Hello everyone, my name is Josh, and I'm from up in Canada in Alberta! It'* not as cold as one might think. Anyways, I'm here because of a buddy that I know down in Illinois. I'm about to buy a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi, and as soon as he found out, he recommended that I come here. He has been into Bonneville'* since I've known him, so he knows quite a bit more than I do. He warned me about how "temperamental" these cars can be on occasion. However I've been reading up as much as I can to prepare myself for "The White Curse", yes... it'* white too.
I currently drive a 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse. There are several things about the Eclipse that I like, but it'* becoming a bit more aggravating to me the more I drive. It'* incredibly reliable, and has pretty decent mileage, but it'* a base line model, so it'* missing a lot of features that are hard to live without. For example, it'* got a four-cylinder 1.8L engine, which is quite weak on the highway. Also, it'* a manual gearbox and has manual steering. I avoid parking as much possible... the manual steering along with the manual gearbox can make some driving circumstances quite thrilling to say the least.
On the other hand, I will say that the sense of control you get by having manual steering is excellent, especially at higher speeds. I know it'* an old car and the engine is pretty much all stock, but once on an early morning run on the highway, it gave me 120 MPH. I think many young guys do similar types of things with their vehicle at least once. I trust my aging Eclipse a lot. It inspires a lot of confidence at higher speeds, which is nice. I don't plan on taking it to that type of speed ever again though because of it'* age and low gearing. At 120 MPH in fifth gear, it'* revving at about 4000-5000 RPM, which is 2000 to 1000 RPM away from the red-line. In and old car, for an extended period of time at that speed and RPM, it'* not doing the engine much benefit at all, and I know that because of how much oil it went through doing that.
Getting back to why I'm switching from my Eclipse to a Bonneville though, the manual steering, manual gearbox, and everything else in the Eclipse is all manual and non-powered. The only nice thing it has as an option is air-conditioning. Also, I'm a tall guy, about 6'2", and the Eclipse doesn't cater well to tall people, especially not on 1000+ mile trips. No cruise control of course... yeah it'* murder. I saw one guy here in the forums who has a quote, something like "cruise control? that'* just like surrendering!" Well I can tell you one thing, on a 1000+ mile trip, I'll surrender...
The Bonneville I'm buying has a few flaws though. The interior and engine compartment and engine itself are spotless though, I think that'* a good sign, it means that someone cared enough about it to keep it clean. The exterior is in really good shape as well, only a few small rust spots just starting to develop. The mileage is about 112,851 km (70,122 mi) which is fairly low for the year. One thing about the exterior though, the driver side door has a really rough spot, don't know the cause, but it'* been painted over very badly and will rust out if I don't do something about it, and it'* been involved in some sort of incident... the passenger side front door is pretty much toast, either something scraped up along side the car, or the car scraped up against something else. I checked it out and the damage is just focused on the doors, so it should be a fairly easy fix if I can find a new passenger side front door and some trip pieces. I've also run the car'* VIN through CARFAX and there are no reported problems... so I'll take that as a good sign.
The price I'm paying might be a bit steep, but I really mucked up the haggling... first car and all, I have to admit, I got walked on badly... but it'* too late to change anything and I can only take it as a lesson for next time. The car is really nice though aside from whatever happened on the passenger side.
Hopefully my financing will work out and I'll get it, so then I don't have to be stuck posting about my Eclipse and telling stories about "the one that got away". I'm looking forward to becoming better acquainted with you all here. I've also snatched the dealer pictures in case you'd like to see:
- Front Driver Side (The pretty unmucked side...)
- Back Driver Side (Hey the dealers gotta make it look perfect! They carefully skipped photos of the "bad" side)
- Interior Front
- Interior Rear
I should mention, that is the charcoal leather interior, but that probably goes without saying since most of you know Bonneville'* so well, but it looks considerably lighter in the pictures than it actually is.
Long introduction, I know, but I usually end up writing a lot more than is necessary, and I'm a lover of cars, even the base-line Eclipse types, and given the chance, I could probably write a novel-sized book about cars. Of course now I realize you know more about my cars than you do me... maybe that'* a good thing!