Over the years , Pontiac made numerous amazing vehicles and at least from my mind , the mid sixties , Pontiacs are really the pinnacle of the brand .
Now , many people know about and love the G T Os and two plus two Catalina and even the Bonnevilles of the mid sixties Pontiac lineup .
But if you're a frequent watcher of the channel , you'll know that Pontiac sold different vehicles north of the border in Canada than it did here in the US for quite some time .
This was done for a few reasons .
Number one , because of import duties and laws that really made it cost prohibitive to import Pontiacs from the United States for many years .
And then secondly , because G M had to source components locally from Canadian suppliers to get around these import duties .
They needed to get more scale than what the Pontiac brand on its own could offer .
Thus , the Canadian Pontiacs were born and I like to refer to them as the narrow track Pontiacs during this time period because in the US , that was Pontiacs slogan , the white track Pontiac .
But in Canada , Pontiacs were riding atop Chevrolet chassis , so they did not have the wide track and they often look humorously over bodied in the case of the relationship between the body and the wheels and tires , as is the case in my 1959 Parisian .
However , from a classic vehicle standpoint , these Canadian Pontiacs really are a super rare and unique site .
And I must admit that while I love the US Pontiacs , I think so many of them are excellent vehicles .
The one vehicle that makes me absolutely drel that I doubt I will ever be able to find is a Pontiac from Canada specifically .
And that's a 1965 Pontiac Parisian .
Now , I'm not talking about any ordinary Parisian , but one with the top optional engine available in 1965 .
And before you go saying , oh , that must be the 421 cubic inch high output 32 barrel V eight making 376 horsepower .
That was true in the United States .
But in Canada it was a totally different engine .
It was the Chevrolet four oh nine cubic inch V eight making 400 horsepower under hood .
A Chevrolet four oh nine was the top dog engine in the 1965 Pontiac Risen .
That was offered for sale in Canada .
Now , if you get a full size Pontiac in the US , the smallest V eight that you could get was a 389 cubic inch two barrel engine making 256 horsepower .
And that came standard in the Catalina and Star Chiefs with the manual transmission .
If you got a Bonneville , the standard engine was a 325 horsepower premium fuel .
3 89 4 barrel V eight and optional engines were myriad .
You could get everything from a 338 horsepower tri power 3 89 V eight to a 338 horsepower 4 21 4 barrel V eight , a 356 horsepower 4 21 tri power V eight and the top dog 300 76 horsepower 4 , 21 high output engine in Canada , the power train lineup was dramatically different .
However , with the standard engine in the full size Pontiacs being 100 and 40 horsepower , 230 cubic inch six cylinder engine .
That's right .
100 and 40 horsepower engine could be found under hood of some of these full size Pontiacs in Canada , most particularly the lower end Stra chief and Lares .
Whereas the Parisian was the top trim .
I can only imagine how slow a station wagon with a 230 cubic inch six cylinder would be and I probably wouldn't want to drive one .
However , one up from the base engine was the 195 horsepower Strata Flash 283 cubic inch Chevrolet based V eight .
This was a workhorse in the US and is the engine that's most often found under the hood of 1965 Pontiacs in Canada , particularly the Parisians .
One up from the Strata flash 283 cubic inch V eight was the astro flame 250 horsepower 327 cubic inch V eight and one up from that was the 300 horsepower astro flame V eight .
Again , 327 cubic inches in displacement .
Now , here's where it gets interesting recall that in the US , the top dog 421 cubic inch high output V eight made 376 horsepower .
Well , you see here in this brochure , there were two optional 409 cubic inch V eight s in Canada , a 340 horsepower super flame V eight and a top dog 400 horsepower super flame V eight .
Yes , that's right .
The top optional engine in Canada , the 409 cubic inch V eight making 400 horsepower , made more horsepower than the 4 21 high output engine offered in the United States .
And it's for this reason , coupled with the extreme rarity of these vehicles that I have to say , a four oh nine powered 1965 Pontiac particularly preen really is the pinnacle for me of mid sixties , Pontiacs .
However , from the research that I've been able to perform , it looks like only about 50 to 100 1965 Pontiacs were equipped with the 409 cubic inch V eight when they were new , meaning that likely a literal handful or even less than a handful survived today .
And while the 409 cubic inch V eight under hood would certainly make owning a big block Canadian Pontiac ultra cool .
It's also a number of the other quirks associated with these vehicles that I just find makes them charming .
For instance , while in the US , the full size Pontiacs had butterfly articulating wipers .
This was not done in Canada .
They had the conventional wiper set up with the usual wiping pattern and non butterfly wipers .
And while in the US and the top trim Bonneville , you could find real wood on the instrument panel in Canada , the top trim presen had wood nowhere to be found .
The steering wheels were also different in Canada from the US as were obviously the shift quadrants because these cars often employed power glide transmissions .
You couldn't get Turbo Hydrotic 400 in Canada behind any of the engines and even the brake pedals were different .
They were the Chevrolet brake pedals from the US that were used on the interior .
I did previously note that Pontiacs in Canada wrote atop Chevrolet chassis .
One other interesting thing of note is that consequently , in 1965 Pontiac in Canada switched to a full perimeter frame from the X frame that was previously used on US , Chevrolets and the Canadian Pontiacs .
And this is an important development in Canadian Pontiac history because interestingly for a number of years in the early 19 sixties and before the switch to this perimeter frame , the fact that Pontiac in Canada used the Pontiac body , but the Chevrolet X frame caused a number of the bodies to crack in the rear because they were unnaturally stressed compared to what the stresses were on the US based car .
So something to look out for if you're thinking of buying a early sixties Pontiac , be careful and make sure that the rear of the car is not starting to crack , which is very , very typical on those .
Any case , I hope you enjoyed this feature on a super unique Pontiac and admittedly my favorite .
I think I'll be searching for one for a long , long time .
The 1965 Pontiac Parisian with the 400 horsepower 409 cubic inch V eight .
Thanks again for watching and until next time , take care .
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