The 1959 Pontiac Bonnevilles became "Wide-Tracks" for 1959 -- big but uncommonly handsome all-new cars that could fly like scalded bats and cornered better than anything else in the medium-price field. It was the start of what would be a dramatic upturn for a traditionally dowdy brand, which moved from sixth to fifth in the sales race.

1959 pontiac bonneville
The 1959 Pontiac Bonneville was Pontiac's first step in a sportier new direction.
See more pictures of classic convertibles.

Leading this charge was the glamorous '59 Bonneville convertible. Though not a limited edition like the 1957 original, it was still a formidable performer with a newly enlarged 389 V-8 making 260 standard horsepower with stickshift or 300 with optional Hydra-Matic. Not enough? Order Tri-Power, with triple two-barrel carbs and up to 345 bhp.

1959 pontiac bonneville
The 1959 Pontiac Bonneville offered Hydra-Matic transmission and
Morrokide seats.

At $3478, the ragtop Bonneville sold a healthy 11,426 units. All came with Pontiac's top-grade "Morrokide" vinyl upholstery. Even "bucket" front seats were available. Pontiac was starting to go sporty in no uncertain terms.

For more classic convertibles of the 1950s, see:

1950 Oldsmobile 88

1955 Cadillac Series 62

1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

1951 Chrysler New Yorker

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957 Lincoln Premiere

1951 Lincoln Cosmopolitan

1955 Mercury Montclair

1957 Oldsmobile Super 88

1951 Rambler Custom Landau

1956 Ford Thunderbird

1958 Continental Mark III

1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta

1956 Lincoln Premiere

1958 Edsel Citation

1954 Hudson Hornet Brougham

1956 Packard Caribbean

1959 Cadillac Series 62

1954 Packard Caribbean

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1959 Dodge Custom Royal

1955 Buick Century

1957 Chrysler New Yorker

1959 Ford Thunderbird

For more information on all kinds of cars, try these: