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Weekend Edition Quick Hit – Here is a Rare 1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD on Craigslist…

Jim Brennan October 19, 2014 For Sale, Weekend Edition 18 Comments

1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD - Google Chrome 10192014 85009 AM.bmp

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of the Hooniverse Weekend, and I am going to start out with this gem I found on Craigslist. This is a car that GM decided to produce in the late 80’s to try and compete with Audi and BMW. The STE was introduced for the 1983 model year, and featured a high output V-6 engine, 5-passenger seating as standard, specific alloy wheels, and most of the luxury features offered on the imports. The last 6000 STE was produced for 1989 before the STE nameplate moved to the Grand Prix. So is this last year model desirable?


1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD - Google Chrome 10192014 85130 AM.bmp

According to the detailed Craigslist Listing:

This is a very rare and very special vehicle. If there’s another one like it anywhere, I haven’t found it.

The 1989 Pontiac 6000 STE (“Special Touring Edition”) is a luxury sport-touring sedan. Moreover, it was GM’s very first offering with full-time all-wheel-drive. There is a center differential such that traction is smooth and car-like, not like a truck. It was also the very first time that GM offered headrests and shoulder belts for rear seat passengers.

1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD - Google Chrome 10192014 85111 AM.bmp

The STE came with an on-board air compressor for automatically adjusting suspension firmness, for adjusting the driver’s seat lumbar support, and for adjusting tire pressure.

The dash is all electronic and digital, which was quite novel in 1989. So were the steering wheel controls for the premium audio system. Power seats, windows, locks and mirrors were, of course, standard. Also standard were four-wheel disc brakes with ABS all around.

1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD - Google Chrome 10192014 85134 AM.bmp

This is a one-owner vehicle with only 70,020 miles that has always been garaged. My father (for whom I am selling this) is a retired GM engineer. He drove this as a company car, fell in love with it, bought it, and has pampered and doted on it ever since. The spare tire has never been used and the factory “accessory kit” (consisting of a spotlight, rain gear, first aid kit, tire inflation hose, etc.) is also included. Also included are the owner manuals, the original purchase paperwork and window sticker, and complete service/shop manuals.

1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD - Google Chrome 10192014 85117 AM.bmp

Only two known deficiencies: 1) a BB-sized hole in the right headlamp lens, and 2) headliner fabric has come unglued in the back and is currently held up with upholstery pins.

1989 Pontiac 6000 STE AWD - Google Chrome 10192014 85145 AM.bmp

Asking price for this unique bit of Pontiac History is $6,000. Take a look at the Listing Here, and tell me if this is a car worth saving, or not.

  • dropgate

    That has to be the clumsiest-looking set of steering wheel buttons ever designed.

  • RichardKopf

    These STEs are really cool cars, but too esoteric to ever be worth $6000. Pity, that.

  • JayP2112

    Wow. This is totally rad!
    I love it.

  • r_toaster

    I was searching for more info on the drivetrain and came upon this: http://hooniverse.com/2013/07/09/auto-trader-find… which told me everything I needed to know. Thanks for being the leading source of 6000 STE AWD info!

  • stigshift

    Stupendously rare when new, and a veritable showcase of GM technology at the time, this shows what Pontiac could do before they became the industry leaders in body-cladding. At 6K, it's cheap for one of the rarest, most technologically innovative American cars of the day. Just wish Pontiac offered these with a manual…

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    I really liked these, and had an '88 Bonneville LE with the steering wheel radio controls.

    That dash, though. Are there any buttons in inventory, anywhere?

    While pretty neat, $6K is too much.

  • Joe Dunlap

    Needs about 12" less front overhang and about half a dozen fewer horizontal lines.

  • I wouldn't know what to do with it. It's so high optioned, nicely kept and a genuine GM company car to boot, I would want it to be part of a collection. But I don't have the resources for that… it should be a oddball addition to an existing group of well stored vehicles. Daily driving it would be a shame, unless you could keep it up as well as ol' dad did. Too many cars in this precarious stage get bought and hooned to death 'cause they're cheap and not yet desirable or significant.

  • Ate Up With Motor

    The mandatory three-speed automatic would put me off even if I were otherwise interested.

  • My dad had an '86 Park Avenue when I was growing up, and my first car was an '86 Celebrity, so I have a soft spot for FWD GM cars, especially rare editions. My 16 year old self wants this thing so bad. It''s like the cream of the crop of options on an otherwise ho-hum car, the car that you go through the factory brochure and check all the boxes. I love stuff like this, I'd buy this in a heartbeat if I had the room.

  • Rover_1

    Staggering to discover that this AWD system was developed by GM and then pretty much abandoned. What a difference it would have made to what became the FWD V8s, the W bodies http://hooniverse.com/2012/07/29/the-gm-v8-fwd-w-… and the Olds Aurora and Cadillac Sevilles.

    No wonder they went bust.

  • No More GM Cars

    My dad had one of these, it wasn't bad for the times but since it didn't share the AWD (or it's AWD specific ABS) with any of it's A-Body cousins repairs were incredibly expensive where AWD and ABS specific parts were concerned; after a couple credit card melting repairs to the ABS/Brake system he gave it to soon to be ex-wife number two, who promptly totaled it. I had the opportunity to drive it and while it wasn't the fastest in a straight line, it wasn't the slowest either and get a sucker on a twisty back road and they would be in for a nasty surprise; it is yet again another example of GM taking a good idea and pissing it away by limiting it to one model of one specific make, and saddling it with a 3 speed auto (for durability reasons) when 4 was the expected norm.

  • mallthus

    My dad also had a 6000 STE. In fact, I learned to drive in that car, an 85. It lacked the larger engine, abs and AWD of the later cars, but it did have 6 headlamps (hi and low beams, along with yellow driving lamps).

    Although it was a pleasure to drive, I'll never forget the seats. Exceptionality comfortable, they were covered in pigskin suede, the only time I've ever seen this most excellent material used in an automobile.

  • Rick

    Whoa.
    What's the button count on that dashboard?

  • FЯeeMan

    I knew Frank Lloyd Wright designed houses, but I hadn't realized he'd ventured out into dashboard design, too. I guess he was the Porsche of his day.

  • Excellent, unique copy in good condition. What engine is in this car? I have a question, how much such a well-preserved model?

  • rothepontiac6000guy

    I have the 1990 Pontiac 6000 se all wheel drive very minor differences but I love mine

  • CraigOlsen

    I’d give $10,000 for this car.