A while ago, I came into possession of a 1979 Pontiac foldout, each page measuring 8×11 inches. When you fold it out and flip it over, you have this wonderful image of the entire 1979 Pontiac lineup. I’ve seen full range photos before – and I love them – but this is on a whole ‘nother level! I’m going to need to buy a nice, big frame to put this in.
The picture was so arresting they reused it for the 1979 full line brochure, which I also own. For those who aren’t as enthusiastic about 1979 Pontiacs as myself, let me tell you what’s in this picture.
In the front row is Pontiac’s strong-selling Grand Prix personal luxury coupe in (from top to bottom) base, SJ and LJ trim. Back a row are the base Firebird, Firebird Formula, Firebird Trans Am and Firebird Esprit (with Redbird package). Behind those, there’s a row of Bonneville and Bonneville Brougham sedans and coupes.
To save you from zooming in, here’s a more zoomed-in image courtesy of Flickr user coconv. Aft of the Bonnevilles is a row of cars containing LeMans, Grand LeMans and Catalina sedans and coupes. A Phoenix LJ sedan and coupe duo are at the top of the preceding row, followed by a Sunbird Formula hatchback and two Sunbird notchback coupes, a base coupe and a Sport Coupe. At the bottom are two Grand Ams, a coupe and a sedan (this was the last year for the sedan).
The row behind consists of Catalina Safari and Bonneville Safari wagons and a Phoenix hatchback, coupe and sedan (the hatch was not available in LJ trim). Bringing up the rear is the subcompact Sunbird Safari and midsize LeMans Safari and Grand LeMans Safari wagons.
Pontiac’s brand identity may have been rather hazy at this time but, at least to me, there’s no question there are a lot of appealing choices here. What would you choose? If you want to spec out your ideal ’79 Pontiac down to the engine and transmission of choice that year, take a look at the 1979 Pontiac information booklet here.
For me, I’ll take a Grand Am sedan with the Pontiac 301 cubic-inch V8 and a four-speed manual and the snowflake wheels. Or a Bonneville Brougham coupe with the Buick 350 and the buckets-and-console option, also with the snowflake wheels.