I have a real treat for you Poncho fans this month. Our feature car is this unrestored 1965 Pontiac Parisienne Custom Sport which was factory built with a 409 and a 4 speed transmission. Rick Yakimec has been the owner of this rare Pontiac since 1976. Rick didn't know how rare this car was until quite a few years later. Here's the story about this Custom Sport as told by Rick's brother Ken:
My older brother was always the real car nut in the family. His first car of many was my dad’s discarded 53 Bel Air four door sedan that he stuffed a 1956 vintage 265 into as soon as he could find any kind of small block Chevy to take the place of the 235. It was quite a screamer, for what it was, but it always left him wanting something with a bit more displacement.
In about 1976 he had the chance to buy a tired, beat, ugly, black 1965 Custom Sport cheap from another local who had acquired it out of Edmonton and rebuilt the motor crudely and quickly (and usually in an altered state of consciousness as well). This fellow added quite a few more scars too it during the short rough time it spent with him.
I must say it looked pretty impressive when he lifted the hood to show me the massive 409 under the hood and going through the gears was pretty cool but it was pretty clear the 4 speed was kinda sick. It had a T10 in it which he thought at the time might have been original but as we know now was a light duty replacement for the original Muncie
Once he actually discarded the T10 and the original factory shifter for a used Muncie and Hurst shifter and put on a Holley 750 in place of the original Square box four barrel, we went for a test drive. This did not go well.
As I recall, he said those famous words, “Watch this!”,and through the gears we went at max RPM’s. I think it was just after the first to second shift when all of a sudden we felt a massive shudder and I turned my head just in time to see the drive shaft spiral out from under the car and head like a torpedo into the ditch.
Once we managed to get stopped we went and picked up the pieces and took a look under the poor mangled underneath of the car. Bad Scene! The bell housing had actually been cracked almost all the way around the tranny area and the drive shaft was bent like a banana. Luckily we knew a guy who could weld cast aluminium and we had access to local boneyards for another driveshaft so in a week or it was running again and this time we made through all four gears very impressively. The Holley really woke that thing up.
Anyway my bro drove the heck out of it for a couple of years (with the engine holding up like a champ oddly enough) and had many more adventures including having a front wheel come off at about 85 mph when all the lug nuts snapped off. (Badly out of round old Radar mag wheel we figured.)
He didn’t lose many impromptu races as I recall, but there came a time in the late 70’s when he was looking for an engine to stuff in a really quite nice chrome grilled 1955 GMC big back window Hydramatic-equipped short wheel base pickup that he bought from a local miser. The 261 was kind of done and so was the 800 pound Hydramatic so he thought a 409 with a 350 turbo would do the trick. It did. What a tire smoking beast!
It’s kind of funny now but I remember stealing a few bits out of the engineless 65 to help equip the 1939 Buick I was working on at the time as it was just an ugly old car with no engine from my point of view. I kept bugging him to get rid of the old hulk too.
I’m not sure what prompted him to send the VIN into GM Vintage Vehicle Services back in the 90’s but once he got the numbers back that indicated the rarity of this thing (74 produced) I have to admit I looked at that thing with a lot more respect. I definitely stopped bugging him to haul it to the boneyard at that point.
When we found that it was a late production 409 Pontiac (late March 1965) and once we realized that that production date would have made it one of the very last 409 cars ever built he started to think about putting it back together. Just for the record it is a 340 horse, triple black 4 speed car with power brakes, steering and am radio (tachometer as well) but for options that’s about it. Not even a posi.
It was about 2010 that he pulled the engine out of the GMC and put it back in the car and put the original carb, Muncie M20 tranny and wretched OEM shifter back on the car.
He has never found the time to restore though so it still wears all its battle scars proudly including the sort of modified front fender where the wheel came off. He has replaced the busted up rear chrome for some better stuff and also changed out the crunched in trunk lid. I swapped out the caved-in driver’s door for one from a black 65 Parisienne parts cat, but it had the right patina as the rest of the car so that seemed OK.
We found out recently from one of the veteran old car guys in town that it did spend most of its early life in this town and that it was the undefeated highway drag race champ for about 10 years. That would have explained the blown tranny I guess.
The pictures are kinda poor but this thing isn’t going to look all that new from any distance or angle so it is what it is.
If you want see it run you can look it up on Youtube under Old Brutes THM where you will see three big block Canadian Ponchos running in my yard on a nice summer day in 2013.
Not sure about its future. Once in a while he talks about selling it but without any enthusiasm. Once thing’s for sure though, it has had quite a past!
Like us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/CanadianPoncho
1969 Pontiac Laurentian 2 door hardtop **SOLD**1975 Firebird Esprit 350/4speed **SOLD**Canadian Poncho World Headquarters - Prince Edward Island
very nice!! congratulations.....
What a sweet ride...love the '65s.
TOPNOTCH feature car......LOVE IT......just the way it is.....
.....formerly 64 Custom Sport.....now appearing as MoboMac
Fender dice,furry skirts and flames...just say NO...
These guys really know how to do a ROCK video...
1965 Custom Sport Convertible
Is that ever a sweet piece of Canadian automotive history. I LOVE IT !!!. A number of years ago, around the late 1980's. I knew of a green one in the Toronto area and it as well, was not restored and was very worn. I hope this car gets the restoration that it deserves. Good luck with this sweet gem. Cheers. George
1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six
1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low milage original 400 V-8
1965 Custom Sport
My Cadillac Uncle bought my older cousin a red on white 65 Custom Sport, 283 car. he was just 17 after-all and it was a way to keep him out of the family Coupe De Ville, I loved that Custom Sport. Dad had a 65 Laurentian. I'd spend hours pouring over the owners manual out of the four door sedan's glove box and of course I'd often wonder, "Did they really make these cars with the big 409?, Wouldn't it be something to have THAT engine in Leigh's car, I wonder if such a car exists? "
Well they did and it still does, can I steal the lyrics for a song ? ....I'll take you just the way you are.
Ray White, Toronto ON
1973 LeMans 454
Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON
Tweet me @BigRaySays
Carl Stevenson wrote:I knew it!!! I had a tip that I'd like the March feature car, and this car was my first guess!!! Amazing, amazing piece of Canadian Pontiac history. And for us B body lovers, certainly the Holy Grail for 1965 cars. Another great month ahead...
I knew it!!! I had a tip that I'd like the March feature car, and this car was my first guess!!! Amazing, amazing piece of Canadian Pontiac history. And for us B body lovers, certainly the Holy Grail for 1965 cars. Another great month ahead...
.........absolutely love it............had a 65 CS with 327 and 4 speed.........but always wanted the 409 version.........
if it ever comes up for sale plz call............
......big block, 4 speed, bench seat, it doesn't get much better
bjburnout wrote:Carl Stevenson wrote:I knew it!!! I had a tip that I'd like the March feature car, and this car was my first guess!!! Amazing, amazing piece of Canadian Pontiac history. And for us B body lovers, certainly the Holy Grail for 1965 cars. Another great month ahead...if it ever comes up for sale plz call............
Carl Stevenson wrote:bjburnout wrote: Carl Stevenson wrote:I knew it!!! I had a tip that I'd like the March feature car, and this car was my first guess!!! Amazing, amazing piece of Canadian Pontiac history. And for us B body lovers, certainly the Holy Grail for 1965 cars. Another great month ahead...if it ever comes up for sale plz call............ Take a number!!!
bjburnout wrote: Carl Stevenson wrote:I knew it!!! I had a tip that I'd like the March feature car, and this car was my first guess!!! Amazing, amazing piece of Canadian Pontiac history. And for us B body lovers, certainly the Holy Grail for 1965 cars. Another great month ahead...if it ever comes up for sale plz call............
Take a number!!!
.........geeez Carl........think my request may be time stamped before yours........can you say bidding war!!!!!
What a great story and even better, finding out the rarity of it. Most of us alter or restore by number with no hope of realizing our investment if we decide to sell, but with a car like this it's better than money in the bank.
But of course, its for the love of it! After reading about this old Poncho I'm encouraged to try and chase down the path in the life of my 66 Beaumont. I know it started out delivered to Minnedosa Manitoba but how it made its way to Victoria would be interesting to research, and how it made its way back to Winnipeg is a funny story in itself.
Gotta start working on that!
72 Nova SS, 66 Beaumont Sport Deluxe, 09 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
Thanks for the kind words and enthusiasm guys! I will pass this forum onto him and watch him smile.
It's a car that he just kind of stumbled on and is the rarest one we've come across in this neck of the woods. If he wasn't occupied with his other projects he would likely redo the old soldier.
To me its the kind of car I like to hear and read about, not perfect, but with "trunks of memories", as Neil Young would say.
I will say as I was moving it to my place to shoot the pictures whoever originally bought must have cursed it as a lousy car for a Canadian winter., as he would have been heading into the ditch fairly often.
ken from northern Alberta
66 Grande Parisienne 396 with AC (built October 26 1965)
39 Buick (327 with 700 r4)
1960 Sunbeam Alpine
69 Chevy CST pickup38 Willys pickup electric powered project
51 Airstream time machine portal
1976 GMC 23' motorhome
Great car.........would be awesome when finished.
Excellent story and totally my type of car!
Prince Edward Island'64 Parisienne CS "barn find" - last on the road in '86 ... Owner Protection Plan booklet, original paint, original near-mint aqua interior, original aqua GM floor mats, original 283, factory posi, and original rust.
Carl Stevenson wrote:Which leads me to say what I've been thinking since I first saw this car at the top of page- Todd, we need to see more feature cars in this state. We see so many pristine feature cars but for my part we could feature projects, diamonds in the rough etc. more often. And I am betting you would, if guys would just be willing to contribute the pictures and stories of their cars.
Which leads me to say what I've been thinking since I first saw this car at the top of page- Todd, we need to see more feature cars in this state. We see so many pristine feature cars but for my part we could feature projects, diamonds in the rough etc. more often. And I am betting you would, if guys would just be willing to contribute the pictures and stories of their cars.
I'm with you on that one,......totally
Oh man, I love it! The thing is, those 65s, in fact any V8 Canadian Big Pontiacs through 1967 just said "V8" on the front fenders. Usually it meant there was a 283 under the hood. There was a black 65 Parisienne Custom Sport in my home town that I used to pass every day on my way to school back in the early 1970s. It looked the same as the feature car. I would guess it was just a 283 Powerglide. A 409 4-speed, don't let that one die! Sweet! One of the best looking cars of the sixties.
67 Chevelle Malibu Sport Coupe, Oshawa-built stocker 250 Powerglide 40,000 mile
Also in garage waiting: stroker 296 cid inline six & built TH350
Cameron Milne, Toronto.
I am a walking encyclopedia with numerous pages missing.
"She's real fine, my four-o-nine "!