Pontiac Bonneville Custom Convertible





Road Signature

scale 1:18

Model number: YM92437-WG


Review of the model:

Mr. Harley Earl the designer of Pontiac Bonneville Convertible was really glad of everything that related to rockets and space. Some can go so far to say he was obsessed with rockets! Remember back in 1958 many US-cars had this trend and it continued over in the following decade too. The top of the line model from Pontiac was the Bonneville and it boosted with extra trims that gave the car a showcase in rocket galore. Just look at the spear shaped trim from the front of the fender, that evolve on the door to a mighty rocket, that have a wide exhaust of sparkling stars spanning the hole quarter panel of the rear car. Oh yes this was a true spaceship!

Road Signature had made a model of this marvelous car in scale 1:18. Let’s see what this model have to offer. This is an earlier model release from Road Signature that includes a premium feature of real leather seats. Firstly I thought it was an unnecessary gimmick, but the seats are well made with soft thin skins, that give the model an extra feel of quality. The later released models under the Lucky Die-Cast name from The Yatming Group have not this feature.

The model comes in many colors and this very model came in the fancy color combination of Graystone White and Burma Green Poly, except no poly (metallic) green. But again you can trust this maker in well done paint work as the model shine with no flaws as the quality control is as it best.

The interior of the model is one of the best I have seen so far from the budget price models of Road Signature. As many details such as chrome trim on doors, instrument panel, steering wheel and seats are realistic. If you add the exclusive soft lemon color seats – We end up with a very good looking interior!

When I have to judge a model from Yatming / Lucky Die-Cast / Road Signature. I always hold it up to, what have to be made more realistic such as the black paint on the grill etc?

This specimen had many fine details ready from the factory and only few easily fixed work processes was in need.

Up front of the car; the grill (holes) was painted black and on the grill was a small well made Pontiac emblem, that had to be in gold with a help of a piece of metal foil (Wrapped foil from candy) glued on. And from here I painted the backside of the doors white. One smart feature from the real car was the red reflex in the rocket exhaust on the side panel. This was fixed with a drop of red paint. The only work left was the details of extra chrome – Again I was glad of my Liquid Chrome pen from Molotow!  The V-shaped trim on top of the front fenders get chrome and also small details as locks, canvas bottoms and small trim on the deck lid. The rear lights on this model are made of real plastic, witch is a high quality feature compared to other models from the same maker. If we compare the lenses to the real car, small chrome rings surround the red plastic this is not shown here on the model, but were later painted after the pictures where taken to this article.

The model seems to have a lower stance than other models from the period and that really suits the car. We most remember today that many American Hotrod cars from the period will today have been lowered. But the advertising brochures from the 1958 Pontiac states, the new car have a low wide stance as the new fashion. So thumbs up to Road Signature! - For being true to the design. The hood lid can be opened and a big Pontiac Tripower Tempest 310 Hp, V8 motor lay in the engine compartment. The detail richness can be better, but is fair of a model in this price range and if you lay some time on it – the motor can be super detailed easily. The deck lid in the rear can not be opened as on many other models from Road Signature/Lucky Die-Cast. But all parts fits well with no bad gabs on doors or hood.

I’m a fan of the chrome parts and that for sure on all newer Lucky Die-Cast model as well as this one. They are well secure mounted and have a great shine for many years. The model have very fine wheels with painted green hubs and the hubcaps is very detailed with Pontiac engraved in the chrome. The small emblems and text on the model is fine tampon stamped paint, but it will have been great if they were made of etched metal. But that will probably not happen because of the cost/benefit issue.

The model of the 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible is becoming harder to find here in Europe but if you are willing to pay a higher shipping cost, you can fetch a model from USA. Provided by Ebay or Amazon…

I can highly recommend the model to you and maybe you are lucky to find one with leather seats too.

I will give this model 3 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!




  The advertising were bold in those days  
  A car for the space  
  A good looking car  
Note the concave quarter panel at the rear
Pontiac engraved in the hubcaps
Note the red reflexes on the exhaust of the rocket trim
A well made model from Road Signature
A lemon colored interior
A classy interior
Tempest Trippel 310 Hp motor
Real leather seats
This car looks good from every angle
Well made dashboard and instrumentpanel
Lot's of chrome
Please turn on the radio
A profile shot
All the lenses on this model is made of plastic
On this model too the trunk can not be opended
No major gabs on the doors
I wish they will make a hardtop some day
Well done Road Signature




by Richard Lentinello, Ed Heys and others.

Hopes were high for the 1958 Pontiac Bonneville, and Motor Life predicted that “Pontiac will have the necessary appeal to win back some of the sales it lost last year.” The changes were indeed major. No longer billed as limited-production, the Bonneville convertible gained a hardtop Sport Coupe running mate to become a separate, top-line series. Moreover, all 1958 Pontiacs were new from the ground up, with completely restyled body shells on a Cadillac-inspired cruciform (X-member) frame.

Greater rigidity was claimed for the new backbone, which Pontiac would retain through 1960, and it facilitated the use of coils instead of semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear for a better ride. (It also afforded precious little protection in a side impact.)

Wheelbases and the twin-A-arm/coil-spring front suspension stayed the same, but Bonneville was put on the shorter Chieftain platform in the interest of better handling. Though trim remained top grade, most of the 1957 Bonneville’s lavish equipment now appeared on the option sheet, cutting 1958 base price by some $2,300.

The year’s most fascinating new feature was optional “Ever-Level” air suspension, modeled after Cadillac’s system on the 1957 Eldorado Brougham and offered across the board at $175. However, orders were few at that price, and the setup proved so troublesome that Pontiac gave up on it after only a year, about as quickly as other makes gave up on their equally problem-plagued systems.

With performance a major thrust, all 1958 Pontiacs got the 370 V-8, now called “Tempest” and offered in six different versions. Most Bonnevilles packed the single-four-barrel unit, with 10:1 compression and 285 horsepower with Hydra-Matic.

Fuel injection was still available -- and still troublesome -- and a formidable $500 asking price discouraged all but 400 buyers before the system was canned during the year. So the 300-horsepower Tri-Power engine remained the darling of the lead foot crowd -- and a performance bargain at just $93.50.

Styling of the 1958 Bonneville was more like that of lesser Pontiacs and not bad for the day, but not up to its 'New Direction' label.

Motor Trend timed one at a creditable 8.2 seconds in the 0-60 mph sprint and 18.8 seconds at 88 mph in the standing quarter-mile. Mechanix lllustrated’s Tom McCahill hit 125 mph with a 285-horsepower car, moving him to exclaim: “The 1958 Pontiacs are hotter than a blowtorch.” They should have been slower: four inches longer, two inches wider, and some 100-200 pounds heavier than the 1957s. This was dictated in part by the “New Direction” styling, which still wasn’t the best -- though it could have been much worse. Yet even the Bonneville, the most sparkling of the line, doesn’t look too bad now next to some other 1958s, notably Buick, Oldsmobile, and Mercury.

Being more readily available, the 1958 Bonneville sold much better than the 1957, with 9,144 hardtops and 3,096 convertibles. But it was scant consolation in a year when most everybody except AMC’s Rambler was down -- way down. While Chevrolet sales were off by 17.5 percent and Oldsmobile’s by 20 percent, Pontiac dropped more than a third.
Yet the Bonneville proved Knudsen knew what he was doing. “There was no point competing against Chevrolet,” he said later. “They had their market sewn up tight. But setting out after Buick and Oldsmobile was possible.”

Like other General Motors divisions that year, the 1958 Pontiac was a one-year-only design, because the company had decided to share bodies more closely from 1959 on. But in line with his plan of moving Pontiac upmarket, Knudsen managed to exchange Chevrolet’s forthcoming A-body for the larger, equally new Buick/Oldsmobile B-body.

“Up until then,” he observed, “Pontiac had used the Chevrolet body, maybe with an extended rear deck. There was no point in that, and I think the results bear out our decision.”

For too many years, the entire line of 1958 models from General Motors was looked upon with disdain, and a general disrespect for their "different" design. It seemed that enthusiasts preferred the cleaner, less adorned style of the 1955, '56 and '57 models, as well as the larger 1959 and '60 models. But for those in the know, the '58 models represent a turning point in GM's bold new post-war way of thinking regarding styling and design. Back in the day, Pontiac Motor Division was so proud of their restyled 1958 models that they touted it in their advertising with the slogan, "The Boldest Advance in Fifty Years."

Aside from a few new high-tech options, like fuel injection and air suspension, the `58 models were anything but advanced; however, they certainly were bold looking with their shrouded four-headlamp front end, lower stance and concave-shaped rear quarter panels. When the racy looking `58 Bonneville was fitted with Tri-Power carburetion, it made for a very desirable - and fast - cruiser. Perhaps this is why a Tri-Power `58 Bonneville was chosen to pace the Indy 500 that year.

For 1958, Pontiac made the Bonneville - known internally as the Series 58-25 - its own line in lieu of it being designated a single model. It had a 122-inch wheelbase that it shared with the Chieftan, but it was fitted with the more powerful engines that were offered on the Star Chief. Only two bodystyles were available: the $3,481 Custom Sport Coupe and the $3,586 Custom Convertible.
At Pontiac in 1958, the 50th anniversary of GM was an event worthy of marketing praise, even if the featured Bonnevilles in our ads did not sport the snazzy, one-year-only Golden Jubilee trim and gold metallic (ZZZ paint code) package.

Of more direct interest to certain buyers, the 1958 Bonneville Convertible was named Official Pace Car of the 42nd Indianapolis 500. In that vein, it could be configured with an optional, NASCAR-designed, 370-cu.in., 10.5:1 compression-ratio, Tempest 395-A engine (code PM) and TriPower 3 x 2-bbl. carburetion producing 395-lb.ft. of torque and 330 horsepower. The PM option included a high-lift camshaft, low-restriction exhaust and other performance enhancements, and was offered with a three-speed manual or Super Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

Period brochures claimed that "the Golden Jubilee Car launches a bold new age in motoring with important advances in basic design...this is a luxury convertible that can groove you through a curve with welded-to-the-road stability, and meter out beautifully disciplined power with hair-splitting precision." That's a bit overstated, and their "advances in basic design" included an X-frame chassis with side-impact and rigidity issues.

Design-wise, you were offered four "star" emblems, gold script nameplates, four horizontal "speed lines" on the lower front fender behind the wheel, and our favorite: a cove on the rear quarter panel featuring a "jet exhaust" design that included a red reflector.

Bucket seats were an $85 option in the 1958 Pontiac Bonneville; the first year they were offered in this model.
The convertible top was available in five colors to coordinate with 12 solid colors and 34 two-tone color combinations.

Bonnevilles 12,240
Custom Sport coupe 9,144
Custom Convertible 3,096
Total Pontiacs built 217,303

Base price: $ 5,782

Technical specification:

Body and chassis:
Body style 2-door convertible
2-door hardtop
Layout FR layout
Platform B-body

Engine 370CID Tempest 395 255hp 4-bbl V8
370CID Tempest 395 300 hp "Tri-Power" V8
370CID Tempest 395 Fuel Injection 310 hp V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
Super Hydra-Matic

Wheelbase 122 in (3,099 mm)
Length 211.7 in (5,377 mm)
Width 77.4 in (1,966 mm)



Old brochures of the car




























Video of the real car from YouTube

  1958 Pontiac Bonneville  
  GM Five For 1958 Commercial  


If you have any question or comment your are free to contact me at: aeronautic@stofanet.dk



Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.






Aeronautic July 2018


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