Frame Off Restored Bonneville Convertible 347/310 HP FI
In 1957, a refocused and re-invigorated Pontiac wanted to raise awareness about its performance credentials and did so by introducing this car: the original Bonneville. Named in honor of the salt flats where speed records have been set for decades, this fuel injected 1957 Pontiac is one of the rarest and most desirable 50s collector cars ever produced.With a total production run of just 630 units, itis much more uncommon than the roughly 3,000 1957 fuel injected Bel Airs sold by Chevy, and the cars market value reflects that exclusivity. In comparison to the most recent '57 Bel Air 'fuelie' convertible we sold, which fetched a solid $140K, investment grade fuel injected Bonnevilles like this one have been regularly pulling over $200K for the past few years now.
By the early 1950s Pontiac was considered a stodgy brand with little direction and was constantly overlooked by young buyers seeking performance. GM promoted 'Bunkie' Knudsen to the head of the division and tasked him with the ultimate mission to improve sales. Within just two short years Pontiacs were setting records at NASCAR events across the country, sales dramatically improved the brand began a 52 year legacy of being GMs unofficial 'performance division'. Modeled after 1954 GM Motorama concepts of the same name, the 1957 Bonneville was meant as a one car per dealer promotional item that could be used to fuel excitement about GM's new performance brand. Available in convertible form only, these fully optioned and highly exclusive Pontiacs carried higher price tags than comparable Cadillacs and included a high performance fuel injected 347 V8 as standard equipment.
The VIN and cowl tag on this 1957 Bonneville decode as follows:
P = Pontiac Michigan assembly plant
8 = 28 series
57 = 1957 model year
H = Hydra-matic transmission
24652 = Basic production sequence
57-2867SDTX = 57: Model year 1957, 28: Star Chief 67SDTX: Bonneville custom convertible
P 40 = P: Body was constructed at the Pontiac Michigan assembly plant, 40: Production sequence
266-1 = Tartan Red and Ivory interior.
PPZ 43 = Kenya Ivory with Bonneville Red splashes
Fresh out of a complete frame off restoration in which not a penny was spared, thisPontiac is decidedly one of the most impressive cars I've ever seen. The smooth Harley Earl designed body panels are completely free of any waves or blemishes and the cars straight and narrow panel gaps are likely much better than what came from the factory 54 years ago. On top of the clean body, familiar Kenya Ivory paint, worn by all 1957 Bonnevilles, displays an excellent shine. And on the sides of the car, Bonneville Red 'splashes' complete a look that was shared by most of the 630 cars produced.
There is so much stainless and chrome on this Bonneville that it's almost overwhelming, yet everything contributes to the overall appearance of the car in a positive manner. Up front, correct T3 headlights sit inside chrome trimmed hooded enclosures below lighted chrome fender ornaments. Between the headlights, a pristine 50s Pontiac hood ornament mounts to an embossed backing in the center of the curved and chrome trimmed hood. Below the headlights, a highly detailed wrap around front bumper features a spectacular chrome finish, traditional Pontiac 'dagmars' and clear square marker lights. Sandwiched between the chrome bumper and chrome trimmed fenders is a streamlined chrome grille that, to my eyes, seems very reminiscent of 'silver streak' Pontiacs of the past. Behind the hood, a stainless trimmed cowl panel sits below stainless windshield wipers that clear a factory tinted front windshield which is encased in spotless curved stainless trim. At the sides of the windshield, highly detailed chrome mirrors are enclosed in finned bezels; and at the top of the windshield a correct new white power top features a glass rear window, fits tightly and looks great. On the profile of the car, the Bonneville Red flashes are surrounded by restored original stainless trim that is exceptionally straight and has been buffed to a brilliant shine. On the front fenders, canted chrome “Fuel Injection” emblems complement seven chrome louvers mounted just behind the swept front wheel openings. On the rear fenders, canted chrome “Bonneville” emblems complement modern looking satin finished trim that flows from the rear wheels to the rear bumper of the car. Out back, the cars tail fins are completely capped by chrome which integrates clear tail lights, clear reverse lights and round marker lights into housings that sit on either side of a third chrome “Fuel Injection” emblem and two opposing showroom quality chrome spears. Below the trunk, another highly detailed chrome bumper wraps around the corners of the car and houses correct beveled exhaust outlets.
Under the hood of this '57 Bonneville you'll find an original 347 cubic inch fuel injected V8 with a 10.25 to 1 compression ratio and, according to Pontiac, 'over 300 horsepower'. Although the engine was never officially rated, many enthusiasts believe 317 is the correct factory horsepower number, and the car was without a doubt the fastest production Pontiac to ever hit the streets. It broke virtually every established NASCAR speed record and hit 60 mph in a swift (for 1957) 8.1 seconds. On top of the motor, an original Rochester fuel injection system receives cool air from a correct black “Pontiac” decaled air cleaner that is piped to the front of the car and covered in steel mesh. In front of the air cleaner, a correctly tagged Delco generator is spun by a new V-belt, and behind the fuel injection system a correct points distributor sends spark through correct black plug wires. On the left side of the motor, factory correct standard power steering sits behind a correct black radiator which sends and receives water through correct hoses with correct clamps. Hanging from the cars correctly marked Ivory fire wall is a correct glass Cadillac decaled reservoir that holds windshield washer fluid and a correct heater blower that pipes warm air to the interior through vents in the cars kick panels. Not a detail has been missed in this engine bay; the Pontiac block is painted traditional turquoise and contrasts well with the satin black inner fenders and the hood even features correct insulation and a factory equipped courtesy light.
Behind this Pontiac's fuel injected 347 V8 is an original Strato Flight Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission that sends power to a correctly rebuilt rear end. One of the big selling points of the '57 Bonneville was its completely independent front suspension which, in this car, has been painstakingly restored to factory specifications and completely detailed with correctly painted components and correct steel hardware. Out back, the car's rear suspension benefits from the same acute attention to detail as the front suspension and features silver factory leaf springs below correct black spiral shocks. Braking is handled by standard equipment power drum brakes that bring the car to a stop in a surprisingly short distance, and turning is aided by standard equipment power steering that both improves handling and makes slow speed navigation a lot more manageable in this long and heavy car. Above the suspension, the cars floor pans are exceptionally solid and display a fresh coat of red undercoating, and all of the small details such as new stainless fuel lines new brake hoses, a new stainless fuel tank and a factory correct replacement exhaust system have been installed to a very high standard. Putting the power to the pavement is four Bonneville Red 14 inch factory steel wheels that feature white detailed stainless tri-blade wheel covers with stamped "Pontiac" scripts and wear 8.50-14 wide white wall tires.
Loaded with every option in the book except air conditioning, this Bonneville's interior features a perfect mix of outrageous style and typical American luxury. The front eight-way power seat is covered in Tartan Red and Ivory leather and features chrome adjustment buttons, new lap belts and a complimentary color design to the pristine rear leather seat. In front of the power seat, a Bonneville Red dash is capped by a great looking Tartan Red pad and finished by mirror-like stainless lower panels that house chrome knobs for the cars accessories. In front of the driver, a bright stainless instrument bezel houses a horizontal speedometer over round chrome trimmed gauges for the cars vitals, controls for the cars heater, a standard Wonderbar AM radio and a standard continuous motion clock. Below the dash, like-new red carpet sits below chrome trimmed pedals that feature awesome “Brake” and “Power” lettering and features no wear and tear at all. At the sides of the seats, Tartan Red and Ivory door panels display new stainless trim, new chrome door toppers, chrome mounted white arm rests, new chrome handles for the doors and vent windows, and switches for the cars standard power windows. In front of the driver, a standard equipment deluxe steering wheel features a chrome horn ring inside a marbled Ivory rim, and sits in front of a chrome column mounted gear selector, a chrome gear indicator and a chrome turn signal stalk. At the center of the steering wheel, stylized “Pontiac” script sits on a mesh-look backing below a “Power Steering” emblem that incorporates a traditional gold Pontiac indian head insignia. Behind the spectacular interior, the car's fully restored trunk is lit by a factory equipped courtesy light and features a correct reproduction mat, a correct spare tire on a correctly painted wheeland a correct jack. There isn't a single worn, damaged or improper piece, and the car it even has its original ornate rearview mirror mount at the top of the windshield.
This investment grade 1957 Bonneville is one of the finest Pontiacs left on the planet; and with strong international demand, 50s Detroit steel is one of the hottest markets in the collector car hobby. That means pedigreed cars like this super rare Bonneville are only going to increase in value and exclusivity.Don't miss your chance town an ultimate collector car from GMs heyday. Call now!
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