Amelia Island | Lot 218

1957 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible

$123,200 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida

7 March 2020

Chassis No.
  • One of just 630 produced for 1957
  • Unique model equipped with Rochester mechanical fuel injection
  • An older restoration that presents beautifully
  • 1994 AACA Senior Award winner

For the first time since the 1930s, gone was the trademark “Silver Streak” hood trim giving Pontiacs a much cleaner look. Pontiac general manager Semon E. “Bunkie” Knudsen likened them to suspenders and ordered them gone immediately after taking over the Pontiac division of General Motors. It was Knudsen who coined the phrase “You can sell an old man a young man’s car, but you can’t sell a young man an old man’s car.” The division’s sales soared under his tutelage.

Introduced in January 1957, the new luxury Bonneville with “Star-Flight” styling became Knudsen’s flagship model, equipped with every power-operated feature imaginable at the time, along with a price to match. At $5,782, it was $1,000 more than a fuel-injected Corvette and more than twice the price of a Star Chief convertible. Power was supplied by a 315 hp, 347 cu. in. V-8 with Rochester mechanical fuel injection, affording a 0–60 mph time of 8.1 seconds. Only 630 were produced.

Like all 1957 Bonnevilles, this Kenya Ivory and Bonneville Red convertible is fully optioned, including power steering, brakes, windows, seat, antenna, signal-seeking radio, and Hydramatic transmission. It is fitted with a correct white convertible roof and charcoal-and-ivory leather interior as per the trim tag. It is also equipped with a complement of accessories, including a tissue dispenser, nail guards, dual spotlights, fender skirts, and continental kit. In the possession of the consignor for the last eight years, the Bonneville was restored in the late 1970s/early 1980s by the previous owner who secured the services of a marque expert.

While in the possession of the former owner, Jack Denlinger of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Bonneville received its AACA First Junior and Senior awards in 1994, along with the Bomgardner Award for the most outstanding restoration at the Hershey Fall Meet. Denlinger is well-known for his exacting and meticulous restorations. The consignor describes the car as still being in excellent condition, though an older restoration. It has been regularly exercised but used sparingly and never shown during their ownership.

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