Pontiac 6000 STE 1986

The first car I drove with any kid of regularity was my mother’s 1986 Pontiac 6000 STE. She got it brand new in 1985, and it was still in pristine condition when I turned 16, in 1989. My dad drove a much less cool Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham of the same year. Of course, now I think that the Caddy would be cooler. Anyways that’s neither here nor there.

Here’s what my mom’s Pontiac looked like. I know this is a picture from a car show, but I haven’t yet scanned all my old pictures:

Pontiac 6000 STE 1986 (Grey)
Pontiac 6000 STE 1986 (Grey)

It was surprisingly fast. It had a 140 horsepower engine, or thereabouts, Anti-Lock breaks, which were state-of the-art back then, and the coolest dashboard any geeky kid could wish  for. Basically it had tons of buttons, with extreme redundancies everywhere, and a digital display that was really neat – remember kids, this was 1986! Now it looks kind of dated but I still like it.

Here’s a shot of the awesome steering wheel; note the lack of airbags but the abundance of buttons:

Pontiac 6000 STE 1986 Steering Wheel
Pontiac 6000 STE 1986 Steering Wheel

It also had a really nice spring-loaded tilt-steering (left hand, I remember like it was yesterday). Here’s another picture of the rest of the dashboard. That’s where you can see they really went all-out with the buttons:

Pontiac 600 STE 1986 Dashboard
Pontiac 600 STE 1986 Dashboard

Notice that the cassette deck – because in 1986, cassette technology was at its peak, the CD was only starting to appear – has an equalizer, which allowed me to drive my mum to distraction with the loud bass.

In 1986, Velcro was no longer confined to holding the shoes of senior citizens in Florida! It had made inroads in the automobile industry! In the trunk of this gorgeous car was a leatherette bag containing emergency necessities such as flares, first aid kit, raincoats, etc, that could be Velcro-ed to the site of the trunk, as well as a 20-foot air hose, designed to be connected to the integrated, on-board air compressor.

Seriously, this is a really cool feature that should be on every car. Really. But I’ve not seen it since, which is quite unfortunate.

I drove this car for 2-3 years, until my dad sold it and gave my mom a Mustang, instead. But that’s a story for another day. It was still in great shape when he sold it; the little fender-bender I was involved in did no damage. That car was really great; uncomplicated, not too hard on gas, thanks to its “state-of-the-art” Electronic “Multi-Port” Fuel Injection, and with good winter tires, a real beast in the snow.

3 thoughts on “Pontiac 6000 STE 1986”

  1. I own two STE’s; both 85 models. They are really nice cars. After work, I would drive to the mountains and fly around corners. What a blast that was. In 2011, I drove to western Nevada to visit my father and his wife. I averaged 27 mpg during the trip, and I stay away from interstates as much as I can so as to enjoy the natural beauty of the land.

  2. I enjoyed reading about your experience with your 86 STE. I became interested in the STE after I was selling Pontiac in 83/84. We did not get many the first year, but in 84 we received enough so I could test drive one with
    a customer. Was I impressed!
    When I bought my STE, it was in 1988 when I chose an 85 model. After work, I would drive up Angeles Crest Highway and fly around the corners! I still own the car and in 2007, I bought another 85.
    What did you do with your STE that you would consider FUN? I would love to know.

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