24K Miles! 1978 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham Coupe

It would appear that there is some rising interest in GM’s downsized B body cars from the 1977-1990 era occurring. Some low-mileage examples like this 1978 Pontiac Bonneville sedan have surfaced recently and there is always a lot of interest around them. Collectible? I’m not sure about that but a 43-year-old car, in excellent condition, with only 24K miles on its odometer is sure to generate some excitement. Let’s look at this Pontiac closely; it is located in  Northport, New York and is available, here on eBay for a starting bid of $10,800. Thanks to Ikey H. for this very nice discovery!

In its second year of downsizing, the ’78 Bonneville measured in with a 116″ wheelbase, quite a bit of shrink from 1976’s 123″ stretch. It’s subjective, but I think this reduced version actually has better lines and balance than the out-sized 1971-1976 models which seemed to push things almost too far. Full-size Pontiac models in ’78 included the Catalina at the entry point, the Bonneville in the rocking chair, and the top zoot-suit, Bonneville Brougham, at the top of the heap. Body styles for the Bonneville Brougham included both two-door and four-door sedans.

The seller claims, “You will not find a cleaner lower mileage car anywhere“. Quite possibly true, this one is a real looker and is in like-new condition. There is no explanation for this Bonneville’s limited usage but clearly, it has been well stored. The finish, trim, chrome, vinyl top, glass, wire wheel covers, you name it, this Bonneville has some serious Broughamness, with a capital B, going on. The finish, in particular, reveals great depth and shine with its Starlight Black hue, contrasting beautifully with the Carmine red interior and body-side pinstripe.

Under the hood is a Pontiac V8 engine but it is not disclosed as to whether it is a 140 net HP, 301 CI V8 or the larger 185 net HP, 400. There was a 5.7-liter V8 engine available too but research indicates that was a Buick sourced engine and that’s not what’s in place. The seller advises, “The following items were changed due to age only, rebuilt factory carburetor, new fuel filter, charged & Serviced A/C. Flushed cooling system and replaced original 1978 hoses (which look like new as soon in trunk photos) replaced due to age“. He further adds that this Bonneville was purchased from a family friend and everything was “gone through” and is mechanically excellent. I’m not sure what “gone through” actually entails.

As for the interior, well it’s a late ’70s GM luxury car with a “Brougham” tag, so there you have it. Yes, it’s in excellent condition and reflects this Pontiac’s limited mileage and belies its age. I’ll assume that floor mats have been employed at some point and thus the pristine condition of the carpet.

The velour upholstery does have a bit of a Shar-Pei wrinkledness to it, I’m not sure if that’s the original intention or something that has occurred over time.

The seller has included two videos of this Bonneville running, video 1 and video 2, neither is terribly revealing. There are five days to go in the bidding and zero bids have been tendered. Two days have passed since the auction started so that may be indicative that the opening bid is set too high. The full-size, two-door body style of this Pontiac is a definite draw; the landau top, opera windows, fender skirts, stand-up hood ornament, wire wheel covers, and swaths of stainless trim will be a matter of taste for a potential buyer. What do you think, priced right or not quite?

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Comments

  1. rmward Member

    Love this car, but it is from the time I was a 18 and a porter at a Pontiac dealer. I can confirm the “Shar-Pei” wrinkledness was the original intention.

    Like 12
  2. Skorzeny

    This is a sweet one, but three things have to go… The FAUX wire wheel covers, the whitewalls, and the horrendous rear fender skirts. My father in law had a Parisienne very similar to this, and he put about 200,000 trouble free miles on that thing. Maybe a water pump and some shocks. This was about the best GM had to offer in the 70’s. Super, super cars. Too bad this isn’t a 4 door.

    Like 5
    • Steve / My Option

      Wheel must , must go. Period….Skirts too

    • Ron

      All those items came on the car from the factory and the car wouldn’t look right without them…

      Like 38
      • Chuck Dickinson

        I bought a 77 version, and it was probably one of my favorite cars. Wire caps were only ONE of the available wheel choices. Rally wheels (which mine had) were available as well as the snowflake alum. wheels. I retrofitted a set of Pontiac honeycombs on mine, and left the skirts off to show off those wheels better. If this only had a roof, it would be perfect (and maybe NOT the vinyl top, which luckily mine did not have).

        Like 2
    • Duaney Member

      The skirts are an integral part of the rear quarter panels, if you remove them there’s an ugly opening that would look terrible. For no fender skirts, the Catalina doesn’t have this design and has different rear quarter panels.

      Like 9
      • Chuck Dickinson

        The only difference between a Catalina and Bonneville is the Catalina has a w/opening mldg, and the Bonne has skirts. Otherwise, they’re interchangeable. Remove the skirts and put on Catalina w/opening mldgs and they’re the same. Removing the skirts on these does not reveal any uncovered body areas like it would on some other cars. The skirts were not a ‘part’ of the quarter panel design, they were an addition to it.

        Like 2
    • roland

      The fender skirts are the best part, same as my ’72 olds 98. If there not liked buy a lower model

      Like 4
    • John Farley Sr

      They are not faux wire wheel covers, they are the Pontiac originals. Having dealt in wheel covers back then, I can definitely say they are real!

  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Broughamness…dude, that is pure poetry. I salute you, brough!

    Like 20
  4. Jcs

    As I believe Scotty would attest, this is a spectacular example of this gen G-body.

    If you live close to it and want an affordable local show cruiser that will draw a surprising amount of attention, this one is another that warrants a closer look for sure.

    If it’s a 301, I’d walk. 350, I’d talk. 400 or 403, I’d drive her home on the spot.

    Like 12
    • Dave Skinner

      There was no G-body in 1978, this is a B-body (full size Chevy/Pontiac/Oldsmobile/Buick).

      Pontiac moved the Bonneville name to the RWD A-body in 1982, and renamed the platform the G-body, which may be the source of confusion.

      Like 6
  5. Engident

    I submitted the same spec car, except a 79, blue, with *half* these miles, much cleaner engine bay, and upholstery much less ugly and much better condition back in 2014, and you guys rejected it. So the seller’s claim about not finding another one is untrue.

    Like 1
  6. Sf

    Great looking classic, could be fun to show, way way overpriced….maybe someday it may bring that money but not today, maybe 5k to 6k…

    Like 1
  7. Ralph H.

    It’s been for sale for a while…for some reason, every ad never specified what engine it had…which might mean a 301…very nice, though..

    Like 2
    • David ulrey

      Maybe the reason it did not sell prior to this is because of the cane being used as a prop in the picture. :)

  8. Darryl

    If the engine is the original one. VIN code Y is the 301 2bbl turd. My grandfather bought a ‘78 Bonneville Brougham 2dr. brand new. He ordered the 400 4bbl Pontiac with the trailer package. It was pretty quick for the day.

    Like 3
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Darryl: Thx for decoding the VIN, I should have done that in advance, it is, unfortunately, a 301 CI engine.

      JO

      Like 1
  9. JCA Member

    These were great cruisers. I think it looks better as a 4 door though. We had a ’79, I believe it had a 350. Served us well

    Like 1
  10. BadDog42

    Nice looking Bonneville but definitely needs Ralley II or snowflake wheels. Appears from the air intake snorkle that it’s a 301 engine which is way too anemic to move this heavy car with any authority – needs the 400 engine to really play in taffic with today’s cars.

    Like 2
  11. Ronald

    Very nice! I always liked these Bonneville Broughams, especially the 1977-1979 model years. This one looks well preserved, and taken care of. I noticed the comments about the 301, this is not a Trans Am or a street racer! This car was built for luxury, comfort, not a street racer. This is a classic car that you could drive from coast to coast, in comfort, with decent gas mileage with the 301. $10,800 sounds like a lot of money, but there is also a 1968 Charger 318 that is also on Barnfinds that is close to $50K! I like both cars, but for the money and practicality and driving comfort, my money is on the Bonneville!

    Like 5
  12. Pops in Tx

    I had an 81..loved the ride but couldn’t stop the pinging no matter what octane gas I used.. White, blue half top with blue velour.. That was pimping, as my kids would say, back then.. Beautiful cars

  13. Ken

    It’s like driving a lazy boy recliner YES

    Like 2
  14. Lance

    I have this exact car only red exterior I put snowflakes on mine and removed the skirts just for a sportier look. I always liked these downsized bonneville’s mine does have the 301 4 bbl it runs like a top and moves the car just fine on the interstate or anywhere else!

    Like 2
  15. Superdessucke

    The wire wheel caps, skinny whitewalls, and the cane clearly imply an older owner. That’s appreciated as the car was clearly loved. However, I bet it would do a lot better by simply swapping the tires for a set of Pontiac rally wheels and wider white letter tires.

    I’d leave the skirts. I don’t much like them either but if you remove them it’ll look “off” because there’s no chrome trim around the opening to match the front.

    Like 1
  16. Stan Marks

    This black beauty looks just fine, the way it sits. Leave the skirts alone. Not all cars are about big engines & speed. You young’ins will find that out, later in life. Love the cat house red interior. I’m not a Brougham fan. But this one looks great.
    Only question, I have…. Does the cane come with the car?

    Like 4
  17. Keith

    Sad the 301 should be every large ships boat anchor. Pontiac’s only bad design engine and even in its Highest HP days of the Turbo trans am it was a turd.

  18. James Johnson

    Nice car. I had a 75 bonny in high-school same color scheme as this one but mine was way bigger and had the 400 with 400 transmission. Motor had been rebuilt and bored 30 over. The old big boat moved pretty good. Never did fine top speed.

  19. Chris R. Member

    Beautiful car even with the undesired 301 but way overpriced….5-6 grand tops.

    Like 1
  20. Jcs

    You are absolutely correct Dave Skinner, I mis-spoke and did not catch it. Thanks for the correction!

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