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Post Info TOPIC: September 2012 Feature Car


A Poncho Legend!

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September 2012 Feature Car


If you attend cruise nights or car shows, you're likely to always notice a crowd around a "survivor". A survivor can be best defined as a classic car that's not worn out, but simply well worn in. A survivor is absent of any real restoration work. Maintenance items such as brakes, batteries and tires have been replaced. The paint is usually original with lots of patina. Every scratch, bump and bruise is a battle scar that must be preserved and not repaired. Canadian Pontiac survivors are pretty rare since these cars were built for the middle class and were well used and, thanks to our climate rusted out after only a few years of use. Chris Labonte's 1952 Pontiac Fleetleader Special is an exception. This fleetleader somehow managed to survive relatively relatively unscathed for 60 years. Because of this I'm proud to make this our September feature car. Kudo's to Chris for deciding to keep this car original! He tells us a bit about the car:

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Well to start my story in finding this Poncho, I was looking for any older car from the 30's-70's that was running, had a decent body and wasn't too expensive.  The interior didn't matter at all because I wanted a car that I could fully modernize the interior in and keep the outside as period stock as possible. The only other mods that I wanted to do the lucky car I found would be a wheel upgrade and Air suspension. I looked at 8 cars in my price range from a late 60's Austin Amaerica to a 60 Biscayne that was "saftied" with loosely mounted crown vic seats, a thousand small holes in the floor with a patch panel that was a trailer or motorcycle license plate. I then came across an add on Kijiji; 1952 Pontiac original, runs good $price and ph# It didn't have a picture and was located 2hrs outside the city. Figured no harm in just calling the guy, I researched what it looked like and thought it would make a sweet Demonstration car for my business. I talked to the guy for about 10mins, hearing it had the Front Visor and Fender Skirts

 

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.  I asked for directions. After navigating the back country gravel roads I saw the Big Red Barn that was the landmark for his property, got to the driveway and saw the car sitting outside the main house, thinking in my head "SOLD". I went over the car with the gentleman and listened to some stories. He was the second owner, the first owner drove it till he was 87 so it explains why it has the dents and scratches on it.

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The list of options on the car was making me want to take the car home that day. It has options like the radio, clock,  signal switch, front visor, fender skirts, washer fluid sprayer, external oil filter and I think all the trim you could possibly put on the Base model Fleetleader Special.

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  I felt bad even trying to barter the price but asked for $300 off asking and he accepted. He also offered to deliver the car to the city for me so I took that offer and gave him $50 for the delivery. He showed up in front of the house and before we even got the car off his trailer an old lady stopped quickly on her motorized cart and asked what year it was. She told me her story about being 14yrs old and learning how to drive her dads 51Pontiac (it would make her 74 today). Just seeing the look on her face, thinking of the great memories she had in the car made me feel that I bought something special.

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I started thinking of what I wanted to do to the interior again but after going through the car, I decided to keep it the way it is. Its too original, with rust only on the rockers and its very solid floors the car is a time capsule. It needed under $600 in parts to get it safetied that included mostly front end components and a waterpump. The previous owners recently did all the breaks, fuel tank, engine gaskets and went through the trans. I have to thank Canadian Poncho for being a great and informative site with a bunch of great knowledgeable Pontiac guys. Since I'm leaving my '52 stock who wants to Retro-Mod their interior for a great price and allow me to put my business name on it somewhere :) lol. 



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Todd
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Poncho Master!

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Cool car and a perfect example of a older survivor! Congrats on making Feature Car!

Kevin

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I have a lot of respect for a car like this and from this era. Good Choice Todd and wonderful car Chris.



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Ray White, Toronto ON

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Poncho Master!

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what a great time cap.. beautiful


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Uber Guru

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great car, i had a '52 chev, loved it!



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Poncho Master!

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Very cool! Glad you are keeping it original Chris.

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Well deserved place for this "survivor" & enjoyed the story!! If your car or my 52 could "TALK" imagine the stories they could tell???? Some of your previous pictures of car helped me figure out where a few pieces were supposed to go on my car. Thanks Pete

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I joined the PROCRASTINATOR club last year,we still haven't had a meeting yet.    !!!!!!!! BLACKSTOCK Ont.



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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i really like survivors. especially this one. usually by this time they have been bastardized and cobbled together with whatever to keep them running.

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sTevE

55 GMC, 53 Pontiac Sedan Delivery (for sale), 70 Pontiac 2+2 rag



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Thank you Todd for featuring the old '52 this month and I appreciate the comments from all the fellow Poncho members too. I know I will learn a bunch more from all of you over the time to come and must say thanks for being a great bunch of true car guys.

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Guru

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That's a great old car!
I'll bet you get a lot of people sharing memories of having a similar car in the family when they were growing up.

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Barrie Ont.

409 powered 61 Poncho

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A Poncho Legend!

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I love it !!    

talk about memories   my Dad had the same car and trim in "maroon"  

In 1959 (Christmas day) we drove it, towards a large beam bridge, crpssing the river outside Sackville New Brunswick...  at 60 mph, my then drunk father, didn't get it all the way over the bridge hmm  It stopped in the 1st 1/4 of the bridge, and the air breather (smashed) travelled all the way through!!  I wacked my head into the windshield..   My Father was stone sober, when the car stopped    wow   what great memories  biggrin



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Guru

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I'm surprised on how many stories that I hear, its hard to drive around some days. I even hear people yelling "that's my moms old car" and getting honked at by the grandfathers sorta scares me but all they want to do is get my attention to give me the thumbs up and ask what year it is. Carl that's an interesting Christmas story, I'm sure its brought up every year at family gatherings still. At least the whack on the head kept the car bug inside of you and left the passion of classics in your heart



-- Edited by B-52 on Sunday 16th of September 2012 10:05:43 AM

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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B-52 wrote:

Thank you Todd for featuring the old '52 this month and I appreciate the comments from all the fellow Poncho members too. I know I will learn a bunch more from all of you over the time to come and must say thanks for being a great bunch of true car guys.


 Well Chris, I can teach you how to out a "latr model' chassis V8 & 5 spd. in it ANY TIME!!  But that's too nice of a car, not like what I started out with on torpedo back.



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I joined the PROCRASTINATOR club last year,we still haven't had a meeting yet.    !!!!!!!! BLACKSTOCK Ont.



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I have always loved this car since it's debut in May of this year! My kind of car! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif



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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.



Uber Guru

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Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

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"So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think... The good outnumber you, and we always will."  Patton Oswalt



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Thanks Darryl, Geoff and Pete. I'm pretty happy that I stumbled upon this site, I was searching "Pontiac Chieftain's" because the Kijiji add that I bought the car from only said 1952 Pontiac so I didn't really know what model it was. Yeah Pete, you're right my 52 is in too good of condition the swap out the frame and drive train but I do admire your torpedo back, she sure has come a long way from the pics I've seen and a perfect example of what hard work can achieve. Darryl and Geoff , I would Love to see more pics of your cars too. Since I'm still "New" to CP, I don't know where to start looking for your cars on here

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Poncho Master!

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great car chris



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Guru

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Thank you , Martin!!!!

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Addicted!

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Beauty !
My first car was my Gramps 52 chev 4 door plain Jane, 216, three on the tree, no radio, nothing.
But! he had cut out the rear bulkhead to alow the seat to be dropped and that was the traveling, camping bed area.
I added an original am tube radio and found a clock as well (y'had to wind those puppies !)

It was a fun car, at least until one of the weather checked ooolllddd bias ply tires blew out...
Sigh..

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Glen.

Vernon B.C. CANADA !

1969 SD 396



Guru

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Thank you Glen, its interesting to hear others stories from the past and the connections they have with the old classics.

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Very nice and enjoyed the story. I like the word survivor.

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Jerel


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Thank you Jerel, I'm still surprised that I stumbled onto a car that is so solid being 60yrs old now.

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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very nice to see so origional and with soo many options you gotta appreciate non restored

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Having seen this car up close I can say it is even better up close. Every scratch and dent hold a untold story of it life. Congrats and great choice Todd!

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1957 Pathfinder deluxe 4 door wagon
1961 Pontiac Parisienne bubble top Traded for a Harley sorry guys.

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Winnipeg MB 



Poncho Master!

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Very nice original car. As we get older we all seem to appreciate the patina of an untoched old Canadian Pontiac.Enjoy the attention and the stories from other people and surprisingly you will learn a lot of history of not only the car but people and the city you live in. Congratulations.

Al

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