Eight-Lug Tri-Power: 1962 Pontiac Bonneville

Featuring a nice list of optional extras, this 1962 Bonneville looks to be a solid candidate for a restoration project. The only thing that I find really disconcerting is the date stamp on all of the photos, as these indicate that the photos were all taken nearly 8-years-ago. Regardless of this, I have to take the opportunity to thank Barn Finder Ikey H for spotting this Pontiac for us. If you are intrigued and would like to investigate the car further, it is located in Lindale, Texas, and listed for sale here on Craigslist.

The owner says that the car is solid, and the photos supplied tend to bear this claim out. It may not be pretty in its current state, and there may be some surface corrosion visible, but there is no real rot visible. The owner also says that the frame is solid, but we don’t get any photos of the underside of the car to confirm the condition of the frame or floors. There is one shot of the trunk, and apart from being pretty dirty, it does appear to be solid.

Under the hood is a pleasant surprise, and also provides the first glimpse of some of the optional equipment that makes this car just a bit special. The 389ci V8 is fitted with the Tri-Power option, as well as power steering and power brakes. The car starts and runs, and the car has been treated to new brakes, new fuel pump, new water pump, new coil and points, and the gas tank has been removed, flushed and lined. The car is also fitted with the very desirable 8-lug aluminum wheels, with the original jack and spare sitting in the trunk. Unfortunately, the car doesn’t drive terribly well, as the Hydra-Matic transmission will not shift out of 1st gear.

There’s really no way to sugar-coat this, but the interior is going to require a full restoration. Still, once this is done, it will be a pleasant sort of place to spend some time, as you get air conditioning, a power seat, power windows, a Wonderbar radio with a power antenna, and a remote mirror. Looking on the bright side, while the interior is very rough, at least it does appear to be complete.

I never like to see cars advertised with photos that appear to be as old as these ones, as that does start to raise some doubts in my mind. There could be an entirely innocent reason for the date stamp, so I’m prepared to give the owner the benefit of the doubt. The owner has set an asking price of $9,000 for a car that is loaded with some pretty desirable optional extras. If it is as solid as the owner claims, then it should represent a pretty good project car.

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    My favorite Poncho. It’s hard to tell by looking at this, but this was as cool as it got in ’62. I get a kick out of the gauge marked “generator”, when it clearly has an alternator. People just weren’t ready for the word alternator, I suppose. Lot of work to get this grand ol’ gal up to snuff. I think the return would be close, these go for $30g’s fixed up, but to have a ’62 Bonne tri-power certainly would be worth it.

    19
  2. poseur Member

    what a beautiful shape! love these & their Chevy cousins with their long trunk looks. factory three deuces & eight lugs are a big plus. i bet this thing ruled the streets for several years….

    9
  3. Steve J

    General Motors started using alternators in 1963. The 1962 and older cars had generators. This owner must have upgraded the charging system.
    I believe that a BW-T10 was available on this model, as well as bucket seats. But this car has just about every other option.

    4
  4. j liu

    What a loaded car and in the best color. Imagine that Pontiac fully restored.
    The original owner sure ticked off all the right option boxes on a beautifully designed car. It looks solid and complete and ready for a new life.

    5
  5. Beatnik Bedouin

    Like Howard, the ’62s are a favourite of mine, albeit a Super-Duty Catalina would be my pick of the bunch.

    It would be nice to see this one restored back to factory-fresh condition,and most importantly, driven.

    9
  6. egads

    I don’t know how to reset the timestamp on my camera too. Nice Poncho, lot’s of potential in this car.62 would have been a generator,wonder if the number’s match?

    11
  7. Bob s

    1962 is one of my favourite years, this car, and the bubble top Chevy are among my favourite cars. I would love to have this car, but I would prefer to pay a couple of thou less than the seller is asking. I know it has the advantage of the running engine and apparently minimal rust, but it is still going to take a lot of work and money to either make a nice driver, or a fully restored car.
    I am crazy about those 8 bolt wheels.
    Bob

    3
  8. Miguel Member

    I have posted this car here before. The prices people ask for their cars astounds me.

    The featured car here needs a whole lot of work for that price.

    The one here is a catalina with a factory 4 speed and he wants about the same price as this one.

    I know the wheels are junk, but they are easily changed.

    8
  9. Miguel Member

    The interior looks original to me.

    7
    • Joe

      Seat cover pattern wrong.

      1
      • Miguel Member

        Really? It is odd that somebody would redo the front and back with a material that looks old.

        I will do some research on what the seats should look like.

        Thanks

      • Joe

        I was referring to the black car.

  10. Fasterbastard

    Transmission is a Rotohydromatic that ran from 1958 to 64 . My 64 Grand Prix has the same problem .Roto hydamatic “slim Jim “ PND21R is shift pattern for this unit .No Torque converter , instead has fluid coupler . The bad news if doing a tranny swap the starter bolts to transmission housing, there are no provisions to attach starter to engine block in early 389 motors. I was lucky because somebody replace my motor with a 1970 Catalina 400 block so there was a mounting surface for the starter. I had to extensively cut tunnel to accommodate larger bell housing and case ,and shorten drive shaft . The SlimJim tranny had an very tall first gear and squishy 2 and 3rd on it’s best day . If you can find a four speed tranny , Pontiac bell housing and pedal assembly that would be my route to go .

    7
    • Mike Akerman

      Or you could take the govenor cover off and clean it up and then you will have all the gear. These tend to get stuck from sitting and will not shift. Takes a good ten minutes and WD40 to fix. I’ve bought a few cars like that took off in first gear ,and stopped a mile down the road , cleaned it and drove home.

      7
      • Fasterbastard

        We tried every option without pulling transmission. Final solution ,pull transmission and discard . Install turbo 400

        2
  11. OhU8one2

    What a great car to take a Sunday drive in. Crank up the radio, listen to that reverb blasting out some ol 60’s hit’s. Stop by A&W for rootbeer floats. And on the turn towards home,open up that tri-power and let her rip. Love those Poncho’s.

    7
  12. jw454

    I was hoping to see a 4 speed in this one. I always enjoy seeing the full size offerings with the tri-power or 2 fours and 4 speeds. Detroit put out some cool old cars 50 to 60 years ago.
    They had designs with imagination, and some interesting power under the hood.

    5
  13. JBP Member

    Very cool find. Is it build on the same platform as 1962 Buick Invicta coupe?
    But 9000$ is a bit to much imo.

  14. Del

    Rare beast.

    Tranny rebuild and new interior.

    All good.

    Offer him 7 grand

    3
    • PatrickM

      7K tops!!

  15. tommy okonski

    where is it and is it still for sale Miguel for 9000.

    • Miguel Member

      Tommy, the car is in Mexico, Guadalajara to be exact, and yes it is still advertised.

      The problem is that there is no gasoline in Guadalajara, so even if the car is purchased, there is no way to move it out of there.

      A gas pipeline just blew up in Hidalgo last night killing a bunch of people so I don’t see this getting better any time soon.

      I want to go over there and inquire about the car, but I can’t at this point.

      3
  16. tommy okonski

    thank you for the info so quick Miguel I appreciate it. Thanks again

  17. Tort Member

    Right on the top of my list. One of the best styled cars ever. Unfortunately the money to restore would be prohibitive to most and to buy one that was restored would be less expensive.

    1
  18. BeCarSmart Member

    So what is with the 2011 photos? Just asking?

    This IS the way to buy a car….knowing all of the issues UNLIKE that 70 Chevelle put out there recently in primer and not knowing if it is a real SS or 454 numbers matching.

    Unfortunately it is going to take at LEAST twice the value to get this car done and done right. That it will make it a labor of love or a bad investment ….however you want to look at it. I guess the question is “What can you buy one for, done right?” I am going to guess a great restoration on this one will run $70K +/- plus the cost of the car.

  19. Joe

    389 Tripower would be the J27 option. 318 HP. I just sold my better condition ’62 Grand Prix with same engine, trans. & 8 lugs. Seafoam Aqua w/white buckets. 4,000 lbs. but it stand up and haul.

  20. Brian Massey

    I have 2 catalina 2 door post cars that are way nicer that this giant paper weight.
    This car has been for sell on craigslist for the past 4 or 5 years. Original price was 11k.

    1
  21. Dee Member

    My first car, a 1962 red Pontiac Bonneville convertible, what a great car!
    D

  22. Brian Massey

    I prefer Catalinas in stead.
    My 2, 2 door post cars.

    • BeCarSmart Member

      Nice cars Brian but it looks like you invested too much in them…..being upside down and all !!!

      Just kidding my friend, couldn’t resist !!!

  23. stillrunners

    Dang that’s just too close…..about an hour or so drive east of Dallas…..hold me back !

  24. ctmphrs Member

    Too bad there were no 421s in Bonnies in 62

  25. Brian Massey

    LOL !!!
    That’s called Murphys law!!!

  26. Bryan

    All right Pontiac experts…wouldn’t the Bonneville and Star Chief be equipped with the old Hydramatic rather than the Slim Jim? I know Slim Jim transmissions were used for the Oldsmobile lineup and Pontiacs of this era, but i thought the Bonneville and Star Chief were exempt.

    • Bob S

      According to some sites, Pontiac offered the Slim Jim as the basic automatic for the Catalina, Ventura and Grand Prix. For the Star Chief and Bonneville models, Pontiac offered the 4 spd hydramatic as an option in the years up to 1962. The name given to this option was, the Super Hydramatic. This was getting near the end of the line for the hydramatic. One article states that the end of the option for the hydramatic came when the Turbo-hydramatic was introduced in 1965.
      Apparently, according to one article, the Slim Jim was forced on the Pontiac Division by internal GM politics.
      Bob

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