Canada’s Unique Autoscape, Part 2
Over at GM, things were less dire. The Pontiac brand was very successful in Canada and GM continually produced unique offerings for Canadians, who showed their gratitude by making Pontiac the best-selling car brand in Canada by 1963.
Pontiac was still carrying a full lineup of uniquely Canadian cars. The Pontiac Laurentian continued to use the full-size Chevrolet chassis and drivetrain, but with a body that mirrored the American Catalina (but again — no body panels were actually shared between the Laurentian and the Catalina). Pontiac’s Canadian lineup evolved as Chevrolet did, and Canadian Pontiacs often shared similar option packages. For example, when Chevrolet introduced the “Super Sport”, in 1962, GM of Canada offered a similarly equipped Pontiac “Custom Sport”. When Chevrolet introduced its luxurious, Impala based Caprice in 1965, GM of Canada created the Grande Parisienne that mirrored the upscale Chevrolet.
The biggest clue that Canadian Pontiacs shared little with their American cousins was under the hood. While Pontiacs of the ‘60s received bigger and bigger big blocks with their 400 and 455 cubic inch V8s, Canada made due with the smaller Chevrolet engines, a limitation of their shared Chevrolet underpinnings.
Continue this story on page 8.