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Great American Land Yacht

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It’s not too often that you see the car the size of a small boat come cruising down your street.   My son and I had to do a double take as we saw this 1970 Bonneville, humming by, with its proud owner and Woodlands resident, Ed Brown, behind the wheel.  Since I’m such a fan of anything to do with the 1970’s, (My home was built in 1970) I had to find out more about Ed and his car.

As a young man, Ed only drove sports cars like Jaguars, Mustangs and Aston-Martins.   He never considered a Pontiac before, but he was older now and needed a new toy and was intrigued when he found a seller in West Palm Beach selling the Bonneville. “It’s the last of the good old land yachts of the world!”  Ed explains.

Purchasing the car in 2005 at a “good price,” Ed knew the car needed a lot of restoration.  The upholstery and transmission are original, everything else is either restored or replaced by original parts,” says Ed as he has a long list of items that he replaced on the 40 year old car.  Not only did he rebuild the engine, but the convertible top had to be custom made in brown.   The car has new longer-lasting paint that matches the original color, the body has also been re-chromed, and the A/C has a new compressor.  The Bonneville has a 455 horse-power engine and gets 11 mpg on the highway and 8 mpg in the city but luckily, this car has a big tank to hold all that gas at 24 gallons.  The car is garaged to keep it looking good and he prefers to drive it only on nice, cool days.   There are only 101,000 miles on the odometer and Ed only puts less than 1,000 miles on it per year.

Original ad for the Pontiac Bonneville back in 1970

While photographing the car this week, I was amazed at how many people were awestruck by the Bonneville.  One man with a major appliance service company drove around the block looking at the car, before he finally came by stopped, looked and was essentially blocking my shot of the car.   He was so enamored with the Bonneville that he got out of his van and came out and talked with Ed in great details about his car and other muscle cars from that era.   Just looking at the car with the enormous trunk and the huge interior brings back memories of the era of big cars.    After the mid-70’s, all these cars disappeared from the assembly lines making way for smaller, more fuel efficient cars -cars that were mundane with styles that seemed to blend into the other ones.

Ed and his wife Maryelle have been living in the Woodlands almost 20 years.   Originally from Montreal Canada, Ed was renting an apartment nearby when he met a man who played golf with him and told him about the Woodlands.    He immediately loved it here and bought his first home on Kumquat Drive.   In 2000, they found the home they are living in now and where he and his wife run their business, A-2-Z Ergonomics.   As President of A-2-Z, he consults as well as sells workstations and chairs to businesses.    Currently, he is in the middle of setting up workstations for a national company who is opening a call center here.

One of his favorite things to do is take the car to classic car shows.   This year, come see Ed and his Bonneville at the “Taste of Tamarac” event on October 30th at the Tamarac Community Center.   There will be a 25-30 classic cars on hand to look at there.  Or go out and see an even larger classic car show in March called “Under the Oaks” held in Vero Beach where 250-300 classic cars will be on display.

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