The 1980 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham Got This Mechanical Digital Dash Clock

We return to the Car Clock of the Week series after seeing a super-ritzy round analog timepiece from one of the final Lincoln Town Cars. This time, we’ll take a look at a style of dash clock that was all the rage in American and Japanese machinery of the 1970s and well into the 1980s: the all-mechanical “digital” type.

I found this 1980 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham in a frozen Colorado yard located about halfway between Denver and Cheyenne, and it appeared to be thoroughly trashed. Still, because I drove a two-tone 1978 Bonneville to my high school prom in 1983, I always like to take a look inside any 1977-1981 Bonnevilles that I run across during my junkyard travels.

It may be time for car manufacturers to return to the velour-covered pillow-top seats of Malaise Era GM luxury sedans.

The dash had been ripped apart in comprehensive fashion by previous junkyard shoppers, but the clock was still present and held in with just two 1/4″ bolts. I didn’t have much hope that the mechanism would still function after 41 years, but a quick jolt of 12 volts from my clock tester made it grind into life.

For some reason, Delco opted to have the seconds wheel go from 50 to 60, rather than turning over to 00 like other clocks of this design. This seems somehow wrong, but it did differentiate the Pontiac clock from the very similar version that went into Oldsmobiles around this time.

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