BIG Bonneville

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Joe Sharpnack needs a long, long garage for his Embassy limousine.

Joe Sharpnack needs a long, long garage for his Embassy limousine.

Joe Sharpnack originally purchased his 1966 Pontiac Superior 9-passnger Embassy limousine with the idea of taking the engine out and using it in another car. Then the late Jon Sawruk – a product engineer who was also Pontiac Motor Division’s Official Historian — talked to Joe at a car show and told him how rare his car was. That conversation inspired Joe to keep the car just the way it was.

According to Gregg Merksamer of the Professional Car Society ( automotive historian Tom McPherson has researched such cars. They were built at Superior's "Southern Division" Kosciusko, Miss., plant Pontiac supplied the front end sheet metal and a "short sill" cowl, and Superior added longer side frame members and an extended drive shaft. Bodywork mounted on this chassis was electrically welded together.

Sharpnack knows the car is a rarity, but he doesn’t know the full story behind it and he would like to. He’s been told that the car was used in Philadelphia, Pa. So, he is hoping that some car enthusiast in the Philly area will read this and remember seeing the car years ago. He thinks that with a couple of leads, he might be able to trace the history of the custom-built Pontiac.

Last June, Sharpnack took the car to the Pontiac-Oakland Club International ( convention in Wichita, Kan. While it was there, it drew a great deal of attention. After all, you don’t see a stretched Bonneville everyday, especially one that’s in the shape that this one is.

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