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A Poncho Legend!

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December 2018 Feature Car


Our December feature car is one that I've been asking myself "Why didn't we feature this one long before now?". Don MacKinnon owns this sinister looking 1963 Pontiac Parisienne. Thanks to Don this Poncho went from being an original humble 283 car to the nasty 409 beast you see here. Without further adieu Don gives us the lowdown:

This is a work in progress 63 Parisienne Sport Coupe, nicknamed “The Big GTO”.

 

A little history, my Dad sold new Pontiacs in Summerside PEI from 57-68, he had a demo 63 Parisienne 283 Powerglide and my uncle had a 327-300 white 4 speed he drag raced up in Ontario where he lived. So I had lots of Cdn Ponchos in my life until 68. Got my first speeding ticket in a 66 2 door HT.

I got into old cars after my Dad passed away in 2000, he was a founding member of the PEI antique car club and we always had an old car kicking  around, mostly all flathead Fords from 35-41.

In 2002 I decided I could use a pickup truck so why not an old one? I liked early 60’s to 72 GM’s but one day I saw a 60 Chev car which reminded me of 59 El Camino's and I was very lucky to find a solid one in Spryfield, NS. I had it until 2013. I also found two 62 Chev bubbletop projects and did a complete frame off resto on a red 63 Corvette split window coupe. I was down to one of the 62 bubbletops and it needed a frame off which I decided my garage and wallet did not have room for. 

I started watching Kijiji for a solid body car  that was the right price and condition and stumbled across a 1963 Parisienne in PEI that looked solid so I went to see it.  Other than the hood was a little funky by the mounts and the rear body mounts and trunk area had been repaired, it was a really solid car with mint rockers and floor braces. Paint I guessed was original in places and painted in places.

The car had a spray bomb painted black (blue underneath) 1974 350 with an Edelbrock and what I’d guess was the original powerglide. GM paperwork confirmed it was an original 283 powerglide sport coupe, black with burgundy interior, sold new in Montreal. 

It had had a minor under dash wiring fire so it had new Painless (I call it Painful) wiring harness and the dash had been repainted, plus the seats had been recovered non stock and it had a new red, not burgundy, carpet. I made a deal and bought the car in the fall of 2015. I still had the 62 bubbletop and ended up selling it in Wellington, NZ.

Back in 2007 I found and bought a 1963 car 409, 340HP and had it rebuilt some and put it in my 59 El Camino to get the 409 running good and see how it worked. The first drive in the car, I hit 2nd gear and blew up the rearend, so it worked pretty good. I put the 283 back in the El Camino and the 409 ended up in the 62 bubbletop. I removed it from there before I sold the car.

The Parisienne is a work in progress and I currently have no plans to do a frame off or even paint it. I installed the 409 in it (numbers correct for the 63) and a super T10 4 speed. I also installed 15 inch stock rims and a set of NOS 63 dog dish (met Darryl in PEI). It has a 3.08 rear and I got a pair of 28 inch X 8 inch DOT pie crust drag radials so it runs along the highway at 115ish at about 2500-2600 RPM. Still burns fuel like a pig but I’ve not had it on any long highway trips to see if I can improve the fuel economy enough to brag about it.

Things I’ve done to it are an NOS clutch fan with a left over set of blades from the 63 Corvette; correct original 409 fan shroud; correct rebuilt power steering setup including steering box; painted inner fenders and Pontiac rad area trim under the hood; new brake shoes and wheel cylinders; new 3/8ths fuel lines; Hella H4 high-low beam headlights; in bumper LED daytime running lights; 4 speed column from a 63 Impala; the exhaust is a left over dual setup from the mufflers back out under the bumper from the El Camino; stock 2.5 inch 409 exhaust manifolds have been ceramic coated; a correct 409 Carter 4 barrel with an adapter for the original air cleaner; 1 wire alternator; new Michelin Defender front tires; aftermarket tach; Pertronics 3 conversion; new KYB gas shocks; new 1 inch Addco front swaybar with poly bushings; new Smith MGB dual mechanical water and oil pressure gauge; an almost stock for these year Pontiac's and Chev’s hood scoop; rear seat belts for the grandkids; new front custom 409 license plate; and some black electrical tape added to the rear shelf speakers  because they keep popping off.

 

Do you like the custom funky power brake booster it used to have?:

Work in progress- remove rear speakers and install a replacement rear shelf cover; roof lining needs fixing up; replace rear bumper some day when I find a nice one (existing one is bent and chrome is shot); new front and maybe rear springs; new bushings for front and rear suspension; correct exhaust exiting behind the rear tires; front door panels; burgundy carpet; side glass metal is rusty and needs new rubbers and whiskers; paint wheels; replace 2 speed wiper motor that was spray painted black (with the nice one from my 63 convertible parts car); maybe do the same with the heater; and paint the steering wheel.

 

The paint could be redone, but as this car is intended to be a driver, that likely won’t happen unless I win the lottery……… I never worry when I park at Canadian Tire that someone will bump or scratch it.

 

I get lots of comments and thumbs up and “my so and so use to own one of those old Pontiacs”.

When I saw that roadside rock with the painted eyes, I knew what I wanted to park next to it. It’s located by the side of the 103, just below the Hubbards exit.

When I was at the pay parking lot in Lunenburg, I discovered the nose of the 63 is so long, it hits the barrier when you pull up far enough to the pay slot to pay. Be careful out there!!!!

Thanks Todd for allowing me to be the Feature Car, it is certainly in some really nice company.

 

Don



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Todd
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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Great write up Don and congrats for being featured. That car just has fun written all over it. Thanks for sharing.

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Jerel


Guru

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Sweet looking ride, love the Super Duty scoop. Congrats on being a feature car.



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pontiax- (canadian pontiac X frame)1964 Parisienne 2dr. hdtop lagoon aqua metallic (Q)

 



A Poncho Legend!

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Back to back 4 speed B body feature cars! It can't get any better than that......

Congratulations Don!

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


Poncho Master!

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Carl Stevenson wrote:

Back to back 4 speed B body feature cars! It can't get any better than that......

Congratulations Don!


 .......what Carl said...smile...great ride Don and congrats on being this month's centerfold.....biggrin



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......big block, 4 speed, bench seat, it doesn't get much better

 happy motoring :burnout



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Everything about this sweet 63 409 is to love and the part i love the best is that it is DRIVEN. Canadian Tire parking lots...... No but every where else...... YES. The car looks just right the way it is and the planned improvements will make it even sweeter. Don, continued good luck with that beautiful 63 niner of yours. Cheers.



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

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



Uber Guru

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Nicely done Don, great looking car and a great inspiration for my project.

Can't wait to get my 4 speed conversion going,so I can go zoomin'.



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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63 is one of my favourite years and your car helps explain why. Great continuing story of what you've done and are doing.
Will enjoy seeing it at the top of the page through December.

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Poncho Master!

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Beautiful car. I love the colour combo. Congrats

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35629400_10156759690857847_2400554837751 



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A Beastly Beast!   Fantastic!  Find what you want and make it your own style.  Nicely done!



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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



Addicted!

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Cool car with a great back story...

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1949 Pro Street Meteor Coupe, 468 BBC, 4L80E, Narrowed 9" 3.50 posi

1955 Chevy Gasser BBC M22 410's
1966 Biscayne post, 427 L72, M21, 4.11's 16600 original miles

1966 Hemi Satellite 4 gear 59K original miles
1968 Z28 302MO, M21, 3.73's, cowl plenum induction



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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She looks so fine! Luv it! Congrats on top of the page.

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Addicted!

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Congratulations, nice 63, sounds good too.

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1961 Impala Sport Sedan   1976 Buick Skylark S/R



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I've seen this car on PEI before Don owned it, and I went to Don's place and saw it in his ownership ... I've always liked it. Don has made it better and into quite the machine!



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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.



Addicted!

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Very cool car! I like the sound in the video clip as well and back to back 4 speed CP feature cars makes me want a four speed car!

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Now appearing as "68 Grande" 

MC


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Congrats, Don.  She's a beauty!



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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reallt nice job don car looks and sounds great

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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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Great looking and sounding Poncho. Congrats for Feature of the Month.

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1966 Acadian Invader sedan and wagon



Poncho Master!

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Thanks to all of you for the appreciative comments, they make me feel good. My neighbor's young daughter from Appledorn, Netherlands, took that video and that V8 sound was captured nicely. Its the only video I have of the car.

Long Stroke, I park it away from traffic, but it already has a bunch of scratches and dings and as Darryl will confirm, the pics are way better looking paint wise than in person. I went out one morning early when there was mist on the water and fluked that feature pic with the iPhone. Being a 3 pedal car with a carb, most thieves wouldn't know how to start and drive it?

Greaser and 68 Grande, the 4 speed conversion is a lot of fun, I've done 4 so far and it is a fine upgrade IMHO. You get a lot of comments "and its a 4 speed"or "its a stick" from the younger crowd.

Thanks Todd for the Feature Car opportunity and I'm glad to see you have your power back.

Don

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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



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That's one cool ride, great job. I love the hood scoop, and the sound running through the gears.



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Tom

Sherwood Park

66 Grande Parisienne 4 speed

66 Laurentian 2 door sedan 

66 Parisienne 2 door hard top, sold. 



Poncho Master!

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Congratulations Don, I really love that you converted it to a 4sp. and a 409. Nothing better than rowing through the gears.
Brian

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Addicted!

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Very nice , Don. Like the way you did it your way - appeals to my natural maverick streak. Sure nice to see a functioning 409 out there. The Beach Boys didn't sing "She's real fine, my 409" for nothing.

Remember seeing a '65 SS Impala 409 face off with a '66 Impala 396 on Rothesay Ave. in Saint John one evening back in 1966. No contest- the 409 left him in the dust.

Enjoy that beast!

Fred



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Addicted!

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What a cool car, loved reading the history and details too!

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Guru

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Nice car!
It sounds great too!

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Barrie Ont.

409 powered 61 Poncho

best time 9.06@ 148 

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