In the world of rare domestics from the 1950s, it’s hard to get more rare or more desirable than the 1957 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Bonneville – better known as just the Bonneville. Just 630 production examples of these cars were ever made – one per dealer in the United States, plus two prototypes.
All of the Bonnevilles were two-door convertibles. Bonneville models in this year can be identified by the Bonneville name on the rear fenders, and the “Fuel Injection” badges on the front fenders and amidships on the trunk lid.
The engine in the Bonneville was a Rochester fuel-injected 347 cubic inch V-8 at a 10.25:1 compression ratio and yielding an astonishing 315 hp. That amazing engine was mated to a Strato-Flight Hydra-Matic three speed automatic transmission.
Bonnevilles had the option book mostly included – and sold at a price up in the Cadillac range - $5,782 compared to $3,105 for an ordinary Star Chief convertible. Bonnevilles included power everything: steering, brakes, windows, antenna, and seats. Buyers also got Pontiac’s best WonderBar radio, special wheel covers, and an optional continental kit.
If you can manage to find one of these 1957 Bonnevilles, it’s worth buying and restoring. Among the rarest of the rare would be one of the two prototypes – which are reputed to be equipped with four bucket seats instead of the dual benches of the 630 production examples.