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A Poncho Legend!

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September 2018 Feature Car


Our September feature car is one many of us couldn't wait to see at the top of the screen. Mike and Allison Farrugia own this beautiful 1964 Pontiac Parisienne Safari. As most of us know, this wagon wasn't always this nice. In fact it had one "tire" in the grave. With help from friends, Mike and Allison transformed this old gal into the show winning Pontiac we see today. Congratulations for a job well done! Allison tells the story:

"Thank you, Todd, for allowing our '64 Parisienne Safari to be this month's Feature Car - we are honoured.  The following is the story of how our beautiful wagon came to be:

 In July of 2012, I agreed to accompany my friend, Mike, to a classic car show with his '64 Chevy Impala. From the first time I saw that Chevy, I guess I was hooked. At this particular car show, we came across a '64 Parisienne Custom Sport. After much discussion (okay, it wasn't very much as I loved this convertible from the moment I saw it as well), we decided to purchase it together (this car was the Poncho Feature Car in October 2012). The rest is history...a shared convertible, a growing friendship, and a growing shared passion for classics. By 2013, Mike and I had decided to share more than a love for cars...and in August, 2015, we were married. 

 

In late fall of 2014, Mike's stepdad, Wayne, while looking for parts for his '64 Parisienne Convertible, came across an ad for a '64 Pontiac Parisienne Safari which he shared with Mike, who shared it with me. I came home from work that night and handed Mike an envelope of cash and told him to bring it home. He was in shock that I actually wanted my own - but there was something about this car! He went to see it that weekend (I couldn't go) and told the owner we wanted it - but he couldn't bring it home as it was located in a field beside the barn, on an old dealership display stand, covered in ice and snow and the owner couldn't get it down for him that weekend. On November 23, 2014, Mike and his good friend, along with Wayne, drove back and brought the Safari home. From the moment I saw 'her' (don't know why, but it's a 'she'), I knew she was going to be fantastic. I couldn't wait!

After taking some time to go through the car and make our 'shopping list', Mike and I put her in storage for about half a year as we had a little thing called a 'wedding' to plan and carry out...of course, both the '64 Chevy and '64 Parisienne played roles in the ceremony!

In the fall of 2015, we brought her home. After replacing fluids, testing some wiring, diverting the fuel line to feed from a marine jerry can, we tried to start her - lots of crank but no spark. Mike removed the old points distributor and replaced it with an HEI distributor. With Wayne feeding her fuel directly into the carburetor and me behind the wheel, she roared to life...and sounded like she had just been running the day before...no sputters, no coughs, she was alive!!! It was such a thrill to hear her run (and a relief...hopefully no engine swap needed!).

And then the real work began...My write up will be a summary of Mike's build thread entitled 'my wifes 1964' - be sure to check it out at http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t59027244/my-wifes-project-64-parisienne-safari-327/ if you wish more details around his and Wayne's amazing work! (Yes, I was happy to be a part of this restoration but all the credit for the work goes to these talented men!)

The first job was to replace her old Turbo 350 tranny with a 700R4 with a mild shift kit. We did not pull the engine completely as it was running so well. In the next few months, Mike went over the car mechanics from front to back - all lines replaced, suspension done, universal replaced, and new mufflers (kept the original heavy wall pipes). The disc brake conversion kit that I had received for Christmas that year (I asked for it!) was installed - we had trouble with the convertible's drum brakes the year before and I really didn't want to go through that with this car.) Mike's grandfather (who sadly passed away during the project and didn't get to see its completion) laid the first welds on the car - repairing a few small holes in the floor (surprisingly the floor was in pretty good shape considering her age and previous storage in a field). Mike and Wayne painted the 327 engine beautiful Chevrolet orange, gave the manifolds their beautiful 'burnished gold' colour, and finally, Wayne painted the firewall the stunning blue raspberry metallic colour that I had chosen for the car. 

Once the mechanics were done, it was on to her 'body'. Mike and Wayne became amazing 'metal surgeons'. We had been able to procure a replacement hood (thanks Dualquad Pete!) and tailgate, as hers was in really rough shape with rust holes, but the front fenders and back quarter panels were more challenging. Once her paint was removed it was discovered that she had been in a few (probably winter- I would imagine she was fun on icy roads) crunches. Her back quarters were the worst with one of them having been filled with about 20 pounds of bondo. That  'bondo trophy' became our 'signature piece'. Everyone that worked on the car signed it and it hangs in our shop! Mike was able to get a pair of front fenders for the car. After Wayne started working with them he discovered they also had been banged up pretty good. Between the 'replaced fenders' and the ones she came with, Wayne & Mike were able to 'build' new ones. The back quarters had to have pieces cut off and Mike welded 'new' metal that had been cut off a sedan found in a local old wrecking yard. The bottoms of her doors also needed some minor patchwork. I still can't believe the 'metal magic' these men did with the body of this car! Our goal was to have as little bondo in the car as possible and I believe we succeeded.

 

 As a young girl I remembered the fun my friend and I had in the third seat of her dad's old Country Estate wagon and I really wanted that seat in my wagon. Although the third seat wasn't an option for the Parisienne (only Laurentien or Strato Chief), the car did exist with the holes for its installation. Mike went on the 'internet hunt' and found one in Manitoba. I think that became my Christmas present that year...

In early 2017, the car went into primer and the 'master of the metal', Wayne, continued his craft. Hours and hours and hours of working on the body to make her straight and smooth. (He claimed that he enjoyed it...but I think by the end he was probably not having as much enjoyment!) Mike worked with him as well, but there were many days when we would come home and realize that the 'magic elf' had been in the shop again!

Mike painted every part he could get off that car (and this was before the 'actual' paint) and we had parts hanging all over the place.

 

Mike worked on placing wiring and making the dash absolutely stunning in spring of 2017. With the metal work done by early summer the 'block sanding' parties began. I had helped Mike block sand his 1990 Suburban that he had just restored when I first met him, so I knew all about the work with this - and the wagon was even more work! After a final week of intense work to finish (and a small 'nose cone' issue - see Mike's build thread) the car went to our friend's paint booth. On September 24, 2017 she got her 'coat' - Ermine White roof (originally the colour of the entire car) with the Blue Raspberry Metallic body. Mike was excited like a kid in a candy shop when he sent me the first photos! I have to admit I was just as excited!

She returned home to our shop in her glory, finally 'dressed' and looking for her 'jewellery' as we called it. Mike went on to complete a process of 'cut and polish' to the paint (he wrote a thread of 'how to' for this process - check it out at http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t64315405/how-to-cut-and-polish-paint/ ). I couldn't believe the shine she had once this was done!

Piece by piece, her chrome (some pieces were newly re-chromed) was attached, including headlight bezels from Darryl, bumpers, and a roof rack (not an originally installed option but I have always liked the look). 

During some cold wintery days and nights this past winter the interior was completed. Mike talked about the interior kit that we had made by Ciadella interiors from Arizona in his build thread. This company normally only produces Chevy interiors - but knowing the high quality of their work (as they had done the interior for Mike's '64 Chevy), we begged Gina Ciadella to create a Pontiac interior. We sent them the old seat covers - and they developed the patterns to do our interior. Mike and I picked the fabric ('64 Chevy cloth pattern) and vinyl ('59 dark turquoise) from samples she had sent. We also chose a white star pattern for the headliner which after installed by our friend Roy, It looked stunning. Roy also put the seat cover kits on the original seat frames. SMS did the dielectric hits while Ciadella created the door panels. Mike did the rest of the interior - carpet, door handles, and the million (okay seemed like a million) pieces of stainless that had to be polished by hand before installation (love you, dear).

In April 2018, Mike set to work to rust proof as much of the body as he could, meticulously getting it into every nook and cranny he could. This was also the 'month of the carb' as she just wasn't running right so I agreed to buy a new one instead of fighting with the many used ones we tried. Finally, on April 29, 2018, I got to drive her around the block. One of our neighbours on the other side of the crescent told us afterwards that he would smile at our many trips around the street as he wondered what 'bug' we were trying to iron out that day!

June 17, 2018 - I was able to take her to her first show - Classics Against Cancer. This is the same show my husband has been attending for 31 years  (and for the first 28 years with his grandfather). Now this show has even more meaning as his grandfather actually passed away from cancer. It was also really nice to take second place in the People's Choice awards that day.

So although the major restoration is 'done', I know that she will never be totally done as these old treasures require lots of love and care throughout the years to keep them healthy and beautiful. I am so, so thankful for all of the support of so many of our friends and family as we worked through this project (even just being understanding of the fact that we didn't leave home much!). To Wayne - I can't say thank you enough...you are so talented and I appreciate and honour the wonderful work you have done (and continue to do)! And finally to my husband, Mike, there are no words for how I feel when I drive this car. When I think of all the hours, hard work and stress you endured to make my crazy dream a reality - I go to tears. She is the product of many 'labours of love'. She is ours.

Thank you again for making our beauty a Canadian Poncho  'Feature Car of the Month'. We are honoured to be among past and future months' beautiful Canadian Pontiacs! 

 

Happy trails! 

Love Mrs. Urban Suburban"



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Todd
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Canadian Poncho World Headquarters - Prince Edward Island

Money cannot buy happiness, however I'd rather cry in a 427 Pontiac 2+2 than on a bus! 



Uber Guru

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fantastic Wagon..

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Surrey BC

1963 Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe
http://www.63acadian.com/



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I have seen this car in person, and it is ...... FANTASTIC !!

 

Great Feature Car.

 

Scott (LandShark ...)



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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it gets my vote for car of the year!



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Is that ever a nice car and incredible saga to get it this way.



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

Tweet me @BigRaySays






Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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well done and was a pleasure watching the progress on this wagon a ton of hours into that one a worthy treasure time to enjoy!

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http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t51640378/timbuks-first-invader/ http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t63146560/timbuks-second-invader/  vancouver island



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What a great restoration and editorial on a beautiful car. Well deserved to be a Feature Car.

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1966 Acadian Invader sedan and wagon



Poncho Master!

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This is a beautiful car, period. I love wagons and this is unbelievable.

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63 Pariesienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC. Parting out a 63 Parisienne convertible.

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic

MC


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Love this car!  What you have been able to do with it compared to the state that you bought it in is incredible. 

The colour change really makes it 'pop' - huge improvement!  One of my favourite cars on this site.



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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No doubt in my mind that this is the sweetest 64 Pontiac Safari wagon going. B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. to say the least. I enjoyed following the amazing build thread on this sweet car and the result is spectacular. Congrats to Allison, Mike, Wayne and all the other folks that helped make this beauty possible. Allison and Mike you better make some room some where for the awards this car is going to win in the future. Continued good luck with your baby and cheers. 



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

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



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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She's a beauty. I can only imagine the smiles on your faces when you got to cruise around the block for the first time.

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

 

 



Addicted!

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Stunning!!

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Addicted!

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Very cool car.  A transformative work of art.  The entire car and the interior looks like it just rolled off the line.  I like it very much!

Jake 



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Now appearing as "68 Grande" 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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It truly has been a pleasure following your build thread and now to see the finished car at the top of the page is so appropriate. Congratulation Allison and Mike and for those who helped you in the transformation. It also is a neat story how the car came about during the start of your relationship and through it I'm sure it even brought you closer together. Such a great story. Hope you are able to continue to enjoy it for a very long time.

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Jerel


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Very NICE.....Quite the transformation...

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.....formerly 64 Custom Sport.....now appearing as MoboMac

    

The Wall of DEATH

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQRFkgWuM40

 




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70 SS ACADIAN wrote:

it gets my vote for car of the year!


Yes!

Good stuff Mike & Allison. I was honoured to get some of my parts onto your car!



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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.



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Beautiful car, well done !

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Addicted!

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Beautiful car, in this day of cheap ratty look you decided to give your wagon the restoration it deserved, good for you. I followed the build and your story above is excellent. You should put that story and pictures on a poster board and display it at shows you attend. I think Mike's grandfather would be proud of him for what he has accomplished with the cars and being fortunate in finding a wonderful wife. Congratulations.

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1961 Impala Sport Sedan   1976 Buick Skylark S/R



Poncho Master!

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Beautiful stationwagon. Very talented people did outstanding work to get such an excellent result. Congratulations and hope to see this wagon in person some day.

Al

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Thoroughly enjoyed the build thread and what a beautiful end result!!!! Great story. Congrats to you and Mike on being feature car.

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A Poncho Legend!

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A jawdropping car.... If anyone gets the hard work award, it's you guys. Great job sticking to it, the results are amazing.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 4 speed 43,000 miles


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Beautiful wagon and excellent documentation of all the work

you have done to get it to where it is.

Congratulations on car of the month......well deserved.

 



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Poncho Master!

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another nice restoration by hubby and wife nice job done on it



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Poncho Master!

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Congratulations on such a beautiful restoration. Your description of the build is the best I have ever read on this site. So good and I really like 64s.
Brian

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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The car is fabulous, and you gotta love a gal that sports a welding helmet!!!

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

 

 

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