'79 Pontiac Brougham Pricing

mrbradford2mrbradford2 Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Pontiac
First let me say ANY help given will be much appreciated.
My father has asked me to help him sell his be-loved "grey ghost", a 1979 Pontiac Brougham.
Truthfully, I've not had much opporunity this week to research this thouroughly, however I'm hoping one of you knowledgable individuals can help.
$6000 was offered and the down payment made, until his wife found out. Now I know that certain segments of the market are devoted to cars of this nature, but I Ain't so alow as to think the previously stated figure is average !!!
I'm finding conflicting prices, as well as hearing conf/prices.
Any help on pricing the vehicle fairly and accurately. '79 Pont.-98,000 mi, 2nd owner...(same family), new paint/interior. Any suggestions.


  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,610
    About 2 years ago, I found a 1979 Bonneville sedan with a Buick 350. I had seen the car sitting in the same spot for ages, so one day while I was driving by, I saw some people in the yard and asked them if they'd be interested in selling it. Actually, they were about to donate it for a tax write-off.

    The gentleman that owned it let me take it out for a drive, and for a car that was about to be just written off, it was still in pretty good shape. I think it had about 133,000 miles on it. It was also a base model...vinyl interior, crank windows, but full gauges. The headliner had come loose, a common problem with one-piece headliners, then and now. The ones in the current cars will do it, too, just give them time. But he cut it apart and glued it back together, so it looked pretty nasty.

    We never did actually talk price, and I don't know what he was writing it off for, but I passed on it because I just don't trust Buick engines from that era. He probably would have taken $400-500 for it.

    As for your father's '79, if it's in excellent condition, fully loaded, and has the biggest engine, like a Pontiac 400 or Olds 403, it might fetch a few thousand if you could find someone that really appreciated a car like that. But $6,000...well, that car probably only cost about $8-9K new, didn't it? A lot of people still have bad memories of the 70's and 80's, and it reflects with the desireability of the cars from that era. Personally, I think they were cool...the Pontiacs were my favorites of that era big GM car.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    $6,000 is over the top for the car...the market value, if it is very very nice, is about $2,500-3,000. It wasn't clear from your post if someone actually offered $6,000 for it or if you are offering it for $6K....if someone offered $6K and you turned it down, you have made a terrible blunder. If you are offering it for $6K, this is double market price....I mean, I hope you get it, but it's unlikely.

    I assure you this pricing is accurate.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    He says he had a deal at $6k until his buyer's wife found out. I can visualize that scene. "You paid what...?!"

    Wives have this habit of injecting ugly reality into an old car transaction.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Ah, okay, I see what you mean....sharp lady!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Too bad he didn't take that offer and run like a thief in the night before the wife found out.

    New interior and paint?? That alone scares me.

    Earl Scheib?

    I think Shifty was being VERY generous!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    but I think this transaction was initiated by large quantities of beer consumed while viewing a football game. My apologies if you're both teetotalers.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,610
    about the new paint and interior. For some reason, my twisted mind translated that into "Interior and paint like new".

    I could actually see the paint fading if it was a metallic job and spent much time outside. My mom's 1980 Malibu's light blue paint was faded on the top surfaces by the time I got it 7 years later. Grandma's dark grey 85 LeSabre spent most of its earlier years being garaged, but by the early 90's it was relegated to outside, and now its hood paint is terribly faded.

    As for interiors, though, maybe he meant it was good as new. I remember my Malibu, by the time I got rid of it in 1990, only had one small tear in the passenger door vinyl, plus the usual headliner droop and dashboard cracks. The LeSabre's headliner is now just starting to let go, at 154,000 miles, and except for some slightly worn carpeting, clean it up and it would look good as new.

  • jdm30jdm30 Member Posts: 5
    Collector Car & Truck Market Current Value:

    1979 PONTIAC BONNEVILLE 301-140hp (8cyl-2V) AT

    #5 #4 #3 #2 #1
    2dr Sedan 250 700 1750 3100 4325
    4dr Sedan 250 675 1700 3000 4200

    350-155hp (8cyl-4V) NC%
    350-170hp (8cyl-4V) NC%
    403-185hp (8cyl-4V) 5%
    Brougham 10%
    Sunroof-pwr 5%

    No air conditioning -10%
    Manual windows -3%
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,610
    I never fully understood the pricing adjustments for the engine options in those kind of price guides.

    It's just that to my way of thinking, the Pontiac 301 would actually be a liability to that car. Firstly, 140 hp isn't a whole lot of power to move a car of that weight. My '85 LeSabre only has 140 hp, so I know! But I think the Olds 307 may put out a bit more torque than the Pontiac 301, and by '85 the B-bodies were about 100-200 lb lighter than the 77-79 models.

    Secondly, the 301 was not known for reliability. I think the 155 hp 350 is actually a Buick engine, while the 170 hp 350 is a Pontiac unit. When I looked at that '79 Bonneville a few summers back, I remember it had a Buick 350, and that's the main reason I balked. I just wanted a Pontiac 350. I'd heard that the Pontiac and Olds smallblocks were sturdier than the Chevy and Buick units back then.

    So to my line of thinking, a Buick or Pontiac 350 should be worth more than a 301. Then we have the Olds 403. 185 hp, which doesn't sound like a lot, but back then it would have made a world of difference over a 301 or even a 350. I'd be willing to pay a premium to get a 403 (I thought the Pontiac 400 was still available at this time, too) over a 350, while I wouldn't even consider a 301.

    If you look up the value of, say, a 1968 Dodge Dart 270 hardtop, with both a 225 and a 318, you won't find much of a price difference. Drive both, though, and there's a world of difference. I had a '69 GT 225, and currently have a '68 318, and can vouch for the difference! But you'd have to get a GT or GTS with a 340 or 383 (or of course, a Hemi ;-) to really see a HUGE difference in price! Of course, a 340, 383, 440, or 426 would also make a huge difference in performance over a 318, too!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I don't think on a 1979 Pontiac the engine sizes are going to make very much difference, as they would in the "muscle car" era. A '79 Pontiac is just a nice used car, there's no collectibility factor to complicate things. You just shine it up and take the first reasonable cash offer.
  • buckmaster1buckmaster1 Member Posts: 20
    This one I just have to write in on. Any true auto afficianado just needs to look at the 2 door bonneville from 1977-1979 and view its body style with reminiscent fender skirts and beautiful full tail lights and handsome toothed grille. This was a car a young man could be proud of and be certain it reflected his good taste. These cars also had awesome interiors in the pillowed brougham version and full complement gauges.Just because it was produced while you while in your twentys does not mean its not not a throwback of style to the tri powered bonnevilles of the sixties. Oh sure it never had that kind of power but with a 403 engine and 400 trans and posi-trac rear this was a gorgeous cruiser with nice highway power.I had a white 1979 bonny coupe with this driveline and a white half landau top and tan camel colored velour interior plus a power moonroof.If you know the car then you know this was and still would be a traffic stopper compared to the bar of soap looking cars they offer us today.By the way I have never owned another Pontiac car,not beacuse the bonny was bad but because these types of cars that one lusted for just faded away.The big Olds delta 88 and the Buick Lesabre wer made until 1985 but with computer controlled 307 engines they were not as reliable or raw powered as the 403 olds motor in the bonny.However all of these big GM Coupes will ALWAYS be beautiful automobiles.The 1977-1979 Caddy Coupe was a nice car too.but the bonny with its fender skirts was still more true to its era of design.Look at a new bar of soap looking GM car.There is no passion here,just makes you want to go shower.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, no denying it's a nice ride, but it's already had 22 years to start becoming collectible, and there are no signs yet that there's a whole lot of interest out there. I wouldn't count on it anyway. These are cars you buy cheap now, enjoy and use up, IMO. It's not a car that needs to be preserved for history, I don't think.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,610
    My favorite big Pontiacs from the 70's are the 1976-77 LeMans (1976 base model preferred), and the '77-79 full-size ('77 Catalina preferred). However, after the first gas crisis knocked down big-car sales, the Pontiac to have was the Grand Prix. The Catalina/Bonneville just didn't bounce back to their pre-crisis sales levels, and the LeMans really started to languish.

    When GM's big cars were downsized for '77, the more luxurious models, for the first time, outsold the more basic models. For example, the Caprice outsold the Impala, and the Bonneville outsold the Catalina. This probably triggered a slow beginning-of-the-end for the low-line models (Catalina after '81 and Impala after '85), as it became more and more obvious that the automakers didn't need 2 and sometimes 3 full-size car lines under each nameplate.

    However, Pontiac didn't come through the '77 downsizing as successfully as the other GM divisions. Part of the problem was that the Caprice was much more heavily marketed than before, and cut more into Pontiac territory, and the Delta 88 of the time was also a very strong seller. It just seemed like Pontiac was losing its magic.

    It wasn't for lack of trying, though...the Catalina/Bonneville had a wide range of engine choices, much more variety than the Chevy. And the best Bonneville Broughams were trimmed much more extravagantly than the top-line Caprices. In fact, most of the upper-level Bonnevilles from the era I've seen have been decked out more like Electras and Ninety-Eights. I also like the fact that you could get a full-gauge package in the Pontiacs. I've seen some Caprices with extra gauges (they'd usually give you a temp gauge and a vacuum "fuel economy" gauge, or maybe a voltmeter), and I've seen some Delta and Ninety-Eight models with the Temp/Battery/Oil pressure gauges mounted low in the dash as an afterthought. The Pontiacs looked like they were designed for full gauges, and I think I've seen more of them with full gauges than idiot lights.

    As I've seen Mr. Shiftright mention before, classic cars that are popular today were usually also popular and/or desireable when they were new. The big Pontiacs really weren't that popular when they were new. But while they were oveshadowed by their GM brethren, they usually outsold competing Mercury Grand Marquis, Chrysler Newport, and what few full-size Dodges and Plymouths were left by the '77-81 era by a wide margin. There's probably too many of them still around though, for them to become truly collectible.

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