Wide-Track Project: 1962 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible

For most of the second half of the 20th Century, the Pontiac Bonneville had a commanding presence amongst Detroit iron. They were big, bold, luxurious, and powerful cars that helped Pontiac claim third place in sales in the 1960s. This ’62 Bonneville convertible is an older restoration that’s been stored inside for 30 years and needs revitalization work. It’s in running condition, but the drivetrain should be included in the refresh efforts. These cars helped Pontiac launch its “Wide-Track” campaign for full-size autos. Located in Denver, Colorado, this Pontiac is available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $10,600.

The Bonneville nameplate was introduced as a limited production performance convertible during the 1957 model year. Known as the Parisienne in Canada for a time, the Bonneville would be one of the largest Pontiacs ever built. Not surprisingly, they would serve as the foundation for custom limos, ambulances, and hearses. The car’s third generation was built between 1961-64 and the Bonneville differed from the Catalina and Star Chief of the day by featuring more luxurious interior trim, including leather seating in drop-tops. They also sat on a longer wheelbase version of GM’s B-body. These cars all had the so-called “Wide-Track” chassis, which supposedly provided for better handling by moving the wheels farther from the kingpins and spindles.

This car is one of about 21,500 Bonneville convertibles built by Pontiac in 1962. It was last registered for highway use in 1992 and has been in storage since about that time. We’re told it’s an “older restoration” but we’re not sure what work that included. It starts up and you can drive it as-is. A 389 cubic inch V8 was standard in the Bonneville and that’s what this car has along with a Hydramatic transmission, also standard. The only thing missing mechanically is the heater core, but that’s in the trunk because it started to leak and was removed.

The exterior surfaces of this Pontiac are good with a small rust spot on the passenger side rear quarter panel. The paint looks good, but you’d likely find flaws looking closely. The convertible top will need to be redone, but the hardware is said to all be there. A few pieces of trim and emblems have walked away and hopefully are easily replaced.

Except for the front seat and flooring, the interior looks good. The bench will have to be redone and new carpeting put in. The floors look as though they have received new patches, but the seller says this is because surface rust was removed and the floors sealed with a Rust-Oleum covering to prevent new corrosion. At 75,000 miles, this looks like a solid candidate for a restoration. Hagerty estimates a top-flight ’62 Bonneville could fetch $40,000, leaving about $30,000 to work with if sold at the current bid.

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    One of my all-time favorite taillights.

    Like 8
    • JTHapp

      Yes, a nice look for that year.
      Sadly, the bumper was ‘kissed’ on the drivers side on this one… tweaking the lineup with the tailight’s bezel surround and the bumper tip.
      The other side is pristine.

      Hope it finds a new home.

      Like 3
    • local_sheriff

      Partially agree with you angliagt – the Bonnie+Star Chief received the extended ‘candy cane’ lights while the GP+Cat got the (IMO cleaner) ‘opposed C’s/parantheses/bananas/boomerangs (you pick); a design feature utilized on numerous Pontiac models ’62-’66. IMO this feature should’ve seen even more usage as it produces a distinctive Pontiac-esqe look in the dark

      Like 1
  2. Ben T Spanner

    My Father had a new 1962 Catalina Convertible in Tan with a 2 tone tan interior and tan top. He also had a 1966 Catalina Convertible in this blue with 2 tone Morroko Hyde, (Pleather) interior. I preferred the Catlinas, but that’s like saying do you want apple or cherry pie.

    Like 2
  3. Dave

    Gorgeous car. If I had my choice in 62, I’d buy this bonneville over a 62 galaxie.

    Like 6
  4. Vince H

    These cars did not have kingpins. They had ball joints.

    Like 6
  5. CeeOne

    Saw one of these in Brattleboro, Vermont a few years ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSvkjHiflBk&t=5s

  6. Chuck Dickinson

    It appears that the car also carries a GP grille, not the Bonne/SC/Catalina style one.

    Like 1
  7. Will Fox

    Not sure what ‘restoration’ work was done to this 30 years ago, but it apparently went unfinished. Yes, new footwells up front and misc. work to the exterior, but obviously the interior wasn’t touched too much. The clear plastic steering wheels are being reproduced today thank goodness, as this Bonne could use one. Not sure if SMS interiors, etc. offers reproduction seat covers/door panels, but this `62 would greatly benefit from both if possible. Looks like the heater core box under the hood is missing; hopefully it comes with the car and a buyer is able to re-install it. `62 was a banner year for Pontiac, as Smoky Unick (sp?) could attest at NASCAR. The average observer would probably not guess these were the same GM B-body as the Chevrolet Impala only stretched a bit, which helped distinguish these from the rest of GM’s entry full-size offerings. GLWTA!

    • local_sheriff

      Will, if you know where you can find reproductions of the clear steering wheel I’d be more than happy to learn where – the only source I’ve found so far is Dennis @ Quality Restorations, Ca and I was quoted some 1.5-2K to have the one in my ’64 Bonnie redone…

      As for the interior pieces SMS can indeed help out however they don’t stock anything for these Pontiacs but are all made to order. I’m still waiting for my door panels 1.5 year since I ordered from them…

      Like 1
      • CeeOne

        I go by Ames Pontiac in Spofford, NH, quite often and I thought they might carry the clear wheels, but they do not.

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