18k Genuine Miles: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville Safari

Car trends can be very cyclical, and it wasn’t that many years ago that the large station wagon was a car that most would never consider as a classic. Times have changed, and the station wagons of bygone days have experienced a resurgence in popularity, and nice examples have become quite desirable. This 1979 Bonneville Safari is just such a car. The owner claims that it has covered a genuine 18,000 miles, but doesn’t state whether this claim can be verified. It does appear to be in extremely nice condition, is located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

There is no denying that the Safari presents very nicely. The paint, panels, and chrome trim all appear to be in first-rate condition. If everything on the outside of the car is original, then the condition of the wood-grain trim is very impressive. This is the weak point on most of these types of wagons, and they can deteriorate in a multitude of different ways. This though looks virtually new. There are a few features that I really like, such as the chrome roof-rack, and the dual-action tailgate.

Under the hood, you get a 350ci 4-Barrel engine and an automatic transmission. While that’s a nice combination, vehicle weight is going to blunt performance. Having said that, the 6th Generation Bonneville, of which this is a part, did lose 800lbs in total weight when compared to the 5th Generation cars. Therefore, performance and economy of these cars is surprisingly good, although it definitely isn’t a muscle car. Adding to both your comfort and your peace-of-mind, you also get power brakes, power steering, and air conditioning. The engine bay on this Safari presents really well, although it looks like there may have been some liberal use of the detailing spray under there. For me, the lack of any sort of coolant films, oil marks, and corrosion, are all good signs.

The interior shots are a bit frustrating, but as you can see from this shot, the dash appears to be original and unmolested, and there is no wear on the wheel rim that would be a great indicator of high mileage. The rest of the interior presents exceptionally well, and while it is never stated, I have a feeling that this wagon is fitted with a third-row seat. The air of luxury is evident in this car, as almost every available option is brought to bear to make every trip as comfortable as possible. As well as the previously mentioned A/C, you get power seats, power windows, power locks, and cruise control.

It is extremely hard to fault this Safari. The presentation is first-rate, and it is nicely equipped. The car has been listed in a 10-day auction, and at the time of writing, the auction has been running for less than 3 days. This hasn’t deterred potential buyers, because while bidding may have opened at $200, it has already soared to $12,301. This Safari is just the ticket for that cross-country trip to Walley World, following in the footsteps of Clark Griswold. Maybe that’s what these potential buyers have in mind.

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  1. PDXBryan

    Hate to say I told ya so, but…
    I’ve been a wagon believer through good and bad times. I always thought, why drive a van or truck when all you need is some space for stuff? Or, why drive a sedan and only have a little bitty trunk back there?

  2. joeinthousandoaks

    All I can think of is Griswolds!

    • Ikey Heyman Member

      Not sure, but I think the Griswold’s was a Ford. This Safari wagon looks really nice, love the color!

  3. Kenneth Carney

    Boy, do I like this car! Too bad I’m tapped
    out right now. I agree with PDXbryan when he says that cars like this still have
    their place in the automotive landscape.
    IMHO, the big three did away with them
    to force American buyers to buy minivans
    and SUVs. The station wagon will return
    someday, and younger folks will buy them
    in droves just to lend credance to the old
    saying “What’s old is what’s new again.”

  4. Stephen Skellchock

    This would look great next to either one of my 78’s. I have a Catalina Safari with 28k and a Grand Safari with 17k. The only time I ever see one is on bf.

  5. Uncle al

    whew ! $14,000 bid up to already. no thank you !
    ha ha…buy my car for less !

  6. ACZ

    Looks like a “corporate “ Buick 350 in there. This is the original “crossover”.

  7. Valencia Shores

    We had a 1973 version. What I remember was 6 mpg.

  8. Chris R.

    Wow!! What an awesome find. This car is still like brand new and no doubt in my mind the mileage is original. Any soccer mom in the U.S. would be proud to be behind the wheel of this beauty…..bet you couldn’t find a used decent suv appointed this nicely for the money…..glwts

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