1970 PONTIAC Acadian- Dianne and Gary Print
Written by Double Dragon
Monday, 24 September 2012 09:42

1970 PONTIAC Acadian- Dianne and Gary


70 acadian dianne gary fender logo

Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

The OOCC 1970 Pontiac Acadian has been blue most of its life and when restored it was painted a 1970 factory color called Mulsanne Blue. The second owner Dorothy Vivian chose blue when she had the car painted to suit her taste. After more than 30 years as a blue car, it's funny to think that the OOCC Acadian was a factory Sunflower Yellow car. During the early 1970s the OOCC Acadian had the distinction of being the only yellow car in Dorothy's West Vancouver, BC neighborhood where muted colors were the norm. It was certainly easy to find in any parking lot! Dorothy sacrificed ease of car spotting in favor of asserting her personal style.

70 acadian dianne gary front

The Pontiac Acadian's first owner, Margery Gillingham hadn't particularly wanted a yellow car either. The Acadian was a dealer floor inventory vehicle which meant no one destined to own the car had ever asked for it to be yellow. See the ONE OWNER story of Ron Ciraulo's 1964 Chevrolet Impala. He actually repainted the car Canary Yellow, but ended up repainting it blue. It seems that only a small segment of the population can live with the high visibility of a yellow car.

Margery's husband was an accountant at Bow Mac. Bow Mac was the short form most people in the day used when referring to the Bowell McLean Motor Company car dealership. See a story on Bow Mac filed under BC VANCOUVER Dealers in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website.

One of the perks of working for Bow Mac was that Margery's husband had pick of the inventory. Margery was allowed to pick out a new car annually. The Pontiac Acadian had logged a few miles as a dealer demo when Margery took possession. Within six or seven months of ownership, Margery sold the Acadian to her cousin Dorothy before the close of 1970.

70 acadian dianne gary rear

The Acadian is not a small car by today's standards but back in the 1970s it was two steps below the full size class. The compacts were aimed at women and old ladies or perhaps the second family car. Normally these cars were relegated to city driving and 'grocery getting'. Unlike the modern equivalent Spartan econo boxes, the Acadian had enough sheet metal to create some pleasant lines. The overall shape is quite nice. The Acadian model enhances the nice basic lines with Pontiac embellishments. The base vehicle beneath the Pontiac styling and badges is actually a 1970 Chevrolet Chevy II.

Import tariffs inflated the price of inexpensive models in the 1960s GM lineup to the point where it didn't make sense to import them from the USA. Sales volume was too small to justify building entirely separate Pontiac models on the Oshawa, Ontario factory line. GM Canada came up with a solution: they built a hybrid 'Chevrolet- Pontiac' in the Oshawa factory. The Pontiac Parisienne was built on the Impala chassis, the Beaumont on the Chevelle and the Acadian on the Chevy II. See the story in GAS LOGS for more information about the 1967 Pontiac Beaumont. In the case of the Acadian, Pontiac styling cues were added to a Chevy II chassis and drive train and presto: you had a 'Canadian Pontiac'.

Canadian Pontiacs based on Chevrolets were still being built in 1970 but a phase-out was approaching. In 1970 the Oshawa factory built USA spec Pontiac GTOs, dispensing with the need to build the Canadian subsitute version of GTO, the Beaumont SD 396. 1971 was the final year for the Acadian until Canadian Pontiac rebadged the Chevette as an Acadian in the 1980s. Back in Springtime of 1971, Pontiac USA introduced the 1971 1/2 Pontiac Ventura II which was based on the Chevy II. The Ventura II was imported to Canada without import penalties and ended the need to build a separate Canadian version.

Most everyone in Canada has probably seen or ridden in the fairly commonly encountered 1960s Pontiac Parisienne back in the day. Drive a Parisienne into USA and the car will be swarmed with fascinated gearheads. The rarer Canadian Pontiacs generate high excitement levels. I vividly recall driving a Canadian Pontiac through the USA. Every single gas station fill or grocery store stop invariably took close to an hour. The moment the car was stopped guys literally came running over with questions. Then came the scrutiny of the detail differences.

In the USA a first assumption will be made that the Acadian is a Ventura. Then the realization sets in and the examination begins. This car is particularly interesting because it retained the original inline six instead of being hot rodded. Very few six cylinder cars make it through a restoration with original equipment.





Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 July 2013 22:15 )