Category Archives: SS Express Newsletter Articles

The Pontiac Beaumont Story…

BeaumontGrillThe Beaumont is an automobile rich with Canadian History. Sold primarily in Canada, these cars were found at Pontiac-Buick Dealerships across the country.  The Beaumont actually started out as an available series option on the popular Acadian back in 1962. 

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The Acadian was introduced in Canada to give Pontiac an answer to the popular mid-sized Chevy II (Nova). The Beaumont series added extra trim, identification and luxury.

Can you recall when items such as foam cushioned rear seats were considered a luxury option?

Well, most of us “youngsters” certainly can not. Items like a Horn Ring on Steering Wheel, and automatic front door dome light switch-es were installed when the Beaumont Series was checked off at the dealership.

By 1963, the Acadian had 2 different Beaumont Series Options available. The Beaumont, and the new Beaumont Sport Deluxe. Checking off the Sports Deluxe added features like wish-bone door handles, larger vinyl covered sun-shade, and chrome plated instrument panel knobs. Beaumontfunfacts Oh and don’t forget about what’s under the hood! In 1963 the thrifty 4 cylinder 90 hp Econoflame with single barrel carburetor and manual choke was ready for action .

Looking for more performance? The lively 120hp Econoflame was advertised to have scads and scat yet happy on regular gas. Automatic choke of course is standard.  By the time the 1964 Acadian hit the streets, the Beaumont Series Option was 3 separate series, “Beaumont”, the “Beaumont Custom” and the popular “Beaumont Sport Deluxe”. In 1965, the Acadian added a 4th series to choose from, the “Beaumont Deluxe.”

From 1966, the Acadian name was dropped and Beaumont became a standalone marque. The car sported a new emblem, based on Pontiac’s arrowhead motif with two red maple leaves added.beaumontdidyouknow They featured similar power plants as the Chevelle, including the OHV inline six-cylinder engine, and a variety of small- and big-block V8s.

The V8 engine choices included small-block 283, 307, 327, and later 350 cubic-inch versions, while the Mark IV big-block could be ordered in its 396 cubic inch displacement maximum 350hp. 3- and 4-speed manual transmissions were available, as were the 2-speed Powerglide and 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic automatics.

By 1967, much like the Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport, the Beaumont Sport Deluxe was very desirable. The SD (Sport Deluxe) models were equivalent to the Chevelle Super Sport trim level, featuring bucket seats and center console, as well as SD body striping and trim. The SD396 models are among the most desirable Beaumonts today.

When 1968 Rolled around, the Beaumont Styling changed to mirror the body style change of the Chevelle. Prior to 1968, you could purchase an SD with any engine, Six Cylinder or V8. Now, the Beaumont Sport Deluxe was only available with the 350 hp 396 Engine. Perhaps the rarest of all Beaumonts was built in 1968. Only 65 1968 Sport Deluxe Convertibles were built which of course, had the 350 hp 396 Engine.

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Total Beaumont sales were approximately 73,000 units over it’s production lifespan. 
A large portion of those were the Some production models and production years are among the rarest GM muscle cars on the planet.

While it isn’t known how many are still in existence, most likely suc-cumbed to the harsh Canadian winter climate, which makes them significantly more rare than equivalent Chevelles and desirable to some collectors.beaumontinterior

So next time you’re at a Car Show, or you see one in a parking lot, be sure to take the time to look closer at the unique differences between a Chevelle and a Beaumont.

The El Camino History…1959 to 1987

The Name El Camino was used some years before. Cadillac presented their project car called El Camino in 1954 at the GM Motorama.  Cadillac-El_Camino_Concept-1954-1600-01A 2–passenger coupe with lots of features which were included in the fol-lowing years of Cadillac Models.  This El Camino was fin-ished in a silver gray and featured a brushed stain-less steel roof.

 

El Camino is Spanish and means (directly translated) The Road, The Way, The Course, The Path, The Walk and so on and so forth.  elcaminologoA historic road leading through California is named the “El Camino Re-al” (pronounced re-al). Real means (directly trans-lated) Sincere, True, Royal or Kingly. Now you can make some combinations like the True Road, The Royal Way, The Sincere Path and so on.

Chevrolet didn’t want to confuse the people with such a name so they skipped the Real portion of the name.

In 1959 a few years after Ford had introduced the Ranchero Chevrolet decided to fight back with the El Camino.   1959-1960-chevrolet-el-camino-6Based on the radically styled 1959 Chevrolet Impala, it was a dramatically beautiful sedan pickup . Chevy described it as more than a car more than a truck.  In 1961 Chevy unfortunately dropped the El Camino. Dropping a new model two years into a program was very uncharacteristic of Chevrolet.

200245Production models until they dominate the market. In 1964 Chevy re-introduced an all new El Camino. It was based on the mid-sized Chevelle. The 1964 was obviously a fresh, new package, but it main-tained a link to the older model with its good looks and sparkling performance.

Chevrolet-El-Camino-front-three-quartersAfter years of success, the El Camino was finally dropped by Chevrolet in 1987. For years GM has been rumored to be considering bringing back the El Camino. GM already has a vehicle ready in Australia with minor changes could make it available .

Either way, the El Camino lives on as one of the most versatile and high performance vehicles that Chevrolet has ever built.