Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1964-70 Acadian Beaumont SD
Welcome to the Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage, a regular feature which aims to expand the notion of what a muscle car is, and to discover hidden treasures while doing so. General Motors Canada produced a few rather unique vehicles during the 60s, specifically for their customers who lived in the great white north. Full sized Pontiacs looked virtually the same as those built for the US, but were built on Chevrolet chassis and powered by Chevrolet engines. They had unique model names like Laurentian, and Parisienne. The Chevy II was built with different trim, a Pontiac-esque grill, and renamed the Acadian. However, the subject of this posting is the mid-sized offering called the Beaumont, and during muscle car period of 1964-1970, Pontiac offered a performance version of the Beaumont that offered something different. Introducing the Beaumont SD.
The Beaumont was introduced for the 1964 model year as the Acadian Beaumont, and it utilized the new Chevrolet Chavelle body and drivetrain. The major styling difference between the Chevelle, and the Beaumont is the Pontiac inspired split grill, distinctive tail lamps, and the use of pontiac wheel trims. The interior utilized the Pontiac Tempest instrument panel, and door trim. Almost any engine and transmission combination that was available for a Chevelle, was available for the Beaumont. As with the Chevelle SS package, the Beaumont could be ordered as a Beaumont SD (For Super Deluxe, not Super Duty as many magazined of the day published). Though they were sold through Pontiac dealerships, there is little reference of mention of the nameplate Pontiac in the manual or instruction booklet.
For 1966, the Beaumont was based on the all-new GM intermediates, and car became a make in its own right by not using the Acadian name. The SD became more of a hybrid combination, with Chevelle SS and Pontiac GTO elements combined in one package. In 1967, with big block muscle cars popular on both sides of the border, the Beaumont could be equipped with Chevy’s 350-horsepower, 396-cubic-inch V8 along with a Muncie M20 4-speed manual transmission. However, the SD396 didn’t offer the 396/375 like its American counterpart.
For 1968, the Beaumont was once again re-designed, adopting the sloping rear look of the Corporate GM Intermediates, while becoming less distinctive. The changes between the Beaumont and it’s Chevelle twin were subtle, as only the Grill and tail lamp lenses were changed. GM Did continue utilizing the Pontiac LeMans dashboard, to give it a distinct Pontiac flavor. The SD was still available with the 396, 4 Speed combo, so it was still quite a performer. By 1970, the trade laws were relaxed; the unique Beaumont became superfluous and was discontinued.
This is really nothing but a Canadian Cousin of the Chevrolet Chevelle, and in it’s hottest form, it can compete with any muscle car from this time frame. However, I think it’s also obscure enough that it belongs in the Obscure Muscle Car Garage. Tell me what you guys think? Of course it’s muscle, but does it follow the guidelines I set up for this feature? Let me know.