Comfortable Cruiser: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville 46.6K Survivor – Sold?

by | Jan 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

February 20, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

By the mid-1970s, General Motors (“GM”) faced increasing consumer and regulatory pressure to improve fuel economy across all of its car lines. In response, GM launched its downsized line of “B” and “C” full-size, traditional body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive, cars for the 1977 model year.  Arguably the sportiest version of these cars was Pontiac’s Bonneville. Once launched, GM stylists made only minor trim changes for the next two years as the company focused its resources on launching the “X Body line of front-wheel-drive compact cars. Consequently, this 1979 Pontiac Bonneville originally listed in January 2022 on Craigslist in Maricopa, Arizona (Pheonix) features only minor grille and taillight changes compared to the ’77 launch model. The private seller of this burgundy over red velour sedan reports the car has less than 47K original miles and features a Buick-produced 350 cubic inch V8.

Currently listed for $11,750, comparing that price against the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is nearly two thousand dollars above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of only $9,000. Additionally, a quick check of J.D. Powers’ NADA Guides Online Valuation Tool confirms the seller’s ask is well above this guide’s “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $1,325, $3,050, and $4,175, respectively.

First launched as a separate brand in 1958, Pontiac launched its sixth-generation Bonneville flagship duties as its version of GM’s downsized 1977 “B” body cars. Bonneville for 1977 was 14 inches shorter in length, four inches narrower, and 800 pounds lighter compared to its 1976 counterpart.  However, despite its decreased exterior dimensions, 1977 Bonnevilles featured increased headroom, rear-seat legroom, trunk space, and much-improved fuel economy.

In a nod to increased safety regulations, Pontiac Bonnevilles (like all GM “B” and “C” bodies for 1977) were only available in either a pillared four-door sedan or two-door coupe body styles as clean-looking hardtops were no longer available.  The standard engine for Bonneville was Pontiac’s new 301 cubic-inch V8 rated at 135 horsepower. Optional engines included either 170-horsepower 350 cubic inch Buick- or 180-horsepower 400 cubic-inch Pontiac-built V8s. Depending on supply, a 185-horsepower Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 was also an option.

The Bonneville and Catalina, already the smallest-selling of GM’s B-body line, suffered a serious drop in demand following the economic recession that began in the spring of 1979. Consequently, Pontiac discontinued the full-size Bonneville and Catalina lines for the 1982 model year, moving the former brand name to become the mid-size LeMans top trim offering that year.

The Memory Museum YouTube Channel Features this 1977 Pontiac Bonneville commercial pitching the roominess of the newly-downsized car that year:

Given the low mileage and Arizona location, this 1977 Pontiac Bonneville sedan appears to be well cared for. Given the like-new condition of the interior and vinyl top, it’s highly likely this Bonneville enjoyed a garage space sheltered from the Phoenix sun for most, if not all of its life. With all the fluids changed, a fresh set of tires, and a new stereo system, the seller believes it’s possible you could fly into Phoenix and drive this highway cruiser home.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1979 Pontiac Bonneville this car is in original condition great cruiser

46,600 Actual miles on Pontiac 350 Motor with turbo 400 Transmission

$11,750 (possible trade for silver or gold bullion of equal value)

New Tires
New Radiator and Hoses
New Heater Core and Hoses
New Air Conditioning Conversion
New Retro Stereo w/ USB and Sirius
New Kicker Speaker’s 6×9 and 4×6
All fluids and filters changed Motor- Transmission-Cooling-Fuel etc…

Get in this car and drive anywhere”

Show or go: what would you do with this 1979 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan?  Comment below and let us know!

  1. Comfortable Cruiser: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville 46.6K Survivor – Sold?

    Thats not a “Pontiac” 350, it is a “Buick” 350. It IS a beautiful car.

    • Comfortable Cruiser: 1979 Pontiac Bonneville 46.6K Survivor – Sold?

      Thanks, Mike! We’ve updated the blog post.


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