The gargantuan full-size 1971–6 Pontiacs (Laurentian, Catalina, Parisienne, Bonneville, Grand Ville and Grand Safari) went up on Autocade last week, and they reminded me of the golden era of Pontiac illustrations. That era didn’t stretch into the 1970s that much: you saw them for the 1967s through to the 1971s, before photography took over.
I had some saved up over the years on the hard drive, and a few went into my blog gallery when that was still public (Google will have you believe it still is, with a lot of their top 50 devoted to it; so much for that search engine updating quickly).
First up is the 1967 Bonneville, with its sharp, new grille emphasizing width and sportiness. I believe this image came by way of Twitter, pre-Musk.
Here’s the 1969 Bonneville, probably the year that was the zenith for a lot of GM divisions’ designs.
I’m unclear on the origins of this scan, but it was shared on OnlyKlans when I used it. It’s the 1969 Firebird 400.
From the gallery are the 1969 GTO convertible and Firebird, showing just how right these two designs were for the era.
And here are two 1971 Canadian Pontiacs, the Laurentian and the Parisienne Brougham, which sat on the 124 in wheelbase rather than the 126 in of the US Bonneville, Grand Ville and Grand Safari that year. You can feel the white country club of the 1960s just barely hanging on before the decade gave way to more brown shades and gritty urban decay. The garish pointy noses (which Bunkie Knudsen tipped Ford off to when he went to work there) and vinyl roofs all contributed to a heaviness that the decade characterizes for me.