29th Apr 2010, 12:12

My grandfather had a 1981 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham 2 door with the diesel engine. It was black with a tan roof and champagne interior. It was BIG and didn't fit in our garage, but it drove like you were on a cloud.

The diesel engine was loud and had the black smoke... he used to warm it up at 5am in the cold months and woke the entire block! LOL From what I remember, the engine went on fire and we had to replace it with an Olds V8. It was sooo easy to inspect... NY still listed it as diesel and just checked the exterior lights and brakes.

The car was stolen twice.. and recovered both times. One time it came back with big chrome rims, tinted windows/headlights and 1/2 of an audio system. It cost a pretty penny to repair the steering column each time.

We actually donated it back in '98...I do miss it though. I remember learning to drive in it and the loose steering it had.

22nd May 2010, 15:20

I have been driving and maintaining a 1981 Parisienne (full size 4 door) for the last 15 years. It has ALL the options, practically a Caddy! I replaced the 305 / turbo 250 powertrain with a 400 small block, 11-1 compression RV cam, and a 4L60 from a early 90s caprice. Left the stock 223 ration posi diff. I have got as high as 30 mpg, mostly run around mid 20s at about 65 mph. The car will do way over 130 mph, but is a little unstable at that speed (rear lifts up); comes out of 2nd gear at 105 mpg though! Surprises many people on the road!

15th Nov 2010, 20:16

Great review.

I completely agree, they do not make cars of this build quality anymore.

Everything is so cheap and easy to fix on these cars, with plenty of room under the hood to access everything.

These cars will run like champs for years on $20 oil changes and low grade gasoline.

Another thing that is amazing about these cars is the fuel economy! You would never believe it, but these old GMC land yachts get great mileage for the size of the car.

My 1980's Caprice Classic with a fuel injected 305 gets 28 mpg on the highway. Most modern SUVs and minivans can barely compare, and can't haul as much weight and cargo as an older rear wheel drive car.

The only reason they ever quit making RWD cars was for cost effectiveness, it was cheaper to make FWD. RWD is a far more logical and superior design, makes driving a lot less tiring and stressful.

These old GM b-bodys are the best car in the world in my opinion!

Let all the sheep continue to buy their Honda Civics, Camry's and Ford Focus at high retail, then I can continue to buy beautiful old quality classics at giveaway prices!

28th Mar 2014, 16:42

I own a 1981 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham with the 5.7 diesel, had it for 3 years or so now. It's been a good car, strictly a Sunday driver since it's painfully slow! It had the replacement GM Goodwrench diesel engine put in it at some point. The car has 95k miles on it and looks and drives real nice. The water pump is a little leaky, but I've put stop leak in it once a year. I consider selling it sometimes, but it's just like my first car (1980 coupe) and I don't know anyone that would buy it, let alone keep it up and running good. And if I did sell it, when would I ever find another? It came out of a guy's warehouse who passed away and had like 20-30 cars.

29th Mar 2014, 09:30

So, if these guys with V8 gas engines are claiming to get 28-30 MPG, yours must get, what, 40-50 MPG?

30th Mar 2014, 09:49

Who cares about gas mileage all the time? Many of us appreciate comfort and room. Beats saving fuel in a small beater, where you end up spending the savings at a chiropractor office after a long trip. I have 2 cars with single digit mileage; checked it just for fun. Worth every penny to drive.

19th Feb 2015, 02:00

Well I haven't ever drove a long trip, but I'm sure it could do it. Around town driving I'd say I'm getting 25 MPG. I'd say it'll do 30 MPG easily on the open road at 60-65mph. It's so smooth and quiet on the freeway; you hardly feel it's a diesel.

30th Apr 2015, 01:06

I get between 22 and 28 MPG. That's pretty realistic. I'm sure I'd get 30 MPG no problem on the open road between 55-60mph. That's when the engine in this car is nearly silent!