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2023-06-14 19:11:52

The Coolest Unknown (and Factory 409 V8-Powered) Pontiac - The 1965 Pontiac Parisienne

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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 .

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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 .

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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 .

Yes .

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 .

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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 .

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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 .

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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 .

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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 .

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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 .

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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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Thanks again for watching .

Until next time .

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