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Home/News and Feature Articles/*Featured Cars and Trucks/ Pontiac Featured Cars/



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In a familiar environment, Dan Boyd's compact convertible
can often be found displayed at local British Columbia car shows.

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1963 Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe convertible - Is Dan Boyd's convertible a Pontiac Chevy II or the Chevy II Pontiac?
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By Eric White and Society Staff – reprint with permission only

General Motors of Canada, Limited, built and sold Pontiacs in Canada beginning with the very first model year of the make, 1926. The fact that Pontiacs were manufactured in-country endeared the make to the Canadian marketplace, making the Pontiac nameplate a favourite to our good neighbours "up north."

Economics of the restrictive tariff and export laws of the era before the late 1960's persuaded GM of C to utilize "home grown" components in the assemblage of its north-of-the-border product lines. When it came to native Pontiac models, many Chevrolet components were, by necessity, incorporated into the final product.

Perhaps the best example of this hybridization effect was the Acadian, built from late 1961 through mid 1971. Whether or not the Acadian was a true and distinct Pontiac offering is often debated. While certain exterior and interior features mimicked concurrent U.S. Pontiac styling themes, there was no PONTIAC badging to be found on the car, and the name Pontiac is not mentioned in the sales brochures.

It is often argued that just as GMC pickups and sport utility trucks exist to supply U.S. dealerships, other than Chevrolet, a truck for their floor plans, the Acadian existed mainly so that a compact, and later mid-sized, GM offering could easily be marketed through Buick/Olds/Pontiac dealers in Canada. Additionally, the Chevy II/Nova tooling was utilized more economically and amortized much faster with the introduction of its Acadian twin in Canada.

To further the theory that the Acadian was a standalone make and not strictly a Pontiac was the fact that the Acadian production totals were never included in Pontiac yearly output figures by GM of CAN.

On the side of a Pontiac lineage argument, all Acadians feature Pontiac-style split grilles, and in later years Pontiac-influenced interior appointments like instrument panels and seat upholstery patterns. It seems, in the end, that Acadians were meant primarily for Pontiac showrooms, but could be ordered and purchased through any non-Chevy dealership.

From 1962 through 1971 the Acadian nameplate was attached to Canadian clones of the Chevrolet Chevy II Nova series. The model names were, starting with the base model, Invader, Canso, and Beaumont. In 1964, when the Pontiac Tempest jumped up a peg to the mid-size class, and the Chevy Chevelle line was introduced, the Acadian loaned its Beaumont moniker to a unique, hybrid version of that series. Thus, from 1964 through 1965 there were two completely different Acadian offerings: the Nova-based Acadian Invader and Canso, and the Chevelle-based Acadian Beaumont. By 1966 the Acadian Beaumont was simply marketed as the Beaumont.

On April 4, 1963, an Ember Red with Medium Red bucket seat interior Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe convertible rolled off the GM Oshawa, Ontario assembly line. One of only 1,644 Beaumont convertibles (about 25% were ordered with the SD option) built that year, this was already a rare and special car. It was quipped with the optional 120 hp, inline 6-cylinder, Econoflame engine, backed by the venerable powerglide, two-speed automatic transmission.

By the late 1970's, British Columbia resident and Acadian aficionado, Dan Boyd, already owned a well-used and rust-infested '63 Beaumont, but he was always on the lookout for a better example. Our feature car is that lucky Sport Deluxe that he located and purchased for the princely sum of $250 forty plus years ago. Dan removed the best parts from the less fortunate example and "retired" the husk.

Minor rust in the front fenders and a rear quarter panel of the new toy were repaired. The body was then repainted silver, just to make it stand out from all the large population of red Acadians on the road at the time. In this configuration the little convertible served initially as a daily driver, then as a fair weather pleasure cruiser.

In the 1980's, Dan had the foresight to purchase, from a very helpful GM dealer, a complete set of NOS chrome trim, emblems, and both front fenders. The trim and emblems have never been reproduced and would have been nearly impossible to find when it came time for a complete stub-frame-off restoration two decades later.

As many restorations tend to do, this retirement project began as a simple cosmetic redress, but soon developed legs and spontaneously combusted into a complete "nut-and-bolt" redo monster. The car was returned to its original red livery. New door skins and quarter panels joined the NOS fenders and bright work in this top-level restoration. Upgrades included front disc brakes and modernized power steering.

After five months of reassembly at home and a lot of hand sanding of the paint job, this red Acadian is used as a fair weather family driver and as a stunning show-winning beauty.

Beaumont Sport Deluxe standard features:

  • Deluxe identification
  • Two-tone steering wheel
  • Luxury upholstery and vinyl trim
  • Deluxe wishbone door handles
  • Glovebox courtesy light
  • Chromed rear-view mirror
  • Larger vinyl-covered sunshade
  • Chrome-plated heat control and instrument panel knobs
  • With Powerglide transmission, a between-the-seat console and
    transmission shift lever

Additional reference material available on WAC:

After first restoration in the early 1980's, car is stunning in silver exterior with red guts. The Pontiac influence is seen in the "split grille" design.

What better use could a great convertible be put to than to escort a wedding party?

Midpoint of its second restoration shows two NOS quarter panels installed and nearly ready for a fresh coat of paint.

Here's the result of the application of Ember Red color. The Acadian has returned to its original appearance.

The updated front disc brake, two-circuit power brake system looks right at home in this clean, well-detailed engine bay. Base engine was a 90 hp 4 cylinder. Dan's Sport Deluxe was ordered with the only upgrade available, a 120 hp inline-6-cylinder unit.

No Pontiac influence here, just a very thinly veiled rework of the Chevy II interior.

Bucket seats were a part of the Sport Deluxe option. SD option closely mimics the state-side Chevy II Super Sport package.

Quality restoration is evident in the attention to detail shown in the trunk compartment. Even the aftermarket scissor-jack is color coordinated!