Vintage PR Shots: 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special and 1954 Strato Streak – Hot Flathead Inline Eight Under Their Long Hoods

Poor Pontiac; until it’s superb new ohv V8 arrived in 1955, it was saddled with a flathead inline eight that dated back to…at least 1930 or so. But Corvette envy was burning hot among all of the divisions, and Pontiac just couldn’t wait until 1955 for their first two seat “sports car”. Yes, under that long hood sat the venerable 268 cubic inch eight, but hopped up to make some 230 hp. I found a picture of it to share with you, which shows off its four side-draft carbs.

The same engine also powered the 1954 Strato Streak sedan concept.

That’s a rather pudgy design.

Here it is, with its four Carter YH side-draft carbs.

There were two Bonneville Specials, a red and a green one. Here’s the rather unusual rear end of the restored green car. Hmm…

I hate to be the one that has to rain on these GM Motorama (bad)dream cars, but compared to a production 1954 Ferrari Pininfarina coupe, the Bonneville looks painfully amateurish.

Here’s the cockpit, including the lever for the four-speed Hydramatic. I won’t ruin it for you by showing the Ferrari’s.