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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2023 11:44 am
Posts: 25
Year and Trim: 1991 Bonneville SSE
One Of my other rides:

A 1994 EU Pontiac Trans Sport 3.8.

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Even it is funny for you. In Germany the Trans Sport is quite rare.
In 1990s, The Trans Sport was like from another planet. Air conditioning, electric windows, cruise control, 6 cylinders, 170 HP, 4-speed automatic. Everything comes as standard. The VW bus from that time wasn't even available with any of these extras as an option. Minivans were only available from Japan or more light trucks (or a cheap looking Chrylser with italian 4 Cylinder boat-diesel :bluetwitch: ). Plus the wasteful consumption. (Gasoline is much more expensive in Germany than in the USA, back then, even more so today.) In addition, American cars do not cope well with German conditions. For me it's normal to drive 120mph on the highway and more if I can. I do that on my way home from work. We have a lot of winding roads and small parking lots and parking garages. So beside the very high price (~doubble of VW Bus), you got high fuel consuption, and high maintaince and repair prices (pre internet time, all parts are import), it was only fun if you are not living in a big city. So guess: Pontiac was not a big hit. Even the other way around: The first models were not adaped to the german market, and maintaince was expensive. So you got the car often broken, because of poor maintaince or just the engine or the gearbox were breaking. So the reputation was bad.

At the end: Pontiac disappeared from EU market. 2nd Gen Bonneville was official not sold in EU.
And the Trans Sport skipped the 2nd gen in EU. While US Market got already restyled, we still had the 1st gen till 1996
3rd Gen of Trans Sport was sold a "Opel Sintra" And disappeared after one rusty generation.

Just du give you an idea why US cars struggle so much in Germany / EU. We assume that our car is resistant to full throttle, even for long period. No matter what the route looks like, whether uphill or downhill. No matter whether summer or winter. We do this speed regularly too. That is the reason why the later EU Version of a Trans Sport has an extra oilcooler and a extra Transmission oilcooler. Also it has a deeper Oilpan and bigger Brakes and ABS as stock option (later stock in us marktet too). In addition, the chassis is under extreme stress, because of all the winding roads. I drive the Trans Sport every day. He has to be able to take a lot. My front hubs needed to be replaces about every ~30k miles.

Funny sidefact: They try to make it more attractive for the EU market. So they build also a 2,3L Quad 4 version this 140hp and a Manual 5-gear box... horrible.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 11:47 pm
Posts: 6887
Location: Philadelphia
Year and Trim: 95 SLE
Thanks for sharing all of that. We typically don't this much context of these cars over in Europe. The difficulties of owning we'll read about or at least surmise but not the difference in model years from the US and other points you mention.

About 15 years ago I sold a set of 92-99 Bonneville OEM leather seat covers to a guy in Hungary.. but I believe it was a US spec car. A few years after that there was someone on here that had two 92-95 Euro Spec Bonnevilles and one they were going to junk. I was able to get the manual folding mirrors of that car. It wasn't a big deal to most but I still think it's cool to have probably the only set in North America. I think I was going to try and scoop up the rear fog light and switch on the dash too but that fell through.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 7:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2023 11:44 am
Posts: 25
Year and Trim: 1991 Bonneville SSE
You are welcome. In Germany I'm a freak because a like the 90s US cars. In states I'm a freak because I have the "bread and butter" cars but they are very special in Europe.

Funny thing how they have EU and US specs. In general. Counts also for German cars in the US market.
Most differences are made to match the local regulations, or way to drive.
Here we also have to devide: EU is not geographic Europe. Some countrys in Europe have different laws, so American Cars were more easy to purchase. Like Norway or Switzerland.

My Bonneville is a Canada version I guess. I have km odometer, amber turnsignals, Halogen headlights and a aftermaket fog light. (Mine is a official Switzerland Car)
My Trans Sport is a EU Version, I only replaced the ugly EU taillights to the US version

92-95 Bonneville was only official sold in Switzerland, Norway and Netherlands or as usual on special order. GM decides to promote the Buick Park Avenue instead.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 8:40 am 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 11:47 pm
Posts: 6887
Location: Philadelphia
Year and Trim: 95 SLE
I can only remember seeing one presumably EU version of the 87-91 Bonneville and it came with different headlights at some point. The rear fogs seem to be similar to what they put on everything but there were no additional front fender turn signals.. I can't tell of the mirrors fold or not either.

https://www.pontiacbonnevilleclub.com/f ... 51848.html

I want to say we had at least 2 members from Russia that had US/CA spec 92-99s too.

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95 SLE... a keeper. 241k miles. Low and Slow.
97 BMW 528i
98 Infiniti vq35'd i30: 13.3@104mph, 30MPG Hwy (RIP)
02 Jag X-type
03 BMW M5
05 Chevy Cobalt LS
07 Infiniti G35s 6MT (Sold)
07 Ducati Monster S2R 800 with DS1000 swap
83 Yamaha IT175K
72 Yamaha DS7: '74 RD250 swap, JL chambers

Info on dropping a 92-99: Here.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 10:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2023 11:44 am
Posts: 25
Year and Trim: 1991 Bonneville SSE
Headlights are a big issue, specally in Germany.
On the one hand: The US standart is crap, so even in the 80s it was not allowed to drive with US-standart.
On the other hand: You got your sealed beam... So european cars needed to be converted to.

I really like american cars and I'm ok with almost missfits they have in Germany. But american headlights are just crap.
I did not diven a single one with bad headlights. Since 1997 it is getting better, Xenon is mostly as ours.
But if I turn on the light at the TS, it is like a candle. If it is raining in the dark, your are f***ed.

The easiest way is a replacement with standard headlights. You only need the Molding, no headlight-certification.
Same way around with the european cars. One reason why some european cars look so crap in the states. (2. reason were the huuuuge bumpers)
I assume these are 6x4 quads on the early bonneville. (As long as I know it was available in states too, for people who keep sticky with the sealed beam)

Here you can see the difference to original and US-Mercedes
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Or a French DS. Original the smaller inner light is following the wheedirection, that was a sensation in the 60s.
US-Version: Equal size beams, without the following option and a nonsense chome trim around the beams
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Since 1986 it was mandantory that you can see the turn signal to your side, no matter which angle. So we had the turn signal on the fenders. But that was just a German solo rule. You can see the yellow plates on the early bonneville, including the white lines on the street. So it is from Luxembourg or Netherlands. Foglight is not made nice, Why you need a additional reverse light?


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