Thank you to Tim Finn
Wow, this one brings out a combination of shock, horror and admiration. This poor old thing looks like the kind of “end-stage convertible” we used to see in the 1970s, only they were rustier in the midwest.
Someone has gone to a lot of effort to keep this one kind of usable. A front clip, a seat, some wheelcovers, the right side wiper, and who knows how many parts have been put onto this one in an effort to keep it on the road. What a glorious car this would have been when new. I fear that time is running out for it to come back.
I owned a ’66 Bonneville just like this one for 17 years; toward the end, it was battered as well (although it remained all the same color; the interior and paint all matched the front seat of the one shown here).
What’s amazing about this example is how well the bumpers have survived – of course they may not be the originals, but they’re well-aligned and I don’t see any dents. (“Restored” 1960s Pontiacs advertised at Hemmings often don’t have bumpers as well-aligned as these.)
No power windows? In my car they were really helpful (as were the vacuum-operated power door locks) simply because the thing was so wide.
That right rear wheel cover is hilarious.
Interesting deterioration of the real walnut veneer on the dash.
“That right rear wheel cover is hilarious.”. Plus, he has a spare one in the back seat!
They look like the plastic cheapies sold as “universal” at Walmart, which fly off when you take a corner fast. Maybe that was how he got them, picking them up off the side of a street.
“Interesting deterioration of the real walnut veneer on the dash.”
When real wood veneer appeared as standard on a mid-price car, instead of bring restricted to six figure supercars or part of a $7,000.00 trim package.
I for one approve.
I admire the dedication to open-top motoring, and to keeping old cars on the road, both of which are activities that I whole-heartedly support.
This car will never be restored, but who cares – enjoy it for what it is for as long as you can.
The front right tire is concerning, though: I haven’t seen two-stripe whitewalls in 40+ years.
I want to know about the Pontiac the front clip came off of.
There used to exist a White 66 Pontiac with a blue racing stripe on the drivers side. Why???
My initial thought:
“What a magnificent bastard!”
I’d be very tempted to acquire this car if it was offered at a fair price, and I had an acre of land to park it on.
I love this car.
It is what I strive to be – a completely rusted out old badass.
As my buddy Jim used to say, “I’d buy that just to piss off my neighbor!”
Obviously Jim didn’t care for the way his neighbor was always acting like he was above everyone else.
Pull into Home Depot with this to buy a simple roll of duct tape and watch all of the admiring glances you’ll get from the pick up truck crowd!
That racing stripe on the hood looks like one of the trademark chrome “suspenders” of earlier Pontiacs.
I think we need to name these pick of day a little better. Can we add the type of car to the title?
I agree. Then they’d come up in a search for that kind of car.
Agreed, however many who post to the Cohort do not include the year and make. That would leave that part of the work to Jim. If Cohort posters could do a bit more research it might sometimes help this. Great shots! You can almost visualize “Bonneville” being spelled out across the trunklid in those vacant drilled holes.
It’s obviously a Bonneville in this case and while some may not know that’s a Pontiac product, the particular year is not so immediately obvious to me. The idea behind the Cohort Pick was to just throw a picture (or pictures) up there that otherwise might not be seen at all and leave it to you all to identify it and discuss it. I do now actually go back and put the data in for the prior day’s pick so they ARE searchable but even on some of those nobody ever identified the year so that’s not included if not obvious.
Many of the Cohort picks are labeled with the make and model, not so often with the year. But then some are mis-labeled as was the case with one last week. My choices are to A) potentially put the wrong info up (bad), B) do some or lot of research to figure it out (bad as I will avoid some due to the work involved), C) just put it up and make them all equal figure that those of you that know exactly what it is will point it out for others that are looking at it and reading the comments.
This way there is zero bias in the presentation, otherwise we’d be seeing a lot more 1980s Audis and Japanese cars. Do I like the picture for whatever reason? Up it goes.
The first day’s Plymouth Fury illustrated the problem perfectly, half the comments were a debate as to whether it was a Fury I or Fury III. I don’t think it ever got resolved.
I don’t want the Cohort to not put a pic up just because they may not know what it is either. Much better to have the pic without text than no pic at all. Thank You to the Cohort!
I enjoy the feature photo as is without any story or research and watching the comments grow organically. The collective mind of the commenters usually sorts it out.
For newer or occasional readers, a comment with the photo credit might help:
“From the CC Cohort, a collection of photos from readers world wide, a daily feature for your enjoyment and comment. With thanks and credit to Bob Smith”
And, it was a Fury I.
Nice to see that there are still hidden gems in Portland, Oregon and I have not discovered yet. I love finding all manners of older and old cars around here no matter what condition they are in since there is not this much automotive diversity back in New York. The mismatched wheels and the lone generic wheel cover with its brethren lying in the backseat amuse me.
I like how they were able to find a front clip from another Bonneville and have the name continue from one panel to another despite the color change. I wonder how water tight this car is come the Oregon rainy season? I also wonder how mechanically sound this vehicle is and how much life those tires have left since I’d like to see this car keep on trucking.
“I like how they were able to find a front clip from another Bonneville and have the name continue from one panel to another despite the color change.” This is no surprise; any ’66 Bonneville front left fender will already have the B O N N E letters (same for front passenger door) and likewise, any front right fender will say V I L L E (same for driver’s door). Or holes where the letters used to be.
Looks like the fender portion of the ribbed pot-metal rocker panel molding was gone before the transfer, however, on both sides.
More than 135,000(!) Bonnevilles were produced in 1966, including some 16,200 convertibles, 8400 wagons, and the remainder 2- and 4-door hardtops.
Thank you for the info.
I love how it has the styling cues of the Tempest/GTO only bigger’n better.
I think you’d really like the 1966 Grand Prix.
Absolutely. The ’66 GP has all the niceties of this Bonneville (ribbed rocker panels, wood veneer on dash, etc.), plus that sleek taillamp treatment, on the shorter Catalina wheelbase (5 inches longer than the GTO’s).
Note also that any 1966 full-size Pontiac optionally offered the GTO’s highest-powered 389 drivetrain with tri-power, as well as the larger-displacement 421 without or with tri-power. And a floor-shifter too, auto or manual, such that a ’66 GP could be ordered as a super-GTO in all respects.
Looks like Hooch has had his way with the driver’s seat back.
I just like seeing convertibles that make mine look good.
One of my all-time favorite cars. Same year as Paul’s F-100, but what a difference in condition (that is, on its last legs).
It looks like the owner is intent on keeping his convertible on the road and maybe even being rehabilitated in the future. Obviously the front clip came from a less valued example, usually a four door sedan. I really like the ’66 grille with the split air intakes. I really like to look at these big old American convertibles, though I wouldn’t really want one for myself anymore. Been there, done that.
A car like this really needs a bad muffler. To complete the effect, it would help if it burns a little oil.
Yeah, give it a real “Uncle Buck” effect.
Why did Pontiacs always have that handle on the passenger side above the glove compartment? . Was it the handle one grabbed if it looked like a collision was imminent? I owned a 1977 Grand Prix with the same handle.
I cannot look at one of these and not think of Fred McMurray and My Three Sons during the late 1960’s.
Only the coupes and convertibles had those – both full-size and Tempest-based. I guess the idea was to give the front passenger something to tug on while leaning forward to let someone into the rear seat.
Some Pontiac print ads of the time showed the handle, with reference to pulling said handle out of the dash.
Pontiac was riding high in the mid-sixties and this Bonneville was one of the reasons why. For a few hundred bucks over an Impala you got more prestige, presence, three speed Hydra-Matic and hundred more cubic inches with 325 horsepower. It’s sad to see this one in its death throes, but boy, what a ride this was when new.
How far the mighty have fallen!!
This is a totally retorable car as long is the frame is still intact. Many of the parts for this can be found if you know where to go. I am a very big pontiac collector and I could find virtually anything needed to do this restoration. The problem is it all comes down to time and money. Most of the comments I read on here is like this car is done and would not be able to be fixed. One big source for new parts alone would be Ames Performance Engineering. The world’s largest pontiac parts supplier of classic and muscle cars. If they could not provide you the parts they have a network of car part suppliers to point you in the right direction to do a project like this.
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