Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

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Thread: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

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    Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville


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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Arrrrrr! I had a 1979 IIRC Parisienne. It was a yellow four-door, small V8 301 or 305 forget exactly.
    It really was a nice car, very handsome but the mill was not the world's finest.

    I had Konis on the front and air shocks on the back. It liked to wag its tail going around corners in the wet. Most likely a tire issue since the rubber in the late 80s was not what we get today.

    Would love to have it today, but not for 19 grand, not 2 doors, not crank-up windows.

    Thanks for the find.

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Nice car, though finding one of these in similar condition is not as hard as one might think... Including the seller. The $20k asking price is beyond absurd. It's a very nice car, probably one of the best. But the best of the breed of this model should command an asking price of about $10k... Though stranger things have happened, I don't see this car selling for anywhere near the asking price...

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Just ran across the file on my 1979. It was a 301, those cars weighed about 4200 and did 0-60 in the 12+ department.

    It was (and is if still alive) a very handsome car, it looked great in yellow.

    We spotted a little old lady driving down the interstate around 1998 driving a grey 4-door Bonnie/Parisienne of that generation. It had a FOR SALE sign in the window, damn wish I'd gotten her number.

    Like I need some more caahs in the fleet.

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Nice, a true classic. You can't beat the B-Body.

    I have no problem with the price and think it's worth every penny.

    Think I'll skip the comments next time on certain cars from Hemmings. Sigh, all talking the same crap, almost as if reading from a script................
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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Nice car, but its a 301 with no power windows? Not worth $20,000. No way, no how, I bought my 80 Caprice Classic with a factory sunroof for less than $2000, 58K miles, I had to re-touch the roof and fix a couple of things, but still, $7-8K is maybe tops for this car, and still wouldn't pay that, the reason I like to collect 70's cars is cause they dont go for crazy money.

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    A friend of the family had one of these as a company car, but with the formal roofline and rear skirts. Black over red -- great looking car. I used to wax it for him once a year. I was too young to drive it, but my recollection was it was a surprisingly decent handling car (he was a quick driver) ... Radial Tuned Suspension was a big deal back then.

    There was something about the Pontiac version I was fond of ... maybe the combination of luxury with a hint of sportiness.

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    There was something about the Pontiac version I was fond of ... maybe the combination of luxury with a hint of sportiness.
    The Pontiac one did have some vestige of sportiness left, the Pontiac version was the only one that still had an available gauge package with full oil-temp-volt gauges, Olds and Chevrolet had an optional temp and fuel economy gauge cluster and Buick and Cadillac only had fuel economy gauges, but not actual engine gauges. GM did make an attempt to revive the sportier big 2 door market with the downsized 77-80 coupes, there were sporty versions of the Buick and Oldsmobile versions, like the LeSabre Sport Coupe and Holiday 88, by 1979 you could get a bucket and console interior on the Buick, Olds or Pontiac versions, that only lasted until 1980 or so, then the sporty big coupes were gone forever. Pontiac also had a version of the Bonneville with Trans Am like snowflake wheels and a bucket and console set up.

    Heres a Delta 88 Holiday with the bucket seat and console set up


    (Heres an 81 with the snowflakes, though I preffer the earlier fastback roofline)


    For the Pontiacs, for me the favorite would be a 1977-1978 Bonneville coupe with all the
    extras and the real Pontiac 400 under the hood, you couldnt get the buckets until 79, but you loose the 400, the best big engine you could get in 79 was the Olds 403, which is ok, but its no 400.

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Nobody buys a sports car and expects it to be smooth-riding & comfortable, so I don't get why folks who claim to like big cars expect them to be sporty (and I don't mean fast, it's reasonable to expect some speed out of a big car cause of the big engines). Just sayin'.

    The sedan versions of this model Bonnie are gorgeous too.
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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Quote Originally Posted by OLDSCHOOLGMFAN View Post
    Nobody buys a sports car and expects it to be smooth-riding & comfortable, so I don't get why folks who claim to like big cars expect them to be sporty (and I don't mean fast, it's reasonable to expect some speed out of a big car cause of the big engines). Just sayin'.

    The sedan versions of this model Bonnie are gorgeous too.
    Maybe sporty isn't exactly the right term ... capable, perhaps? Dynamic? Cars like the first Olds Toronado had it as did the boattail Rivieras. A '68 Eldorado has it as well. And there was still a hint of it in these full sized Pontiacs. Whatever you want to call it, it's a younger more forceful personality tat contrasts with more conservative cars (like, say the contrast between the Riviera and and Electra).

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    Maybe sporty isn't exactly the right term ... capable, perhaps? Dynamic? Cars like the first Olds Toronado had it as did the boattail Rivieras. A '68 Eldorado has it as well. And there was still a hint of it in these full sized Pontiacs. Whatever you want to call it, it's a younger more forceful personality tat contrasts with more conservative cars (like, say the contrast between the Riviera and and Electra).
    I think Pontiac referred to it as "soul" in one of the latter Firebird/Trans Am brochures...

    It's not the sterile I'll get you to work on time and transport your family safely that a '79 Bonneville 4 door sedan with bench seats front and back relay... Nothing wrong with that, but you get my drift.

    BTW - $20k for one of these cars is insane in today's market.
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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    '79 Bonnevilles could be optioned into very capable family sport coupe/sedan versions. Their optional Handling Package was aptly named...when you consider the all-season tires they were saddled with. 70-series tires certainly added more "stick" than the usual 78-series Uni-Wobbles, and the addition of tuned springs/shocks combined with a stout rear anti-sway bar was a welcomed addition. Unfortunately, the take-rate was small. The optional 350 SBC made them decent haulers, as well, with almost the same mileage as the 301/305 variants, IIRC.

    Overall, these resized Bs were credible cars at a time when GM still had their eye on the full-sized ball. Similar versions, updated to today's build quality and amenities, would be welcomed, I suspect...oh yeah, there's NO Pontiac, is there?

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    so I don't get why folks who claim to like big cars expect them to be sporty (and I don't mean fast, it's reasonable to expect some speed out of a big car cause of the big engines). Just sayin'.
    The idea of having a suspension package on one of these big cars was that you could have both, a car that rode and tracked very well, but also was able to handle an off ramp or an emergency lane change with greater composure than the standard suspension allows, I have an F41 equipped 1980 Caprice Classic, essentially the same suspension as police package car would have, and its a gem, great road manners, smooth ride, and very good handling for a big car, I know you have some sort of bias against the word "handling" but its not a dirty word, it does not means the car has to be a canyon carver, it means that the car is safer and easier to control.

    Just because you have big car, does not mean it has to be "broughamed out" in fact the lack of sportier alternatives in bigger cars is what sped up their demise, imagine if Chevrolet had offered something like the 1995 Impala SS(think of an Caprice/Impala coupe with a tuned-port 305 and a suspension package) in the 80's instead of the in the 90's, could interest in full size cars been re-sparked?

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    Heck the "performance" suspensions on these cars was just adequate, the regular one was borderline dangerously soft and wooshy...

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    Re: Hemmings find of the day: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville

    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    Maybe sporty isn't exactly the right term ... capable, perhaps? Dynamic? Cars like the first Olds Toronado had it as did the boattail Rivieras. A '68 Eldorado has it as well. And there was still a hint of it in these full sized Pontiacs. Whatever you want to call it, it's a younger more forceful personality tat contrasts with more conservative cars (like, say the contrast between the Riviera and and Electra).


    Okay, I think your'e on to something here. "Sporty" isn't the right word. That word comes from sports cars after all, and is usually taken to mean good handling/light/quick steering, things that are hard to get in a fullsize/large vehicle. "Dynamic" is a good alternative, and I have no problem with an option that makes a big car/vehicle a little more dynamic, while keeping in mind it's main purpose and not ruining that. Your addition of the Toro & Rivi has made me see it a little more clearly. Thank ya.

    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by skylark68 View Post
    It's not the sterile I'll get you to work on time and transport your family safely that a '79 Bonneville 4 door sedan with bench seats front and back relay... Nothing wrong with that, but you get my drift.

    No there isn't.


    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by WoodieLongRoof View Post
    '79 Bonnevilles could be optioned into very capable family sport coupe/sedan versions. Their optional Handling Package was aptly named...when you consider the all-season tires they were saddled with. 70-series tires certainly added more "stick" than the usual 78-series Uni-Wobbles, and the addition of tuned springs/shocks combined with a stout rear anti-sway bar was a welcomed addition. Unfortunately, the take-rate was small. The optional 350 SBC made them decent haulers, as well, with almost the same mileage as the 301/305 variants, IIRC.

    Overall, these resized Bs were credible cars at a time when GM still had their eye on the full-sized ball. Similar versions, updated to today's build quality and amenities, would be welcomed, I suspect...oh yeah, there's NO Pontiac, is there?

    I plum agree.


    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by MCGARRETT View Post
    The idea of having a suspension package on one of these big cars was that you could have both, a car that rode and tracked very well, but also was able to handle an off ramp or an emergency lane change with greater composure than the standard suspension allows, I have an F41 equipped 1980 Caprice Classic, essentially the same suspension as police package car would have, and its a gem, great road manners, smooth ride, and very good handling for a big car,


    Well put like this it's not so objectionable.



    [quote]
    I know you have some sort of bias against the word "handling"

    I wouldn't call it any bias. It's just that 9 times out of 10 when I've seen the anti-big American car nonsense, most of it seems to center on how those good cars were not good handlers because of their size, blatantly ignoring how that size helped them to be so comfortable and useful.

    [quote]
    but its not a dirty word, it does not means the car has to be a canyon carver, it means that the car is safer and easier to control.

    Well the auto media and certain elements in the "auto enthusiast" community seems to disagree with you on this.

    [quote]
    Just because you have big car, does not mean it has to be "broughamed out" in fact the lack of sportier alternatives in bigger cars is what sped up their demise, imagine if Chevrolet had offered something like the 1995 Impala SS(think of an Caprice/Impala coupe with a tuned-port 305 and a suspension package) in the 80's instead of the in the 90's, could interest in full size cars been re-sparked?


    Well that's a debate for another day. I do like your '80s Impala SS idea though.


    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by Smaart Aas Saabr View Post
    Heck the "performance" suspensions on these cars was just adequate, the regular one was borderline dangerously soft and wooshy...

    Well they sold by the truckload so I'm guessing that most buyers didn't care about the suspension crap you speak of.
    Last edited by OLDSCHOOLGMFAN; 09-27-2011 at 02:55 PM.
    '07 MONTE CARLO SS, '09 AVALANCHE LTZ. [/B]


    Present non-Chevy gm fleet: '05 Pontiac Bonneville gxp, '09 Buick Lucerne Super, '11 Caddy DTS platinum.


    Big vehicles, big V8s, big V6s, auto transmissions, flamboyant styling, lots o' torque, lots of room, lots of comfort, lots of straight-line speed, yup, that's what I love, PURE AUTO AMERICANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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