Continuing their efforts to revamp the marque’s sedate image, as with the ’55 Star Chief, Pontiac gave its first Bonneville a long, low, sleek, and muscular image. Drop in a 347 cubic inch (bored out to 370), fuel injected, 310 horsepower V-8, coupled to a Strata-Flight Hydra-matic automatic transmission—one of the best of its time—and you have the formula for a peerless boulevard cruiser. As Pontiac’s general manager once said, “You can sell an old man a young man’s car, but you can never sell a young man an old man’s car.” So, Pontiac ponied up with 630 promotional units of the ‘57 Pontiac Bonneville to prove its point. I’d say they succeeded.
Jay Engel ably extolled the virtues of the regular issue of this image in his 1998 review. Keep in mind, however, that it was 6 years ago. Man, I thought DM could work those dies, but it seems FM is catching up fast. This limited edition of the ’57 Bonneville is yet another repaint, recently issued as a Preferred Partners, Independent Retailers’ Exclusive. Personally, I think this particular color combination (Carib Coral and Chateau Gray) works really well...classic Fifties colors, to be sure. I liked it enough to pick up this issue when I learned of its existence from a friend, even though I have the original issue. Build quality is about average by today’s standards, with slight blemishes in the otherwise glossy paint. But the chrome alone is worth the admission price. There’s plenty of it and it gleams beautifully. This is one fine release of a Fifties icon. Check your local FM Independent Retailer, the D4C Auction, or eBay in order to obtain this iamge.
In my humble opinion, the decade of the Fifties produced a ton of memorable cars. Automakers, as well as the general public, were trying to put the deprivations of the war years behind them, and the following decade reflected that. Big, powerful, sleek and comfortable, America's cars reflected America's driving environment. The 1957 Pontiac Bonneville certainly embodied that philosophy. Available through FM Independent Retailers only, the issue price is $135.