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Friday, April 1, 2016

This ‘62 Pontiac Surf Wagon is Vintage Cool to the Max


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

There’s something inherently cool about driving a car from another day and age. Amidst swarms of ambiguous crossover vehicles and other uninspired modern day runabouts, you’re bound to make a big impression anywhere you go.
For those who want to make a larger impression than most, well… it helps to physically go bigger than the rest, and they certainly don’t get much bigger than this stunning land yacht of the early ‘60s—a 1962 Pontiac Bonneville Safari wagon.

It’s a bit of a mix—part survivor, part vintage custom—and it looks just about perfect pictured here on the beach in Florida. Like it? The supercool cruiser recently came up for sale online, just in time for some summer fun.


In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, if you weren’t looking to compromise on style and luxury in exchange for capability, the Pontiac Safari was probably the car for you.

 It first appeared in 1955 as its own nameplate and as a sleek sister car to the two-door Chevrolet Nomad wagon, bringing with it a bit more class and a bit more chrome. It wasn’t cheap and largely wasn’t a big seller, so for 1958 Pontiac sought greener pastures and shifted the Safari name to all of its full-size wagons, the Bonneville included.

This ’62 Pontiac Bonneville Safari appears to be an all-around good survivor, and is said to wear its original paint, apart from the patches of primer of course. Regardless, it gives it a neat weathered look with great vintage patina.

It does sit a bit lower than original, however. The owner notes this car rides atop an air ride suspension, complete with a Viair 480 compressor and Slam Specialties air bags. Oh yes, it’s a lean, mean, beach combing machine.


Inside, the dashboard, steering wheel, back seats, and door cards all look to be in good nick, though the carpets and front bench seat could do with a little freshening up.

 Out back you can drop the tailgate, flip down the fold-flat second row, and you’ve got a veritable chasm of cargo space, which can rival even the biggest SUVs of today for size. Its engine can too, it’s a 389ci V8, though admittedly it is the smaller of the two V8s available.

Understandably, Pontiac wasn’t making stunning cars like these when its doors were forced closed a short seven years ago (apart from the Commodore-based Pontiac G8), but I’ll admit seeing icons like these does make me wish the shuttered marque still had a pulse.