As the sales of smaller cars were taking off in the U.S., Pontiac also introduced its own compact Tempest in 1961 to do battle with the Falcon and Valiant. GM chose not to bring the Tempest north of the border, but they had other plans. Instead, GM of Canada introduced a Pontiac-look, Chevy II-based compact a year later, called the Acadian.


The Chevy II-based Acadian was little more than the Chevrolet with a split grille and “ACADIAN” spelled out on the hood. It was considered its own brand, separate from Pontiac (but sold at Pontiac dealers).

1963 Acadian convertible

1963 Acadian convertible

And although it looked vaguely like a Pontiac and was sold at Pontiac dealerships, the Acadian was marketed as its own brand like the Meteor and Monarch. It featured unique upholstery, grille and trim, and was available in Invader, Canso and top-tier Beaumont trims. Unlike the distinctive 1950’s Pontiacs, however, there was little attempt to hide its Chevrolet origins.

The Acadian trim packages mirrored those available on the Chevy II, making for some unique muscle cars. When Chevrolet released the Chevy II SS in 1963, Pontiac in Canada released the nearly identical Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe — basically a slightly fancier version of the SS.

1966 Acadian

Acadian followed Chevy II’s lead for annual updates, always replacing its grille with a more formal looking, divided version.

In 1964, the Beaumont name progressed from being an option package to become a new mid-size Acadian model line, based on the new Chevelle. From this point on, the Acadian Canso became the most luxurious compact Acadian. As with the Chevy II-based Acadians, there was little differing the Acadian Beaumont from the Chevrolet Chevelle apart from trim and a Pontiac-style split grille. The Sport Deluxe trim was also available on the new Beaumont, a clone of the Chevelle SS. The Chevy II-based Acadian also kept its SS-based muscle car, now called the Acadian Canso Sport Deluxe.

1964 Acadians

The 1964 Acadian Beaumont convertible and Custom sedan. Launched as a mid-size Acadian, the Beaumont was heavily based on the Chevelle. Like the lesser Acadians, changes consisted of a split grill up front, revised trim and taillights.

Continue this story on page 10.

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