1981 Pontiac Bonneville Reviews - Page 3 of 3

1981 Pontiac Bonneville 307 Oldsmobile from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 307 Oldsmobile Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance103000 miles

Summary:

A piece of American history

Faults:

I just had to replace the ignition moduale.

Carburetor rebuild last year.

Transmission rebuild last year.

Normal maintenence items.

General Comments:

It is very comfortable on long trips and gets respectable gas mileage on trips. Can still trust it to go anywhere.

Town mileage however can be poor.

I will never get rid of it. They do not make them like this anymore.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2003

1981 Pontiac Bonneville Smallblock V8 Version V8; smallblock from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1981
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission V8; smallblock Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance196000 miles
Previous carBuick LeSabre

Summary:

Still running great @ near 200,000 miles

Faults:

Carb rebuilt @ 20000.

Gas tank rusted @ 150000.

Catalytic Converter replaced @ 100000.

Alternator went out.

Roof peeled and leaked water.

General Comments:

If you come across an 81 Bonneville with a small block V8; and it runs good - get it. This was the most reliable car I have every owned. I got rid of it at 196000 miles and it still ran like a tank. Fairly decent mileage and a reliable engine the whole time.

Normal stuff went wrong with this car, the carb had to be rebuilt in 83 but after that it was solid.

The car was hit by a semi truck on the interstate. The truck was not paying attention and switched lanes and hit the left rear quarter panel. The rear end went off the ground about three feet and we pulled over to the side. This at 176,000 miles. After that my wife would not drive the car; it looked rough, but ran the same.

Finally sold the car to a college kid. It is probably still running.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th December, 2002

4th May 2003, 01:35

Did yours have the Oldsmobile 307? That's what mine has and those things never die. Still having carburetor trouble though. But everything else is very good. Fix that and it would be perfectly capable of a cross country run.

4th Sep 2004, 22:13

I have a 1981 Pontiac Bonneville with an Oldsmobile 307. Purchased it form a guy for $50. He had not started the motor in 3 1/2 years. All I had to do was replace a wire that runs to the starter and it started up with out any other repairs. Now one year later (it's not September 2004) and all I have done it replace the spark plugs, wire set, distributor cap, and starter. All runs great, although the carburetor needs to be rebuilt and adjusted.

26th Nov 2004, 18:35

The 81' Bonneville was a beautiful car and I just inherited a white on red brougham version. It has the Olds 307 and the Pontiac 5 spoke design steel rims. Its in nice condition with 180,000 miles. Does anyone know where to get the production numbers on this car? Or where to get parts? conntom2002@yahoo.com.

22nd Jul 2006, 23:17

I had 1981 Bonnville STD 4dr V-6 that I bought from my sister after she blew the engine (I almost killed her). I got it for $10 after six weeks of rebuilding the 3.8L. After that, it ran great.

My dad drove it for about three months until his new truck came in. He started driving the car at mile 122,050.

Since I was in the 9th grade when I got it, I couldn't drive it until the summer between my 9th and 10th grade years. During the time the car was sitting, my #1 enemy, the rodents, ate the master power coil for the distributor and chewed the crap out of the spark plug wires, and they got a hold of the fuel line and gas slowly leaked into the crankcase somehow. All this happened at mile 125,678. I had to drain all of the crapped out oil out of the engine and replaced fuel line. Limped it to the local repair shop to replace the coil and plug wires. (We lindyrigged our own coil) The car ran great for three years.

Then on the fourth year my dumbass for a brother-n-law got a hold of it and drove up on a curb and jammed the trans to hell. He is still paying me back for it.

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 7 reviews