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Canadian versions - good or bad?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by borderboy1971, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Rusty O Toole gave a good rundown on why Canadian Pontiacs after 1955 have Chevy powertrains. It's not just the powertrain - the entire chassis & much of the inner sheetmetal is Chevrolet on 55 & up cars.

    Basically, GM of Canada stamped unique outer body panels - they look like American Pontiacs, but scaled down as required to fit the shorter Chevy platform. Thing is, they did such a good job of making the Canadian panels look like American ones that some people don't realize there's a difference. It becomes a problem when you can't figure out why the rust free Catilina fenders you bought won't fit your Parisienne....sometimes you have to learn stuff the hard way...but I'm older and hopefully smarter now.

    There are some other pretty cool cars out there - the "Custom Sport" is the Canadian version of the 2+2, available with the same powertrains as an Impala SS, and they are really cool.
     
  2. A couple other Canadian Pontiac tidbits:
    • In the early-mid sixties, Pontiac was the best selling car in Canada, even beating Chevrolet & Ford.
    • If you went to a Canadian Pontiac dealer who was willing to work with you, it was still possible to order an American Pontiac up here, but because of the import taxes they cost quite a bit more; they were pretty rare. There were a few big cars imported here, but it became more common with the GTO.
    • Canadian Pontiac dealers had a version of the Chevy II/Nova called the Acadian from 1962-1971. Lots of smaller Canadian town only had a Pontiac / GMC dealership so this gave them a car to sell. They are basically a Chevy II with a Pontiac style split grille & different emblems. There was a model called the Canso - it would be the equal to a Nova SS. They are pretty cool & rare; the 1966 with the 350hp 327 is pretty much the one to have, just like with the Nova.
    • They also got a intermediate to sell called the Beaumont - it's a Chevelle with a split grille, Pontiac-looking taillights, and a Tempest/GTO dashboard. Same deal - all Chevelle powertrains available. The 396 is called a Beaumont SD. They made Beaumonts from 64-69.
    • Even though the Acadian & Beaumont were sold at Pontiac dealers and are referred to as Pontiacs, they do not have the Pontiac name anywhere on the car.
     
    brad2v and Bigcheese327 like this.
  3. When Canada and the US signed the auto pact in 1965 the import taxes went away; cars and parts could flow freely across the border each way, so the Canadian cars changed
    • The Acadian went away when US Pontiac dealers got the Ventura II - GM of Canada just imported American Ventura's to sell here.
    • The Beaumont went away after 1969. Starting in 1970, GM Canada started assembling Tempest/Lemans in Oshawa using American parts; this lasted until the 1977 models (I think). All the sheetmetal & trim were the same as the US cars; the powertrains could still be Chevy. It can get confusing, because it changed from year to year. For example: in some years if you bought a Lemans with a 350 you got a Chevy 350, not a Pontiac. But if you ordered a 400 you got a Pontiac engine.
    • In 1970 only, they also made GTO's & The Judge in Oshawa. Exactly the same as the US cars, except they never built RamAir IV cars in Canada - those were imported US cars and there were not many imported.
    I know some of this musclecar stuff is going to offend hardcore HAMBer's, but it's good info....
     
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  4. MOTOV8N
    Joined: Mar 20, 2015
    Posts: 383

    MOTOV8N
    Member
    from Manitoba

  5. MOTOV8N
    Joined: Mar 20, 2015
    Posts: 383

    MOTOV8N
    Member
    from Manitoba

  6. MOTOV8N likes this.
  7. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    There were also Canso Sport Deluxes. A friend of mine has a '65. Another friend has a factory 327 4 speed '65 Beaumont Sport Deluxe convertible, rare car.
    And the SD or Sport Deluxe is basically a trim package, on the earlier cars (pre-68) at least, you could get the Sd package on small block cars, i have seen quite a few over the years. The younger brother of the guy with the convert had a factory 4 speed 65 ht that had been passed through people we knew since the car was 2-3 yrs old, first through local mp racer Bruce Perkins, then Rob Charlton had it starting in the early seventies, then my buddies middle brother, then to his youngest brother,, who sold it to Scotty at Carline Muffler in Maple Ridge in the mid nineties, after that, I lost track of it.
    There was also another factory 327 4 speed '65 SD ht I used to see in Surrey in the early 80's. All were buckets/console cars.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  8. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    One other one I'll mention, there was a white on red L-72 4 speed '66 SD in my hometown growing up in the early seventies, belonged to Andy Mckenzie, car was BAD-ASS, m-22, 4.56s, would show up at the street races with slicks on it, 11 second street car in the early seventies.
    Everyone thought it was actually a factory L-72, me included. A few years later, when I was doing my machinist training, there was this older guy in my class, we started talking cars. One day I started telling him about Andy McKenzies Beaumont, he told me he had bought it new and sold it to Andy, and it had been a 360hp/396 m-20 car.
     
  9. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Interesting follow-up. I was talking to 29Bowtie at the Ocean Park show today, and the subject of Rob Charlton came up, just recently, Robs younger brother Pete, who had briefly owned the above car about 30 years ago, has bought it back from Scotty. So it comes around almost full circle...
     
  10. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex
    Member

    It's not really clear to me what the differences are/were for GM, specifically Pontiac, but from what i "understand," i think you got the better deal;

    Unless you like torque(and even then it's not a significant difference) then i think you got a better deal in that chevy engines are always cheaper and easier than pontiac engines not that pontiac engines are bad.
     
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,068

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Saw a newspaper article years ago about Packard's new Canadian plant in the mid 1930s. It said they imported engines, body panels etc from the US but used locally sourced parts and materials wherever possible. Things like paint, glass, rubber, upholstery, hardware and other parts that could be bought from Canadian suppliers.

    The McLaughlin Buick started out in 1912 as an imported Buick chassis with body designed and built by McLaughlin in Oshawa. They were different bodies from the American made cars, and considered superior. In 1923 Buick showed a McLaughlin at the New York auto show alongside the regular models but had to take it out after the first day, too many people wanted to buy it.

    I think when they went to all steel bodies this came to an end. They last used the McLaughlin Buick name in 1938.
     
  12. But you could go into a Canadian dealership in the early 60's and order a Pontiac with a 409... ;)
     
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  13. MOTOV8N
    Joined: Mar 20, 2015
    Posts: 383

    MOTOV8N
    Member
    from Manitoba

    ...any other opinions?


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  14. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    I'm scrounging up Monarch bits for my custom, I love the unique stuff we got here .[​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  15. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    Yes, you should have kept it!


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  16. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,329

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't know much about their cars other than the square wheels but I think George is a pretty cool Canadian version of a hot rodder. This site is boring as hell, shout out George. Come down south and say hi some day.
     
  17. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    About 5 years ago, a friend bought a 1956 Meteor Rideau Crown Victoria somewhere in SoCal and brought it back to Wyoming. The previous owner had stripped of it's Crown Vic parts to convert a '56 Fairlane into a Crown Vic, which we thought was rather strange, as this Canadian car was really solid, floors frame and all. He had several Crown Vic parts cars, and set about piecing it back together. Umfortunately, his understandi g of federal income tax laws differed from the IRS, and the last I heard, they had taken everything they could find. That was the only Canadian car I had ever have ever seen in person, I wonder where it is now. Peacock blue over white.
     
  18. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,902

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    We got RHD cars from Canada in complete knocked down (CKD) form for many years, laters were imported bodies however early bodies were built locally. For years I didn't realise that Canadian GM was different to US body and different again to our local Ozzie GM although they all looked the same.
     
  19. MOTOV8N
    Joined: Mar 20, 2015
    Posts: 383

    MOTOV8N
    Member
    from Manitoba

    Something different... an old timer brought this to work earlier this week. Unrestored original that his Dad bought brand new... IMG_0791.JPG IMG_0792.JPG IMG_0796.JPG IMG_0801.JPG IMG_0804.JPG IMG_0805.JPG


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  20. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,207

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    I always thought the Acadian an Buemont grills looked a step up from the Chevy 2 and Chevelle grilles.
     
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  21. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,207

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Beaumont , my bad:eek:
     
  22. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,634

    goldmountain

    If you want to shave those gunsights off your '57 Chev, use a Canadian Pontiac hood. As a kid, I really wanted those round American Pontiac tailights because they were so scarce but with those repros it's just not the same deal.
     

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