Canadian Poncho: 1958 Pontiac Parisienne

In the U.S. in 1958, the Chevrolet Impala debuted. That first year, it was limited to a special 2-door hardtop and convertible before becoming the leading Chevy in 1959. At GM of Canada, 1958 also brought the Pontiac Parisienne, which looked like a Bonneville but had Chevy engineering under the skin. This coupe is one of only 3,872 built for the year and looks sharp, patina included. Located in Osceola, Wisconsin, this Canadian Pontiac (aka “Poncho”) has a more modern Chevy engine to do the job. This cool car is available here on eBay for $29,995 (or make an offer). Our thanks once again to Larry D for these great tips!

The Parisienne used the GM B-platform which was new in 1958 (as it was on the Impala). It would share its underpinnings with the Chevrolet for years to come.  The name Parisienne or La Parisienne was an interesting choice as it means a grammatically female person or thing from Paris, France. As was also the case with the Impala, the Parisienne was a more luxurious car than others in the full-size Pontiac lineup. Though it looked like a U.S Pontiac Bonneville, the sheet metal was unique to the car because it rode on a shorter wheelbase. Drivetrain choices mirrored those of the U.S. Chevy products.

At 83,600 miles, we don’t know what engine originally powered this Pontiac. Residing under the hood now is a 400 cubic-inch small block V8 that Chevrolet began to use in the 1970s. But it’s been blinged up, suggesting things may not be routine inside the motor. It’s matched with a 3-speed manual transmission which could very well be what the automobile came with. New parts include brakes (including the master cylinder), exhaust, and shock absorbers.

While the paint could very well be original, some of the metal you can’t see is new, mainly the floors and braces (the carpeting got wet and rusted the metal. The floor coverings were replaced, and the rest of the interior may be close to perfect. This looks like it could be a turnkey car as long as you’re cool with patina. Documents from the car’s assembly in Ottawa in Canada will come with the sleek automobile.

Comments

  1. Rbig18

    I would imagine the car was assembled is Oshawa Canada and not Ottawa. I grew up in Ottawa and can’t recall any cars being made there.

    Like 16
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    @ Russ: Please correct the assembly location. Thanks.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_McLaughlin

    Like 5
  3. Bob C.

    Nice Cheviac. Hopefully the leak that originally caused the carpets to get wet has been fixed as well.

    Like 1
  4. Kurt Member

    I had a 58 Chevy Bel Air that looked really similar but it had a straight 6.Sheesh what a tank it was. Enough metal to build a fleet of modern cars!

    Like 2
  5. Glen Riddle

    FUN FACT: The Canadian Pontiacs from 1958 to 1970 could be ordered with the big Chevy engines, 348/409/427/454. So yes, there really were “big block” Pontiacs….sort of.

    Like 7
  6. Vance

    I love GM’s lineup for 1958, chrome and curves, accented by tu-toned paint schemes. I recently read an article about how the 1959 models were so different and the short time slot that they came to production. It’s worth looking into on how they came to be. This is a very sharp design.

    Like 1
  7. Kirk M Stankiewicz

    Caution: The 400 was only offered with an Automatic Trans- and for a reason. The 400 was externally balanced- and relied on the dampar and tourque converter to absorb the pulses. Some tried using these for Racing, and in Boats. If not properly done- ka-blam.

    Like 2
  8. local_sheriff

    As an owner of both a Chev and a US Pontiac I’d say the Canuck Cheviacs combine the best of both worlds – the great styling of the Pontiac while at the same time the ease of parts availability/price that come with the Chev tech. Not to mention all the endless possibilities for improvements which the aftermarket offers for the X-frame and Chev V8; at a fraction of the cost of US Pontiac specific bits.

    It’s so sad they were built in so low #s and survival rates are low

  9. Pete

    I had a Canadian colleague, back in 1958, who bought a brand new 1958 Canadian Pontiac. It came with a 6 cylinder (Chevy) engine. At the time, I believe, this was the standard entry level configuration for the Canadian model.

  10. Henry

    Nice pontiac. Just testing to check if my fall 22 membership went through.

  11. Jack Quantrill

    55-57 fabulous. 58, too much chrome and gewgaws. Wha hoppen?

  12. Richard Williams

    I had 58 Chiefton that had trim to make it look like a hard top. It had a 3 speed stick which had problems. Loved that car. It looked very similar to this car. Wish I had the bucks to buy this one. Very nice car.

  13. Jerry Bramlett

    I think this car is as neat as an old fifties Pontiac can be. I’m not at all sure there’s a market for it, though.

    The price seems fair. However, it’s just so huge and unwieldy without power steering or brakes, I doubt it would be much fun to drive.

  14. Jim Benjaminson

    Thought at first it was my friend John’s car – but his has a 348 and had air suspension – pretty uptownish for a Canadian Pontiac/Chevrolet…..same color, etc. Oops – for our Canadian friends – colour

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