The Ron Pratte collection will be a sight to see when his personal vehicle collection is auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in the coming weeks. Included in the collection is this extremely rare 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special concept car.
The story goes that Harley Earl, initial head of design at General Motors, conjured the idea up for the Bonneville Special while watching land speed vehicles smash records on the famous Bonneville salt flats in Utah. The concept vehicle is essentially a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, but outfitted to what Earl thought Pontiac stood for. The car takes cues from aviation, featuring additional gauges such as a clock, compass and manifold pressure. The shifter also mimics an aircraft’s landing gear lever, rounding out the aviation influences on the inside.
Only two Pontiac Bonneville Specials were ever created, one finished in Metallic Bronze, and the one seen here to be auctioned, wearing a shamrock worthy Metallic Emerald Green. The car is fitted with a 230-horsepower, 268 cubic-inch Pontiac inline-8 cylinder, which Earl also felt suited the Pontiac brand better than the Corvette’s 150-horsepower, 235 cubic-inch inline-6.
Following the aviation trend, the exterior a grille-less, full width air intake and twin air scoops on the cowl, also aircraft inspired. Finishing the car is a Plexiglass bubble top with gullwing style side windows, yet another nod to an aircraft. It also makes for a unique and attractive design piece.
The Pontiac Bonneville Special (Lot #2500) is to be auctioned off on Saturday, January 17th. Be sure to flip on your television to see what such a unique vehicle to the Pontiac brand brings in.