In Jan 1957 Pontiac displayed a Star Chief convertible with the words "Fuel injection" on the front fenders and trunk lid. The was the same injection system as the Corvette. In Feb 57 the Bonneville was placed in limited production. List price was $5,782 with every accessory Pontiac manufactured. Only 630 Bonnevilles were made during the model year. The Bonneville name was chosen because of a speed run Pontiac public relations director Bob Emerick had arranged with Ab Jenkins to attempt to break a record at the Bonneville salt flats. Jenkins ran for 24 hours at an average speed of 118.37 mph. Emerick then made it a major element of the publicity effort and named the new fuel injected model "Bonneville".
I really appreciate automakers that have stuck with traditional car names, instead of numbers/letters. The names Mercedes, BMW, etc. use lack creativity and distinction. I was disappointed with Acura in 1995 when they jumped on the bandwagon.
ok, here is another opinion on this topic........
first of all the term "bonneville" does not mean "good city" in french, contrary to opinions expressed here. i shud know having french backround and language but its not a big deal i wouldnt imagine. secondly, i think the name suits the car very well!! when people ask what kinda ride i have and i tell them......their eyes light up with visions of a nice car(call me crazy for thinking that,lol). if GM name it something else it would perform just as well i would think. i guess the only thing to do if someone doesnt like the name is take off all of the bonneville logos on the car and replace it with " chevette" or something? maybe that would cure the "name" delemma. take care all....and ride on!!!
I personally like the name "Bonneville".... it'* elegant.... and the direct relation to the Bonneville Salt Flats..... where all the speed records were set is great. It provides a direct link to our cars namesake, and speed.
Also, remember back in 57, when the Bonneville came out, only the big cars got the big engines... and a larger engine meant you could go faster.