West Coast Classics are proud to present an exceptional example of this original southern California family owned and original 'Black License Plate' 1963 Pontiac Bonneville 2 door V8 Convertible in original factory 'Marimba Red' (Code L) color paint with its original factory specification 'Maroon' color (trim code 274) interior and seats and with a new 'Black' power convertible top and its original 389 4BBL V8 engine with factory options including: Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, full carpeting including lower door panels, cushioned instrument panel, chrome exterior trim, power windows, power steering, power brakes, deluxe steering wheel, original Pontiac 'Super Deluxe' AM radio, heater, original and factory Pontiac hubcaps upgraded with Kelsey Hayes 8 Lug wheels with period correct tires!
The car was purchased new by the most recent owners father from 'Glenn Pontiac' in Detroit, MI on 6/15/1963, a dedicated Pontiac buyer it was the same dealership where the owner had purchased other Pontiacs since the early 1950's. The original purchase orders, sales documents, Protecto-plate and owners manuals will be included in the sale. Having just moved to southern California the car was received by his best friend who drove the car to California. He drove the car as his primary driver for some 15 years and reportedly loved the car as it never let him down. The original owners son was given the car by his father in 1983 and he has been the loving custodian since, remembering the family being driven on vacation in the car to other states throughout the 1960's and 1970's! The car was ordered with the 389 V8 engine in 'Marimba Red' with a matching Maroon interior and at the time specially ordered Red colored soft top (now replaced with a Black top), soft ray glass, power steering, power windows, power brakes, power seats & of course a power top.
The car was restored as required over the years since having been repainted once in it's original and highly striking factory 'Marimba Red' color paint and has its correct specification 'Maroon' interior and with the floor boards, trunk and all the typical rust-prone areas solid and rust-free and with the car having no indication of any accidents - obviously an always garaged and cherished original southern California car since new!
The car looks very impressive with all it's original logos and its original 'Pontiac Super Deluxe' radio and power antenna and with the brightwork design on the dashboard, the dashboard itself, and the carpets and seats all in very presentable condition throughout. All the chrome work is also in very good condition and the original spare wheel is in the trunk. This particular car drives very well with the transmission shifting smoothly through all the gears and with the temperature always remaining cool!
It is hard to pin down the first actual muscle car; some have asserted that it is the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which was built with speed in mind and with an overhead valve V8 placed in a mid-size car with a relatively lightweight body. A lot of observers cite the next big step in the evolution of the early muscle car to be the introduction of the 1955 Chrysler C-300 with its 300 horsepower Hemi engine that could go from zero to sixty in 9.8 seconds and reach a top speed of around 130 miles per hour. A car that came along a few years later that is of note to many collectors and muscle car enthusiasts is the Pontiac Ventura. The Ventura hardtop of 1961 cost the same as the 1960 model but weighed 180lbs less. The new and shorter wheelbase by 4 inches 1961 Pontiac with the lighter bodies and stronger engines made Pontiac drag racers hard to beat on the street or strip and Pontiac won 21 of 52 NASCAR Grand National stock-car races this year. The 1961 Pontiac Ventura 389 with the standard 389 cubic inch OHV V8 and three two-barrels was capable of going from a standing position to sixty miles per hour in a brief 8.2 seconds, and it could get a quarter mile in 15.5 seconds and reach 93 miles per hour in the process. They were offered with the famed bubble-top body style and the eye catching 'Jeweltone Morrokide' upholstery and were similar in design to the marque's top of the line model the legendary Pontiac Bonneville!
The Bonneville name was introduced in 1954 on a pair of bubble-topped GM Motorama concept cars called the Bonneville Special. 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. This put the Bonneville in a Cadillac-like price range of $5,000 - 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 today. 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. Bonneville became a separate model in 1958 and was available as a coupe or a convertible. It paced the Indianapolis 500 in its first year.
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 latter was not just ad copy, either, as Pontiac pushed its wheels further out toward the fenders than anyone else and created what were considered to be the best-cornering full-size cars in the industry. Both the grille design and the Wide Track phrase remained part of Pontiac's image up to its termination. A "Safe-T-Track" differential, used to minimize wheel spin, was an option beginning in 1959. The Bonneville remained as 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 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 or 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 passenger side of dash and courtesy lights and rear arm rest. Beginning in 1964, a Bonneville Brougham option package was available that included an even more luxurious interior trim level with front and rear seats featuring center armrests, upgraded door panels and a standard Cordova (vinyl) roof with 'Brougham' nameplates.
Bonneville models were standard equipped with Hydra-Matic (through 1964) or Turbo Hydra-Matic (1965-on) automatic transmissions. Other options included power steering and power brakes as well as air conditioning. The Bonneville also had more powerful standard V8 engines than other full-sized Pontiacs including the 389 cu in (6.4 l) or 400 cu in (6.6 l) V8s with four-barrel carbur