Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama

Car producer : 

Pontiac

Model:

Bonneville Special Motorama

Year:

1954

Type:

Coupe



The Bonneville name first appeared in 1954 on a pair of bubble-topped GM Motorama concept cars called the Bonneville Special. It's said that Harley Earl, director of GM styling, got the idea for a GM concept car while watching world speed records being set at the Salt Flats in Utah. It would be a sports racer called a Bonneville Special. That was when 1954 models were being readied for production, and no GM car had ever carried the Bonneville name. Perhaps Harley Earl gave the assignment to Pontiac as the birth of its upcoming performance image. Under the direction of Earl, Hommer LaGassey and Paul Gilland were directed to build two Bonneville Specials. The bronze car would debut in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf in New York and the green one in the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles. The green model would later tour major dealerships around the country. The cars were showbiz and beyond production, but realistic enough for the public to identify with them and make them contenders for best-remembered Motorama cars. It entered the production lineup as a high-performance, fuel-injected luxury convertible within the Star Chief line in the 1957 model year and was loaded with every conceivable option as standard equipment with the exception of optional air conditioning and continental kit, This put the Bonneville in a Cadillac-like price range of $5,782.00 - more than double the base price of a Chieftain four-door sedan. A fully equipped Bonneville could cost more than a Cadillac. Only 630 units were produced that first year, making it one of the most collectible Pontiacs of all time. The following year it would become its own separate model, and it would endure until 2005 as the division's top-of-the-line model. The name was taken from the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the site of much early auto racing and most of the world's land speed record runs, which was named in turn after U.S. Army officer Benjamin Bonneville.

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