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1967 PONTIAC Parisienne- Byron Carr PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 18:55

1967 PONTIAC Parisienne- Byron Carr


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

67 pontiac parisienne chris front

This Pontiac Parisienne draws a lot of attention when car nuts from the USA spot it. Canadian Pontiacs are rarely encountered down south and are always an object of fascination. Up in Canada where names such as Parisienne or Laurentian are part of the common experience of the baby boomer age population the cars still cause a sensation. They are well appreciated for their great looks. The Parisienne was one of the longest lasting of the 'Canadian Pontiacs'.

I'm sure some readers are asking,

"What is a Canadian Pontiac?"

The Canadian Pontiac is a unique version of the USA Pontiac created via a combination of Chevrolet and Pontiac parts. These vehicles were developed to solve some problems in the Canadian car market.

67 pontiac parisienne chris front passenger

The Canadian car market is different than the USA market. The first problem for Canada back in the 1950s and 1960s was import tax. It wasn't economically practical to import USA built mid range car models such as Pontiac, Mercury or Dodge from the USA to Canada. Import taxes pushed prices of USA built cars out of their intended price bracket. Bringing in a Buick or a Cadillac was justifiable because the buyers of these high end cars could easily absorb the cost of import taxes passed on via higher retail prices. Not so for the Pontiac, Mercury or Dodge which occupied a tightly defined price category just one small step up from the low priced Chevrolet, Ford or Plymouth.

67 pontiac parisienne chris front driver

The second problem stemmed from the small Canadian population. Canada simply didn't have enough sales volume to justify a separate assembly line to build small runs of USA spec cars. The Canadian population could only support manufacture of the low priced giants such as Chevrolet and Ford, Plymouth.

Ford of Canada solved the problem by creating Canadian Mercurys, and Chrysler Canada created Canadian versions of Dodge nicknamed 'Plodges'. General Motors of Canada created a Canadian Pontiac off the same Oshawa, Ontario assembly line that built Chevrolets. Canadian Pontiacs used the chassis and mechanical systems of the Chevrolet.

67 pontiac parisienne chris interior

It was simple to add on Pontiac style body panels (modified to fit the shorter Chevrolet body) and Pontiac interiors. The Canadian Pontiac was neither a Chevrolet nor a USA spec Pontiac. It was a unique hybrid of the 2 divisions.

GM of Canada took pains to preserve the Pontiac image. USA Pontiac dealerships who serviced a Canadian Pontiac obtained the necessary parts from a Chevrolet dealership rather than send the owner of a Canadian Pontiac to a Chevrolet dealership for service. See the story in the GAS LOGS section of the TRAVEL STORIES on this website for a story about a 1967 Pontiac Beaumont to learn about the intermediate sized Canadian Pontiacs.

The full size Canadian Pontiac line up began with the Pontiac Strato Chief which was similar to the Chevrolet Biscayne. The Pontiac Laurentian matched the trim level of the mid level Chevrolet Bel Air and top dog Parisienne was equivalent to the Chevrolet Impala.

67 pontiac parisienne chris rear driver tire

The 1967 Parisienne shared the 119 inch wheelbase of the Impala and stretched 214.5 inches long. At 79.5 inches wide the Parisienne is the epitome of the 1960s theme of 'long, long, and wide'.  The Parisienne weighs 4,120 pounds and offers impressive interior room.

67 pontiac parisienne 283 engine front view

The Parisienne uses Chevrolet engines along with Chevrolet transmissions. Byron's Parisienne is equipped with the small block Chevy engine hooked up to a 2 speed Powerglide automatic transmission. Note the dual master brake cylinder. 1967 was the first year for this Federally mandated safety feature. This was also the first year for collapsible steering columns.

67 pontiac parisienne 283 engine driver side view

The Chevrolet 283 cubic inch V8 engine is a terrific little engine that is a slightly enlarged version of the original small block Chevy 265 cubic incher. Over a few decades the 265 design served as the basis for the 265, 283, 307, 327, 350 and even a 400 cubic inch engine.

67 pontiac parisienne chris 283 pass view

1967 was the final year for the 283 size. The 283 engine was stroked for the 1968 model year in order to better meet emissions standards. The 1968 version of this engine displaced 307 cubic inches. Note the 'Ram's Head' exhaust manifold which is named for its shape. This was a very efficient exhaust manifold that allowed the small block to generate a lot of horsepower.

67 pontiac parisienne chris sales contract carter

Byron's 1967 Parisienne 2 door hardtop was originally purchased on August 9, 1967 by Fred Horbenko. Fred bought his new Pontiac from Carter Pontiac Buick in Vancouver, BC. See a story on Carter in the DEALERSHIP section of this website. The Parisienne was very good looking with the fastback sloping rear window and typical Pontiac split grille prow up front. The paint was a nice hue named Artisian Turqoise.

The VIN is not shown in its entirety. The final sequence number is removed from this image to protect owner privacy and the key codes are blanked out for the same reason.

The 7648771xxxxxx VIN decodes differently than a USA Pontiac VIN:

7= Most likely this refers to model year. Some Oshawa vehicles begin with a digit for the model year. All USA Pontiac VINs began with the model line. Thus a 1967 USA built Pontiac VIN begins with a 2 for Pontiac. This digit most likely refers to 1967 in the case of the Canadian Pontiac. It is also possible that GM of Canada assigned the number 7 to denote Canadian Pontiacs.

64= Parisienne

87= Hardtop coupe

7= 1967 Model year (or as discussed above this could be a reference to model line Canadian Pontiac).

1= Oshawa, Ontario, Canada final assembly plant

The final 6 digits are the sequence number which begins with a '1' which indicates installation of a V8 engine.

The window sticker provides an extensive option list:

Tinted windshield

Automatic transmission (this was the Chevrolet 2 speed Powerglide)

Power Steering

Power Brakes

Whitewall tires

Radio with rear seat speaker

67 pontiac parisienne chris cowl tag

The VIN prefix is repeated on the cowl tag with one difference in the 6th digit.

The 764872 sequence that appears here seems to indicate that the positioning of the carline (Pontiac) and model year have been reversed when compared to USA built GM cars:

7= Some Oshawa built Canadian vehicles begin with the numeral indicating model year. In this case 7 could mean 1967 Model year. All USA Pontiac VINs began with a 2 which means Pontiac.

64= Parisienne

87= Hardtop coupe

2= Pontiac. The data plate has a '2' here. This is the place where USA built Pontiacs display model year. As shown above in the full VIN this numeral is a 7.

The final digits 6-21 may indicate a date code which would be June 21, 1967. This would make sense given the late date in the model year that Fred bought his Parisienne.

67 pontiac parisienne chris drivers door panel

Fred was a single guy who kept the car for 13 years. When he sold the Parisienne in 1980 to Byron Carr, the car was in good shape but needed a good cleaning. Fred was a very heavy smoker and the interior was coated in smoke. New owner Byron enlisted his grandson Chris McIntyre to help get the car clean.  Chris recalls rags becoming dark from the nicotine wiped off the driver's door panels.

The steering wheel is in nice condition and free of cracks. The dash is also in good condition. The control knobs and the ignition switch don't show heavy wear which suggests the mileage is not extreme.

67 pontiac parisienne chris steering wheel

Byron used this Parisienne as a pleasure driver until 1996 when it was restored. It was not necessary to do a frame off because the car was in really good condition. The only body damage stemmed from an accident where the left front corner of the car was hit. The 283 engine and Powerglide 2 speed transmission were rebuilt and kept stock except for an upgrade to dual exhaust.

Inside the car the worst issue was the aforementioned tobacco smoke stains. The entire interior was scrubbed down to disperse the smoke. The carpet was replaced as was the cloth insert on the driver's seat.

67 pontiac parisienne chris speedo

The cloth seat fabric will usually start to fray or split somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. The true mileage of the Parisienne is not known, but because there was substantial enough wear to the driver seat and carpet to warrant replacement it seems likely the true mileage was probably around 130,000 miles when Fred sold it. This would be roughly average mileage for a car 13 years old. The odometer currently reads 65,503 which is likely 165,503 miles based on the condition of interior parts.

67 pontiac parisienne chris pedals

The pedals show minimal wear which supports the other indicators (nice steering wheel and dash) of average mileage for the age of the car when Fred sold it.

67 pontiac parisienne rear seat

The back seat retains the original fabric insert. Fred was a single man so the back seat likely saw minimal use. A close look at the front seat reveals a slightly less defined 'indent' in the styling creases than seen here in the rear seat. Those creases were created when forming the foam pads at the factory and then used as guides for stitching in fabric. Note the rear speaker for the radio which was a factory installed option.

67 pontiac parisienne driver rear view

Note the chrome dual exhaust extended tips. This Parisienne was switched to a dual exhaust system that extends beyond the bumpers. This is a common practice among people who like the look of the extended pipe.

There  is another good reason for this style of exhaust tip. The protective effect of keeping the exhaust off the bumpers allows the bumper chrome to last a long time. See the stories in the ONE OWNER section of this website about the 1965 Pontiac Bonneville or the 1972 Buick Skylark. The owners of these cars ran the exhaust a few inches past the rear bumper to prevent the fumes from damaging the chrome bumpers. The nicely rechromed bumpers on this Parisienne probably won't ever need to be redone. That extra few inches of pipe will greatly diminish the corrosive effects of the exhaust.

Byron likes to take the car out for a drive in nice weather. He also attends car shows with his car sometimes together with his grandson Chris McIntyre. Sometimes Chris will take the car down to a show on Byron's behalf. Byron still owns his original 1968 Grand Parisienne that he bought new. To see a story on Byron's 1968 Grand Parisienne refer to  the ONE OWNER stories in the CAR STORIES section of this website.

67 pontiac parisienne d rear

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 February 2016 20:54 )