GMCanada - Acadian Cars | Hagerty Articles


Years before the 1965 Automotive Products Trade Agreement (APTA) greased the wheels of free trade between the U.S. and Canada, American carmakers were forced to get a little creative if they wanted to sell their products north of the border.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/08/24/gms-canadian-pontiacs


Even before APTA, most Of the Big 3’s offerings were available in Canada, but anything that wasn’t produced there was at a substantial premium to the domestic stuff. Lincolns, Cadillacs, Imperials, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, Mercury Monterreys, Edsels etc. could be had.

The Big 3 produced powertrains in Canada, but in much narrower ranges. Essentially inline 6 and small block V8s, 3-speed manual transmissions, and the lower capacity automatics, and a limited range of drive axles. Body stampings, wiring harnesses, and other systems were sourced locally, again without the flexibility that U.S. customers enjoyed.

Owing to preferential British Commonwealth tariffs, all three exported to the Caribbean, Africa, and Australia, as well, being the respective parent’s primary product source.


Another of the Canadian Pontiacs you did not mention are the full size line of the 2 + 2 cars based on the American Catalina . The Catalina body was put on the full size Chevrolet frames which were narrower, so the “wide track” look is not there, the wheels sit further back in the wheel well openings. However you could get all the awesome drive train options Chevy had to offer: How about a 64 Custom Sport with a 409 dual quad 425 HP -4 speed, 65-409’s,66, 67, 68, and 69 hardtops or ragtops with 427-4 speeds, 70 and 71’s with the LS5-454…The production numbers were pretty low on these cars, Canadian buyers usually ordered small block cars, but a few did get built. I have a close friend who owns quite a few of these rare cars, some are only one of less than 10 built. He also has 66 and 67 SD Beaumonts, hardtops and ragtops, all 396 big blocks…We try to take one per year to the Pontiac shows in the USA, and yes these cars get some perplexing looks at first until the viewer sees the GM Canada build sheets, then the conversations start, usually ending with the real Pontiac collectors wanting to know what he would be willing to take for the car(s) As of right now they are not for sale, maybe some day…


bkrug Just wondering if you friend that collects Canadian Cars would be interested in a 1965 Acadian Beaumont SD with a 327ci/350hp Corvette engine fully documented by GM of Canada as 1 of only 23 built in 1965. joe jslizon@yahoo.com


Although a Ford man through and through, one of the nicest cars I owned was a 1962 Canadian Pontiac Parisienne in that deep red Burgundy with silver stripes and a white roof, matching leather interior. Was absolutely one of the nicest cars I ever owned, even though it was a straight six. Never played with that as the car always ran perfectly, and the car attracted the crowd, the motor didn’t matter.