32K Miles! 1979 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham

Having shrunk in length by over a foot from the previous generation General Motors B-body cars, you would think that’d be it, how small can they get? Well, the next-generation cars would shrink yet another 15″, that’s how small. This nice, right-sized 1979 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham Coupe can be found listed here on eBay in Lynnwood, Washington and the current bid price is $9,100. Thanks to Larry D. for sending in this tip!

What a great-looking car. The sixth generation of the Bonneville was made for the 1977 through 1981 model years and General Motors’ downsizing didn’t just involve Bonnevilles and Catalinas, the smaller cars were also Chevrolet Impalas and Caprices, Oldsmobile 88s, and Buick LeSabres. Although they were much shorter, four inches narrower, and 800 pounds lighter, they generally had more interior room. Win-win. This Bonneville has only 32,146 miles on it, that’s pretty incredible after over four decades.

I love the look of the two-door Brougham Coupe with that giant c-pillar and landau vinyl roof and opera windows. The only things missing are the opera lights. Lee Iacocca must have been so disappointed in Pontiac. The wheels are hard to beat for me as a factory wheel and this one has a sunroof. The Bonneville was also available as a four-door sedan, of course, and for the first time in seven years, a Safari wagon with woodgrain sides was available with room for either six or nine passengers.

The seller’s description of this beautiful car is in ALL-CAPS, ITALICIZED, and IN BOLD PRINT and they don’t use any punctuation at all other than dual exclamation points one time, so it’s incredibly hard to read the description. I’ve read through it several times and my mind ends up wandering to that one episode of Gilligan’s Island where they find seeds that help them to read each others’ minds, which in that case could be very embarrassing.

I was trying to find information as to the rust condition, yea or nay. As far as I can tell from the photos, it’s nay, but there is a photo showing the edge of the passenger door that looks like something has been gooped on there (technical term), doesn’t it? Is that a factory sealant of some sort? The underside looks fantastic so I doubt if there’s any rust on this car other than normal surface rust. The interior, as you can see, appears to be in outstanding condition, as does the trunk. They do mention that the headliner is sagging a bit in the rear of the interior.

Since this appears to be a dealer or a “buyer-and-seller” from their username, I really expected to see at least one engine photo, but there isn’t one. They do provide a great, detailed video here on YouTube. Kudos to them for adding such a nice video and they point out a few minor flaws in the body – a few chips, and small dings. I was hoping that they’d pop the hood on the video but we don’t get to see it at all. The engine is Pontiac’s smaller V8 for this year, the 4.9L 301.6 cubic-inch V8 according to the VIN. It has 150 horsepower and 240 ft-lb of torque. This looks like a really nice driver-quality Bonneville with just enough nicks and dings in it so you wouldn’t be afraid to actually drive it and park it in a public parking lot. Any thoughts on this one? What’s it going to sell for, $12,000? More?

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Comments

  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    That was definitely the longest run-on sentence I have ever read in my life. This car is sweet! I like the colors, wheels, the Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein red Valore interior, and the low mileage. IMO, I think the car is worth the current bid, but probably not a whole lot more, but we’ll see what it sells for.

    Like 8
    • Patrick

      I would buy it if I had the disposable cash. They were a reliable vehicle over all, and this looks like it’d be a great cruiser! My dad had the 4.9L 4BBL in his 1980 Buick Century and it was okay in that smaller car.

      Also, I lol’ed for real at the Sam “Ace” Rothstein comment! My grandfather’s 1977 sedan had the cheap cloth in the same colour as this “Pimping Rouge” interior.

      Like 1
  2. Big_Fun Member

    301 4bbl V8 isn’t a barn burner – not what this car is about. I see the rear anti sway bar. In the Chevrolet line of B Bodies,, that means a lower gear ratio. Might help in the pep department.
    Looks like just about every option was ordered; I spy auto temp control, gauge package, and remote RH mirror, among other niceties.
    I’ve wanted one of these with the 400 V8 for awhile.

    Like 7
  3. Big_Fun Member

    To clarify – when Dad ordered a Caprice in this vintage, with the F41 suspension, on recommendation from the Father in Law, the rear anti sway bar, different shock and spring rates, a deeper gear, and the 215/75R15 went to 225/75R15 in tire size. Made the car better, for sure.

    Like 5
    • Len

      F41 had HR70-15’s mandatory in 77-79. Metric sizing for tires didn’t start until 80/81.

      • chuck dickinson

        My 77 came with GR-70s new.

  4. Steve R

    It’s a hard to find 2 door in a flashy color, that’s what will drive it’s value. This is likely going to be turned into a “donk” within hours of the next owner taking possession. The “keep it stock” contingent won’t dig up not their wallets deep enough to buy this one.

    Steve R

    Like 5
    • Hank Kaczmarek

      “ooohhhh, I Hope Not!”
      Bill Dana as Jose’ Jimenez

      Like 2
    • Mark C

      I wish you were wrong. This car is gorgeous. Won’t be jacked up on 24s

    • J. Maxwell

      Donks are 71-76 caprice or impala 74-76 is also referred to as a Glasshouse chevy, another note that’s a quarter window not an opera window, I replaced plenty way back.

  5. Raymond

    Looks to be worth the price, condition wise…these were real pontiacs compared to the g body or later chevy parisiennes…still, without the 400 something seems lacking…301 was a dog…

  6. Sarge81

    My grandfather had a ‘78 Bonneville 2dr. Blue. 400 V8 w/towing package. Loved that car.

    Like 1
  7. Vance

    Steve R is probably right, some d$ck will probably turn this into a donk. Always liked these and had no guts but drove great, unfortunately coupes were on they way out. Very nice car.

    Like 3
    • J. Maxwell

      71-76 Caprice/Impala NOTHING ELSE IS A DONK 🤦🏿‍♂️
      74-76 Glasshouse

  8. Chuck Dickinson

    Had a near-twin 77 Brougham Coupe (same car w/different grille and taillights). Great driving car with the F-41 susp., tho’ the 301 is a bit underpowered, I’d buy another one in a minute were I in the market for another car, and this is only 3 hrs from home. This would be a great choice–it has ALMOST as many options as mine did!

    Like 2
  9. Steve

    What is a “donk”?

    • Tony Primo

      Think 22 or 24 inch clown wheels Steve.

      Like 5
      • J. Maxwell

        26-28 inch rim on a 71-76 impala/Caprice with the rear end narrowed and wheels tucked 🤦🏿‍♂️ where do ya come up with this stuff haha seriously.

    • J. Maxwell

      A donk is a 71-76 Chevy Caprice or Impala
      We also called the 74-76 a glasshouse. I own a 74, I owned a 73 over 20 years ago, people who call all cars they see on big rings donks are clueless and are repeating what they’ve heard others say.

  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    The Buick that was here a day or two ago went for over $25k but. This Pontiac is holding at $9150. It’s a nice car, and the 301 is okay. Wouldn’t take it to the drag strip anyway.
    God bless America

  11. Phil Topo

    I had a ’78 version of the same Bonneville as my first car (inherited from my parents). It had the 400ci V8 plus some trailer-towing enhancements (air shocks, sway bar, some gearing changes, and [I think] different carburetor. But that same lovely 2-door shape from that era. Mine was blue.

    It wasn’t at all a fast car, but it was a hell of a highway cruiser. And thanks to the focus on torque for towing, that thing would smoke tires for as long as you wanted. A big hit amongst my 18 and 19 year-old friends at the time.

    Like 2
  12. Hal Booth

    I had a ’77 ‘Grand Safari’ wagon with the 301. Rust in the floor-pans and frame [where the side-rails merge with the rear ‘over the wheel’ bits] was an issue. Replacing the rear springs with variable-rate ‘cargo coils’ made it less floaty. I had it for 10 years and still remember it fondly.

    Like 1

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