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Pontiac Bonneville Owners: Meet the Members

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,026
Please take a moment to introduce yourself and share some details about your Bonneville!

My name is KarenS and I am the host of the Edmunds.com Owner's Clubs. Please let me know what discussions you would like to see in your Club folder. I will create them ASAP. You may want to take a look through the other clubs to get ideas for discussions.

Also, if you are interested in a live chat, I can arrange that for you. All Club chats are set up on

Tuesdays:
4:00-5:00 pm PT/7:00-8:00pm ET

-or-

Thursdays:
5:00-6:00pm PT/8:00-9:00pm ET
6:00-7:00pm PT/9:00-10:00 ET
7:00-8:00pm PT/10:00-11:00pm ET
(The latter may be rather late for East Coasters, but is available if you want.)

Let me know if you are interested in a chat and the day/time convenient for you.

Looking forward to meeting everyone!

KarenS
Host
Owner's Clubs

Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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Comments

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    And Bonneville owners are the Best and Brightest! hehehehe - don't you just love it!'

    I'm Ken, a 2000 SE owner since January 2001. I bought my Spruce Green (with charcoal cloth buckets) beauty from the local used car superstore and have been enjoying it immensely. I drive it back and forth to work on my 100 mile round trip commute and to PA for a few days most months. Our kids love this car (it's so cool, Dad) and it's not even an SSEi!

    Things I like the most about this Bonneville are the styling - in my opinion one of the nicest looking cars in production today - of any manufacturer; the engine - smooth, responsive and reported to be very reliable; the radio - love the RDS features; the ride and handling - responsive and comfortable for long haul cruising.

    We live on the southern Maine coast - any Bonneville vacationers to this part of the country will always get a Bonneville (floor) welcome mat laid out for them if they wish to stop by.

    Best wishes and welcome to all.

    Ken
  • skyhawk3skyhawk3 Posts: 42
    We're Ed & Marie,we have a 2001 SLE light bronze mist with heated leather power seats and the upgraded radio with the 1 CD. The car was ordered and delivered in 27 days. We have had it since the last Friday of September 2000. My wife picked out the car after looking at several different GM offerings. She liked the style and as she put it "in your face dual exhausts" We love the dual heat controls among the many features. I get to drive it on the weekends to Cape Cod to see the grandchildren and on vacations. I like the 3800 engine and the power. My son has 208k on a 1988 Bonnie.

    We live in North Providence, RI.

    Ken - Ogunquit is our get a way weekend destination - always off season. We love Marginal Way and the "The Steakhouse" in Wells.

    Regards to all and I hope your Bonnie is as trouble free as our SLE.

    Ed
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    I'm Brian, and I hail from Clearwater, Florida-the Sunshine State!

    My Bonnie was bought in October 2000 and is a 2000MY. It is a Galaxy Silver SSEi loaded, sans heated seats and the CD changer. It is a FABULOUS car. Awesome power, rocketship styling, tons o' features...all at an affordable price. This vehicle is among the best autos built by GM today.

    I use Zaino for that beautiful shine (hope to put pictures up soon) and spent about $150 on a custom-fit car cover to protect it from the birds performing bombing runs.

    The best feature is the 3800 Series II V6 engine...an engine that started at 135-hp in 1961 and is now putting out 240-hp in its supercharged form. I have a had more than a few comments about how the thing sounds like a V8 and people are surprised that it is in fact a six.

    This is defiently the best car I have owned to date, and I hope to keep it for a long, long time.

    Good day and Happy Bonnevilling!
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I'm Mark Fahey and we live in Morris, Illinois which is about an hour southwest of Chicago. After a long career as a plant manager for what is now the largest distilled spirits company in the world, Guinness/UDV, I just retired in January and am loving every minute of it so far. We also have a summer "camp" in southern Maine so we'll be heading there for most of the summers and falls once I let my wife retire from teaching.
    After seeing the SSEi at the 1999 Chicago Auto Show, I knew that it had to be my next car. For many years, the car that I drove was a company car and while they were nice cars and the company had a liberal policy on letting us upgrade with our own money, suffice it to say that this car would not have been on the list. I did sneak in a Taurus SHO one time and that was an awesome car but the others, while nice, were just cars. When the company did away with company cars about two years ago, I decided to just bide my time and wait for the new Bonnevilles to come out.
    I ordered it in January of 2000 and got it in late February. It is light bronzemist and has all available options on it. I really enjoy the car and even my wife, who is not known to have much in the way of opinions on cars, is quite enthusiastic about it and loves the bun warmers.
    The only thing that is different about it as compared to when it was delivered is the Notre Dame University sticker in the back window. My kids both went there (Dad wasn't smart enough) and I figured this was the least I could do. Go Lady Irish by the way. I do have the stabilizer bars and bushings on order from Saner but I haven't bitten the bullet on a pulley change. Maybe this fall.
  • jmeyer6jmeyer6 Posts: 1
    I bought the 92 with 89000 mi. it now has 195000 and the motor used no oil on a 5000 mi trip from Mich to Las vegas The first time the service eng light came on in Vegas it was due to an O2 sensor Which I replaced upon arriving back to Mich. Other than brakes, tires , alternator sparkplugs upper strut bearings (over the 5 years Ive had it} Its been fairly trouble free it has original struts and no transmission probems .also original muffler system My 88 I got 3 years ago with 135000 It now has 176000. and the only thing I do have to keep after the minor rust which sprouts after our winters. I will probably buy another 3800 wether its a Pontiac. Olds or buick.. Thanks for the your attention
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    My name is Michael and I am currently residing in Orlando, Florida. My first Bonneville was a 1982 wagon, dark blue with the faux wood siding, wire wheel covers, blue interior with vinyl bench seats, a push-button analog radio (!) and the 3.8 litre six-cylinder engine. This was the mid-size Bonneville, when it was downgraded from land-barge status (that was the Parisienne), and not in the spirit of Bonneville heritage. But then again, it was the '80's. The car was actually pretty solid, easy to drive and reasonably comfortable, but the engine - actually the Computer Command Control - was horrible. Engine knock was rampant, at any speed and any load. I tried everything, but the computer overrode my every move and was determined to advance that spark so it came in before the piston hit top dead center (in the name of "economy" and "low emissions" - ha!). That and the leak coming through the roof rack mounts are what I remember most vividly about that car.

    When I could only afford to own one vehicle at a time, I have been loyal to Chevy Truck. My Tahoe can go through anything, anytime, no worries - and it can haul lots of stuff too. But I wanted something fun to drive on sunny days, and finally my wish came true - the 2000 Bonneville SSEi. Usually it takes me a while to warm up to the styling of a new car, but the Bonnie was different. The first time I saw a photograph of it on the cover of Car and Driver, I was hooked! Pontiac has brought some heritage back into it too. The round finned air vents, the dash-mounted ignition switch, the dual-nostril grill and dihedral-V shape of the hood. This is truly a gorgeous car. Not to mention, it is powerful, well-balanced, easy to drive and has plenty of whiz-bang technology aboard to please the engineer in me.

    I ordered it the first week of February 2000 and took delivery a mere four weeks later. Midnight blue exterior, dark pewter leather inside, aluminum lace wheels, sunroof, CD changer, heated seats and block heater (see explanation on Pontiac Bonneville 2 discussion). I passed on the chrome wheels - not my style - and OnStar was not yet available. I bought a custom-fit cover to protect it from the sun and birds (of course it is garaged at home), and am looking for a front-end cover to keep the acidic Florida insects from destroying the finish. No real problems so far, just a few quirks to remind me that GM still has a way to go on the quality front. But I'll say this: the car is a blast to drive!
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    My name is Rod I live in St. Louis. We make fighter planes and beer here. Mixing the 2 would be a hoot, but I'm funny like that. I have a Black SSEi with all the toys and the pulley and air induction mods. Had a park ave before and expected the same build quality, I was disappointed. The Park had no squeaks, rattles, or electrical problems; the SSEi had more than a 34,000 dollar car should; too much plastic in the interior I guess. I also have a pristine 79 anniversary Trans AM that I bought new and has never been in the rain. Both are Pontiacs, but they are apples and oranges... 400 cu in 4 BBL 4-speed VS. a 231 6 banger. I had hoped the SSEI would be a cross between a T/A and a Park AVE... and that is exactly what I feel it is. So, minus a few trips to Pontiac service for rattles, I am happy as a clam. Guess which of the cars is faster?
  • Hi, I'm Heidi and a proud owner of a '97 Bonnie SSE. Full leather interior, cd player, hud, and lots of other goodies. We upgraded to the Bonnie two years ago after surviving Satan the Merc Sable. I love the power, love the look! I change the oil, oil filter, air filter and other bits and pieces on my own. It's an easy car to work with. My bonnie puts up with a lot: two kids, a newfoundland, and my lead footed hubby (thankfully he's a state patrolman).

    At 84k, it will soon be time to add a new Bonnie in place of our aging '97. I can't wait!
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    This Owner's club is great! If I had known I could subscribe to it as a whole and cycle through all the new messages in each discussion folder, I would of replied positively to Pat the first time he asked.

    As anyone who has been participating in the Pontiac Bonneville and Pontiac Bonneville 2 discussions knows, this is my fifth Bonnie.
    It is a 2000 Midnight Blue SSEi with seat warmers and chrome wheels. It is a great car but has some negatives. I won't repeat the specifics here. I drive approximately 30,000 miles per year visiting accounts in New England. I truly enjoy the unique styling and small amount of cars like it on the road.
  • kzmkzm Posts: 55
    Hi,

    I'm Kevin or KZM. I reside in Lake Hiawatha, NJ. I began my pontiac journey with a green 92 Bonneville SE that I still have w/108K and if my brother-in-law doesn't come up with the cash, I'll continue to have. Next was a 97 Black SSEi that was wonderful until people with untrained eyes started telling me that it either looked like my 92 or asked if I had the 92 repainted! (groan!) Then in Feb 2001 with the aid of Autobytel,I came across my current beautie, a 2000 Black SSEi that had everything except chrome wheels(rats!), changer in the trunk and On-Star, that after much pleading with the mrs,I was able to get for a great price! (farewell 97! No more mistaking this car for a 92!)

    The adventure begins!
    KZM
  • snicklesnickle Posts: 147
    Hi, I am Steve. 2000 SSEi Black with Chrome wheels. Plenty of mods, though not as many as intense.

    Love the car. Other than blowing the alternater at 10,000 miles no significant problems.
  • rb8225rb8225 Posts: 33
    Hi all, again!

    This is RB. I just picked up my Light Bronzemist SSEi last Thursday. It has the seat heaters & chrome wheels. So far, so good. Actually, I'm still driving on a dealer's plate because the paperwork wasn't ready when they said it would be. I go in tomorrow morning to finish everything up, & I think I'll have some fun with the salesman and tell him I changed my mind. He's a young kid & will probably not know what to do.
    So far, the only regret I have is not getting the CD changer. If I read the posts in the Bonneville 2 forum right, it cannot be added in later. I had an Alpine changer in my '98 Bonny that I wanted to move over, but it sounds like that can't be added in either. Is that true? It's also disappointing that we can't put in an aftermarket nav unit without a major loss of functionality. There is so much going on now with regards to development of Mobile MultiMedia products for cars, and I had hoped to do an upgrade in a year or so.
    Steve- I'm interested in mild mods that aren't going to completely blow the warranty. What about something like the low restriction air filter or the CA kit? Do they really make a noticeable difference?
  • rb8225rb8225 Posts: 33
    Karen-

    Is there a way I can search the past messages in a particular discussion board for a word or phrase?
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    My real name is Dan and, as the flag indicates, I am Canadian, living in its capital city, Ottawa, Ontario. My car of choice? Why, a 2000 Dark Bronzemist SLE. It has a neutral leather interior, traction control and NO sunroof - at 6'2", I want/need as much headroom as I can get.

    I picked up "My Bonnie" 2 weeks after I turned 40 last December and it is helping me through the "mid-life transition" with nary a glance at a Miata. While I've owned powerful near-luxury 6 cylinder family sports sedans before (such as a '92 Mazda 929 - my Japanese Jaguar), I had never owned a domestic vehicle - let alone a GM. Aside from the Aurora and 300M, the Bonneville was the only car that had enough of the right stuff to entice me away from my import buying bias.

    The Bonneville is about the only vehicle out there with luxurious comfort, real power and aggressive styling but which can transport 5 people with all of their luggage. The fact that it is reasonalby unique on the roads, affordable and has an excellent reliability rating are bonuses in my book. At only 7,000 kilometres, my 2000 SLE has been a virtually flawless and entirely pleasureable experience. I do regret missing out on the power and extra goodies of the SSEi - and I think about it every time I pump 89 octane into my tank.

    In short, this car has cojones and verve and transports my family in extreme comfort. To top it off, it's good in snow - very important this past winter! What more can you ask for?

    theiceman
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,026
    ...you can enter it into the search function, BUT this is site wide, so every discussion with that word/phrase will come up. Unfortunately, the ability to search within a single discussion went away with the old software. Sorry!

    KarenS
    Host
    Owner's Clubs

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,026
    Nice to see meet everyone and I hope you will enjoy your new club!

    Now, down to business. What other discussions would you like to have in your club folder? Some of the other clubs have discussions for modifications, dealer & service experiences, general chat (this is where they talk about things other than their favorite vehicle...Bonneville Buddies might be a good title...unless you think it's too cutesy?), road trips, etc. Let me know what you want! And don't forget about live chat! I can arrange to have that set up for you also.

    KarenS
    Host
    Owner's Clubs

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • jakec1jakec1 Posts: 10
    Hi gang. I'm Jake from Omaha Nebraska. (A flat lander) I love my 2000 SLE, Black, Leather, sunroof, standard wheels. I don't care for the chrome wheels. I didn't get the CD changer because I thought I would save some $$ by getting an after marker unit...No luck! It listed for $30,000..I paid $26,700, plus a 5yr warranty was free.
    I have had it 14 months and it has 10,000 miles. On a trip to Florida in Jan. I averaged over 28mpg. So far it has run perfectly and has never been back to the dealer. It has a rattle in the rear somewhere when I hit a hard bump.??
    The headrests are a joke and the power seat adjustment is wierd, but the trip to Florida was the most comfortable ride ever.
    I am very happy with the power, I can smokem anytime and the regular gas saves $$. The Black paint is a lot of work to keep up, I wouldn't buy it again. I thought the color choices could have been better, I would like a deep "Kandy" red or that Dark Blue from the Firebird.
    The Bonne is my sixth Pontiac and my second Bonneville. I love the styling and I think its great that the Bonne is a best kept secret. Very few are around here.
    I feel the Bonneville styling really appeals to the "Car Nut" in many of us and I wonder what other cars the club members drive?
    Mine are 1989 Red Corvette Roadster, and a Customized Red 1986 El Camino SS.

    Jake
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Good question Jake

    We have a green 95 Chevy Suburban (Reptar), a red 1966 Mustang 6 cyl convertible (Sunny), my old beige 90 Grand Marquis (James II) that will soon be placed in its new home, and my favorite - my teal and white 95 Mariah 18 ft 135 hp outboard bowrider!

    Ken
  • jashoujashou Posts: 18
    My name is James, I am a satisfied 2000 SSEi, black, roof, on chrome owner from the hotbed of Houston., Tx. This is my first pontiac and my first ever black car, I am 41yrs old and have owned several, including recent '99 300m, Regal GS. I loved the performance of the GS but I fell in love with the looks of the Bonnie. I take pride in keeping my car clean, but with black it isn't easy. I hope that come August I don't regret my color choice, when we near the 100 degree mark. I am interested in mild mods as well. I am considering the 3.5 pulley. Is this something that a non-mechanic can perform himself? or am I better off taking it to a shop? Any input is greatly appreciated!
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    I'm still getting used to this new site. I have bookmarded it a couple of times but when I use the bookmarket, it takes me elsewhere in the Edmund's site. I'll figure it out sooner or later.
    In ascending order of age, we also have a 2001 Dodge Caravan ES, candy red with 17" chrome wheels. Not bad for a mom-mobile. We also have a 1988 Caravan that as I have mentioned before is about to be retired to Maine as a hauler at our cabin. Finally, permanently parked in the garage, is my 1970 Camaro RS that we bought new out of college. To provide a Pontiac link to this car, we test drove a new 1969 Firebird that while it was nice, we decided to wait for the new, second generation Camaros to come out. What we didn't realize at the time was that the car we test drove was a Trans-Am and they only made 690 some that first year and it is worth a small fortune in today's market. Oh well, I suppose most of us have stories like that.
    I was tired of working in the garage last night so came in to the computer and stumbled on the archived discussions. It was interesting to see the evolution of the site and when current members started to participate.
  • boosted1boosted1 Posts: 90
    Hello everyone, my name is Rich (boosted1). My wife and I have recently purchased a 2001 SSEi, Dark Bronzemist, Sunroof, Chrome Wheels and heated seats. We are up to 275 miles so far on the odometer, what an awesome car. I will post a pic soon.

    Our other vehicles:(we are certifiable car nuts)

    1995 Volvo 850 Turbo
    1989 Toyota Supra Turbo
    1987 Buick Grand National
    1969 Cougar XR7 Convert. (hasn't moved in two years) :(

    From the list shown above you can see why my user name is "boosted1"
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    Got my original 79 T/A stored away too. Does your RS have the split grill and spoiler like the Z/28? What engine and wheels? Oh yeah, we are supposed to be talking about bonnevilles. Rattle in the back of my SSEi was the rear glass... 5 visits.... finally had the service manager drive it home till they narrowed it down. Jashou, most garage mechanics don't have the right puller to do the pulley change without ruining the factory one. The pulley sure makes it alot more fun to drive.
  • h101h101 Posts: 62
    Bill here.

    I saw a black 2000 Bonneville in Chicago in December, 1999. Went home and ordered one just like it :) It joined our family in January, 2000 and has been flawless, nary a squeak or a rattle... back to the dealer only to have its Mobile One and filter changed.

    My tag, H101, is my boat's racing number. She is an EScow (28' sloop) and her name is "Wildthing". We race three times a week all summer long. She is my true love. (Carolyn, my wife of 36 years better not read this board).

    This is my second Bonneville, both black... some of you have seen the photo of the other one, a 1962 convertible, bought it new when I was in the army... hmmm... old aren't I.

    Other car is a '98 Vette, black also... I said I was old, not dead! :)
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    The Rally Sport, which is what I have, has the split front bumper and a urethane nose. 18 years ago I told my wife I was going to take the car out of service for a month while I overhauled the engine since it was showing all the signs of the typical Chevrolet camshaft blues. Well, one thing led to another and here I am still working on it. It's a 350 4-speed, 2 barrel. Since we were just out of college, broke, and air conditioning still wasn't all that common, we did without to our everlasting regret. Put the rear end back in yesterday and reattached the subframe. It's getting there. Retirement definitely has its advantages.
    Bill, we raced a Lightning for a long time until the kids came along and it got to be too much. Have a Sunfish now in Maine (whoopee).
    To make myself feel bad after posting about test driving the 69 Trans-Am, I looked in Hemmings last night and for a mere $225,000 you too can have 1 of 8 69 of the Trans-Am convertibles made.
  • refinerrefiner Posts: 59
    My names Matt. I'm from Canton,OH.
    Home of the Pro Football Hall of
    Fame. I know who cares. Its about the only thing here. My username is real original I work in a oil refinery. Too bad they don't give use a discount. This is my second SSEi I traded in a 97 for this one. What a difference. I've made a few mods with more to come. Been waiting 3 months for some things from Ram Air Tech.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    350 with a 2v 4-speed... that's weird? If I was not into matching numbers I'd drop one of those new aluminum LS1 350's in. Without the silly emissions, that would be the fastest R/S in your state... If my T/A was not mint thats what I'd do. I've thought about buying a roached out 60's-70's camaro or firebird and doing just that. Kid down the street had a really nice 81 T/A -black with gold stripes... had a factory 4 speed and chevy 305... it was begging for a LS1 transplant, but he totaled it before we came to terms.
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    If my admittedly faulty memory serves me, the SS model which was a 350 4 barrel, 300 hp, cost an extra $300 which was nearly 10% of the price of the car and also took premium gas. Remember, I said we were broke and just out of school. I still have the original invoice that shows the car only cost us, are you ready for this, $3550. Since the block hass only two bolt mains, I figured the best course was to keep it all stock.
    Out of curiosity, where are you in St. Louis? I grew up in Webster Groves and my wife and I lived in Des Peres after college when I worked for Anheuser-Busch.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    bet you wished you'd had that extra 300 and got the nasty engine...360 HP wasn't it? I lived in Kirkwood as a kid and moved to Ballwin when I got married. I still have the sticker for my 79 T/A anniversary model... it was the ist F body to break 10 grand. Seems cheap today. You probably drove the 69 T/A at Carson or Vincel?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Ahem. "Pat" happens to be a "she" :-)

    (don't worry about it, that happens often!)

    Your comments are helpful to me. I'll be sure to make that clear next time I go fishing for Owners Club interest again. Thanks.

    Glad to see you folks are happy. Someone earlier was asking about a place where useful links could be accessed easily. Talk to Karen about it - there are ways of handling it that I wasn't aware of when we talked about it.

    Have fun!

    Pat
    Host
    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    Well, it's been nice conversing with you but as someone who grew up in arch-rival Kirkwood, I'm not sure we can continue. Just kidding, of course. Actually, we were living in Davenport,Iowa when we looked at the car. Still remember cruising down the main drag in it.
    I've been amazed at the creativity of everyone's screen name and here I am with a boring name like mfahey1. So, from here on in, if I can figure out how to change my profile and in recognition of the years that I worked in breweries and distilleries making Budweiser and Gordon's Gin/Vodka, I now will be going by the nom de guerre of "gin man"( better than "booze boy").
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