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Day with a 1979 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham survivor classic car & Samspace81

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Really interesting.  Those of us who got to live through this era of American boulevardier greatness are fortunate.

The host is a hoot - the accent, his calling it an "avocado," and pulling up to Texan suburbia in a silver Mercedes.  Aleson knows quite a bit about her "new" sled, too.

As for the car, it's great for being what it is but I somewhat remember that color and thought it was bizarre, as was the green interior.  This platform rolled out in 1977 as such and, in that year, the greens were either a mint green metallic or dark forest green metallic, with a toned down green interior that wasn't as offputting as the one in this car.  Actually, had this been the big coupe, with alloy wheels, minus the fender skirts, and in nicer colors along with that insanely comfortable Brougham interior, it would work for me!

He mentioned in his YouTube thread that this was a 350 V8.  Clearly, it's not an Oldsmobile or a Chevrolet engine based on how the engine bay is laid out, so it's a Pontiac engine.  That year would have seen this car start out with a Pontiac 301 V8 (4.9), if I'm not mistaken.  Maybe even the smaller V8.

Some YouTube comments mention these full size Pontiacs being in people's families and that they were underpowered.  That's because, as they got into the '80s, the car could be had with a Pontiac 265 V8 (4.3) and even the Chevy 4.3 L Vortec V6 at the end of the platform's run.

In a way, it's heartbreaking to watch this video, which was a little long.  Pontiac will always be my favorite GM brand by a slim margin.

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• I lived thru 'this era' and I didn't care for it much, at least from the perspective of owning one of these. We had a '77 Safari growing up, and altho it was a great workhorse over it's long lifespan (18 years), it wallowed tremendously when driven with any aggression. Power was low; 135 HP 301, but it seemed OK for the time. But it breathed new appeal into the '60s stuff, without question.

• Last year for the Pontiac 350 was '77, so the video must be incorrect in ID'ing it as such... or it IS an Olds or Chevy. Pontiac 301 is more likely- pretty common as far as installation and a different block than the 350.

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You're right but this "mystery" did require a process of elimination.

Olds was definitely producing engines for Pontiac by this time.  The 1979 Firebird, which was "rescued" as a result of the inset cubed rectangular headlamps (coming from the nasty "Smokey and the Bandit" grille), had Olds 403 V8s and maybe even Olds 350 V8s in that M.Y.

However, Olds put their distributors on the back of the block, between the air cleaner assembly and the firewall.  The one in this Bonneville is up front.  The spark plug pairing and grooves on the valve cover are not like those of a Chevy V8 from the '70s, so it's most likely a Pontiac engine.  The Pontiac 301 was definitely around, and I also knew someone who had a Pontiac 265 in a Regal coupe (obvious sharing), so it was probably a Pontiac 301, as you say.

So, like, or unlike, Olds, Pontiac did not derive their 301 and 265 from their 350?  They were designed from scratch, so to speak?

Edited by trinacriabob
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It looks like Pontiac keeps the rear wheel skirts in all variants.  This one appears to have leather inside.  Pretty nice, even with the basic Pontiac rally wheels.


How much nicer the one above would have looked with these wheels.


Old school GM Brougham interiors ... the suspensions on these cars may wallow some, but driving for 8 to 12 hours in the course of one day in seating like this is not something we can argue with ...

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I put 10s of thousands of miles on our '77, but it was a Catalina with a vinyl bench, so not as fluffy.
Here's the only pic I could quickly put my hands on.

77 Cat S.jpg

- - - - -
That Bonne above with the Snowflake wheels is pretty sharp for a late 70s car. Needs to be lowered about 2 inches tho.

The Pontiac 301 was a short deck / short stroke block. To my knowledge- nothing interchanges with the 350. There's so little interest in it, I would have to dig in my library to find out specs.

Edited by balthazar
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Here is bore & stroke :
265 : 3.75 x 3.00
301 : 4.00 x 3.00
350 (P) : 3.87 x 3.75
350 (O) : 4.05 x 3.38
350 (B) : 3.80 x 3.85
400 (P) : 4.12 x 3.75
403 (O) : 4.35 x 3.38

You can see: the 265 ('80) was a smaller bore 301.
P 350 was a smaller bore P 400.
O 403 & O 350 were likewise related.

Edited by balthazar
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Very nice.  They finally got around to the engine.  I was trying to spot where they placed the distributor.  That car was in "the 704," which is the Charlotte NC area.

Edited by trinacriabob
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