Come 2023, the Bonneville is quite the iconic classic. However, because it was produced in large numbers, it's anything but rare or immensely desirable. Except for the 1957 version, which was sold in just 630 units. But certain cars can be scarce due to their optional features or particular body styles.
The 1962 Bonneville you see here may look like a regular four-door sedan at first glance. But this weathered full-size is not just one of the 44,015 four-door hardtops Pontiac sold that year. This rig boasts an extended wheelbase, a different roof, and the badge of an iconic coachbuilder. What you see here is a limo conversion performed by the Superior Coach Company.
Established in 1909 as the Garford Motor Truck Company, it produced large trucks and armored cars until the 1920s, when operations expanded to include professional vehicles and buses. Superior Coach is perhaps most famous for the hearses and ambulances it produced from the 1940s through the 1970s, many of which were based on Pontiacs and Cadillacs. But the firm also made limousines.
In addition to the longer wheelbase, this stretched Poncho has a third-row bench, which extends the seating capacity from six to nine. There's no info on its specific purpose when it left the Superior Coach shop more than 60 years ago, but it's incredible that it survived in one piece. These professional cars have a very low survival because they usually end up in junkyards.
This Bonneville was also retired very early in its life. According to the seller, it was "left to the elements in earlier years with the last two owners, including myself." He adds that he eventually parked the limo indoors for over 25 years, which helped preserve its condition.
Granted, the Bonneville looks like a proper barn find. The black paint is weathered, and there's surface rust on every single body panel. The vehicle also shows a few rust holes on the rocket panels, but it's nothing too serious. The interior, however, is in surprisingly good condition and retains the original black-and-grey upholstery. And it probably has to do with the car's relatively low mileage status. The odo shows only 50,948 miles (81,993 km).
This number and the long-term storage also suggest that the Bonneville still relies on its numbers-matching engine. The Poncho left the assembly line with a 389-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8. Pontiac offered different versions of the engine in 1962. The entry-level unit delivered 230 horsepower, while the four-barrel variant came with up to 303 horses on tap. The Tri-Power unit delivered up to 348 horsepower.
It's unclear which version of the 389 V8 lurks under the hood, but the car runs and drives, which is excellent news after many decades off the road. One of only a few limos built like this, the Bonneville is looking for a new owner from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bidding has reached $4,000 with a few hours to go, but the reserve is still in place. Does it deserve a restoration? I think it would make an excellent conversation starter at local car shows.