This stunning green plex-top Bonneville Special went on the auction block January 21, 2006 at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona and sold for $2.8 million dollars. 

A Wall Street Journal story, from 1/10/06, suggests a high price, "It is expected by auction experts that this rare, retro-Art-Deco-styled automobile will bring more than $3 million" (click the link above to read full news story). 

This car, one of only two built, was created to go on tour on the West Coast to help spread the excitement of General Motorís latest concept car offerings. Harley's brother Art Earl is shown above in 1954 at the Motorama Show leaning over his father, Jacob W. Earl behind the wheel of the Bonneville Special. Jacob W. was photographed in a number of motoramic-masterpieces that day at the inaugural visit of Harley Earl's dream cars at the Pan Pacific Auditorium Motorama show in Los Angeles. At ninety-one years old, he remained proud of his son's range of vision. 


Decked out with a space age "Buck Rogers" bubble top and flashy emerald green paint job, the Bonneville Special wowed visitors who first saw it introduced at GMís 1954 Motorama Shows around the country. Styling features included ultramodern twin exhaust chrome-ports, and a "turbo" spare-tire casing, which helped give the car a rocket ship rear end.

Proud papa of Chevroletís Corvette, Harley J. Earl formed together the original Bonneville Special theme, design, designated the brand to be a Pontiac, and as usual, even chose the high performance engine. Just like in the "world of fashion," all the additional members underneath then went to work sewing together his work of art. From time-to-time Mr. Earl would come into the design studio where this dream car was taking shape and check out the progress of how things were coming together, and if necessary, use humor and occasionally force, to keep his team going.

Copy of promotional hand-out, above, at 1954 Motorama.

Hobbyist and collector, Joe Bortz provided this pre-auction evaluation in Old Cars Weekly News & Marketplace titled, "Expert Predicts Concept Cars to Fetch Record Prices." Bortz owns the East Coast Bonneville Special and click link further down to see more pictures of it.

"The Bonneville Special is one of the greatest concept cars of the 1950s and 1960s and was part of General Motorsí famed Motorama shows. The Bonneville Special has a bubble top, winged doors, and a straight eight engine with four side-draft carburetors to produce just less than 300 horsepower.

Some believe the Bonneville Special could easily top the record set by the Oldsmobile F-88 in 2005 by more than $1 to 2 million, thus bringing presale estimates in the range of $4 to 5 million when the two seat Pontiac show car crosses the block in January, 2006.

Now, the guns are loaded and speculators are waiting to see if the predictions are right. Will the fantastic dollars spent on the F-88 in 2005 be exceeded this year? There are those who say concept cars will reach the dollar levels of Ferrari GTOs and will not peak out until they reach the $10 to 15 million range. I agree, it sounds crazy, but two years ago, if somebody said a concept car will go for $3.3 million, they would have been offered a quick trip to the local psychiatrist. Since the January auctions in Scottsdale are the barometer for auction prices thru the rest of the year, we will see how many people end up under doctorís care in February! Either way, this January is a rare opportunity to see several concept and dream cars become available."