The Acadian and Acadian Beaumont was produced between the years 1962 and 1971 and though the
argument will go on, it was a stand alone make sold in Canada through Pontiac - Buick - GMC dealerships.
Due to the Canadian tariffs on imports which was put into place many years before, their
was no compact car available to the Canadian Pontiac dealer. Initially the U.S built Pontiac Tempest, which started production
in 1961 was not available to the Canadian buyer, import duties would have made it to expensive to compete in the thirfty Canadian
The Acadian was introduced to give the unhappy Canadian Pontiac - Buick dealer
a car he could sale in the growing compact market. Based upon the Chevy II, which was produced in both the US and
Canada, Pontiac Canada finally had a compact to sale.
To digress a bit here, prior to the Chevy II based Acadian, a Corvair spin off was considered
which came close to production. In 1987, Collectable Automobile did a interesting story on the Pontiac Polaris prototype,
which during developement was also called the Ventura. The story goes that in 1958 while the Corvair was still in developement, GM's corporate office was pressuring
Pontiac to accept the Corvair as the basis of its own early '60s compact.
Basically, the Polaris was a 1960 Corvair with headlight and tail light styling similar to the 1959 full
size Pontiac (Canadian and US Pontiac's shared styling, the differance being the Canadian Pontiac was built on the smaller
Chevrolet chassis...and built in Canada).
Production of the Polaris/Ventura failed to reach fruitation. As John
Delorean explains in his book, "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors", the head of Pontiac Engineering, and Bunkie
Knudsen, general manager of Pontiac at the time kept tabs on the Corvairs developement and they didn't like what they were
seeing. Frank Winchell, a Chevrolet engineer, flipped one over out on the GM test track in Milford, Michigan. GM's
Top Management had comprimised on Ed Coles initial designs. More flips would follow. The questionable safety of the car
caused an internal battle among GM engineers as to whether the car should be built with another form of rear suspension.
When GM Top Management refused to upgrade the Corvair's swing axle design, Pontiac lost interest. Pontiac moved on to develope the compact Tempest, ironically with a modified version of the Corvair swing axle.
The idea of a Corvair based Canadian Pontiac called the Acadian came close to production in late
1959 but due possibly to costs or Pontiac US initial concerns of roll over, the Corvair Acadian never saw production.
So the Pontiac - Buick - GMC dealers of Canada suffered until the
introduction of the more conventional Chevy II at which time the ok was given to create an alternate version for the Canadian
dealer. Who or why this decision was made is unknown. What is known though, and it may have contributed to the decision
was that in numerous markets and for numerous years in the 1960's, Pontiac did out sell Chevrolet in Canada.
The Acadian line expanded to the new intermidiate Chevelle based Acadian Beaumont in 1964
as the intermidiate size Tempast/Lemans were still not available in Canada. We can thank Ford for the introduction
of the intermidiate Fairlane in 1962 which with out it, we may not have had a Chevelle and thus, no Acadian Beaumont.
By mid 1965, import tarrifs became a thing of the past and GM would slowly rationalize its manufacturing between
Canada and the US. One can assume that due to its popularity and price, production of the Acadian's and Beaumont's
continued beyond 1965.
Acadian and Acadian Beaumont make and model availability was as follows;
1962 - 71 Acadian - Chevy II / Nova based
1964 - 65 Acadian Beaumont - Chevelle based
1966 - 69 Beaumont - Chevelle based
Model Availability: Chevy II Based
1962 - Beaumont, Invader
1963 - 67 Acadian, Invader, Canso, Sport Deluxe
1968 - 71 Acadian (SS option available)
Model Availability: Chevelle Based
1964 - Beaumont, Custom, Sport Deluxe
1965 - Beaumont, Deluxe, Custom, Sport Deluxe
1966 - 67 Beaumont, Custom, Sport Deluxe
1968 - 69 Beaumont, Deluxe, Custom, Sport Deluxe
Excluding the 2 door (A body) station wagon of 1964-65, body style availability for
the Acadian, Acadian Beaumont was the same as their Chevrolet counter part.
Due to the autopact , signed by Lyndon Johnson and Lester Pearson, Beaumont production finally
ceased in June 1969. In 1970, production of the Pontiac Tempest/Lemans started in Canada.
Production of the Acadian ceased in mid 1971 with the introduction of the Pontiac Ventura II,
which like the Acadian was also based upon the X body Nova. The 1971 Pontiac Venturi II drive train consisted of the
corporate (read; Chevrolet) 250 inch 6 cylinder or the Chevrolet 307. Drive train was all Chevy in 1971. Really, the Venturi
II was little more than an Acadian (Nova?) with a new grille and Pontiac identification.
mid 1970 on, the Canadian auto market looked pretty much the same as the American market. With a few exceptions, same make
and models were available on both sides of the border.