Pair Of Canadian Pontiac Parisiennes

Ah, Paris; the City of Light, with its sidewalk cafés, the Eiffel Tower, locals driving around, carefree, in their giant Pontiacs… Wait; what? Scratch that last part, but to a Canadian car buyer, Pontiac’s Parisienne usually represented the most luxurious Pontiac offered in the Great White North. The name Parisienne (a citizen of Paris) may have done especially well in the Province of Quebec aka “French Canada.” Somehow two of them made their way to Fountain Hills, Arizona and one or both can be yours! The listing here on Craigslist mostly covers this 1961 Pontiac Parisienne convertible, and there’s a two-door 1962 Pontiac Parisienne hardtop with the popular thin-pillared “bubble top” greenhouse available as well. The drop-top goes for $6,500 or best offer, and $9,500 will buy the bubble top. The combo-deal on this pair of Parisiennes will run you $14,500. Thanks to reader local_sheriff for spotting this dynamic duo.

Far from a re-badged American Pontiac, the Parisienne began in 1958, and most years were more of a re-bodied Chevrolet chassis, built alongside the Chevy cars in Canada. Therefore their body panels are often unique from what either Chevrolet or Pontiac produced in America. Powertrain and trim levels more closely follow the U.S. Chevrolet as well.

The Strato-Flash (Chevrolet) 283 cid (4.6L) V8 made 170 HP, a practical people-mover giving you that V8 sound without exacting fury on your wallet at the gas station. The automatic transmission keeps you even more detached from the sensation of driving.

That Wide-Track look strikes an imposing face in your rearview mirror. Though Pontiac definitely built a bubble top coupe in America for 1962, I find no evidence of a bubble-top ’62 Parisienne in the brochure that year. GM experts are welcome to share any ideas about the production or likelihood of a 1962 Parisienne bubble top in the comments below.

The pencil-thin rear pillars, a design element shared across Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Buick, and Oldsmobile, led to a nearly all-glass greenhouse and the “bubble top” moniker. Sporty and much sought-after among collectors, the bubble top generally brings a premium. Tired of your car’s massive blind spot? This might be the classic for you. Hopefully, those priority shipping boxes aren’t for the last of the parts stripped off this Parisienne. All joking aside, anyone south of the land of Molsons will probably have the only Parisienne at their local car show, and how the Canadian Pontiac body conceals the Heartbeat of America will be a new story for many. You can follow it up with the fact that every one of Chevy’s most American cars (in spirit), the Camaro, was built in Canada from 1992 through 2015. Have you seen a specimen from this generation of Pontiac’s Parisienne?

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Comments

  1. Ramone

    I’m Canadian, and grew up knowing Pontiacs as Chevys with different looks. They were Strato Chiefs, Laurentians, and of course, Parisiennes. No Catalinas or Bonnevilles. All were 283, 327,and rarely 409’s.
    I didn’t know then that our Canadian made Pontiacs were a shorter wheelbase than the “real” ones. Found this out several years ago. They look the same. These are both interesting cars, and would have interest here. Hope they find some there.

    Like 5
    • Carl Paris

      Have you ever heard of the Ford meteor made in Canada I had a 1951 Ford meteor it had a mercury grill but other than that it looks just like a 1951 Ford

      • ACZ

        How about Mercury pickup trucks?

  2. Scubbas

    Worked the summer o 1970 in Port Williams NS
    Bought a ‘59 Catalina 389, gave $10 for it. Loved oil, but just kept pouring used oil in it, that the local gas station would give me.
    First question from every local was,” are you dodging the draft?”
    Just out of high school and no I wasn’t.
    Got a call from my dad a few days before my birthday in July. Got my birthday card from Uncle Sam, yep a 1A draft card.
    Had a blast all summer working up there and went home in late September.
    Lots of great times with great people. Car ran great all summer and sold it for $35 when I left.
    Did go in the Army Sept ‘71 to Sept ‘74.
    Saw a lot of Fargo and Mercury trucks. Beaumont and Parisienne and others.
    Also met a wicked cool bootlegger.
    Great back in the day stuff.

    Like 14
    • 72FAKESS

      Thank you for your service sir…

      Like 1
  3. bill tebbutt

    I think it may depend on the year we are talking about. In Ontario, Canada we certainly had Laurentians, Parisiennes, Catalinas, Bonnevilles (was there also a Brougham????). My dad’s first new car was a 69 Laurentian, replaced in 1976 with a Catalina. pretty sure the other models mentioned above were present in the Cdn market at the time…..

    The Cdn market unicorn, in my mind, was a 69 2+2 convertible. Like all Cdn Pontiacs I believe at that time , it was Chevy-engined, which is how you got a 427 in one. Shorter than a standard Pontiac convertible, it may well have been on a Chevy chassis as well. Just gorgeous….

    cheers,
    BT

    Like 2
    • ACZ

      I’d just like to say Thanks to all you guys from the Possum Lodge. There is a wealth of information on the Canadian cars, here, that we in the States don’t hear much about. I’ve seen a couple of the models mentioned but that’s been long ago. Your insight is much appreciated. Remember, we’re all in this together.

      Like 3
  4. Doone

    As I recall weren’t there also Beauvilles which were the Canadian version of the Bonneville or Grand Prix in from 63 to 69? The Beauville nameplate became a Chevy G20 van in the 80’s. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Chuck Dickinson

      Correcting you–you’re wrong. You’re thinking of the Beaumont, which was a ‘Pontiac-ized’ Chevelle sold by CDN Pontiac dealers, but it was not called a Pontiac, only a Beaumont. The Tempest/LeMans wasn’t sold in Canada, so they got the Beaumont (as well as the Acadian, a ‘Pontiac-ized’ Chevy II/Nova).

      Like 5
      • Paul R.

        The Acadian as well was not marketed as a Pontiac, just an Acadian. I owned a ’62 Acadian Invader up until just recently.
        No sign of being a Pontiac any where on her and ran the 194 cu, in. six which I believe was a Chevy engine, with the 2 speed powerglide.
        In 1968 my first car was a ’62 Chevy ll 300 with the 194 cu in six, but it was a manual “3 in the tree”. These were famous for the shift linkage under the car locking up. That happened to me driving home from the dealer on day one. Scared as hell, city bus behind me and had to rev the hell out of the engine to get the car to shudder forward in second or third gear.
        Except for trim both cars were very similar. The Acadian had a padded dash though, still no cracks in it to this day.
        Loved the 4 bolt 13′ wheels, $30. for a new tire.

        Like 3
  5. bone

    Arcadians too , which were Novas, and later , Chevettes.

  6. local_sheriff

    Todd; I think you made a tiny mistake in your write-up: the only 2dht ‘bubble top’ for ’62 was the Chev BelAir, for all the other divisions this greenhouse design was a ’61 feature only. There are some ’62 Pontiac ‘bubble tops’ when you search online, however those are conversions like the one in the write-up

    https://www.smokymountaintraders.com/cars-for-sale/348/1962-pontiac-catalina-bubble-top

    I do like the ‘bubble top’ design however IMHO the ’62-’64 ‘convertible roof’ design looks a tad better still on these cars

    Like 3
    • local_sheriff

      The one in the write-up’s link is a 1-of-1 GP based experimental version made specifically for Mickey Thompson

      Like 1
    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Thanks, local_sheriff. I had it written that way for a while but my image search “1962 Pontiac bubbletop” turned up several hits with “1962” clearly included so I got duped apparently. For example, now I see this one says “Built to show how a 1962 Bubble Top would have looked” https://www.mecum.com/lots/CH1013-167154/1962-pontiac-catalina-bubble-top/ As always I appreciate the correction!

      Like 2
    • JCA

      Terribly written ad but i’m reading it that the seller grafted a bubble top onto the ’62. He said fabrication is done, all the glass is out and also confirms that there were no factory ’62 bubble tops

      Like 2
    • Mountainwoodie

      Amazes me the trouble people go to with cars. The owner of the ersatz bubbletop in local_sheriff’s link cut the roof off a ’62 and grafted it on a ’61 bubbletop? NUTS!

      I love the look of the ’61 bubbletop though, such a clean design. I had a ’61 Buick airport limo which is about as close as I got to a Poncho bubbletop.

      I hope the sale price is in Canadians dollars. Even still…..:)

      Like 2
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    OK, we got the nomenclature straight, so what about the price? Kinda steep I think.

    Like 2
    • Fred

      OBO. The market will decide. I do hear you, it seems like stuff has skyrocketed lately. It will take a bunch to get these back on the road.

      Like 2
      • Mountainwoodie

        Gotta say this. This trend of throwing ridiculous numbers out there on baked cars has really gone too far. Yes, of course the “market” will speak. In plain English without the Ludwig Von Mies nod to economics, the idea that you can stick any number on a car and go fishing was once ridiculed for being a waste of time. Apparently every seller now thinks theres a sucker born every day. I’d like to meet them.

        Like 2
  8. Phil Maniatty

    I grew up in Burlington, Vermont, which is only 40 miles from the Canadian border. I saw plenty of these Canadian Pontiacs in the 60’s. Some of them were even equipped with Chevy’s Blue Flame six cylinder engine. The U. S. built full-size Pontiacs were all V-8’s.

    Like 1
  9. Morley Member

    All Canadian Pontiacs hardtops were a bubble top in 61. Except for the four door pillarless Sport roof models. In I962 the Canadian Pontiac line up had a bubble top 62. No conversion, no special whatever. I know as I had opportunity to take parts and drag enough of them out of wrecking yards. These Canadian Pontiacs where all on Chevy chassis and at the Oshawa Plant they where often built on the same lines, if production demand it. There where some difference in the 58 to 64 models. Those years I have never come across a Chev with a front sway bar but the Pontiacs seem to all have them.

    Like 1
  10. KKW

    Interestingly, gm pissed off a lot of car buyers in the 70s, by installing chiv motors in pontiacs. Apparently Canadians weren’t quite the purists. Lol

  11. john hugh

    another case of barret jackson flu..o6K for both

  12. Laurence

    There was never a bubbletop 62 pontiac. Ever.

  13. Morley Member

    Oh yes there was. It was available in the Strat o Chief.

    • Laurence

      Stratochief was the lowest trim level. It was availble as 2 and 4 door sedan only as well as wagon.

  14. Kenn

    I just “googled” 1962 bubble top Pontiac pictures and up popped several!

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