional.
Sixth generation (1977–1981)
Bonneville would continue its flagship duties on the downsized big car line that was introduced in 1977.
The downsized Bonneville (and Catalinas) were 14 inches (360 mm) shorter in length
But they had:
- Increased headroom
- Rear seat legroom
- Trunk space with much-improved fuel economy
With the downsized 1977 models, only a pillared four-door sedan and two-door coupe (with optional opera windows) were offered as the hardtop sedans and coupes offered in previous years were discontinued across the board at all GM divisions.
The Bonneville also regained the Safari station wagon as part of its model lineup for the first time since 1970. It had:
- Woodgrained exterior trim
- Interior appointments shared with Bonneville coupes and sedans.
The Safari was available in both 6 and 9-passenger configurations and featured:
- A dual-action tailgate that could be opened to the side as a door or downward as a tailgate
For 1980, all GM B-bodies received:
- Revised styling
- Aerodynamic improvements
- Reduced weight.
The standard engine for Bonneville was Pontiac’s new 301 cubic-inch V8 rated at 135 horsepower (101 kW) and optional engines included a 170-horsepower 350 or 180-horsepower 400 cubic-inch V8. A 185-horsepower Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 was also an option.
In later years, increasingly stringent fuel-economy standards mandated by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations would lead to the discontinuation of the larger engines with a 231 cubic-inch Buick V6 becoming the standard engine on Bonneville coupes and sedans for 1980 and 1981 with the only optional V8s offered including 265 and 301 cubic-inch Pontiac-built gasoline engines or an Oldsmobile-built 350 CID diesel powerplant.
The Bonneville and Catalina, already the smallest-selling of GM’s B-body line, suffered a serious drop in demand following the economic recession that began in the spring of 1979.
With that, GM decided to pull the plug at the end of the 1981 model year. Along with them went the 301 engine, marking the end of Pontiac V8s. From now on, the division would use Chevrolet engines.
Seventh generation (1982–1986)
The Bonneville nameplate didn’t go anywhere following the discontinuation of full-sized Pontiacs and instead was simply swapped onto the midsized LeMans, which also suffered from poor sales, thus GM planners reasoned that attaching a more well-known model name to it would spark demand.
This model had been produced since 1978 along with its siblings the:
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Oldsmobile Cutlass
- Buick Century
Sported a Buick 231 CID V6, Chevrolet 305 CID V8, or Oldsmobile 350 CID diesel V8. (A Buick 4.1 liter V6 was available in 1982.)
The 1982-1986 models were officially known as the “Bonneville Model G”, although later models were not badged as such.
Styling was revised to bear a closer resemblance to the departed B-body Bonneville and coupes were dropped.
GM also began marketing the Bonneville in Canada for the first time starting in 1984 (1982 and 1983 Canadian models carried the Grand LeMans name), as GM’s full-size Bonnevilles in Canada were referred to as Parisienne.
While the previous LeMans, on which the new Bonneville was based, was classified as an A-Body, an introduction of GM’s new front wheel drive A-bodies (e.g. Pontiac 6000) in 1982 prompted the change to “Model G” on these RWD cars.
1983 was the last year for the G-body station wagon as the Pontiac 6000’s wagon replaced it. The Bonneville sedan continued in the base, Limited Edition (LE), and Brougham versions through 1986.
The 1982-1986 Bonnevilles are direct descendants of the 1964 Pontiac Tempest.
These 1982-1986 Bonnevilles were the smallest and the last of the old breed of Bonneville.
- Rear wheel drive
- Full perimeter frame (body on frame)
- Old-fashioned American car ride and styling.
Some Pontiac customers did not take to the “downsized” Bonneville as a portion of new-car buyers were switching their preferences from compact and mid-sized cars back to full-sized, V8-powered cars thanks to improving gasoline prices
Late in the 1983 model year, Pontiac reintroduced a full-sized car to the American market by bringing over the Canadian-built Pontiac Parisienne (which was essentially a restyled Chevrolet Caprice and powered by Chevrolet V6 or V8 engines).
The Bonneville was then again one notch below the top of the line from late 1983 through 1986.
Eighth generation (1987–1991)
For 1987, the G-body Bonneville was dropped and replaced by a new FWD car that was, in fact, the Pontiac version of the one-year-old H Body platform with the Buick LeSabre and Oldsmobile 88.
Initially, a 150 hp (110 kW) 3.8 L V6 was the sole engine, mated to a four-speed Hydramatic 4T60 automatic.
The new Bonneville was placed on Car & Driver’s “10 Best” list for 1987, offering both a base model and LE model.
For LE models, an SE sports package was also available that featured:
- A quicker gear ratio
- Sportier suspension
- More standard features
The Bonneville was intended to have a more sporty, European flavor than the LeSabre and 88.
A host of trim level changes and a new engine became standard for the front wheel drive Bonneville’s second year.
First, a revised version of the LG3 was introduced.
Renamed the LN3, it was the first use of the “3800” name.
Sequential-port fuel injection
The LN3 produced 165 hp (123 kW) and 210 lb·ft (285 N·m).
Two new models are added:
- The midlevel SE (went from option package to trim)
- Line-topper SSE
The latter feature an extra deep rear valence, lower body cladding, a digital compass/trip computer, an eight-speaker premium sound system and much more.
A compact disc player became optional
A remote keyless entry system was added
A facelift was also introduced for the Bonneville in the 1990 model year with revisions:
- To the grille & headlights
Ninth generation (1992–1999)
Unveiled on February 8, 1991, at the 1991 Chicago International Auto Show.
It was launched in July 1991 for the 1992 model year
The interior and exterior of the car were completely redesigned
Its final design by John Folden being chosen in 1988 and frozen for production that same year. T
The first prototypes were built in 1989 and went into testing in mid-1989. In August 1990, production preparation began, with early production “builds” being constructed during late 1990.
The first series production models were assembled in May 1991, with SE variants being launched in July 1991.
- A driver airbag & passenger airbag
- ABS was available as part of the sports appearance package
- The SSE models came with standard ABS and traction control
- The trims were redone once again,
- The LE trim (which had standard six-passenger seating) was removed
- The SE was now the base model the SSE was now the mid-grade and a new top of the line trim was now added, the SSEi
- This received a standard passenger-side airbag
- New N/A 3800 Series I (RPO: L27) engine was used, producing 170 hp (127 kW) and 225 lbf·ft (305 N·m),
- Newly designed force inducted Series I 3800 (RPO: L67) equipped with an Eaton M62 roots type supercharger which made 205 hp (153 kW) and 260 lbf·ft (350 N·m)
- The newly revised N/A L27, for the 1992 model year only, was not equipped with an EGR Valve and can be distinguished by its white intake manifold, as opposed to black from 1993 and on.
New Safety Options
- Traction control
- Driver airbag
- Passenger airbag
For 1993, the Sports Luxury Edition (SLE RPO: H4U) was offered. T
This is essentially an SE sub-trim with more standard features such as:
- Leather seats
- Electronic climate control
- Automatic headlights
- Premium sound
- Crosslace alloy wheels
- Electronic climate control
- The premium sound could be deleted from an SLE equipped car
This option package designation remained only on the RPO sticker until 1998, when SLE badges were added to the exterior of the vehicle. This continued onto the ’99 model year.
Many more standard options were available with the SSE.
The SSEi came standard with most of the available options in the lower models, including the supercharged 3800.
For 1994, a new Generation III Eaton M62 supercharger came.
- New OBD-1.5 capabilities, raising the horsepower to 225 hp (168 kW), while torque was raised to 275 lbf·ft (373 N·m).
- The new five-spoke “Torque Star” wheels were added and a resonator also became standard on the exhaust to lower the raspy tone that the engine produces.
- Passenger airbags also became standard on all models
For 1995, the car retained the same appearance, but the SE and SSE trim received:
- A new naturally aspirated engine, the Series II (RPO: L36).
- This engine made 205 hp (153 kW) and 230 lbf·ft (310 N·m)
- The SSEi remained equipped with the Series I SC 3800 (RPO: L67) engine until the 1996 model year, when it too was updated.
In September 1995, styling changes were introduced for the 1996 model year facelift
Some things were subtly reshaped including:
- The tail lights
- Lower body cladding was drastically changed.
- The gap narrowed quite a bit regarding the exterior trim between packages.
- Unique front bumper and grille.
- Also for 1996, the supercharged version of the 3800 Series II engine was introduced for the Bonneville.
- The SSEi and optionally the SSE got a new Eaton M90-supercharged L67, producing 240 hp (179 kW) and 280 lbf·ft (380 N·m).
A new transmission, the 4T65-E was introduced in 1998.
The heavy-duty version, otherwise known as the 4T65E-HD was introduced in 1997 for the supercharged 3800 installed in the SSEi models.
Tenth generation (2000–2005)
The 2000 Bonneville was redesigned from the ground up with significant advancements in design, engineering, and technology.
This was dubbed “luxury with attitude.”
The Bonneville was now built on GM’s G platform; however, GM chose to continue to refer to it as the H platform.
Staying true to Pontiac’s Wide Track heritage it had the widest overall track in its competitive class at 62.6 inches up front and 62.1 inches (1,580 mm) in the rear.
GM’s StabiliTrak stability control system was introduced on the top-of-the-line supercharged SSEi model, later replaced by the GXP.
The Bonneville regained a V8 option on the GXP trim for 2004,
The engine is:
Cadillac’s 4.6 L (280 cu in) Northstar V8, producing 275 hp (205 kW), 300 lbf·ft (410 N·m) and giving 0 to 60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 6.5 seconds.
Pontiac Bonneville GXP
For the last year of production, Pontiac gave the mid-level SLE the new GXP styling.
The 2005 SLE featured all GXP styling cues
- Muffler tips
- Engine all remained unique to the GXP.
GM announced on February 8, 2005, that the Bonneville would be dropped from Pontiac’s lineup for 2006.
The last Bonneville left the assembly line on May 27, 2005.
Only about 12,000 Bonnevilles were sold in 2005.
We have the knowledge and power to execute the deal immediately, so if you want some friendly advice or just a chat about how to sell us your Pontiac Bonneville then don’t hesitate to call us at (310) 399-3990 now!