Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1966 Pontiac Bonneville
Interesting story on how the Pontiac Bonneville really earned its name. It all started with David "Ab" Jenkins and his love for the Bonneville Salt Flats. He and his son Marv were racers there and in 1956 were tapped by Pontiac to help the brand set some speed records and to shed its ho-hum reputation. "Until my dad got hold of that Pontiac," said the late Marv Jenkins, "it was a car for retired ministers. In June of 1956 Ab and his son Marv drove a Series 860 Pontiac around a 10-mile circular track that had been laid out on the salt. Together they achieved an average speed of 118.375 MPH in a 24 hour period and shattered all 28 American unlimited and Class C stock-car racing records. Ab drove around 2,841 of the miles himself and survived off of only a few chugs of milk that he took down during his 30-second pit stops. He died of a heart attack shortly after setting the records. In 1957 Pontiac name the Bonneville in his honor, a rare example in which a car was named after a racing inspired theme.
For consignment a 1966 version of the Bonneville that represents in my opinion one of the nicest design years in the history of this car. With its split front grille, Pontiac "beak" breaking it up, dual stacked headlights, sleek rear with integrated horizontal taillights and along with a clean interior, this example is a keeper.
Cameo Ivory covers the big steel panels of this large and in charge cruiser, complete with fender skirts. Panels are mostly straight paint is good, and there is a lot of it to look at. From the side view it appears as a 4-door spaceship with a swept back B pillar, and long, long trunk and hood and inset bumpers in chrome, it could be moving at warp speed. Adding to the spaceship mystique are the turbine style wheel covers. A stainless rocker trim which continues on the rear quarters, shows some wear and dings, but adds a nice highlight to the bottom end of this Starship Enterprise.
Pristine black door panels, a front bench, and another bench for the back are all in nicely preserved vinyl and make up the passenger compartment. A wood appliqu dash with plenty of chromed highlighting is clean, and all functioning. The top dash is covered with a towel which we did not remove to see if there are any cracks in the padded dash top. Nice black carpet covers the floors, and a tight black headliner floats above. Beam me up Scotty.
A pop of the large and long hood and we are in the presence a nicely restored engine bay, within which is a restored 389ci V8. This steel blue block is topped with chromed valve covers, and a chromed air cleaner, and has nice supple shiny rubber hoses, like new wires, and some snazzy red spark plug connectors showing up just under the valve covers. Below the air cleaner is an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor and strapped to the back is a TH400 3-speed automatic transmission. Power goes rearward to a 10-bolt rear. I'm giving her all she's got Captain.
Setting our phasers to stun-ned, the undercarriage is clean and mean with no rust seen. All structurally sound underneath, and noted independent coil springs upfront, and 4 link with coil springs on the rear, provide the glide ride this car is famous for. Drum brakes are handed out to all 4 corners, and all is well underneath.
Past history allowed me to step to the front of the test drive line as when I was 16 this was the family car, and I loved every minute off it, mainly because of those 2 large benches and my 15 year old arm candy. This one started right up, idled smoothly, and when shifted onto gear took off with V8 4-barrel power. It is a large car, and will not carve a curve, but then again it is a cruiser with plenty of cubic inches to romp around in and utilize under the hood. A super smooth ride, this car will literally cruise all day at highway speed and can carry a family on these long trips. While on one, don't forget to pull over, have a sandwich and pop the hood for the engine to cool faster before returning to the interstate. Is that a 60's thing? As it is highly illogical when really thinking about it.
All in all, a nice ride, good paint, clean chrome, and a sparkling engine which ticks like a clock. Plenty of room to play in, and the iconic Pontiac look with its split grille, "beak" and stacked headlights, and a wonderful interior to boot. Speaking of boot, prior to your purchase I'll move my 1-bedroom furniture out of the trunk, but for now its staying. "Live long and prosper" Nannu Nannu.
39-4 Door Hardtop
E-Linden, NJ Assy Plant
144276-Sequential Unit Number
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