The Bonneville was Pontiac’s top-of-the-range model throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s and into the early 1970’s. In fact, when the Pontiac Bonneville was first introduced as a regular model in 1957, it cost as much as a Cadillac. By the late 60’s, the Bonneville had settled into a nice groove as a sporty, 222″-long full size car. Bonnevilles have always been special cars. This particular example, a 1968 model, is special to the Voelkel’s as well as the extended RideTech family. It’s a keeper. Though the Bonnie has been in the garage for almost 25 years, it still receives regular updates. Most recently, Tracy Weaver and the crew at Recovery Room Hot Rod Interiors in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, built a custom interior that you just gotta see.
While the car’s original interior was in good condition, the appointments did not live up to modern standards of comfort, luxury and functionality. To bring the interior forward, the makeover started with a set of fifth generation Camaro power bucket seats. Tracy Weaver built a matching rear bench seat from scratch. The front headrests were cut down to open up the visual flow — front to rear. Eight cowhides were needed to cover the car’s voluminous cabin and equally massive trunk. As with a modern Bentley or Mercedes-Benz, each and every interior surface was covered including the original dashboard, bespoke console and trunk panels. One very nice touch, Tracy Weaver restored and trimmed the original steering wheel. The interior was further updated with modern creature comforts including custom milled cupholders, Spal Power windows, a 2000 Watt Kicker KMC-20 media center and Vintage Air AC, of course.
Custom door panels are styled to match the theme stitched into the seats and carried back to the trunk’s vertical panels. The trunk, itself, is quite special. The custom upholstery hides 2000 watts of stereo equipment as well as the air suspension dual compressor system with RidePro-X digital leveling control. A secret compartment hides the “Bonneville Bar”. It’s the perfect design touch for a long evening in a hotel after a day at the car show. Overall, the interior is nicer than anything on the road — including the aforementioned cars from Bentley and Mercedes-Benz. It’s that nice. Tracy Weaver maintains very high standards for quality, creativity and attention to detail. Four or Five adults can cruise in supreme comfort. …and that’s the plan.
Under the skin, the Bonneville features RideTech’s CoolRide air suspension system consisting of bolt-on air spring assemblies with separate monotube shock absorbers. Cool Ride air spring are a direct replacement for original coil springs and work with factory control arms. Much of the air ride suspension system has been in the car for a decade and has covered thousands of trouble-free miles. One significant change is the addition of RideTech’s advanced RidePro-X Digital Air Suspension Leveling system which provides accurate vehicle height control.
Air ride management should work seamlessly in the background without the need for a hard wired on-board display/tuner. Like a new luxury car, RidePro-X quietly adjusts your suspension to ride height as soon as you turn the ignition key. A comprehensive app can be accessed on your smartphone — only when you need it. Similarly, a 3-position height selector module can be plugged into your 12 volt power port — only when you wa nt it. It’s all there, but you can’t see it. Nothing should detract from this beautiful interior.
With the interior done, Bret and Sharon Voelkel will take part in the 2018 Goodguys Hall of Fame Road Tour. It’s a nine day, 2700 mile drive across ten states. The tour starts in Utah at Dave Kindig’s shop, Kindig-It Design and ends at Texas Motor Speedway for the Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals. The Road Tour should be quite an adventure. With its brand new interior and high tech RidePro-X air ride leveling system, we can’t think of a better car for the trip.
For CoolRide and other RideTech air suspension products, click HERE
For Recovery Room Hot Rod Interiors, click, HERE
2018 Goodguys Rod and Custom Hall of Fame Road Tour Stops
– RaceDeck – Kickoff Party/Dinner on Wednesday 9/19
– Kindig-It Design (Official Kickoff Spot) – Utah
– Ogden Chrome – Utah
— Old Faithful Geyser – Wyoming
— Lake View Café – Wyoming
– Buffalo Bill Museum – Wyoming
— State Game Lodge – South Dakota
— Mt Rushmore – South Dakota
— Ron Meis Collection – South Dakota
– G3 Rods (Dinner!) – South Dakota
– South Dakota Air & Space Museum – South Dakota
– Pioneer Auto Museum (Lunch) – South Dakota
– Dakota Digital – South Dakota
– Lakeside Rods & Rides – Iowa
— Skunk River Restorations – Iowa
– Dennis Albaugh Collection – Iowa
– Ayers Collection (Dinner) – Iowa
– Speedway Motors (Lunch) – Nebraska
— Subtropolis – Missouri
– LMC Truck (Dinner) – Kansas
– Carriage Works – Missouri
– Pete & Jakes Hot Rod Parts – Missouri
— Branson Rail Train – Missouri
— Texas Motor Speedway – The END!
For Goodguys Hall of Fame Road Tour Details, click, HERE