In 2000 my wife and I became the proud 2nd owners of a 1966 Bonneville Convertible. It was purchased new by her Uncle Harold on May 23rd, 1966.
I didn’t know Harold very well but from what I heard he was a not one to spend his money foolishly. I think this is what makes this car so special. Certainly, there were more practical cars he could have purchased in 1966 but this convertible must have caught his eye. From what I understand he drove the car for many years frequently taking it from his home in the Chicago area to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. But once Harold got older the car wasn’t used very much and after years of storage it became un-driveable. My wife remembers being 6 years old and going out for ice cream in Uncle Harold’s convertible.
My first encounter with this car happened about 25 years ago. My wife knew that I always wanted a classic car. Near our 10-year wedding anniversary she asked her Uncle Harold what ever happened to the Pontiac. He told her that he still had it, but it needed restoration. My wife told him that if he ever wanted to sell it to please call her first. He then said he was thinking of selling it now. A deal was struck and several weeks later my wife gave me an anniversary card with a picture of the car. What a surprise, I was in shock. The plan was for Uncle Harold to take a few days to clear out the car, collect the papers and we would arrange to pick up the car. Days turned into weeks, so my wife called and was disappointed to learn that Uncle Harold had changed his mind about selling the car. My dream car would have to wait.
Harold then decided to spend about $10,000.00 having the old Pontiac restored and once again he was on the road with it. I think the prospect of selling it renewed his love of the car. Harold drove the car a few times until 1999 when he passed away in his late seventies. I learned later after going through the restoration documents that he paid $10,000 just to drive it a few hundred miles more. Once again proving that his tendency to be frugal did not apply to his Bonneville. When it was offered for sale we wasted no time taking our second chance to buy the car.
Once we took possession of the car I saw that we had all the documents including build sheet, Protect-O-Plate and the original bill of sale. I finished a few things on the Pontiac that Harold did not get to do before he passed. The car is a somewhat rare color for a Bonneville. It’s called Martinique Bronze, but it looks gold to us, so we ordered OLD GOLD as a vanity plate. Driving the car is an absolute pleasure. It floats down the road and the 389 engine has no problem moving it along. I hope that Uncle Harold is happy that his car stayed in the family. I keep a picture my wife had of her mother and uncle Harold in the car so in a way he is still going on road trips with his Bonneville.