The Bonneville name first appeared in 1954 on a pair of bubble-topped GM Motorama concept cars called the Bonneville Special, sharing an appearance with the Chevrolet Corvette. Bonneville became a separate model in 1958,available as a two-door hardtop or a convertible. It paced the Indianapolis 500 in its first year. As a separate model Bonneville had a significantly lower price tag of around $3,000 thanks to the demotion of most of the luxury items found on the 1957 Star Chief bodystyle from standard equipment to the option list. Also a 300 horsepower (220 kW) 370 cubic inches (6,100 cc) V8 with four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts was now standard equipment. In its third year, the 1959 Bonneville became a full top-line series with the addition of the four-door hardtop sedan and Safari station wagon body styles. The Bonneville played an important part that year in the introduction of two of Pontiac's greatest marketing inspirations — the split grille and the Wide Track slogan. The Bonneville remained Pontiac's costliest and most luxurious model throughout the 1960s and was instrumental in pushing Pontiac to third place in sales from 1962 to 1970.The distinctive protruding grille made its appearance on all Pontiac products during the early 1960s, and was a modern revival of a similar appearance on Pontiac products during the 1930s and early 1940s, as demonstrated on the Pontiac Torpedo.The Bonneville differed from its lesser Catalina and Star Chief counterparts by featuring more luxurious interior trim with upgraded cloth and Morrokide vinyl or expanded Morrokide upholstery in sedans and coupes, expanded Morrokide in Safari wagons and genuine leather seating in convertibles. Bonnevilles (with the exception of Bonneville Safari station wagons) were also (along with Star Chiefs) built on a longer wheelbase version of GM's B-Body. Also found in the Bonneville were instrument panels and door panels with walnut veneer trim, carpeted lower door panels, grab bar on the passenger side of the dash and courtesy lights and a rear arm rest. In 1965 B-Body Pontiacs received a dramatic re-style, featuring fastback rooflines on coupes, rakish fender lines and even more pronounced "Coke Body" styling. Bonnevilles followed largely the same styling cues as on other 1965 Pontiacs, but was 8 inches longer thanks to its new 124-inch wheelbase chassis. The interior featured new instrumentation and dashboard styling as well as new upholstery. In 1966, Bonneville featured a minor update, with new front and rear sheet metal, trim and bright work. The interior saw some updates, including a more squared-up dashboard and minor changes in instrumentation. Power train components were the same as 1965. Bonneville for 1967 received a major update over the previous years. Styling was changed dramatically and featured a new grille-in-bumper front design, more creases to accentuate the "Coke body" styling and an updated rear fascia. The interior featured a new wrap around style dash with new switchgear, instrumentation and trim. As per the up-and-coming US Title 49 legislation, 67' Bonnevilles were equipped with seatbelts as standard, as well as other government mandated safety equipment. 1967 also saw a large power-train and chassis refresh for Pontiac. The 389 cubic inch plant was replaced with 400 cu in (6.6 L) one, and the 421 cubic inch plant was replaced with a 428 cu in (7.0 L) one. As per GM's internal edict, the multi-carburation setups found on earlier cars were replaced with the new Quadra Jet "spread bore" carburetor. Carter AFB carburetors were still standard, but the Quadra Jet was featured as the new "High performance" upgrade. A myriad of horsepower ratings were optional. A dual-circuit master cylinder was standard as per legislation and disc brakes became an optional extra.
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