I took another stroll through the Cohort and was met with another submission by Mike HayEs (whose name I spelled correctly this time (says the red-faced author).
Anyone who has spent more than three weeks at this site knows that I am a sucker for the big original cars that are never seen at car shows because they were what the attendees were forced to drive because they did not have that cool GTO, 442 or Road Runner in the driveway. “Daaaaad, can I borrow the caaaaar?”
This car is every big GM car from my youth – and there were lots and lots of them. A big Bonneville 4 door hardtop was the car for every successful suburban Dad who didn’t want to look too self-important.
I love the skirts on these cars and find them perhaps the best-styled B body cars of their era. A set of the Pontiac 5 spoke wheels would look great here, but on this unit complete with vinyl roof, the fake wires don’t look bad – and this from someone who normally doesn’t care for fake wires. In truth, I don’t really remember many Pontiacs out on the streets with these.
And finding a cool old car in one of those paint colors that everyone forgot about but that were everywhere for a short time. Is it green? Is it gold? I didn’t know then and I still don’t. I think Pontiac called this one “Champagne”. Is there such a thing as green champagne? I am just happy to see one that is not red.
My one quibble is that I never really got the front end styling on these cars. Pontiac was the leader in the over/under headlight trend, but this car shows that they may have been running out of ideas. Stacked headlights and loop bumpers are difficult to combine. Perhaps I am in the minority here (like that ever happens?) and will be set straight by readers who consider these the best looking front ends ever.
But I think my favorite part about the car is the hood-mounted tach. Was there ever a single Bonneville built with one of these? Was it even available? Or did a guy who had to settle for something to satisfy the Mrs. make that one little attempt to make the car live up to its namesake when he had the dealership parts department order one in for installation before delivery. “Gee honey, they built it wrong. The dealer can order another, but it will take about 8 weeks.”
So we have a car named Bonneville after the high speed salt flats, and that wears the famous Pontiac hood tach. All on a seasick gold four door hardtop with a vinyl roof and fake wire wheel covers. The metaphors on this car may be mixed, but I find it a tasty combination.