11k Original Miles: 1966 Pontiac Bonneville

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It seems that some classic cars manage to lead a sheltered existence, and that is the case with this 1966 Pontiac Bonneville. It presents beautifully, and that’s hardly a surprise when you consider that it has a genuine 11,000 miles showing on its odometer. Barn Finder MattR spotted the Pontiac for us, so thank you for that, Matt. It is located in Osteen, Florida, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the sale price at $15,000 but may consider a trade for the right vehicle.

The owner describes the Reef Turquoise Bonneville as being rust-free. There are no problems visible in the supplied photos, while the panels look extremely straight for a 55-year-old survivor. There are no dings or dents, and the virtually flawless paint shines beautifully. One hubcap is missing in the supplied photos, and it isn’t clear whether it is included in the sale. If it is missing, that is hardly a deal-breaker. I had no problems finding some very nice secondhand replacements for under $60 each. The remaining trim is in excellent order, and there are no worries with the tinted glass. The only note of caution that I will sound on the Bonneville is with the rear bumper. When you look at the last photo accompanying this article, you will see that its alignment is odd from one side to the other. I don’t know if this is indicative of a deeper problem, but it is something that would be worth investigating.

Hiding in the Pontiac’s engine bay is a 389ci V8 backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission. The original owner also chose to equip the car with power steering and power brakes. That V8 should be producing 325hp, which allows the Pontiac to be a surprise packet. Even though it weighs a hefty 4,314lbs, it should still be able to storm the ¼ mile in 16.5 seconds. We’re not talking about muscle car territory, but that number is still pretty good for a car of this weight. It seems that the Bonneville is in good mechanical order, with the owner saying that it runs well. He also claims that it has 11,000 genuine miles on the clock, but he doesn’t indicate whether he holds evidence to verify the claim.

You would be forgiven if you expected to find some wear-and-tear inside the Bonneville, but there’s nothing here to report. The interior is described as perfect, and it is hard to argue that point. There are no rips or tears and no evidence of appreciable wear. The dash and pad appear to be perfect, as do the door trims. The faux woodgrain shows no evidence of lifting, while both it and the carpet are free from fading.  If all of the trim is original, it would provide some support for the mileage claim. It is also nicely equipped for a car of this age. It scores air conditioning, power windows, a power front seat, and a pushbutton AM radio.

This 1966 Pontiac Bonneville is a striking-looking classic, and at first glance, it shows a lot of promise. Apart from that question hovering over the rear bumper alignment, it looks like a wonderfully well-preserved survivor. It is worth noting that the Bonneville is not a car that commands a high potential value in 4-door form. Four-door examples tend to be priced around 10% less than a 2-door version and a whopping 50% below an equivalent Convertible. However, that means that they also represent a fair starting point for anyone considering dipping their toe into the classic scene with an affordable car. If you fall into that category, it could be worth investigating this one further.

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Comments

  1. MattR

    Great write-up Adam. Nice catch with the bumper. Fix that and this would sure appear flawless from these pictures. If those miles hold true, this must have been the Sunday driver to Church and back to go in style.

    Like 9
  2. Fred W

    Looks like grandma backed lightly into a post, easy enough for a bumper shop to fix (assuming there are still some around). Interior tells the story- if it’s original (and it looks it) mileage could be true.

    Like 11
  3. Brian

    In the past I had a 65 with very similar lines for 100 dollars. One thing I do remember is the unique rims instead of hub caps. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this one had that option. Great land yacht!

    Like 4
    • ADM

      Yup, weighs about the same as a Dodge Challenger.

      Like 4
  4. 370zpp 370zppMember

    Very nice car, nicely optioned too. Someone went to a lot of trouble to make sure this didn’t become a “beater”.. or a demo derby entrant.

    Like 6
  5. Jcs

    What a beauty. Best thing is that it has the ultra rare dual radios – one for the driver and one for the passenger, clearly shown in pics 9 and 11 of the ad. So cool.

    Finding a perfect 66 Pontiac clear steering wheel with nary a cracked? This sedan is gold, I am surprised that she is still up.

    Another killer find Adam, nice job.

    Like 25
    • Rigdge Runner

      Ummm…. you’re kidding right ? Those aren’t his and hers radios, one is the radio and the other set of controls are for the climate control

      Like 16
      • Jcs

        You nailed it Rigdge Runner, I was indeed kidding. Figured the so “cool” would give it away.

        I’ve long admired the designer that had the balls (and brilliance) to submit the fantastic design of these controls – and was able to get it pushed through. Loved the canted secondary gauges too, another detail that really stuck out to me at the time.

        A friend of mine in high schools family had one of these, virtually identical to this one. Fabulous cars and a blast to cruise.

        Like 21
    • Bill the Engineer

      I believe you are confusing the a/c controls with a radio.

      Like 19
      • Jcs

        Bill, My favorite coffee mug of all time said “I went to Tech for six years to become a engineer, now I are one.”

        The handle was on the inside.

        Like 23
    • Tom

      As others have commented the controls on the left are the HVAC controls. Here is a picture from a car being sold on eBay
      https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/UKcAAOSwhfRcJgK5/s-l1600.jpg

      Like 3
    • Tom

      Dual radios, thats funny.

      Like 23
      • Jcs

        Thanks Tom 😊

        Like 13
    • 3Deuces

      In the 60s, Pontiac styled the “typical” slider style HVAC control panel of its Big Cars (Bonneville, Grand Prix, Star Chief and Catalina) to compliment the adjacent radio with similar pushbuttons, knobs and faceplate lens.

      Like 1
      • ADM

        ’60’s full size Pontiacs had the best GM dashboards.

        Like 3
    • Paul

      Always loved the radio and heater/ac controls side by side. Grand Prix had the same controls.

      Like 1
  6. Bill the Engineer

    I drove my Dad’s ’66 Bonneville 4dht all through college. I was sad to see it go when he sold it to another collector.

    Like 2
  7. normadesmond

    Certainly could be wrong, but isn’t that
    wood on the dash truly real veneer and not faux?

    Like 16
    • JamieB1966Member

      Correct, normadesmond. That dash trim is a thin veneer made from actual wood.

      Like 3
      • Joan

        It was pretty cheap looking actually, but in its time our standards weren’t as high…

        Like 0
  8. Mark

    My uncle had to buy a 66 Executive after his 64 Bonneville got collected by a drunk driver. Parked on the street. Took a direct tap in the rear. What a mess.

    The 66 was white with blue vinyl interior. I remember how good the A/C was from sitting in the front seat with that high vent blowing

    Nice car. Good luck with the sale.

    Like 5
  9. Ralph

    I remember the A/C controls and radios on these. The photos appear to show two radios, but one is actually the control for the A/C and Heater functions. To control the A/C or Heat temp, one would twist one of the knobs and the colors on the display would change from red to blue, it was pretty cool for the time. I think the lower buttons would control the functions of the system, such as defrost, vent, heater, A/C, etc.
    The A/C on these Pontiacs was unbelievable, very cold, and very powerful blower fan motors.
    My Grandparents test drove this same model car, but ended up buying the 1966 Executive. Went with them to pick it up, can still recall the overwhelming “new car” smell it had. I think it kept that smell forever as the car was rarely driven and lived in the garage.
    This is a nice car and brings back good memories.

    Like 11
  10. Robert

    Where do you gat “faux woodgrain” from?

    That’s wood veneer, not plastic.

    Like 9
    • Richard

      Yes! My Bonneville wagon has real wood grain. No faux!

      Like 2
  11. HoA Howard AMember

    Beautiful, until I saw the right side, of course, come on, couldn’t find a Poncho wheel cover? Makes the car look like crap, and it deserves better. I found one on line in 10 seconds. You know, we look at this car today, it’s styling is beautiful, but in the 60’s, these were hum drum everyday 4 door workhorses, that rarely looked like this. My late uncle had 60’s Poncho’s, so they hit a nerve. As kids, we too thought there were 2 radios, not sure why they did that, and anyone remember the “Safety Sentinel” speed alert? My uncles ’65 Catalina had that annoying feature, but these cars rolled like thunder and 75 didn’t feel any different than 55, even on bias ply tires. Not an overly fancy car here, what the Chevy owner probably bought after the big promotion, but still, we were on the move and you can ask anyone that rode in these, Pontiac made a darn good road car.

    Like 11
    • Jcs

      I think that the seller probably has the wheelcover, it is present in one of the pics.

      Like 6
  12. Roger

    Notice hose clamps and a zip tie? Possible painting on valve covers?

    Like 3
  13. Bill

    If I didn’t already have two classics in my garage, I would be going after this one. Loved these Pontiacs.

    Like 1
  14. Mitchell RossMember

    If this isn’t worth $15 Grand, nothing is

    Like 9
  15. Steve Clinton

    WOW…just WOW.

    Like 2
  16. pixelpusher

    What’s the red plastic gizmo under the dash next to the parking brake release?

    Like 2
    • Pete

      I believe it is the reminder light indicating that the parking brake is on.

      Like 3
    • Pete

      Or it is the emergency flasher lights pull which were just coming into play until mandated as standard equipment on all cars in 1968 or so…

      Like 1
      • Chuck Dickinson

        It’s a 4-way flasher. They became federally mandated in 67, tho’ Ford had them in 66 (except they hid theirs in the glove compartment). The brake tell-tale was in the cluster.

        Like 1
      • Jcs

        That is what it is. 4 way flasher was an option, with a very low take rate.

        Like 6
  17. TIMOTHY FAIRCHILD

    only one issue i remember from dad’s 1966 was back then you had a lot of road tar. the lower side chrome was tuff to clean,we had a little wire brush and gasoline. what a 4 hour chore that was backthen. loved the car.

    Like 3
  18. TIMOTHY FAIRCHILD

    noticed the opitional flasher system next to emergency brake. they used these in a lot of gm’s and corvette’s as well.

    Like 1
  19. Phil G

    Beautiful, magnificent excess!!
    I’ve always loved the mid sixties Pontiacs with the stacked headlights, split grill and the swoopy lines.
    Would really have to clean out the garage to bring this one home!

    Like 6
  20. Greg Wrobleske

    My parents purchased a 1966 Bonneville 4 door like this but in Mission Beige with black vinyl top and interior. They owned that car 20 years. I loved that car! Awesome power and uniqueness in a neighborhood of Chevy’s and Ford’s. I think it was the best looking car for GM in 1966. It even had real wood on the dashboard. That trunk was large enough to hold a ping pong table folded and closed. This car holds a lot of memories for me.

    Like 2
  21. Jim in FL

    I love this – we had a silver 66 convertible with white interior. It got rear ended and that was that. But these are beautiful inside and out. I like this has AC. These are beautiful drivers and I would say it’s worth the money.

    The wood on the dash is actual wood. It was a one piece veneer that was glued to the dash. Ours started to pull off and I was able to carefully glue it back on. Super solid car.

    Like 1
    • 3Deuces

      Fact Check: The ’65 / ’66 Bonneville and Grand Prix (and ’64-’67 GTOs) had REAL wood veneer bonded to an aluminum backer plate, which was then adhered to the dash panel housing.

      Like 2
      • Bob Mck

        My 63 Grand Prix also has real wood veneer on the dash and horn.

        Like 2
  22. MLM

    Another reason that Pontiac is sorely missed ,beautiful cars like this.No wonder they did so well in the ’60s and me and this machine is the same age.

    Like 2
  23. Bob McK

    Love this car. I offered a trade that did not work for him. Totally understand. I should just go buy it and bring her home. But I need to empty one parking space in the shop. Would never want this one to sit out even for one night.

    Like 3
  24. Mike

    No question that the rear bumper took a doink at some point… rear body damage at right tail lamp evident… easy fix on sheet metal of this vintage. Love, love, love this ride, & wish I had the space…$15K absolute deal IF it is as presented.

    Like 3
  25. James E Ketels

    Where’s the second exhaust pipe. The Bonneville came with theb 389 4bbl and dual exhasts standard. If you wanted the 2bbl you went for the Star Chief/Executive.

    Like 1
    • Bill the Engineer

      ’66 Bonnevilles did not have dual exharst. They had a Y-pipe to a single exhaust. My late dad’s had a single exhaust from new.

      Like 4
    • chuck dickinson

      On some cars, duals were not necessarily standard, even with a bigger motor. If not, then they were generally a standalone option. Another possible consideration is that it MAY have come with duals, but with its obvious limited usage, the exhaust had to have been replaced–probably more than once. Perhaps it was converted to single to save money?

      Like 0
    • Rex B Schaefer

      No standard duel exhaust on the Bonneville! Only Grand Prix came with standard duel exhaust!

      Like 2
  26. JamieB1966Member

    What a beauty. The first car that I bought with my own money was a a 1966 Bonneville coupe. Yes, 18.5 feet long and just 2 doors! Bought it for $175 in 1986. Granted, it was running on 7 cylinders (hence the low price) and before we did an engine swap we discovered the frame aft of the rear axle was rusted beyond reasonable repair. So the car was lovingly parted out so that other Pontiacs could soldier on. Fast forward 35 years and I am happy to report that I have a 1965 Bonneville coupe in my driveway. One of the best-looking cars GM ever made.

    Like 5
  27. George Mattar

    I grew up in a Pontiac house hold. Dad always bought Pontiacs. We had a new 62 Tempest station wagon. Then in mid 1966, he took me as a 10 year old to Ruderman Pontiac in Port Jervis, NY and we came home in a white on red interior 66 Safari wagon. The quality of the interior was far superior to other GM cars at the time. Never a problem with it. I used to wax the car. Took a long time with Blue Coral. Miss my dad and all those great Pontiacs when cars had style and steel. Not cheap plastic crap made overseas. I have since owned a 69 GTO, 70 GTO, 72 Catalina and 77 Grand Prix SJ with 32 options.

    Like 7
    • Jcs

      Very cool, George.

      I would venture to guess that the 77 stands out as your favorite, depending on the colors.

      Like 1
  28. Stan Kaminski

    Note the unique black cover concealing the air conditioner box in the engine photos. I may be wrong but I think Pontiac was the only one to utilize these. I think it was just to beautify the engine compartment. I’ve heard them selling for $1000 if you can find one. I think it was only used for a couple years around 1965 in 1966 but I may be wrong. Only used on full size Pontiacs.

    Like 0
  29. Artur

    I am not sure but the a/c clutch assembly seems not to be stock, along with the belt and the sticker atop the compressor. Also can’t tell straight from the picture due to low resolution but it seems that the valve covers have been repainted and differ in color from the engine casting. Also I noticed that there’s some fishy stuff going in front of the water pump. As the steel fuel lines go up to the carb there should be a red or blue painted cylinder style fuel filter with AC Delco writing held up by that clamp that is right above the water pump housing. This filter had one intake and two outtakes, one going for the carb and the second for fuel vapors returning to the fuel tank. This kind of filter came stock with the factory a/c package. Here’s it’s missing. On the other hand I can see probably factory matching, date coded spark plug wires (yes, even after 55 years they can be good if not bend extensively what would brake the filigree carbon fibers inside). The interior speaks for itself, no seeable cracks on the dashpad or the steering wheel. Either it was remade or has been well stored away from extensive uv-sun rays. Tough I think the factory floor mat for a benched car would be a full width one and not seperated like for bucket seats.
    All in all seems to be a quite original car that has been well kept. Would love to see the inside of the trunk!

    Like 0
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Full width or twins were available for most all vehicles. Whichever the customer wanted. The majority of the OE mats were the twins; the full-width ones are less common on most cars.

      Like 0
  30. MattR

    The ad is still up after 19 days. This is curious to me. Has anyone checked it out?

    Like 1
  31. John

    I grew up in a Pontiac household on steroids. We started with a beautiful
    black vista Star Chief, my oh my was the paint gorgeous back then. That
    Was followed by a ‘60 Bonneville in Maroon, then 62 Grand Prix (OMG)
    in Burgandy, 64 Star Chief, 66 Ventura ( Burgandy) then 67 Bonnevile, Then 69. These were just my folks cars! I had a 64 Lemans ( Burgandy of course)
    65 GTO (OMG), 66 LeMans, 68 Le Mans, two 69 Firebird 400, one a convertible, 68 Firebird 400 convertible, 74,75,78 Firebird Formula, lastly
    82 Grand Prix, beautiful two tone redwood and burgandy. Ended my “love affair” with Pontiac. All these cars were the death of my retirements accounts.
    It was great for the ego, quick fix. Left with financial carnage.

    Like 1

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