Canadian Muscle: 1965 Acadian Beaumont L79

1965 Acadian Beaumont

We don’t often come across a car from one of the Big Three that leaves us intrigued and curious, well except for the occasional prototype that is. When we came across this 1965 Acadian Beaumont here on eBay, we were left wanting to know more about this Canadian GM. Looking at it you quickly recognize that it is based on the Chevelle, but it is different enough to pique our interest. It looks as if a Chevelle and a GTO ran off to Canada together and this is the resulting offspring. Typically a run of the mill rebadged version of a relatively common car wouldn’t interest us much more than the car it is based on, but this one is a Sport Deluxe model that was optioned with the L79 V8. There was only a handful built in ’65 with this 327 option and only 6 are still left.

Acadian Beaumont Sport

The muscle car craze wasn’t popular just in the US, but was also popular with our neighbors to the north. For the most part, they received the same cars that we did, but there were a few missing from their lineup and a few of theirs that we didn’t get. To fill the compact model gap in the Buick-Pontiac lineup, GM of Canada created the Acadian brand. Initially, they were based on the Nova, but in ’64 they started being built on the Chevelle platform. To distinguish them from the American Chevelle, they received a different grill (which has a Pontiac look to it) and slightly different trim.

Acadian Beaumont L79 motor

What really makes this car special is the motor. Muscle cars were just starting to become popular, so prior to 1966 the Beaumont wasn’t offered with GM’s full range of high performance V8s. The most common V8 found in the Acadian prior to ’66 was the 283. For ’65, they offered the Beaumont Sport Deluxe with the 350 horsepower 327 V8, but only around 20 were ordered with it. All that power is routed through a 4-speed manual and a 10 bolt Posi-Traction rear end.

1965 Acadian interior

Keeping with the Sport Deluxe badges and the performance of the L79, the interior needed to be sporting as well. To keep you well planted,¬†diagonal stitched bucket seats were installed up front with Pontiac LeMans instruments placed in front of the driver. This car was previously restored and looks to have done to a decent level throughout, especially the interior. We don’t normally feature restored cars, but this one looks to be in nice shape and is rare enough to justify a closer look.

1965 Acadian Sport Deluxe

We are sure this Beaumont would be a blast to drive and the slight variation would leave many American muscle car guys scratching their heads wondering, “What happened to that Chevelle?” We aren’t sure if the L79 option, different grill, tail lights, and trim work are worth the $65k premium, but then again in the muscle car world it’s all about options and relative rarity. Would you spend the extra to own one of the six remaining 1965 Beaumont L79s or would you save yourself some money and just buy a V8 powered Chevelle?

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Comments

  1. SoCal Car Guy

    Interesting car, but for the price and claimed rarity I’d want a correctly and completely restored example, not a hot rod/hermaphrodite with headers, custom wheels and who knows what else missing, changed or omitted. And I have no issues with modified/resto-mod cars, I have a couple myself, but rare and “restored” better be returned to as the factory built it or a virginal original.

    • Michael Phipps

      SoCal and Bill J, this is NOT a rebadged Chevelle. I have seen the Canadian Pontiac’s Acadian’s(yes, they do look like Chevelle’s) and Beaumont’s(yes, they look like Chevy II’s or Nova’s). I wish I still had my photos from Ames Performance Parts Tri-Power Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH to show them off for you. As well, as the other Canadian built Pontiac copies of US built Chevrolet’s and fellow Pontiac’s.

      • Bill J

        I am afraid I do not understand the comment. I owned a 67 Beaumont and my dad had a 62 Acadian wagon. Except for the grille and taillights they ARE Chevelle and Chevy II bodies. The body parts are the same. I bought a Chevy II right front fender for my dad’s Acadian wagon. Same thing. to reiterate Canadian pontiacs were Chevrolets with pontiac bodies. I had a 58 Stratochief with a 261 inch 6 and later my dad had a 67 Pontiac Laurentian with a 283. My best friend had a 60 Pontiac wagon with a 348 and tri-power.

      • SoCal Car Guy

        Michael, check your reading glasses. I didn’t say anything about the car being a rebadged Chevelle; my comment was about it being unfortunate that someone had hot rodded/modified a unique and apparently quite rare car. But, the really-realys are: it is a lightly tarted up, by General Motors, 1965 Chevelle with a different grill, possibly a different hood, a few unique badges, and some interior parts from the Tempest/Le Mans/GTO parts bins. I think it’s an interesting car and I still think it’s unfortunate that an uncommon car like that was boogered up, even a little.

  2. Bill J

    You are right. it is a rebadged Chevelle. I bought a green 67 two door sedan in 67 with a 327, 4 speed, posi and Uniroyal red line tires. The shoulder belt was optional and buckled into a separate buckle and was stored on a clip over the door. Mine had a black interior with a bench seat. I put a Sun Supertach on the column. Was a great car.

    • Bill J

      Yes the grille was different but if I recall the taillights were the same.
      If as is stated, that it is not a “rebadged” Chevelle why would GM go to the trouble of making a different body for the limited sales it would have in Canada?
      When I bought my 67 Beaumont my buddy bought a 67 Chevelle. Except for the badges and grille they were the same car.

      • Brent

        Not just the grille. The tail lights, Grille, Headlights and tail panel are unique the Beaumont in 67. Additionally they came with unique ralleye center caps if you ordered disc brakes as well as a pontiac dash bezel and guages. Steering wheel center was also unique as well as exterior and interior badging. They were not sold in Chevrolet dealerships. They were sold in Pontiac dealerships even though the do not have a single pontiac emblem on the car. They came with a unique emblem that consisted of a elongated arrow with 2 maple leafs stacked above. Until 66 the cars were all Acadian Beaumonts but in 66 they became two seperate models with the Acadian sharing the sheetmetal of the Nova and the Beaumont sharing the sheetmetal of the Chevelle.

  3. Brian

    Chevelliac

  4. Bill J

    Chevelliac was a Chevelle and Cadillac!! This was a Chevont. I lived in the rust belt and finally sold the rusted beast in 1976. I had 175,000 miles on it. I would give my left a**-bone to have it back. A real sleeper especially with the dog dish hub caps.

  5. Brian

    The front end of it reminds me of the grill on a very late 60s Ford Fairlane, the model right around the time of the first Torinos.

  6. paul

    Nice & yes I remember these. They also got a Pontiac Impala called a Perisien, can’t recall how it was spelled.

  7. David G

    I like the redlines (although also probably not available then) but it’s really too bad that Mag Wheels have displaced whatever is supposed to be there. Since this thing’s so intriguingly interesting due to its slight departure from (yet resemblance to) our Chevelles, i’d be kewl to see exactly what wheel treatment styling it was born with to fit in with the rest of its interesting trim departures…

  8. Bill J

    My Redlines came with the car in 1967. Didn’t last long though. The three models of Canadian Pontiac were Stratochief, Laurentian and top of the line Parisienne.
    As my car was very basic, save for the drivetrain, it had dog dish hub caps. Always loved steel wheels and today my 81 Malibu has black steelies and baby moons with chrome trim rings. I’d love to post photos of my Beaumont but don’t know how. Anyone interested can email and I’ll send them
    Incidentally in case you have not figured it out by now, I am in Canada.

  9. geomechs

    Growing up on the border between Montana and Alberta, especially near a major border crossing, you got used to seeing everything crossing from both sides: cars/trucks and farm equipment to spouses. During the Korean war there was a fair bit of car/truck shopping north of the border because of a shortage at home (it also helped when the nearest dealerships for cars and farm equipment were only ten miles into Canada versus 35 in Montana). Consequently there were some Mercury and Fargo trucks (and Meteor cars), and GMCs with Chev engines on farms in Montana. But in the later 50s and throughout the 60s a lot of American cars made it into Canada too. There was a Pontiac dealer 60 miles north of the border that regularly sold Bonnevilles and Grand Prix’s.

  10. Charles

    A question that I have always have everytime I see a Canadian Pontiac is why did GM bother to make these variations? Although most of the parts are straight out of the Chevelle and Le Mans parts bins, some trim parts were exclusive to these models. It seems like the tooling costs would excede any benefit of selling cars that were essentially 90% odds and ends of the US versions of these cars.

    This particular car looks to be in good condition and will be a cool addition to someone’s collection. I agree with previous posters, that the non-original items diminish the car from what it could have been if it were kept original.

    • paul

      Who knows but the practice continues the VW Jetta in Canada is re-badged as a Bora, Japan calls all there cars different names & have different bits, & the Austalians used to have variations of American cars as well.

      • Bill J

        My neighbour has a Jetta but have never seen or heard of a Bora.

    • JamesK

      Beaumonts and Acadians are not Canadain Pontiacs. Acadian and Beaumont are the make of the cars. They were built by GM of Canada and sold through Pontiac dealers because there weren’t enough built to have dealerships dedicated to them. That is why most concider them Pontiacs. When Novas/ChevyIIs and Chevelles were imported into Canada the import taxes/tarrifs made them more expensive. Acadians and Beaumonts could be built and sold cheaper than importing the American counterparts to Canada. I own a 1968 Beaumont SD and have done quite a bit of research on these cars. I still have a lot to learn.

      • Michael Phipps

        Then they don’t belong at the POCI National Convention, nor do they belong at the Ames Tri-Power Pontiac Nationals. Since you say they aren’t Pontiacs, they don’t belong, yet I’ve seen them there.

      • JamesK

        Michael, I do not dissagree with you. They were lumped in with the Parisiennes and Laurentians when POCI created the special chapter for them a few years ago. Even though Beaumonts aren’t Chevrolets or Chevelles that are allowed in the Chevelle clubs and shows. I was a member of ACES, American Chevelle Enthusiast Society, until it disbanded last year and have had my car at several all Chevelle shows throughout the eastern US. But, they aren’t recoginzed by VCCA, Vintage Chevrolet Club of America. Nowhere in any GM printed material is the word Ponticac mentioned when refering to Beaumonts or Acadians. Chevy VINs start with a 1, Pontiacs with a 2 and Beaumonts with a 7.

    • Bruce H

      The wiki article link Bill J posted above, gives a quick description why. There was a government rule at the time about vehicles having to be comprised of x amount of Canadian parts and assembled in Canada.

      A more recent example is in the early ’80s Volvo cars were “assembled” in Canada to get around tariffs. They had window stickers that said assembled in Canada.

      • Mitchell MacLeod

        For cars originating offshore. The 1965 Auto Pact meant cars aand parts flowed duty free across the US Canadian border. It was the beginning of unique made in Canada models…hence we got Lemans in 1970, and no more Beaumonts.

  11. jim s

    when i first saw a mercury truck i knew that car spoting north of the border was going to be interesting. they had vw notchbacks, some renaults and other cars from europe, ladas, motorcycles like the rz500, gamma 500, and more that we did not get new here. made trips to canada just that much more fun.

  12. jim s

    did AMT and rest of the modet kit makers offer models of the canada versions of the big three cars and truck? were there just extra parts in the usa kits to convert or were conversions homemade?

  13. Mark

    Great car! How many fingers on that hand if there were a handful were built and there are 6 left? Ha ha, keep up the good work!

  14. Paul B

    Pontiac Parisienne, yes, I recall them. Much later, in the U.S., I recall Pontiac launching a Parisienne model. I don’t recall the circumstances, but it may have been a quick temporary return to the full size market when rampant downsizing at GM prompted traditional Pontiac customers to get pissed off — and go elsewhere upon seeing mini-Bonnevilles in the showrooms. Dodge had a similar experience in ’62. As sales tanked and customers howled for their big Dodges, the brand hurriedly came up with something called the Custom 880, in reality a ’62 Chrysler with a ’61 Dodge front clip. It’s amusing how much mixing and matching and badge engineering the U.S. Big Three used to do. Then of course there was the British Motor Corporation, setting the example for all others.

    • Brian

      Those mid 80s Parisiennes were pretty nice cars. For a year or two, they were just Chevy Caprice/Impalas with a different grill and tail light, but for a year or two, they had their own style rear end and rear fender skirts! A friend of mine’s father in law had an 85 that he bought new and I rode in it a few times in the 1990’s. It was a nice smooth ride, lots of body roll, and underpower (305 I think) but it sailed on the interstate. It had a bit more classy look than the big Olds 88, but was a tad more understated than the big Olds 98 or Buick Park Aves. Not sure if it shared the same body with the 88/Electra or the 98/Park Ave, not that there was a whole lotta difference.

      • Mitchell MacLeod

        No, it was a Caprice with Pontiac trim built alongside Chevys in Oshawa, Ontario.

  15. Graham Lloyd

    Charles: a lot of the variants had to do with the auto pact. Or the lack thereof. Cars that were not produced in Canada were subject to duties, and in a lot of cases, the resulting costs would render the car unsaleable. Some cars like the early GTOs, Rancheros and others were imported, but very limited indeed.

    Plus you have a population that couldn’t afford expensive cars. 6 cylinder family sedans were the norm. Cadillacs and Lincolns were few and far between.

    Getting back to the variants, because the Tempest wasn’t built here, to satisfy the Pontiac dealers, a Chevelle received trim to make it different for the Pontiac dealers. The 60 Frontenac was for the Mercury dealers who didn’t get the Comet until 1961. Mercury trucks for Mercury dealers. Fargo trucks for Plymouth dealers.

    A question I have about this car. GM Canada can document this car. They can prove exactly how it left the factory, plus how it was optioned, and how many were produced, breaking it down to engine/tranny combinations, how many were white, etc. If this is such a rare car, you would think the seller would have this info.

    I wouldn’t touch it with a stick unless it was documented. Otherwise it is a “maybe” car. Or a six cylinder car converted. 6 banger Beaumonts are not rare.

    • JamesK

      I’m not sure who actually owns this car now but when I saw it and met the owner several years ago he had the GM of Canada documents for the car. He also owns another 65 L-79 Beaumont. As far as “6 banger” Beaumonts not being rare, you might be surprised at how rare they are. There wer only 8910 total Beaumonts built in 1965, 23 of which were L-79s like this car.

      • Graham Lloyd

        James: No doubt any Canadian only car is rare overall. I guess it is perspective. I grew up in Southern Ontario so Beaumonts, Monarchs, and all the rest of them were common place. I learned to drive on a 63 Acadian Beaumont, and owned a couple of them (including an SD396).

        Now what was rare around here? A neighbour had a 63 or 64 Bonneville. And later he had a Firebird with 326 call outs on the hood. What the hell was a 326? Both very rare cars for the area.

  16. geomechs

    I think the best way to get some understanding on the Canadian variants is to read the book: Meteor/Monarch, by R. Perry Zavits (or is it Zavitz?). From what I gathered the Canadian government was deep into the protectionist game and was determined to keep everything in house. Consequently the auto makers had to come up with strategies to build cars (and trucks) to fit as many needs as possible to reduce the amount of vehicles heading north.

  17. charles

    So G.M. had lots of good reasons to built Canadian varients.

  18. Bill J

    So much controversy over a car. Although Beaumonts were sold in Canada so were Chevelles of the same era. My buddy had a 67 Chevelle identical to my Beaumont right down to the colour and drive train.
    If we are talking Canadian versions – Ford Falcon/Frontenac and Mercury Meteor.
    In a past issue of the POCI magazine (Smoke Signals?) they devoted a section to Beaumonts.

  19. Dave

    In 1976, I bought my first decent car-a 1968 Chevelle with a 307-2bbl. Std. 3 spd. on the column,,,It was a great first car for a high-school kid! The body was fairly straight, and I did the best body job I could afford on it and drove it a year…in 1977, My Dad found a 1969 Beaumont Custom on the used car lot…it’d been battered thoroughly, but it had a really tight, good running 300 HP 350 with camel hump heads… 4bbl. quadrajet, turbo 350 tranny and 12 bolt rear end with 2:73 gears… I owned that car for 21 years and took it from a baffed out un-loved beater to a really hot highway cruiser that wouldn’t back down from a quarter mile challenge…even with the 2:73 gears, it’d do 0-60 in 8 seconds and over 100 MPH in the quarter mile…as a matter of fact, that car was unbalanced enough that the engine and drivetrain probably would’ve made the rest of the car fall apart… It seriously looked like a cross between a Chevelle and a GTO…the interior was identical to a 1969 GTO. I even bought a dash-pad for it at Pep Boys in Escondido California-designed for a 69 GTO… Drove that car from Ontario to Cape Breton Island a couple of times and back, and all down the Eastern Seaboard of the USA… Always a great car, and will always be the favourite car I ever owned…(unless I come into possession of a million bucks-then I might buy a 1958 Chrysler 300 LOL!) It was a more nicely finished and cushier car than a Chevelle though, I might add… It was to a Chevelle what a Pontiac was to a Chevrolet…the first step up into mid-price range.

  20. Susie

    The 65 Beaumont is a true L79 car and has full documentation from George Zapora at GM Vintage Services in Oshawa Ontario Canada. Because this is my car I had repainted to my color preference (Pearl White) and other additions which I wanted. My husband owns a second Red L79 65 Beaumont Sport Deluxe which is also fully documented by GM of Canada and has been restored to original factory condition.
    I suppose I you were married and your wife had a Classic Car she wanted you to restore you would tell her NO because it not original and you can’t change anything because that’s not the way it came from the factory. My L79 Beaumont was restored to exactly the way I wanted it and I’m glade to have a husband that let me do it my way even though it is one of the RAREST Beaumonts built in 65.

  21. The Brain

    OK, here’s the deal: Acadians were a separate brand, they had neither Chevy or Pontiac badges. It was created to avoid tariff charges, as chevy drive trains were already being built in Ontario and there was no Pontiac mid-size car being sold up north. The Acadian was a chevy body, chassis, drive train with a Pontiac interior (dash, steering wheel, seats, etc.) and unique front and rear end treatments. The Chevelle-based cars were typically badged as Beaumont, Nova-based cars were called Canso and Avenger. It gets even crazier with full sized Pontiacs because the sheet metal was all Pontiac but the drive train and chassis were Chevy. That means the “wide-track” look Pontiac had in the states didn’t exist because of the Chevy chassis. Freaky, right? I could go on and on. One last fun fact, there was no Grand Prix, it was a Grand Parisienne and that meant you could get the GP front end with hide-away lights on a station wagon or a 4-door! OK, I’m done, gotta take my meds………….

  22. Peter

    More information about 1965 Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe some different things to know is that the truck and cowl are body colour , luxury interiors, high quality foam, cast front grille, Stainless lower side mldgs, Bearing type upper control arms are some of the differents

  23. Bill J

    My 67 Beaumont was identical in size and shape to my buddy’s 67 Chevelle. At the time I believe there was no option for a two-tone paint.
    My car was purchased in Quebec and to commemorate the 1967 Worlds Fair (EXPO 67) the front license plate showed it.

  24. Peter

    Some may be interested in these pictures…..no where on my dealers brochure does it say “Pontiac” Not sure why the pricing of these vehicles are not a lot higher. For example my 1965 Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe 4 speed is totally restored 1 of only 798 made , not taking in the fact it’s a 4 speed, Canadian muscle car. These car are hard to find, never mind restore.

  25. Bill J

    My 67 Beaumont two-door sedan (I refuse to use the term “post”) . Note the EXPO 67 tag and the Red Line tires. The caps were baby moons. You case the shoulder belt (option) hang behind the B pillar. What happened to the photo??

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