Photobucket
Photobucket
Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: February 2018 Feature Car


A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 20137
Date:
February 2018 Feature Car


Now I'm sure some of you guys are getting a little tired of seeing so many 1966 Pontiac's as our feature car. So to all two of you I apologize smile. For the rest of you we have a '66 Grande Parisienne that I think is safe to say was brought back from the dead. Ken Yackimec was the savoir of this car. What I really admire about Ken is he's not afraid to drive his Pontiac across country, even with an Airstream in tow. That's what I like to see. Ken gives us the scoop:

The Big Yellow Barge.

When my dad finally got enough money together to actually buy a new car in late 1965 he decided to go with a Pontiac, because in our small town there was only one GM dealer and they offered Pontiac's, Buick's and GMC’s rather than Chevy/Olds. I think in his mind the idea of owning a Buick was out of the picture as they were for sort-of rich folks like doctors and lawyers and teachers and such. Pontiac's were respectable, though, and the brochure that he brought home had pictures and tempting write-ups on cars that ran the gamut from sexy, powerful and smooth to the kind of car that reminded that you were a cheapskate every time you got in it. It is interesting to think from this vantage point on how insidiously clever the car marketers were back in the 60’s as they knew that most guys didn’t want to think of themselves as cheap so they offered many tempting but really sort of minor variations of the same basic body and frame and tons of neat-o options of all prices so that up-selling (known back then as going through the option list) was actually pretty easy.

It would take a pretty determined and unusual buyer to go though the whole process with a smooth-talking salesman and end up with a stripper 2 door Strato Chief without a single option.

 

 

My dad was playing it pretty quiet as we went to town to get this highly anticipated major family event ordered up and we three boys were hoping for the sexy 2 door hardtop but being a practical but proud family guy he went with a pretty upscale car in the line and ordered up a nice safe boring Parisienne 4 door sedan. It was a pretty nice car considering what we had before which was a well used 1953 Belair, but it was just so dull (except for the Regal Red colour choice).

A 4 door Parisienne with a 283 and Powerglide just didn’t compare with the pictures in the brochure of the top-of-the-line car, the smooth looking Grande Parisienne with the way cooler grille and I have never lost my lust to have of those since then.

Over the years I saw a few of these shapely beasts around town as they aged. We actually bought one in the 70’s to use as a parts car and trashed it thoroughly, which still makes me wonder about my intelligence. (It was a pretty much rust free 327 Grande with a 4 speed for God’s sake.)

In any case as life went on and I went through a lot of other cars and trucks over the years, it wasn’t until 2002 that I learned of another Grande that was for sale.

I had mentioned for quite some time to my brother that I was kind of looking for one of these before they were all gone. He knew a guy at his work that was looking to sell his project so we got together and went down to Brooks to see it. It was looking pretty tired, mouse infested and partly stripped out and had been repainted at least twice poorly, but basically it was a fairly solid and well optioned more or less complete 396 Grande Parisienne!, (except for a missing gas tank for some reason) so we made the deal.

I had intended to get it going fairly quickly but I was building a house, a garage and a marriage so it wasn’t until about 2008 that I started to get serious. I also have to give this forum and particularly Carl Stevenson credit for really motivating me as well. I remember his excited reaction when I first signed on in late 2008. I mentioned kind of casually that it was a 396 car with air conditioning not really thinking it was that out of the ordinary as I always the thought the prosperous east of Canada would have had hundreds of them. It was his reaction and few other responses that made me see just how unusual this thing was with only 23 of these cars having come with AC.

I ended up going through Vintage Vehicle Services to verify the car and it certainly turned out to be a well-equipped old beast even as it came from the factory in the fall of 1965.

(See Vintage Vehicles scan here)

The project went in fits and starts for the next few years like they tend to do when it’s a big one. What I wanted was a car that looked original that I also wouldn’t hesitate to drive across Canada so I chose to leave it pretty stock as the factory engineering is usually the most dependable. (I have found over the years that almost every time I “improved” a car I ended up making it less dependable.) The only non 1966 era mods I made were using a TH700R4 in place of the Powerglide, using a Pertonix in the original distributor, putting in a 1967 dual master cylinder to help out the braking, and 15 x 7” rallys/radials using the original wheel cover spinners in the centre caps. I’ve also recently got an OEM open element Aircleaner and NOS valve covers that I got chromed to maybe dress up the engine a bit.

I also chose to get a repaint in the original Lemonwood Yellow as it seems worthy to do this to this rare car. (plus the firewall was still in that colour so it saved a bit of work.)

 

I also caught a bad case of optionitus from Carl S as I also wanted a load of most of the creature comforts we take for granted today because this project was not really meant to be a muscle car, just a good cruiser.

So over the years from the Carls and other sources I have procured and installed:

 

-The F41 handling package including the big front sway bar

-NOS cruise control.

-The American only speedo with oil pressure and temp gauges. Carl helped me wire it up.

-A factory tachometer

-Tilt steering

-AM/FM radio with reverb

-Reclining Passenger Bucket seat

-Trailing towing package with a heavy duty receiver hitch.

 

I have a few more things like a hood and trunk light and remote trunk release as well as a really cool gas gauge with a warning light (all courtesy of a Carl) but have yet to stick those on. I also have to admit I have yet to actually get the AC working but I hadn’t really missed it until my trip to Winnipeg this year during July and then I REALLY missed it.

I still have to install the relay for the halogen headlights and I’ve been seriously thinking about converting to front discs along with a few more details but overall it’s been a really good driver as it stands.

I took it for its first big test to visit Carl S and some of the Winnipeg guys in the fall of 2013 and refined it a bit and then used it regularly in 2014 to pull an old 23 foot 1951 Airstream Flying Cloud for my summer work around Alberta. This last couple of summers I used it again for my work and put on about 5000 trouble free miles. I also used it this summer as I have mentioned before to pull the Airstream to Winnipeg with no whining from the car at all. (just the driver.) Total miles since I got it running is about 10,000.

 

With the overdrive I’m getting the best of both worlds with good acceleration with the stock 3:31 gear and open 12 bolt differential (although I have never really tried to smoke the tires) and really good mileage for what it is. (right around 20-21 MPG even at 120-130 kph sustained cruise) It’s a heavy car though, with all that stuff on it tips the scale at around 4300 lbs.

 

I have to admit its not a great car around town though. It does not like to maneuver into tight places at all so I’ve started called it the big Yellow Barge. I got roped into crawling along in the local Parade this year for A+W and it made it without vapour-looking during that hot day in what amounts to a 40 minute traffic jam (from the cars point of view) but it didn’t like that occasion much either.

 

Over the years I have posted a lot of stuff about this thing as I worked on it and learned from you guys, but I thought I would summarize it all here..

 

I hope to be driving in Grande style for many more years yet. A cross country trip is still in the works so I’ll be seeing some of you guys I hope!

 

 

 

 

 

 



__________________

Todd
Site Founder

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



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 16161
Date:

Great write-up and great car!



__________________

Prince Edward Islandbug.gif

'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.



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4524
Date:

She's a beauty, and best of all you drive it!!!!

__________________
70 2+2 convertible
70 2+2 hardtop
70 Parisienne hardtop
72 GMC Sierra

 

 



Uber Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3093
Date:

Great story ! And amazing car... love the color...

__________________


Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 247
Date:

very very nice!



__________________

Brian

Barrie, ON



Uber Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3309
Date:

Preserved, but  built to be driven - Excellent car Ken.



__________________
 


A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 35741
Date:

Very nice car .    Great job restoring it .   Does the a/c work . lol lol . 



__________________

 



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 616
Date:

Beautiful car!

Why did you go and post a pic of that Stevenson guy!! LOL.If you come through Winnipeg again and go visit Uncle Carl ask him to set you up with Norm to get your A/C operating-he knows his stuff with the older cars A/C-he'll get it going.

__________________


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4843
Date:

Great looking car there Ken and enjoyed the write up. It was nice to see the car in Winnipeg in 2013 (doesn't seem that long ago). I remember you were about the same color as the car. Nice to see a write up of another car that gets lots of miles put on her.

__________________
Jerel


Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 165
Date:

Nice car! I am not complaining about too many 66's, I think it looks great! And, I like the options that you added on as well, looks like a great driver.

Now, you have to tell us if Carl was supportive in the additions or did you just go ahead and make the changes without his approval?    biggrin



__________________

Now appearing as "68 Grande" 



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1344
Date:

Congratulations Ken on car of the month. Awesome car and awesome story. For some reason I don't recall you mentioning it was blue when you got it. Anyhow good choice going back to original colour. 

PS: So if a car that's hauled around in a trailer is a Trailer Queen then what would that make your car pulling that trailer around? A Trailer King?



-- Edited by JC2+2 on Wednesday 31st of January 2018 09:40:35 PM

__________________

'68 Parisienne 2+2 Convertible Matador Red (Resale Red but not for sale).



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4661
Date:

Congrats! That car is a Canadian Poncho icon.



__________________
67' Grande Parisienne. Ex Ottawa USSR Embassy car, 67- 68.
6977017306_dfca361bfc_m.jpg
 


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4333
Date:

Really enjoyed reading the story and seeing the pictures.
Congrats on being at the top of the page.

__________________


Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1386
Date:

Well deserved feature car! Great story told in the unmistakable Ken style, love it. Congrats!

__________________

Stony Mountain, MB

65 Impala SS 2dr HT
65 Impala convert.
59 Impala 2dr HT
67 Acadian Canso 2dr HT

 

 

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 17575
Date:

Gotta be one of the best in Canada and thE car is great too!



__________________

Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

Tweet me @BigRaySays






A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 36581
Date:

I can't believe it took this long to see Ken's car at the top of the page. What a cool car, what a fun guy who has endless enthusiasm for the car hobby, and what a find! Some guys have all the luck, stumbling on a factory air 66 Grande Parisienne, and then icing the cake with it being a 386...

Ken, you have done with that car what everyone should do to enjoy their old car to the max!

I have to say, getting to know Ken has been one of the highlights of joining this forum. (and getting to know you-know-who would rank right down near the bottom of the lowlights....)

__________________
1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


Uber Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3478
Date:

Thanks a lot guys!  That does a lot to warm up a cold winter night.

All the kudos have me blushing.

Waldorf.jpg



-- Edited by 66 Grande guy on Thursday 1st of February 2018 12:36:41 AM

Attachments
__________________

ken from northern Alberta

38 Willys pickup electric powered project

39 Buick (327 with 700 r4)

66 Grande Parisienne 396 with AC (built October 26 1965)

69 Chevy CST pickup

1976 GMC 23'  motorhome



A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 36581
Date:

Ken, that just looks too much like you, in an exaggerated sort of way, it's scary!!!

__________________
1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1621
Date:

Congrats Ken!!

Even if Stevenson docked you 10..."and then icing the cake with it being a 386..."

Thanks
Randy



__________________

Sherwood Park
Alberta, Canada

 



Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 132
Date:

Beautiful car Ken well done you can see the passion you put in the restoration

__________________


Uber Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3786
Date:

B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L............. I never get tired of looking at 66 Poncho's. I love your car and have a lot of respect for you driving it. Many more happy miles.



__________________

1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon low milage original 400 V-8



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1309
Date:

VERY NICECAR A JOB WELL DONE

YOU LIKE ME AFTER ALL THAT WORK YOU HAD TO GO WITH LEMONWOOD YELLOW  IT STANDS OUT LOTS OF YELLOWS OUT THERE BUT NOT LIKE THAT COLOR 



__________________


A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 36581
Date:

GLHS60 wrote:

Congrats Ken!!

Even if Stevenson docked you 10..."and then icing the cake with it being a 386..."

Thanks
Randy





LOL, sorry about that Ken. Proofreading didn't really happen obviously!

Would it help if I explained I was suffering yesterday with a horrendous toothache (and still am today)?

__________________
1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 283
Date:

Now I really miss my 66 that I sold back a couple of years ago.  Ken don't make the same mistake.  Bob.



__________________

1958 Parisienne sport coupe with 261 six.  One of 525 built! 

 

 



Uber Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3478
Date:

I never actually thought I'd end up looking like a muppet when I used to watch that show 30 year s ago but my wife (who also looks like a muppet, heh heh) pointed it out some time back. As for typos once I read the story I noticed a few had crept in to my text as well so it happens even when you when you're not addled from pain   ("Vapour looking?")

Again thanks guys. 



__________________

ken from northern Alberta

38 Willys pickup electric powered project

39 Buick (327 with 700 r4)

66 Grande Parisienne 396 with AC (built October 26 1965)

69 Chevy CST pickup

1976 GMC 23'  motorhome

1 2  >  Last»  | Page of 2  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us
.
.
.
.