November 30, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

I SAW ADVERTISED IN THE TOLEDO BLADE A 1965 PONTIAC BONNEVILLE FOR SALE.  WHEN I CALLED THE OWNER, I SAID I HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION.  DOES THIS CAR HAVE THE 8 LUG WHEELS WITH THE CORRECT FACTORY TRIM RINGS AND CAPS?  HE SAID, I AM NOT SURE THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL THEM BUT ITS GOT THESE GOOD-LOOKING WHEELS ON THE CAR.  I MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO SEE THE CAR IMMEDIATELY.  TO MY SURPRISE, HE WAS THE ORIGINAL OWNER AND IT WASN’T JUST A BONNEVILLE BUT IT WAS A BONNEVILLE BROUGHAM WITH THE MUCH NICER BROCADE BUTTON TUFTED SEATS AND DOOR PANELS.  IT WAS A FACTORY AIR CAR (INOPERATIVE) WITH A PERFECT DASH AND INTERIOR.

THERE WERE NO VISIBLE SCUFF MARKS ON THE SILL PLATES THAT HOLD THE CARPETS DOWN.  TO MY SURPRISE THE 8 LUGS WERE PERFECT.  THEY HAD BEEN PAINTED BLACK FROM THE FACTORY.  THE SILVER LOOK FROM 1963 WAS MUCH MORE IMPRESSIVE TO ME.  THE PAINT WAS VERY NICE BUT NEEDING A PROFESSION BUFFING AND HAND POLISH.  HE HAD NO DESIRE TO SPEND THE MONEY TO REPAIR THE A/C. HE HAD KEPT IT UP MECHANICALLY VERY WELL.  EVERYTHING WORKED INCLUDING THE POWER WINDOWS AND SEAT.  I BOUGHT IT IMMEDIATELY.  THIS CAR WAS NOT A STEAL.  I PAID ALL THE MONEY WHEN NO ONE ELSE WOULD. GOT IT HOME AND CAREFULLY REMOVED THE TRIM RINGS.

FOLKS, IF YOU USE A SCREW DRIVER, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A PERMANENT GOUGE IN THE TRIM RING.  I REMOVED THE CAPS WHILE ON A JACK STAND ON ALL 8 LUGS, CLEANED THEM INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH SILVER PAINT AND A SMALL BRUSH, I CAREFULLY PAINTED IN BETWEEN EACH VEIN ON THE WHEEL.  REINSTALLED THEY LOOKED MAGNIFICENT ON THE FOUR NEW RADIALS THE PRIOR OWNER HAD JUST INSTALLED ON THE CAR.     I REMOVED THOSE GORGEOUS INDIVIDUAL JEWEL TONE SCULPTURED LETTERS THAT SPELL BONNEVILLE.  THEY WERE ONLY AVAILABLE FROM 1964 THROUGH 1966.  I REMOVED ALMOST ALL BRIGHT WORK, HEADLIGHT BEZELS, DECK AND HOOD EMBLEMS.  THAT BURGUNDY ORIGINAL FACTORY LACQUER BUFFED AND POLISHED LIKE A MIRROR.  AFTER THE BELOFF TOUCH, IT WAS ONE IMPRESSIVE CAR. THE 8 LUG WHEELS WERE DESTINED FOR MY 1965 PONTIAC 2+2 COUPE – A VERY EASY SWAP.

SEVERAL PEOPLE THAT WANTED TO BUY THIS BONNEVILLE EVEN WITHOUT THE 8 LUGS.  REPAIRING THE A/C WAS NOT COMPLICATED OR EXPENSIVE.  THE PERFORMANCE OF THE 389 4 BBL 325 HP WAS AN INCREDIBLY FAST.  THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR 1965 FOR THE TURBO HYDROMATIC.  A VAST IMPROVEMENT OVER PRIOR TRANSMISSIONS.  IT WOULD NEVER GET HOTTER THAN 300 DEGREES WE HAD AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION ESPECIALLY FOR DRAG RACING THAT WOULD EQUAL IN MY EXPERIENCE THE BRUTAL CHRYSLER 727 TORQUE FLIGHT.  THE 25 ADDITIONAL HP CAME FROM THE USE OF PONTIAC’S FAMED 421 HEADS, ALSO STANDARD ON THE 1965 GRAND PRIX.

A SERIOUS WORD OF CAUTION:  THE GORGEOUS STAINLESS-STEEL ROCKER PANEL MOLDINGS HIDING GALVANIC CORROSION BETWEEN ADJOINING METAL PARTS AND RUSTED  EXTERNAL UNDER THOSE GOOD-LOOKING MOLDINGS.  THE FENDER SKIRTS WERE LONG GONE.  REMOVING AND REPLACING FENDER SKIRTS ESPECIALLY IN WINTER WOULD BE COMPLETELY FROZEN WITH UNSIGHTLY RUST BLISTERS.  OTHERWISE, IT WAS PRETTY MUCH A RUST-FREE CAR.

NOTE THE 1965 AS MANY OTHER CARS FROM THIS ERA STILL RUSTED BADLY.  THIS IS ALSO THE FIRST YEAR FOR THE PERIMINTER FRAME AND THE FIRST TIME THE ENTIRE 1965 PONTIAC LINEUP WAS MOTOR TREND’S CAR OF THE YEAR.  1966 PONTIAC BONNEVILLE AND GRAND PRIX ONLY HAD MASSIVE HEAVY DYE CAST CHROME RIBBED ROCKER PANEL MOLDINGS RUNNING THE LENGTH OF THE CAR.  NATURALLY THEY ALL SUFFERED BADLY BECAUSE THE TIRES STUCK OUT PAST THE ROCKER PANEL MOLDINGS WHICH WOULD JUST BLAST THE BRIGHT WORK OFF OF THEM FROM ROCK CHIPS AND ROAD DEBRIS AT HIGH SPEED.  MINIMAL BODY TUCK UNDER WAS DESIGNED INTO OUR PONTIACS, SO THE TIRES WOULD NO LONGER PROTRUDE PAST THE ROCKER AND SHEET METAL PANEL AREAS OF WHICH THE BENEFITS ARE OBVIOUS.

RETURN

error: Content is protected !!