Wow Factor: 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible

If there was ever a car that possessed the “wow” factor, then this 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible would be one of those cars. It is a car that is certain to attract plenty of attention wherever it goes, and you can now have the opportunity to be part of that attention, with the car listed for sale here on eBay. Located in Gaylordsville, Connecticut, bidding on the Bonneville has reached $25,012, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The owner describes the Bonneville as being in good overall condition, and I would say that this is a pretty fair assessment. The two-tone Regent Black and Silvermist Gray paint is a fantastic combination which has a nice shine to it. The soft-top also looks like it is in good condition, and is said to operate correctly. The Bonneville is fitted with one of my favorite features, which is those fantastic 8-lug wheels.

The “wow” factor continues once you step inside the Bonneville. The interior is finished in the optional Jeweltone Maroon and Ivory trim, with Mahogany Morrokide highlights. The floor features the correct Maroon Sparkle carpet, but this is beginning to show its age. Replacement carpet is available if the new owner wants to really bring the sparkle back to the interior. The only other really obvious fault is the fact that the upholstery on the bases of both front bucket seats is stretched, and it looks like the padding below might be getting a bit tired. I suspect that the covers might be okay if the padding beneath was replaced, and this would tend to pull the upholstery back to its original state.

If you are going to have a big heavy car like this, it’s best to have something decent under the hood to get it up and moving. The original owner could have chosen the standard 389ci engine because it produced a pretty reasonable 215hp. More is always better, so they chose to tick the box next to the 389 Tri-Power engine, which gave them 315hp at their disposal. Backing this is a 3-speed manual transmission, while the car also features power steering and power brakes. The owner says that the Bonneville runs and drives really well, and while the under-hood presentation might not be perfect, it is still pretty good for a 60-year-old car.

As I said, this 1959 Bonneville Convertible is a car that can not help but attract attention wherever it goes. It is a car that just oozes class and style and would be a car that anyone would be very proud to own. Do we have any readers who are willing to join in on the bidding for this classic?


  1. Ramone

    Wow! is certainly the right word. The ‘59 Pontiacs are cool, but this takes it over the top. Love that three colour interior, 8-lugs, and tri-power. Surprised to see a three on the tree in this cruiser.

    Like 3
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    I bet Virgil Exner liked this car. I sure do. Personally I’d have checked the “auto transmission” box though.

    Like 1
    • Bultaco

      It would be really cool if you could put a modern Tremec 5-speed transmission in it and operate it with the stock column shifter.

      Like 2
  3. dirtyharry

    In 1956 the National Highway Act authorized 41,000 miles of new interstate roads. AND, what better way to be seen on the highway. Early 50’s cars had little, compared to the “Jetson” models that came later, designed to capture some magic from the future. From the rear, I can see the Millennium Falcon. Say what you want, but these are unique, stylish, inefficient and just plain big. I can really see how this and my 12V cooler, on the interstate, would be a really great time. You could go alone and never be alone. Put your classic on the road-live big and bold. Go get it dirty, it can be cleaned later.

    Like 7
  4. phil1

    Amazing !! Damn the gas prices full speed ahead !

    Like 7
    • Ritchie T

      Love the fresh “ram induction cowling intake” for the three deuces and the. The twin tri pods for the instruments and the matching grab bar, staples on any Bonnie from this year onward

      Like 1
  5. Solosolo UK ken tilly Member

    Absolutely beautiful. A real American statement convertible. I just wish I lived in USA and had lots of cash to dispose of as this would be my first of many purchases.

    Like 6
  6. Kenneth Carney

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said other than the fact I’d like it better with the very rare factory 4-speed instead of the 3 on the tree. I knew you could get a 4-speed in a ’59 Imapla or an El Camino equipped with a 348 only. Just imagine how much more speed you could get with an extra gear. Call me crazy, but I can really dig a ’50’s era Caddy with an M-22 in it. Just add a 331 tripower to that and then go have some fun!

    Like 2
    • Brian

      In 1959 you only had 2 autos a hydramatic or cast iron power glide neither much good

  7. Will Fox

    “Wow” is right. As in, “Wow, this needs a $10K repaint in original `59 Sunset Mist red paint to go with the interior!” The 8-lugs are an important plus, as they debuted in the spring of that year. I agree with others in that this needs the 4-speed Hydramatic; not the 3 on the tree. And I would definitely lose those cheap peel `n stick fake exhaust outlets on the lower quarter panels. Fine on a low-rider, but not this. And yes–thankfully the “sparkle” carpet is being reproduced, so I would install that & fix the lower bucket seat covering issue. what happened to the “Tri-Power” scripts on the front fenders? No worries; those are reproduced as well. The seller must have a high reserve price, but considering what it needs, I’d try to get it at $30K or less.

    Like 2
    • JohnD

      I thought the 8 lugs first appeared on 1960s. I’ve never seen them on a ’59. Would like to see the paperwork on that. That said, they are the early short fin type, so that makes sense. Interesting.

  8. markp

    Definitely a Galactic Glass Battle Carrier. Ahead full, warp factor one!

    Like 2
  9. Lawrence W Graham

    Love the interior . I drove a 1960 Bonny Convert. with maroon and silver interior. Today many cars charge up to $1000 for a paint color..I would pay that for a colorful interior like the cars of the 60’s and 70’s !!

    Like 2
  10. Matt R Member

    I love everything about it. When I see these cars from the late 50’s and early 60’s I always wonder what were the lengths of parking spaces back then and if they were as long as these cars? Anyone know the difference from today?

    Like 2
    • Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

      Matt, back then all the parking spaces were slanted, instead of directly opposed to one-another as they are today. And that slanted arrangement made parking a breeze.

      But the powers that be decided that there needed to be X-number of spaces per building or some such BS, so spaces got smaller and out went the slanted spaces. You’d think with today’s big SUVs and monster trucks, they’d revive those angled spaces, and maybe they will. And maybe they’ll cut down the number of handicapped spaces from 700 to just the necessary 5.

      Like 4
      • Matt R Member

        Thanks for the info Rex. A good argument there to bring them back I think, at least on the street right? If they do, I would be encouraged to get a big sled from this era. Although that would make my 20’x25′ garage seem a lot smaller.

        Like 2
      • Solosolo UK ken tilly Member

        @Rex. I totally agree with you re the old slanted parking bays. We had them in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa back in the day and they were a doddle to access. Now we have the 90 degree bays it’s a matter of luck that there aren’t many more parking rage incidents. Very rarely is there enough space to enable a direct entry so it means having to reverse and then have a second go at getting correctly parked. It’s real fun to watch some women trying to park their Chelsea Tractors and some of them even give up and drive off to who knows where?

        Like 1
  11. Eric_13cars Eric_10cars Member

    Ma had a 59 Catalina convertible (aqua marine interior) that I got to drive regularly as a 17 year old. It was a dream boat, but very wide. On old Route 9 between Ossining and Tarrytown (Sleepy Hollow), it was all you could do to stay in your lane. It felt as wide as a semi. Loved that car. Reverse was all the way down and I don’t recall if there was a park. I believe that the wheelbase was smaller than the Bonneville. I also don’t remember any 2-tone paint jobs on the 59s that I ever saw. As a freshman in college (north of Chicago), I did a ride share with a junior who had a white Bonneville convertible…back to New York for the holidays. Great road car for sure. I was talking to a pretty lady in the passenger seat around the Ohio border and got nailed for 80 in a 70. That’s okay, he missed me going 95-100 in Indiana :-).

    Like 2
  12. John

    Gee. Its hard to believe that any of these are left, much less a 389 Tri-power. I can remember them in the showrooms. I had no idea they ever made one with a three-speed manual. There are two potential issues, 1. It’ll not fit most garages; and, 2. It’ll never pass a gas pump.

    It must weigh nearly 5000 lbs. Very likely, 315 HP would put it right up there with most Honda Civics in performance (or at least it would come close to a Civic).

    But you would be on speed-dial for every parade organizer in the country. Homecoming Queens look good riding on the back of the rear seat, too.

    Ah, nostalgia.

    Like 5
    • carjunkie

      This 1959 Bonneville will outrun every 1959 Honda Civic ever produced.

      Like 3
    • Joe Defelice

      I used to get 14 mpg in my 66 Lemans with a 326 2 bbl. With Tripower you’re only running off a middle carb. Progressive linkage kicks in the other 2 carbs when you romp on it. MPGs will depend on how heavy your foot is.

  13. Larry Member

    This is definately a WOW car to me. It is one of the cars that I wish that I never sold.

    Like 2
  14. Ritchie T

    Love the fresh “ram induction cowling intake” for the three deuces and the twin tri dial pods for the instruments and the matching grab bar, staples on any Bonnie from this year onward…

  15. BigBlocksRock

    Car designers of that era sure had style. Can never go wrong with fins.

    Like 3
  16. Tort Member

    Not crazy about the paint but otherwise what a beautiful car. A friend that is now deceased had a 59 Pontiac Convertible that was red with a white convertible top that was requested to be in every parade in our hometown. Still in the family however sadly wasting away in a pole barn.


    My deceased BIL had a ’60 Catalina with a punched out 389 (to 406) with a 4 speed and a gear. He made a lot of money cruising the drive ins picking on 327 300 hp 4 speed Chev’s.

    Like 1
  18. Al

    Terrible paint 2-tone job. Do a “factory paint job” and enjoy this beauty. Lose the fake exhaust ports. Both the 2-tone and stuck-on exhaust scream “trailer park”.

    Like 2
  19. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Apparently you guys that love those 8 lugs have never had to change a flat tire on a thunder/lightning and rainy night before. Just getting the bumper jack out of the trunk and spare tire then setting the jack to jack the car up, then pulling the hub cap off, breaking 8 lug nuts loose, not 5, not 6, but 8 of those buggers, and then have to reverse the process while you’re soaking wet. Not a fun experience.

    Like 1
  20. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Oh, by the way, beautiful car. 59 was a good year for most car makers. Johnmloghry

    Like 1
  21. MB

    Love everything about that car except the 8 lug wheels. They are part of the brake drums. I had a 66 Grand Prix with them, car won’t stop in a safe distance when warm. Sold the car to a guy with a warning about the brakes, he still wrapped the car around a pole 3 weeks later.

    • Solosolo UK ken tilly Member

      @MB. I don’t understand the reasoning behind 8 lug wheels. Surely by converting a 5 lug wheel, and turning it into an 8 lug wheel by drilling an extra 3 holes in it, deteriorates the strength of the wheel. It’s like perforating the steel which to my mind makes it a lot weaker.

  22. Jay QURESHI

    bought a 59 in 1985 had bad brakes, was rusted thru, 389 had 25,000 miles the Jet-a-way with the reverse on the end worked just fine yet, the motor mount went and was on FULL Throttle for a while, NO seatbelts, single cylinder brakes and rusted parking brake made this my Make-out car for a few years, finally a rental comin’ from the gym SMASHED my glory, had a Mercedes 230S with 750,000 the kuhlmeister was broken twin carbs always are a prob~ the W-111 was the best motor that they could make~ bought the last set of Wide whites they had…life was good~

  23. Bernie H.

    NAH-nah na nah nah guys, I’m 76 and had my licence in 1958 and drove this exact car for one of our service station customers many times. It was absolutely FAST FAST FAST!!!, and “King of the Hill” back then. I used to ride home with the customer and \bring the car back to the station for servicing etc. At 16, I drove just about everything out there- 389 Pontiac’s and 348 Chev were the hot ones then. i’d give anything to relive this again.

    Like 5
  24. Ross Blankert

    In 1959, I was only 12. The word is luxury. Folks wanted the car for status and luxury. Speed was simply assumed. You can only go so fast. Picture your sweetheart curled up next to you while you drive this beast down the street showing off to your friends. These were the good ole days. You did not have to worry about someone ripping off your stereo when you left the top down at the store. Beautiful car. I don’t have the money to buy it and ship it to Panama right now It would make a great wedding car.

    Like 2
  25. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: May 31, 2019 , 9:57PM
    Current bid:US $27,800.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 31 bids ]

  26. Jack

    This car is beautiful! Definitely WOW! One of 11, 426 Bonneville ragtops built in ’59. The factory price was $3478, and shipping weight was 4070. There were 673 that came with the 3-on-the-tree, out of 78,271 Bonnevilles.

    Like 2
  27. Del

    This is gorgeous.

    Except for that 3 on the Tree.

    To me that devalues the asking price by 10 gran.

    Who would want to clutch and ship this monster ?

    Like 1
  28. Tony T

    clamp-on battery terminals … “terminal”

  29. Donnie Dye

    The three speed manual will be driving long after the automatic transmission that was an option year dies. The automatic transmissions are very prone to fail.

    • Solosolo UK ken tilly Member

      @Donnie. Were the GM automatic transmissions prone to failure or are you generalizing? I have had many slush box motor cars and the only problem I have ever had was a leak from a 1970’s UK Ford Cortina and a selector switch from my current 2009 Chevrolet (Daewoo) station wagon. Total cost in current US dollars, approx. $25

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