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Pontiac Bonneville



  • skyhawk3skyhawk3 Posts: 42
    My wife and I are about to close in on 60 this year. Part of the reason we chose the Bonnie was that we wanted a car that didn't sway like the Queen Mary (most buicks) in a curve. We also wanted the dual exhaust look. For you younger guys duals were very popular in the 50's. The style of the Bonnie appealed to us more than any other GM product and we looked at every GM brand except the Caddy. When I met my wife she was driving a Desoto with a Hemi under the hood. Wish I had that car now.
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66

    I guess I'm doing my part to help Buick change their traditional demographics. Never would have bought a pre-2000 LeSabre. That particular car screams traditional demographics. It just looks like a retirement car. The dealer tried to get me into a Park Avenue, but I feel the same way about that car.

    The new LeSabre, IMHO, breaks the traditional demographics image. The outside is clean and integrated. Very little use of chrome. The front grill is smaller. Overall, the car has a sleek look to it. More than one publication has said it looks like a bigger Jag S-type. I agree. The similarities are there. The inside of the LeSabre is almost sport sedan in nature, with the exception of the console shifter. Lots of storage areas. Big speedo and tach gagues. A few wood trim acents. Bucket seats, if you want to call them that. All the same DIC goodies that you get on the Bonnie, even the HUD. The 2000+ LeSabres are ten times better than the previous models.

    I actually considered the Bonneville SSEi, but it just wasn't the styling I was looking for. I looked at the SE, but I couldn't get the options I wanted. If it were me, I wish Pontiac would have followed the same pattern they did with the Firebird. A Formula is basically a Trans Am in a Firebird's body. If Pontiac had offered the SLE the same way, an SSEi in an SE body, I'd be driving one right now.

    Well, enough rambling. The G-body is a great platform, be it Bonneville or LeSabre or Aurora or Seville. Too bad there aren't any Grand-Prix type websites out there for the G-bodies.

    - vtech83
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Ezrapon - Rod - what year is your black SSEi?

    Whogault - Paul - what color is your 2000 SSEi?

    Mrobinson3 - Mason - what year and color are your SSEi?

    Jakec1 - What model is your black 2000 Bonneville?

    Caludencias - Claudio - what year, model and color is your Bonneville?

    Derrick080 - what color is your 2000 SLE?

  • Hello, my name's Cameron and I have a 1992 SE. With upgraded stereo, hence the user name. You can look at pictures of my car at

    Anyway, I have one question: does anyone know if there is a K&N that fits my car? I heard that the filters only fit 1994+. Can you fit one of those in a 1992 air box?

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I knew it wouldn't be long before someone asked about the heated seats and the block heater. Short answer is that I plan to keep the car longer than I plan to live in this sauna they call "Florida." I'm from Massachusetts and fully intend to move back to New England (or somewhere not so stinkin' hot) at some point - I just don't know when quite yet (BTW, unfortunately retirement is a long way off for me). I actually did use the heated seats three or four times (briefly) this past winter, 'cause you know it does get into the 30's a few times here! (And it's a damp cold!)

    As far as the block heater, in all the years I lived in Mass. and Colorado, I only used the block heater on my truck maybe twice because it was usually garaged overnight, but since I was ordering the car the $35 option was a no-brainer. Why not? It's fun to watch the salesman at the dealership squirm when I tell them I want the block heater, because they think I'm nuts and don't want to be stuck with an "unsellable" car with a block heater if I back out of the order (they're so uptight).
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    The "green color" is Spruce Green Metallic available in 2000 but not in 2001.

    mlm4 - How can I post a picture like you did? Do I need a digital camera? Can I post from a scanner? I'm in Mass. and did not order the Block Heater. Never had one and never needed one.

    Vtech - With all due respect, why would anyone want an SSEi in an SE body?
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    Maybe I can field this one. The SE has more chrome and has a more 'plain' look than the SSE or SSEi. This would give the car a sleeper quality that the agressivly-designed SSEi doesn't have. Plainly, what LOOKS faster, a Trans Am or a base Firebird?
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Thanks Brian for the clarification from Florida, Taiwan.
    I really do understand because my '87 Buick Regal T Type was called by many, "a wolf in sheep's clothing". This was because it was really a Grand National in pretty much Regal trim. Sorry Vtech!
  • boosted1boosted1 Posts: 90
    Hello everyone.

    My wife and I just picked up our new Bonneville tonight.

    2001 Dark Bronze Mist SSEi,Sunroof,chrome wheels, heated seats.

    I have been lurking around the forum, over the last few weeks, while deciding on what vehicle to buy. I must admit that listening to all your positive comments certainly made us feel good about our decision. (plus the car is awesome any way)

    Now that we have it in the garage I will have to spend a few hours programing everthing.
  • h101h101 Posts: 62
    Hey Boosted, welcome to our world. Great car, you'll love it :)

    Also, Loud (Cameron)... doesn't look like a snake to me... just a great looking machine... but if it did look like a snake, I would be scared outta my wits :)
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    How's your hearing? :-)
    Seriously, your car reminds me of a cross between my '88 Black SE and my '94 SLE. Thanks for providing the link.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Ken - Since we've now reached your goal of 1000 posts and are starting over, it looks like I'm #1!
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    We made it over the top of the 1000 posting level - congrats to Smfran Stephen for being The Man - the BONNEVILLE MAN! With 5 Bonnevilles in your history file - you're # ONE, buddy! BTW - hope you've gotten my email this morning - list and pic. Thanks for yours.

    Cameron - Loud_Pontiac - I think it's a hissing Black Cobra - those eyes do it for me! Ready to strike with that killer sound system!

    Rich - boosted1 - Congrats to you on the SSEi! What a fabulous new ride - I'm jealous! I will add your data to my growing forum list here. you've broken the tie on Dk Bronzemist vs Midnight Blue as the second most popular color to Black.

    Dan the Iceman - you'll have to buy the cubans, brother! BTW - Ice is breaking up here - hope you don't melt anytime soon.

    Have a great day all

  • jakec1jakec1 Posts: 10
    My 2000 Bonneville is a SLE, Black, Dk gray leather,sunroof, all options except chrome wheels and CD changer..11000 miles, purchased 2/2000. List $30,000 Paid $26,700 & got free 5yr. warranty. Never been back to dealer. Love it!!
    I am very happy with the performance of the SLE and am more into cosmetics. I have tinted the windows and run dark tinted licence plate covers.($50.00 fine here for no front plate) I "dechromed it and removed all those ugly stickers.
    My wife made some great padded covers for the terrible headrests.
    I planned on adding an aftermarket CD changer to save $$ but found out that they don't make one to fit the new radios!! Anyone know of one that will work?
    The Carbon Fibre dash kit is $220. I would like to know if anyone has seen one .
    The Black is beautiful but hard to keep looking good, lots of tiny "scratches" Where do you get the 3M glaze?
    Very few Bonnevilles in Nebraska, but that makes us more exclusive. Later.. Jake
  • h101h101 Posts: 62
    Iceman.... interesting discussion over there. I couldn't resist throwing my two cents worth into the fray (including the no-tags photo I took for this forum). The statement over there I made about my cousin's 740i is true... the thing has been a pain in the rear ever since he got it. And... I cannot for the life of me understand why someone would want a manual transmission in a big black sedan.... sigh.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    I've got you added to my spreadsheet here - first black SLE I've recorded. Interesting - the SSEi guys are heavily prejudiced to black but SLE and SE cover the spectrum on colors.

    Enjoy that great Bonneville ride.

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    There's a description on how to post a photo to the discussion over on the "Showcase Your Vehicle" forum. You will need a digital image (JPEG format is best) either from a digital camera or a scanned photograph. You will also need to place the file on the internet in a place that everyone can access. If you don't have access to a Web server, then you can place it on a personal web page (many internet access providers offer this service) or use one of the many web sites that host photos for free. Then place the html link to your image file within your post.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Here's another site that can store your pics and is readable here in the forum. See my pic at post # 571 above using that site.

    Dan - we might be driving north of the border sometime this summer - love those Canadian vacations - great parks and sights and Gotta love the exchange rate for us Yanks. Did Montreal in Sep with my wife for an anniversary trip - great city. Visited Niagara a couple years ago and Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia before that. I think New Brunswick - St Stephen's area (not you SMFRAN!) this June might be the plan. Haven't been to Quebec City in a few years either - always a great escape. Going to have to send for the tourist book - you Canadians do a super job promoting travel and making it enjoyable for us vacationers.

  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    Ken, we normally fly to Maine at Easter usually about the time the ice is gone from our "pond". Probably not this year since my wife is having back trouble and can't sit for the 2 hour flight. The last two years in a row, I've gotten stuck in a rental car trying to get back to our place. Last year, after bending the rear trailing arm on a Lumina trying to get it out of the mud, I had to use a sledge hammer to bend it back sort of straight so the car would go in a more or less straight line. Forgot to mention it when I returned it.
  • blk2001blk2001 Posts: 13
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    I guess the same reason anyone wants a Firebird Formula instead of a Trans Am. I'm sure this issue has been brought up more than once in this forum, but the SLE/SSEi styling just isn't for everyone. IMHO, the SLE/SSEi is a little overdone. The SE isn't quite as loud, but it still says sports sedan and it still says Pontiac. I saw a Maple Red SE on the road the other day and it was just a beautiful car. I'm not sure what the breakdown is on SE vs SLE vs SSEi sales, but I would guess that most buyers are either going with the SE or SSEi models. It seems to me that if you want the SSEi look, you'll want all of the hardware that goes with it. If I'm not mistaken, there are other options available on the SSEi that are not available on the SLE.

    I'm an old Pontiac owner, twice actually. Had a 1979 Sunbird that got me through my college years and then bought a black and gold 1984 Trans Am as soon as I could afford one. I had actually been thinking about buying a late model Formula, but decided to be a little more responsible.

    One thing about the Bonneville that I miss in the LeSabre is the interior. Bonneville has the best interior of all the G-bodies. Better stereo, too. Too bad the GM weenies have designed these stereos to be hands off.

    Enjoy your ride.

    - vtech83
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Michael - I think you and I would both like to take a LeSabre LTD and a Bonneville SE and do some transplant surgery to both - ending up with an elegant but not too conservative looking turnpike cruiser that handles effortlessly yet solidly with ability to take curves on rails and can outrun anyone that gets in the way - at 30 mpg.

    Let's set up shop!

  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    Hehe...see how popular the Bonnie is? We're even debating it in another forum! I just put in my 2 cents over there.

    BTW: Do you perchance live near Toronto? I took a road trip up their a few years back with my '99 Regal GS during the summer. I don't know how the roads are up there during the winter, but I really *loved* (sarcasm) those 'collectors' on the highway outside Toronto. A few tense minutes trying to merge across 5 lanes :)

    Forgot if I responded or not, but I remeber about 30+ posts ago, you said something about Taiwan in relation to my little flag? It's really Florida as in the Sunshine State. The Taiwanese flag just represents my heritage on my mother's side and I thought it would breakup the slew of Red, White, and Blue (oh, and the Maple Leaf!) in here. I checked my profile and saw how it came out. Sorry about any misunderstanding!

    To all,
    Saw two Bonnies yesterday: one a '59 hardtop coupe and the other a '58 sedan, both just crusin' in a Bonneville fashion. Beautiful cars!

    Oh, and today I had a Lexus driver tell me I had 'awesome rims'. Man, it feels good to drive a Bonneville!
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Now how about a possible Bonneville meeting in that village of Pontiac Quebec? I was thinking in terms of a Canadian trip - and at the same time wondering if any other Bonneville owners might have interest in a planned meet somewhere - this could be an appropriate spot.

    Comments? Ideas?

  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Actually, since I happen to know a little bit about cars, it probably would not be that hard to take an SSEi and replace the body panels with those from an SE.

    You know, I would have bought the SE, even without the SC engine, if Pontiac had offered the following options on the car (LeSabre LTD has all this):
    • Heated mirrors
    • DIC
    • HUD
    • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
    • Memory seats
    • 12-way power seats
    • StabiliTrak
    • Magnasteer
    Some of the other stuff available on the SLE/SSEi, I could have added myself, like:
    • Stiffer suspension
    • Dual exhaust
    • 17" or 18" wheels/tires
    • Supercharger
    If I could have my way with the LeSabre LTD right now, this would be the list:
    • A little stiffer suspension. Probably a 30mm solid front stabilizer bar and a 25mm solid rear stabilizer bar. This is going to be tough since no one in their right mind would make a bigger stabilizer bar for a Buick LeSabre. Currently, I have a 29mm front and 18mm rear bar, both tubes as opposed to solid.
    • 17x8 wheels with 245/50-17 tires. Believe it or not, this is actually an unusual tire size. Currently, my car has 225/60-16 tires, the same as in your SE. The two tire sizes have an almost identical circumference, meaning that the speedo would not be affected by the wheel/tire swap. This is probably the easiest thing to do. Only three tire manufacturers make a 245/50-17 size, but they are available.
    • Dual outlet exhaust. This is easy. Use the same setup as the Bonneville SLE or SSEi. I could walk to the nearest Pontiac dealership and get them off the rack. I’d probably use a pair of muffler with twin outlet exhausts. Don’t think I would go with any type of cat-back exhaust. I’ve heard that some GM computers go crazy when you start messing with backpressure. Besides, I think the car would be a little too noisy.
    • Better front seats. As I’ve said, the seats are OK, but could use more lateral support. Bonneville seats, front and rear, should fit in perfectly. I’m sure I could get the seats, but I’m afraid to ask the nearest Pontiac dealer how much $$$ it would take.
    • Engine mods. K&N filter and 180 degree thermostat. And of course, I’d probably bolt on an Eaton M90. I wonder if the guys at the Buick dealership could do that. I’ve got the LeSabre Service Manual from Helm Inc. and they’ve even got a section on how to install the supercharger! I thought that was odd. I’m sure a lot of stuff in the Helm books is used in different manuals, like the Bonneville and Park Avenue. Of course, I don’t know how the stock LeSabre computer would react to a supercharger. Wonder if the computer from the Park Avenue would work? Might need a heavy-duty gearbox for the transaxle if I put on a SC. I could see myself going crazy with other engine mods, though.
    Well, that’s what I would do to the LeSabre. Maybe when the warranty runs out. You know, its hard to believe, but I actually get a lot of compliments on this car. Probably because I spray it with Meguiars Final Inspection about every third day. Keeps it looking first day new!

  • wayniacwayniac Posts: 2
    I've been reading these postings with great interest since Bonnie came home with me, but since Ken is cataloging everyone, I figured I'd join in.

    The particulars: 2000 SSEi, 11,000 miles so far (since October), Silver, Gray interior, sunroof, heated seats. Didn't want the sunroof (6'2"), but couldn't find a reasonable deal without one at the time.

    Only mod done is the drop-in K&N filter. That will probably be it for mods, because I have neither inclination or talent to go farther. I am living vicariously through the rest of you.

    Only problems so far were a couple of burps from the computer. Engine ran rough for about five minutes one time (service engine soon light came on), then self corrected. Another time, security system warning came on, but went off after cycling ignition. Neither has happened again.

    As for the minimal number of these machines on the road (I've only seen one SSEi), I have a theory. I think we are all going the same speed, and thus will never catch up with each other. Of course that same speed precludes us from looking for Bonnies on the other side of the road (being the safety minded bunch we are).

    That's all for now.
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    Welcome to the vocal portion of the board! Sounds like a pretty sweet ride. Interestingly, my SSEi (like yours, except for heated seats) was driven home by me in October.

    Oh, and your theory about us SSEi owners might be correct!

    Enjoy your car!
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    engine mods are always welcome additions to any car and seem to be appreciated here quite a lot. However, the 3.8 and the 3.8 s/c engines are different animals. The s/c is much-much stronger in areas around the crank webbing, main bearings, pistons, rods and so on. If the S/c bug ever really bit you hard... swap one out. I still think building a non S/C engine would be more fun and less head aches than the eaton way... for the record keeper... mine is black all options sans changer... do have a rockford fosgate xlc subwoofer to round out the weak bose system.
  • boosted1boosted1 Posts: 90
    Noticed that my temp gauge reads 200 degrees F all the time. Is this the normal operating temp for this car?



    P.S. Didn't take long to program all the memory features, just sounds daunting as you read through the owners manual for the first time.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    I'm really enjoying this forum. I started in it over a year ago and am enjoying it now more than ever. Thanks to all who keep it alive and for providing links to broaden our horizons.

    Iceman - You really stirred things up over in that other discussion. How could anyone misjudge your integrity? I see a clear difference in "personality" between Pontiac and BMW fans.
This discussion has been closed.