Big Rig Bonneville: 1966 Pontiac Station Wagon

We uncover a lot of Pontiacs and a lot of station wagons, but a Pontiac station wagon, a Bonneville no less? Nope, not too often. One often thinks of a Bonneville as a top drawer, two-door hard top that extends from sea to shining sea, but usually not in terms of one that can carry nine passengers. Thankfully, T.J. found this listing for us so let’s see what this unlikely Bonneville body style is all about. It’s located in Saint Joseph, Missouri and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $5,900.

Pontiac offered two full-size wagons in ’66, the Catalina and then the more upscale Bonneville. Interestingly, the Bonneville hardtops and convertibles rode on a 124″ wheelbase, but the station wagon shared the same 121″ wheelbase platform as utilized by the Catalina. Regardless, the wagon is still a big car with its 218-inch (over eighteen feet) overall length. Production-wise, Pontiac knocked out about 8,400 Bonneville wagons and another 34,000 Catalinas in ’66.

Originally a California car, this wagon now calls Missouri home and the seller adds, “It has beautiful Southern California floorboards and the body is pretty solid however there is some rust in the roof area that will need some attention“. Got that right, it’s rough! Actually, I imagine that this Bonney probably had a vinyl roof covering at one time, it was an option, and what we are seeing is the result of moisture trapped under it, likely occurring as the vinyl started to degrade – it looks pretty serious. The rest of the body is OK, the white repaint is obviously peeling in places and there is some other surface rust visible. The good news, however, is that there is a set of Pontiac eight-lug wheels included in the sale.

Not really running is this wagon’s 389 CI V8 engine – it will start but runs off of a fuel can. The mileage is listed as 40K so that probably means that the odometer has been once around. There were several different 389 engines available for the ’66 Bonneville and it’s not stated which one is in place here. Gear changing occurs via a Turbo-Hydramatic, three-speed automatic transmission.

Inside is nine-passenger accommodation with the blue “Morrokide” upholstery still holding its own, though the upholstery panels in the third seat area have badly deteriorated and the seat, itself, looks moldy. Beyond that, the rest of the interior appears to be dirty and dingy but a thorough scrubbing could greatly improve its appearance. The seller tells us that this is a radio-delete car though that means it was built without a radio option included – it does appear to be free of an antenna. The carpet definitely looks like it could support an undesirable life form.

The fact that this station wagon is a Pontiac and a Bonneville gets it points, and all-in-all it seems to be reasonable. That roof, however, has me concerned, how about you?

Comments

  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    Ladies and Gentlemen, place your bets on the next post being a Pontiac!

    Like 7
  2. local_sheriff

    Personally I think the ’66 Pontiac Safari tail lights look WAY better than the regular fullsize dittos! When I look at the coved tail section of the ’66 Pontiac I’m thinking the designers had planned for lenses similar to the wagon version, sadly that never materlialized.

    I find the ‘opposed Cs/ parenthesises/bananas/boomerangs’ (any other nicks?) such a beautiful 60s Pontiac design feature that graced so many of their models and should’ve been utilized even more, the ’64 version being my favorite. Such a shame about this Safari’s roof, can it even be remedied at all? Fill it up with JB Weld, never expose it to moisture again and just hope for the best…?

    Like 2
  3. Henry

    There is a 66 Catalina wagon here in my home town. Better shape than this one but sits outside. It runs and drives and not much rust to speak of yet. Its a factory 421 4bbl. 4spd. With factory a/c. Same story, guy won’t part with it. Gonna fix it up one day. I did however just bough a real barn find 65 grand Prix factory 389 4bbl. 4spd. Buckets, console etc. I’d love to post photos of these but my iPad is old and won’t send my membership info and payment to barnfindso I can become a member.

    Like 4
  4. Henry

    There is a 66 Catalina wagon here in my home town. I’ve tried to buy it numerous times but the same story. Owner is gonna fix it up some day. Its in decent shape. Not much rust to speak of, yet. It sits outside and he starts it and moves it around now and then. Its a factory 421 4bbl. 4spd. With a/c. Rare. I just bought a real barn find 65 grand Prix , an original 389 4bbl. 4spd. Buckets. Console etc.I’d love to post photos but my iPad is old and won’t send my membership application and payment to barn finds. Still trying though.

    Like 3
  5. Tbone

    That roof gives me nightmarish flashbacks to the first car I restored. Similar deal. A Nevada car originally but spent time near the ocean after the desert had oxidized the paint. Roof and cowl were shot but a bondo artist had done a good job at hiding the issue and I was too inexperienced to catch obvious problems. Started with a cowl graft. Than the roof skin. Should have just gotten another car. It’s the reason I warn people new to the hobby about buying the right car and how costs at restoration shops can spiral out of control if you don’t buy the best car to start with. I cringe every time I read someone (yes, sometimes on this site) saying a car needs x amount of paint work or something similar. Usually comically low. My “tuition” has largely been recouped but only because of the passage of time, the number of years that I have enjoyed the finished product, the friends I have made and the insanely high prices of similar cars in todays market

    Like 4
    • jetfire88

      Been there. I bought a ‘rust free’ ’57 Merc wagon from San Diego. Seller provided all the pix I asked for, (floors/rockers/doglegs/etc) and it looked solid.
      When it arrived in Wisconsin, the lower body was solid as advertised, but the roof and cowl were pin-holed all around the edges. Seems it was parked outside, very near the ocean, unmoved/uncovered, for years and the salt air did it in.

      Like 2
  6. RMac

    Wow I am feeling old $5900 for a rusted out non runner
    In 73 A buddy in HS bought a 65 goat w/o engine got $1,000 and bought a twin of this but perfect in and out for $500 we took the engine out of the Bonny wagon made a cam change and dropped it in the goat and he had a super running goat for under $2k those were the days

    Like 7
  7. charlie Member

    In about 1979 I bought a ’67 Bonneville Wagon for $900, vinyl roof, about 100,000 miles, drove it 3 years until the rust got it, neighbor’s house had a chimney fire in the middle of a kid’s birthday party, put all 14 kids in the wagon so they were safe (no one would run back in to get a beloved toy) while fire department came and put it out. Ate water pumps every 40,000 miles, cross brace that holds up back of transmission failed due to metal fatigue – not uncommon in the full sized GM’s of the day – hydraulic connection of HVAC controls did not work when it was 0 degrees outside, when you really needed the heater to turn on, and it had as little ground clearance as any big US car in the day. Put on Chevy wheels to raise it up an inch. But incredible power for the day for such a heavy car, wonderful turnpike cruiser, 11 mpg in town, 19 on the highway.

    Like 4
  8. Martinsane

    Oof. That roof is nightmarish.
    Like the rust that you’ll more than likely chase forever, this car’s origin story too is a riddle. The author states an “og so-cal car living in Missouri”, however the last time the car was licensed (according to the plates it wears) was Oregon.
    My spidey senses say to run away.

    Like 1
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    If it’s a radio delete car, wouldn’t have a plate cover over where the radio is supposed to be? This looks like it had a radio but someone removed it. Who ever heard of a Bonneville, the upscale car, with a radio delete anyway?
    At least it has air conditioning with the very cool General Motors crotch cooler vents.

    Like 1
  10. Bob Washburne

    I’ve been looking for one of these; my Dad’s first new car was a ’66 Catalina wagon, and I’ve always loved them. Currently housing & maintaining a ’66 Bonneville convertible for the past 22-years and so am very familiar with this particular car.

    I’m not too concerned about the roof- confident I could weld it up. It’s the rust in the welded seams & the tops of the front fenders that concerns me, along with what we don’t see; I’d want to see this photographed from rad support to spare tire pan. Two photos from her best (under) side ain’t gonna cut it.

    Even so: If I wasn’t in the midst of refurbing an Econoline pickup, it would be tempting at $5300. Worse comes to worst I’d have plenty of extra parts.

  11. Gray Wolf

    Convertible station wagon, might be a first!

    Like 2
  12. Bob Washburne

    ugh it’s unsold & reduced to $4900.

    I love my wife
    I love my wife
    I love my wife

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