Classic Cars

Pick of the Day: 1988 Pontiac Bonneville SSE

Color-matched wheels, aerodynamic body treatment, and digital instrumentation were all the rage in the 1980s as automakers sought to modernize their lineups with the latest in style and tech.

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage 1988 Pontiac Bonneville SSE sedan listed for sale on by a private seller in St. Francis, Wisconsin. (Click the link to view the listing)

“Purchased on consignment from the original owner, it has 14,300 miles on it,” the listing begins. “Runs, drives, and rides like new – zero mechanical issues.”

The year 2024 will mark the 70th birthday of the Bonneville name in the General Motors family: The model first debuted as a “Motorama” concept car called the Bonneville Special, and at the time it shared design language with the Chevrolet Corvette. In production form, the first time the name was used was for a fuel-injected convertible version of the Star Chief in 1957. By 1958, it was a standalone model.

Today’s feature car hails from the eighth generation which came out in 1987. For the first time, the Bonneville had been moved to a front-wheel-drive platform which was shared with the Buick LeSabre and the Oldsmobile 88. The SSE model ranked at top end of the food chain, optioned with color-keyed body cladding, a digital trip computer, an automatic leveling rear air suspension, and upgraded audio.

The seller states that over $5,000 has been spent within the last year on exterior cosmetic work of this car, and based on the photo gallery, it shows. The metallic red paint finish is striking, especially set against the kaleidoscopic fall colors of Wisconsin.

Under the hood, we find General Motors’ robust LN3-code “3800 V6” which went on to be produced in various forms for an impressive two decades afterward.

“Interior is pristine, and all the electronic gadgets work, with exception of the left rear power window. I have a new motor for it still in the box, but have just not switched it out,” the seller says. In typical Pontiac fashion for the era, the cockpit is full of buttons, but the gadgetry was part of the appeal at that time. Among the car’s advanced features for its time were digital instrumentation, a driver information center, automatic climate control, and a Delco stereo system.

“Always garage-kept,” the listing concludes. Included in the presentation is a walk-around video that showcases the condition of the body and interior.

The asking price is $16,500, and whether that strikes you as low or high, the old saying holds true: “Try and find another one in this condition.”

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day.

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