For those who may recall, I wrote about this exact 1978 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham back in 2016. I first came across it late one night (or 3 AM one morning to be exact) in the underground parking garage of the Prudential Center in Boston. My friend whom I was with that night told me he’d never seen it move from that very spot, and my several visits to that garage since confirm that. Come 2018 and it’s still there in its usual spot, looking much the same as it did two years ago.
I did notice one very obvious change since last time I photographed it though; it now carries a valid inspection sticker good through the last day of September 2018, its last one having expired over a year prior to when I photographed it back in 2016. This of course means it was driven outside at least once since then, back in September.
It also means that from mechanical, emissions, and safety standpoints, it checks out acceptably, which is something increasingly difficult for older vehicles to do with Massachusetts far more stringent inspection process implemented in mid-2017. Indeed “older” is a very appropriate word to describe this Bonneville Brougham, now having hit the big 4-0 mark.
Also, something I’ve noticed before, but not at the original time of photographing just the driver’s side is that it’s passenger-side rear fender skirt is still there and somewhat intact, unlike the missing or removed driver-side. There’s also some moderate damage to the front quarter panel, likely from side-swiping something, that looks like it’s been there for quite some time. On that note, anyone care to take a guess to how many times this Pontiac has seen a car wash in the last 15 years?
From a personal standpoint, these relatively uncommon B-body Pontiacs always seemed old to me, as during my entire lifetime their very nature of being traditionally-sized, rear-wheel drive, and “Sheer Look” styled Detroit boxes was something of the past. Yet I’m still somewhat astounded by the fact that these downsized B-bodies are now 40 years old. Maybe its my own minor freak out about turning 25 in less than two months talking.
Photographed: The Prudential Center, Back Bay, Boston, MA – February, 2018