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Old 01-29-2008, 09:09 PM   #21
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It all started when my dad and I test drove the 1990 LE in '98 maybe. We loved it then I bought it from him a couple years later. Totalled that one on I-494 on the way back from a Vikings game. Found the '95 SSE in november '03, loved the SSE/SSEi trim, bought it. (My stepdad was working for the dealer at the time, got a lil bit of a deal). Hail hit us this past september, totalled the '95. I get $1500 and get to keep the car and decide to use the money as part of a down payment on this '00 SSEi I saw sitting at a lot... Bought it this past October 10th and love it. I just like having 4 doors if I need it and a lil giddyup under the hood. So at this rate I jump a trim level and 5 years for each new car... So it'll be a 2005 GXP then a 2010 G8???
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:58 PM   #22
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To be totally honest, I was looking for a Grand Marque or a Crown Vic.

Real glad I settled for the Bonneville though. Made a believer out of me, and that'* a fact.

First car I've owned with working AC
First car I've owned with remote entry
First car I've owned with a V-6
First car I've owned made by GM
First car I've owned that tried to kill me.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:23 PM   #23
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The short version:
I got it cheap and I really needed an inexpensive reliable car that ran on low grade gasoline.

The long version:
A friend of a friend whose name escapes me bought the car to drive to work, then gave it to his son who hated it because he wanted a truck. After the son got a truck this car just sat until a neighbor got tired of looking at it and complained to the city who promptly ordered it removed. When they started it after it had sat for a long time, they didn't check it very well and there was a rat'* nest on top of the muffler that lit on fire and burned the rear bumper cover and the right tail light. It also clanked due to the separated crank dampener pulley so they thought the engine was junk. They just wanted it gone at that point to appease the neighbors and keep the city out of their hair.
They gave it to a friend of mine, who we'll call Pat because that'* his name. Pat didn't really want the car, he just took it because it was free. He is a devout Ford guy and has a lot of room to keep extra cars so he parked it with his collection of other cars that need work. I saw it and asked him about it and he told me the story above. I offered him $500 for it with out even looking inside it or hearing it run and he said okay. I was waiting for a SSI settlement and he agreed to wait about a month until then to let me have it, but said it was okay for me to get it ready to go.
I put in an extra battery I had, aired up the tires, and basically cleaned it up a little for a test drive and was well pleased to see that it only showed 66,000 miles and generally looked pretty good except for the burned tail. Pat and I hopped in and I drove it down the road a little with it clanking like the world was coming to an end. With it warmed up, I leaned on it a little on the return leg and it felt strong. When it idled it had a miss in addition to the clanking. But since I am pretty handy mechanically, I wasn't worried as long as it was all bolt on stuff which I believed it to be and it turned out I was right. The miss was a bad plug wire. But I didn't tell Pat that.
When I got my settlement, I went straight over to his house and handed him the 5 Benjamins, but he just looked at it like he didn't know what I was talking about. He said he really didn't want to sell it and said if he did he would want more for it. Well his brother was there and he heard us make the original deal, so I called him on it and made him agree to get the paperwork done for it in a reasonable amount of time for another $250. I was somewhat POed about the gouge, but nothing like how mad I got while I waited for 7 months for him to get off his lazy tail and get the title transferred. In the mean time, I gathered all the parts I needed to get it going again; SSE bumper cover and tail lights $120, new crank pulley $95, spare tires $150 (It had two almost new Goodyears on the front but the rears were maypops).
I didn't do anything to the car while I was waiting, because after getting gouged on the price, I figured he was just as likely to renege on the whole deal and try to take it back when I wasn't looking, and there I'd be out all the money for the car plus parts. Bad thoughts were going through my head because I felt I had already been screwed by someone I trusted and I had put myself in a position to get truly hosed because it was a handshake deal for cash. He really thought he was raking me over the coals selling me an old GM Grandpa boat with engine trouble for more than it was worth.
But 7 months later he finally came through and made it happen with copious coaxing from yours truly. He made it right and even "rebated" me what I paid to get the title transferred, basically about half the $250 gouge. So I came out pretty good on the purchase price, even after all the hassle with the paperwork. But I still don't pal around with Pat any more, I guess I'm just a bastard like that. Don't get me wrong, I don't hold a grudge or wish him ill will or anything, I always smile and wave when I see him because I know I really got the better end of the deal. Plus finding out how he is about trying to hose his buddies made it all worthwhile.

1990 LE -wrong bumper
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:39 AM   #24
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well, I'm 18 right now, but.. when I was growing up in the 90'*, I'd always seen the bonneville commercials.. always had a thing for them since one of my friends' mom had a 87-91 SSE in white. anyhow, I call a family friend of ours who goes to auto auctions frequently.. tell him what i'm looking for. he tells me there'* a blue one with a few small problems but nothing that can't be worked out.

test drove it, and bought it that night. LOVED it. i sold it for my '00 impala, but the memory remains. someday i will get another one

Mods: K&N CAI, Magnaflow resonator, 35% tint
Soon: Magnaflow cat, dual mufflers, FWI
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:46 AM   #25
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My first car was a gold 94 SE. The price was right and i was satisfied because i could fit two BMX bikes comfortably in the trunk with the front wheels off. I had that car for a few years and various things were going wrong so i needed a new vehicle. Oddly enough i went looking for a new model Impala because i knew the 3800'* were sturdy engines and i liked the body styling of them. Didn't have much luck finding an impala but one of the dealers i went to had an 02 Bonneville SSEi that i currently drive. I had absolutely no plans to mod but from being on this forum for audio tips on my 94 i knew the potential they had and i pretty much fell in love with it.
FWI - PEMs - DP - HF Cat - 3.4/3.5 MPS - 180* - PCM - 104'* - Shift Kit - UD WP - Solid Mount - DR'*
14.222 @ 95.27 - 2.112 60'
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:46 AM   #26
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Always kind of liked them, especially the 92-95 SSEi'*. Couple years ago a friends aunt had it and I really liked it. I always joked she should sell it to me one day and that it would be mine one day. Well in April of 2006 I get a call from my friend saying shes selling it. 97 40th SSE, 23000 miles for $4000. I tell him, well not interested, couple days later realize, "Am I CRAZY"? As you see in my sig, its now mine. I have a love hate relationship with it, but mostly love.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:50 AM   #27
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Growing up my dad always said he wanted a Bonneville. All I knew about them was the 87-91 body style and I thought they were ugly. Then one day at work my parents came in to show me their new car. A dark cherry metallic 97 SSEi. They had bought it as an impulse on the side of the road. MY dad was in love. That night I asked to take it out. I went out with a couple friends and I ended up finding out what the speed limiter cut out at. I was hooked from then on. I knew nothing about Bonnevilles, but I knew how I wanted mine to look. Black on Black. I hunted ebay for months until I finally found it. A 95 SSEi in Ohio, almost 1000 miles away. I drove with a friend to go pick it up. I soon came to learn that I had purchased a series 1 3800 and that my parent'* was faster! Been modding ever since Wink
Uhhhh... i'm older than you and in 1997 I was 13. So you're saying your dad let you take out his bran new $30K car when you were 12ish years old. Either your dad is the most laid back man on earth or you are full of
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:08 AM   #28
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Two of my friends had Bonnevilles personally, and at least one other had ridden in one as a kid. They were all 96-99 body styles. When I saw that 1337ssei'* is supercharged, I instantly fell in love (especially after we went "shopping"), and I decided I needed a Bonneville.

He and his dad found out their family friend had a roughed up 94 SSEi with 278K miles on it, and he wanted to donate it to get a tax refund. I told him I'd pay him the tax refund, and 1337ssei and his dad set out to fixing up the car with me. Mostly they did it. I covered the costs and had the exhaust, brake lines, master brake cylinder, several engine parts, almost all gaskets, and so on replaced. Then I did the brakes pretty much down to the bearings. The rear brakes were rusted to their bearings, and they were horrible.

That'* my 94 SSEi, and I was hooked after it. I also heard that 1337ssei'* family was selling their own 99 SLE, so I picked that up as well. That'* a much better car, and I'm so glad I don't have to tear it apart as much. Long live my Bonnevilles.

94 STEi and 99 SLO
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:20 AM   #29
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Well, basically, I was getting help from the rents to buy a car, and Dad kept trying to foist a Honda or Toyota onto me. Needless to say, I had already completely elimiated the soulless little toasters, and Fords were right off the map after the Taurus, so I started looking at GMs.
Found the 95 SSEi in a little lot on Indianola here in Columbus, test drove it and fell in love...
Dad needed a lot of convincing though...I signed up here, checked out Consumer Retards and made my case.

Later on I started wishing I had listened to Dad. BTW, that car made me eligible for the 3-motor club, tendering my application for approval.

That said, the car was a blast to drive, fast and nimble. I fell in love with the acceleration, but didn't want to try my luck with another Series 1, so I started looking for a 97-99SSEi.
Could not find one ANYWHERE that wasn't either beat to crap, and didn't have monstrously high miles on it...
I was just about ready to settle for a 96 LeSabre when I found the PA. 88,000 miles, $8,000, and in excellent condition. Took a test drive, and bought it a couple days later.
I miss the cornering of the Bonnie a little, but the PA isn't far off of it, and the engine makes up for it...
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:44 AM   #30
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The 3800.
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