In honour of Canada Day we want to pay tribute to a few automobile models and brands that were manufactured in Canada and in some cases only available through Canadian dealerships. Throughout the month of July, we will post a few pictures and some facts about some of these “unique to Canada” cars that we have found at shows over the past several years.
Due to trade laws in existence prior to 1965, certain American models could not be imported to Canada. In order to maintain market share in Canada, automobile companies made a number of Canadian only models that were a combinations of existing US models. General motors offered models that were a combination of Chevrolet and Pontiacs’ designs and platforms. Canadian Dodge-DeSoto dealers offered Plymouth based Dodge models, Chrysler-Plymouth dealers sold Fargo trucks and Mercury trucks were based on their Ford sister.
The Acadian kicks off our Canadian cars month.
The Acadian was the first and most notable Canadian Only GM at the beginning of the muscle car era. This was a sub brand sold by Pontiac Buick dealerships in Canada from 1962 through 1971 in place of the slightly larger US version, the Pontiac Tempest. Beginning in mid 1971 the Acadian was replaced by the Pontiac Ventura.
The Acadians came in many configurations, including 4, 6 and 8 cylinder engines in the base models, the mid priced Invaders and the top of the line model the Beaumonts. Interesting to note; no big block Acadians were ever produced, unlike its American sister, the Nova.
The logo was a very distinctive and symbolic Pontiac arrow with a Maple Leaf to show its Canadian Heritage. When walking through a cruise night spotting the Maple Leaf badging is an instant give away that the car is NOT a Nova!
The 1962 and 1963 model years were based on the Chevy II platform. For these years just about as many 4 door models were produced as 2 door models. According to the “Canadian Poncho” and “Caaarguide.com” websites the Canso, Invader, and Beaumont, model names sprinkled through the production line for most Acadian Model years. We at Ottawa Car Scene have never seen a 1963 Beaumont model…We WILL keep looking though!!
In 1964 many Acadians received Beaumont Badging to accompany the Acadian badging as opposed to the previous Canso badging.
We will dive into this a little further in installment 2 when we look at the history of the Beaumont.
Pictured here is a beautiful example of a 65 Acadian Convertible 6 cylinder car. Most Acadians you will find today have had their 6 cylinder power plants removed in favor of a more powerful 8 cylinder small block Chevrolet motor. For 1964 the Acadian Interiors were derived from the Pontiac Tempest according to “Roadtests.tripod.com”. When bucket seats and floor console were ordered, the Chevelle console was used.
The biggest change for the 1964 model year was the platform change.
The Acadian switched platforms for 1964 and 1965 to the Chevelle platform.
The Chevelle platform was a slightly larger car with a little more styling.
In 1966, the Acadian reverted back to the Chevy II platform with the top model being a Canso.
The Beaumont badging stayed behind with the A Body platform.
The 1966 and 1967 models were almost identical. The model gained more sporty styling than the previous boxy Chevy II platform in 1962 and 1963.
The style change was evident starting with taller headlight bezels and sleek body lines from front to back.
In 1968 the Acadian would undergo its final body change which carried it through to its last model run in 1971. This was the longest period that the Acadian model stuck with the same body. This body style is a very popular one amongst drag racers along with the Chevrolet Camaros. After a new trade agreement was in place, all 1968 through ’71 Acadians were produced in Michigan at GM’s Willow Run plant along side the Chevy II/Nova and exported to Canada.
If you want to read more about the Canadian Acadian there is an interesting article here: Canadian Acadians.