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Old 08-17-2005, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default What does "Bonneville" mean?

Just curious, what exactly does the word "Bonneville" mean?
Is it a French word?

And "Pontiac", and "Grand AM"?

I only know that "Grand Prix" means big racing car...
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:12 AM   #2
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bonneville salt flats
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:13 AM   #3
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Pontiac started out as a Star Cheif, way back in the day, then renamed Pontiac, I belive it is a native name
Bonneville...well...who really knows..I don't
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:18 AM   #4
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Pontiac was a native tribe if I remember correctly...
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainmiller
Pontiac was a native tribe if I remember correctly...
It probally was, unfortunatley, when u search for Pontiac history, you get just that lol, a bunch of cars.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSEimatt93
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainmiller
Pontiac was a native tribe if I remember correctly...
It probally was, unfortunatley, when u search for Pontiac history, you get just that lol, a bunch of cars.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=pontiac+tribe
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:08 AM   #7
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Bonneville means "Good city" in French. I live in a French settled area and have dozens of things named "Bonne" around here.

Even one is called Bonneville Bowling.
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Old 08-17-2005, 10:50 AM   #8
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Pontiac and Bonneville are both Indian names, which is where the Salt Flats got their name.

Matt, you're close, but the Star Chief was renamed Bonneville, and always was a Pontiac.

The car may have been named for the Indian name or the Salt Flats. I'm not sure which.
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Old 08-17-2005, 10:54 AM   #9
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Pontiac was an Native American Chief, wasn't he? There might have been a Pontiac tribe, but I think more famously, it was the person.
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Old 08-17-2005, 12:40 PM   #10
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Wow.... I'm amazed at how little we know of our name sakes.....


Ok.... here'* what I know...

Bonneville is named after the Bonneville Salt Flats.... I believe the name "Bonneville" is French..... not Indian....

Pontiac was a Tribe of Indians.... but we probably take our name from Pontiac Michigan.
The Oakland Motor Car Co., predecessor to Pontiac Motor, is founded by Edward M. Murphy on August 28, 1907 in Pontiac, Michigan.

Bills right... the Star Chief turned into the Bonneville, and both were Pontiac'*.
Pontiac has been around since 1932.... GM bought Oakland in 1909, and carried the name Oakland until it was renamed Pontiac in 1932.

Grand Am & Grand Prix are taken from famous car racing circuits. Much like Le Mans was..... everyone knows the Le Mans 24hr race..... Le Mans, Grand Prix & Grand Am were all car racing circuits AND names of Pontiac cars..... I'm guessing that they picked "Bonneville" as well because although it was not a circuit or a course... it was the fastest place to drive on earth.

UPDATE...... found this using Google....
In 1827, trapper, trader, explorer, and frontiersman Jedediah Smith was perhaps the first white man to cross the salt flats in 1827 while returning from his first expedition to California. Six years later, Joseph Reddeford Walker, another trapper, mapped and explored the areas around the Great Salt Lake and crossed the northern perimeter of the flats while in the employ of Captain Benjamin L. E. Bonneville. It is from Benjamin Bonneville that the salt flats and prehistoric lake derive their name, although it is unlikely that Bonneville himself ever saw the flats.
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