The 1959-1960 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtops & Convertible were the sportiest of the "volume" Bonneville's that ousted Star Chief as Pontiac's top full-line series for 1959, the year the division introduced "Wide Track" design and some of Detroit's cleanest styling. It returned to the 124-inch Star Chief wheelbase, however.

A broad split grille and "twin-fin" rear fenders were replaced by a vee'd grille and rocket-tube taillights for 1960, but thin-pillar hardtop roof-lines, vast glass areas, and sporty vinyl interiors (with individual "buckety" seats on some two-doors) were featured throughout. Pontiac enlarged its 1955 V-8 yet again, this time to 389 cubes. Fuel injection was gone, but Bonneville offered up to 348 horses with Tri-Power carburetion, a returning and still fairly popular option.

Counter-part convertible and hardtops in the low-line, 122-inch-wheelbase Catalina series are equally collectible now -- really preferred by performance fans for being lighter -- but we single out the Bonneville's as the biggest, brightest, and best models in the years when number-five Pontiac first staked its lasting claim as Detroit's number-three seller.

Pluses of the 1959-1960 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtops & Convertible:

  • Big, smooth, and impressive
  • Fine performance
  • Great styling, especially the 1959s
  • Still available and quite affordable
  • Surprisingly good handling

Minuses of the 1959-1960 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtops & Convertible:

  • Hardtop sedans less in demand than two-doors
  • Needs plenty of high-octane gas
  • Too big to make practical daily drivers?

Production of the 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtops & Convertible:

  • Sport coupe hardtop: 27,769
  • Vista hardtop sedan: 38,696
  • Convertible: 11,426

Production of the 1960 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtops & Convertible:

  • Sport coupe hardtop: 24,015
  • Vista hardtop sedan: 39,037

Specifications of the 1959-1960 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtops & Convertible:
Wheelbase, inches: 124.0
Length, inches: 220.7

Weight, pounds: 3,965-4,070

Price, new
: $3,257-$3,478 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1959-1960 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtops & Convertible:

TypeSize
Horsepower
Years
ohv V-8
389 cid
260-348
1959-1960

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