Motor Mouth Blog


Car Stories: ACM’s 1960 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible

In 1960, General Motors styling was toned down from what some considered at the time, the design excesses of 1959. Chevrolet’s controversial “batwings” were flattened and Cadillac’s ever growing tail-fins started to shrink. Pontiac’s grille changed from split to horizontal, and the “Vfins” were gone.

The name Bonneville was first seen on a 1954 GM Motorama concept car called the Bonneville Special. It wasn’t until 1957 when the name appeared again on a production car introduced mid-year as a convertible performance model with a 310 horsepower fuel-injected V8 offered at the price of $5,782. Limited to one car per dealer, only 630 were sold. The following year, Pontiac marketed the Bonneville line as both luxury hardtops and convertibles. By 1959, Bonneville had replaced the Star Chief line as Pontiac’s top series.

For the 1960 model year, the Bonneville line was available in 2-door and 4-door hardtops, as a convertible and a 6-passenger Safari station wagon. 1959 and 1960 were the years Pontiac introduced the “Wide-Track” in which the front and rear track were nearly 5 inches wider. Bonneville’s had distinctive front fender scripts, Bonneville lettering on the deck latch panel, beltline moldings ending in three dashes of chrome at the rear and V-shaped crest on the lower front fenders.

This example is maroon with maroon and ivory leather interior and was ordered with power steering and brakes, power top, power windows, power front seat, “Wonderbar” radio and a “Safeguard” speedometer that came equipped with an excess speed buzzer and warning lamp. It is powered by a 389 cubic inch V8 with 303 horsepower matched to a 4-speed Hydramatic transmission. The base price for the Bonneville convertible was $3,478, and less than 18,000 convertibles produced for this model year.