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July 2019 Feature Car


We have a great feature car for July! Great for many reasons including the fact it's a rare Beaumont SD396 four speed car.  Great because this Beaumont's original engine may not have been what it was supposed to be, and also great because thanks to Canadian Poncho, the original owner of this car was found. Mike Stevenson is the owner of this Beaumont and it has been in the family for 39 years. Sit back, grab a beverage and a snack and enjoy reading Mike's story about this great car:

"Hello Canadian Poncho.  My name is Mike Stevenson and this a little bit about my car. It is a 1967 Beaumont Sport Deluxe. It was born December 16, 1966.  The engine was originally a L34 396 cid 350hp and the transmission is an M20 4speed.  G80 3.55 12 bolt positraction rearend.   Granada Gold Metallic paint. 784 Gold interior A51 buckets and D55 console. C50 Rear window defroster. D96 Body accent stripes.  J65 Metallic brake facing. K02 Thermo modulating fan.  K76 Generator 61 Amp. PW8 F70-14-4pr tire - Red stripe.  P01 Wheel trim cover.

 

This car was ordered and purchased at Greenfield Motors Ltd., in Balcarres Saskatchewan.  

It was June 1980 when this particular 1967 Beaumont Sport Deluxe 4 speed joined our family.  My Dad was driving in an industrial area of Calgary when he spotted it for sale.  He knew when he saw it that he was buying it he said. He spun around and found the owner. The owner was straight up and said "She has 85,000 miles, burns oil and the clutch slips but I won't take any less than $5000." So as the story goes, Dad scrambled all day borrowing from everyone he could to round up the money for the hefty price that was demanded.  (Can you imagine paying more than the original price for a 13 year old car now?)  Dad still says that he knew it was a rare car and that he wanted his kid to be able to experience a big block Beaumont and that price didn't matter.  Well, I was only 9 at the time so the only thing I knew about was that it was fast (after the clutch was changed to centerforce). I loved riding in it. We didn't get to go in the Beaumont very often because there was 3.5km of gravel to the pavement. I learned early on to appreciate the outings in this car.  

One summer (1982 I think) we pulled the Beaumont behind our motor-home to Manitoba on summer holidays.  I don't remember very much about the holiday but I sure remember Dad missed a gear, over revved the engine, and dropped a valve. Fortunately, we were close to family in Morris Manitoba so off the Beaumont went to my uncle's shop for an engine rebuild. We left the Beaumont there and after the engine rebuild, it went to Brian Klassen's Autobody shop for body work and new Granada Gold lacquer paint. The paint and body took a couple years but well worth the wait.  The dash had about 6 gauges above the glovebox that were removed, the holes filled and the sport deluxe emblem replaced at this time. Stereo was removed and door panels replaced. This is still the current paint you see on the car and although it is scratched, it looks pretty good from 20 feet.  The 396 was put back to stock specs at this time and headers removed.  Although it was still fun to ride in, bone stock was quite a bit slower.  

In 1985, I turned 14 and that meant you could get a learners licence and drive with an adult with a full drivers licence.  There was no time wasted getting my learners licence because my eyes were on the Beaumont. I wanted to try speed shifting that 4 speed!  Dad was a great coach and I think he loved every second of it (even when I missed a gear).  So by 1987, I had driven this car quite a few times with Dad.  The day after I turned 16, I got my drivers licence. It was the end of March and the weather was beautiful so dad said that I could drive the Beaumont to school that afternoon for passing my test.  I wasted no time getting some friends together for a noon hour cruise uptown.  We pulled out of parking lot onto a street, I floored it and dropped the clutch.  Let the fish tailing begin!  Well low and behold the first one to witness this tire frying event by this new driver is an RCMP officer a block away coming right at me.  I pull over immediately and wait for him to turn around and come take my new licence away.  The officer walks up to window and shouts "Where in the hell did you learn to drive like that?". My feeble reply was "On the farm.".  He took my paperwork and went to his car to do his.  I was pretty sure I was toast at this point and I didn't know how I was going to explain to dad that his beloved Beaumont was towed and I already lost my licence in less than 3 hours.  When the officer returns, he hands me my paperwork and then goes over the ticket. Well, I am so scared I don't even realize it but the ticket he is explaining to me is only a warning.  His final words for me are, "You haven't had your licence long and if you keep driving like that, you won't have it much longer!".   WOW, it was my lucky day!

Now fast forward to 1992.  I become the owner of my dad's Beaumont. No time was wasted getting to the drag strip to see what it will do.  With 3.55 gears, M21, street tires and stock dual exhaust, the best I was able to get her to do was 15.0 and 15.5 was more common because the tires were spinning.  I was so disappointed with these times.  Right about this time a friend happens to find a worn out 1968 385hp 427ci engine.  We make a deal to trade my low mile 396 for his worn out 427 and I rebearing it, install a mild cam.  Back to the track with everything the same except for the 427.  Now I am able to break into the 13s with a 13.99.  That's a little better but I have no intention of turning this Beaumont into a drag car so that's the end of drag racing my Beaumont.  

I had been storing my car in farm sheds and because of that, the mice got in and chewed the headliner under the visors.  The seats were falling apart and basically the interior was a mess.  In 1994 I crashed my daily driver and needed a car to get to work so the Beaumont was cleaned up and put into daily operation for one whole summer.  I think I put close to 15,000 miles on it that year. 

In 1995 I began a long term relationship which left little money or time for my Beaumont so it sat in storage for 10 years. Basically I neglected it and ignored for those 10 years.  It even sat outside for a couple years.  When my relationship ended in 2005 I knew right away what I needed to do.  It was time to drag the Beaumont out of the barn and give it a life again.  I was incredibly busy with work so I had to hire out the task of getting my car road worthy again.  I made a deal with my uncle, Carl Stevenson,  to bring the old girl back to life since he is an incredible source of knowledge and parts.  So, here we go again, shipping this same Beaumont back to Manitoba for it's second restoration.  The intention was to partially restore it and make it a driver again.  One thing led to another and before long the body was off the frame.

 

 

 

 

 Might as well get it blasted while it's apart I guess, and if you do that I guess you might as well powder coat the frame and all related parts.  And well we are at it, lets add power disc brakes and power steering.

 

 

 

 Oh dear! We opened a can of worms and you just can't stop now! And oh ya,that 427 is worn out so bad that it blows the dipstick out and undercoats the hood. Lets have a look at the GM Performance Parts Catalogue to see what it has to offer.  Hmmm, the ZZ502 appears to be pretty good bang for the buck.

 

 For a few years while I saw progress, there was quite a bit of excitement about how my car would turn out.  Then the project stalled for a while as Carl moved from the country to town. I was getting increasingly worried that my car was coming home in pieces.  Then in late 2017 Carl informs me that due to some of life's circumstances, he wouldn't have the time to get my car completed.  I think I was in shock for a while at this point.  What to do now?  Fortunately Carl has a good friend that is a mechanic and knows Beaumont's very well.  I met with him at the end of May 2018 and he was interested in putting my car back together in his garage when he wasn't working.  He said he would probably get at by September but nothing happened until end of November. Oh here we go again I thought.  My car will be in the shop forever.  To my surprise he had my car up and running by Christmas 2018. Just had interior left to do for January and I should be planning to pick my car up soon.  Wow, wow, wow!  How did this happen so quickly?  

 

March 15, 2019. The first time I see my Beaumont as a complete car again after 13.5 years.  The drivetrain and interior are new but it looks like we just pulled this thing out of a barn.

 

 Still, I am excited to have my car back and in one piece but it is bittersweet because it still looks rough.  Not exactly what I planned 13 years earlier but I am in awe at how beautiful this car is even in this state.  

I have to give a huge thank you to Carl and Norm for their excellent work on my car.  Since bringing my Beaumont home to Alberta, I have polished the paint, put the stripes on, put the old Smith's tachometer back in, put the old "Motion" style valve covers back on, shifter angle change, rear SD trim reinstalled, wheel alignment, and the best part of all.....I have driven it over 1200 miles so far!

 

 

Now there is a real cool twist to the story of this car.  I have debated as to whether or not I would include it here.  I'm sure this will raise controversy but that is fine with me.  

Many years ago I started a post on Canadian Poncho that I was looking for information about previous ownership of my car before 1980.  I haven't been a regular contributor to CP for a while now so I had forgotten about this thread.  Last year in August I received an email that was from CP. No idea what this would be, I open it to find that this individual has seen my post looking for information about my car. This fella seems to think he might have owned this car before.  After a few shorter emails back and forth, this is what I received:

"Hello Mike.

I was surely pleased to find out that my first new car was still alive.  Looks like it's in good hands. Reading some of the other posts on Canadianponcho I was more than surprised to find out about the rarity/collectability of the Beaumont SD396. Your one lucky dude to have one of these these muscle cars.

 

A friend of mine saw your post about Greenfield Motors and what looked like the 67 Beaumont that I had owned.

 

I special ordered this car when I was a kid of 21 years just twisting wrenches in a gas station.  I loved the style/looks of the Beaumont much better the Chevelle.  A former employer/boss I had worked for was related to Greenfield, so I dealt with them.

 

This car came with lower body stripes. The strips where just cheap tape, felt like black electrical tape. It wasn't long before the they start to fall off... 

 

The local Pontiac dealership, Midwest Motors Regina were snobs. You see Midwest sold Cadillac. If you didn't wear a suit while shopping at Midwest you couldn't afford to buy a car!!

 

Unbeknownst to me this Beaumont came with a 427 engine. GM screwed up. They numbered/stamped a 427 with 396 numbers. My best guess is the engine was destined for someone's Impala.

 

I had a lot of fun beating 396 Chevelle's, 440 GTX's.  390 Mustangs were not even fair game.  This car soon got a reputation of something not to be taken lightly, or messed with.  From what I remember this Beaumont was the only SD396 in Regina.

 

Your post mentions 6 gauges that was me, I liked having lots of gauges.  Battery in trunk I don't remember but that was something I did on my other cars so could be me. Of course I had to have 5 spoke mag wheels.  I didn't do much else to the car, except to keep engine in good tune.

 

Approximately 8-9 months after I purchased the car the motor burnt a piston. Since I lived in Regina I took the car to MidWest Motors for in warranty repair. While at MidWest it was discovered that the engine in the Beaumont had the bore of a 427.  MidWest accused me of modifying the engine and would not continue with warranty repair. 

 

MidWest would not believe that I did not modify the engine and that it could be that GM screwed up. I had to hire a Lawyer to sue GM and MidWest. Roughly 4 to 6 months later GM caved and MidWest proceeded with repairs. By this time we were into winter.

 

The Beaumont was sitting in the back lot. Someone vandalized the car, broke a window, stole transmission and shifter, tach, the car filled with snow because window was broke.  MidWest wanted me to use my insurance to pay for the missing parts!  Back to my Lawyer I went. By this time it was spring. The mechanic who started the work had quit MidWest.  MidWest had this same mechanic come back and put together this broke/vandalized Beaumont.

 

Spring finally repaired. I picked up the car drove about 8-10 blocks and engine blew up. Mechanic forgot to torque intake manifold - antifreeze in the oil. Towed back to MidWest - crankshaft and block in bad shape.  Midwest pulled the engine sent to be rebuilt.  A few months later finally repaired. Meanwhile I had impregnated my girlfriend!  She did not want to stay in Regina, we moved to BC.

 

I sold the Beaumont to a friend (second owner), I needed money. A few months later the motor burn a couple of pistons.  Engine was pulled for repair again!!

 

 The second owner sold the Beaumont to someone from Calgary.  The third owner, while on his way back to Calgary, raced someone near Swift Current and the engine blew up again!!  That motor must've had a curse on it.

 

By this time it was 1969, 1970-71 not sure.  (Second owner has passed away).

 

Neither me nor the second owner drag raced this car at any drag strip... with NHRA rules. You mention in your post -driveshaft loop, some sort of a roll bar, tow bar brackets, as well as brass bushings in the four link arms.  Also who knows what motor was in the Beaumont in Calgary.

 

That's all I know.  If you have any more questions just email me I'll try to help."

 

 

 



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Todd
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What an awesome story of a Beaumont that really had a hard life, sure glad it's still around.

Says a lot about Mike the owner for wanting to keep the classic on the road after all this time.

Congratulations for being on top of the page, really worthy of the tribute

-G

 



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Congratulations for having your car featured Mike. I'm glad you stuck with it and are able to enjoy it again. I remember seeing it at Carl's a few years ago. I loved reading about it's complete history. Enjoy

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Jerel


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Congratulations Mike on being the feature car for July.What a great story and really enjoyed reading it.That is a unreal story from that former owner and just great to have that kind of information on your car!! Wouldnt it be cool if the 427 was still in that car from factory!! Talk about a rare car...wow!! Nice job!

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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This is a great looking car and those wheels are outstanding.



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

 






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A great story, great memories and a truly Gorgeous Sport Deluxe. biggrin



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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.



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And now the secret is out! I was sworn to secrecy the the whole time since the car first came to our house, I believe 2005 as he says. Of course the local CP members got to see it every time they visited our place but they too were told not to mention the car on here! It wasn't easy, because often when I took pictures in my garage of my Acadian or whatever it may be, I realized I had a corner of the Beaumont in the picture and you sharp eyed guys here would have been all over that in a minute!

This car was a pleasure to work on because it's such a nice solid car. The frame on it is 100% original, no repairs. When I sent it out for sandlasting and powder coating, you could easily read the hidden VIN on it. The floors are beautiful as you can see in the one photo Mike posted off it after all that nasty GM undercoating was stripped off. What a painful, time eating job that is!

It was SO much fun doing that chassis. Every piece brand new (with almost all of it being GM - AC Delco stuff). Just like building a model car, except more fun, and with someone else's money!

Our friend Brian Klassen loaned me a frame for a couple of years so I had a place to park the body while I worked on the chassis. As it happened, the frame he loaned me was from a 66 Chevelle 327 factory air car. I remember emailing Mike this picture that shows the 327 with the compressor on it and telling him "bad news/good news". I converted your SD to a 327 but it's got factory air now!

327.jpg

 

I had a lot of fun doing as much as I did on the car but sadly my major project days ended before I completed his car. The human side of this story, which I feel is even more incredible than the car story, is how he accepted the fact that I broke a promise to him (that I would see his project to the end). He has/had every right to be mad at me and put an end to our friendship and refused to do so. Any of you guys who get to meet Mike and maybe see his car will quickly appreciate what a great guy he is, and what a genuine Beaumont enthusiast he is as well.

 

 



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 43,000 original miles


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Great, great story! Great 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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Great car ! What a story ! Congrats !

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Poncho Master!

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Beautiful car and very interesting story. Congratulations !

Al

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Hi Mike

One fantastic story, especially finding the original owner and his story of it's early life. She looks great on the outside just as it is. An amazing shine for the age of the paint.

Luppy



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A quintessial Canadian Poncho story!  



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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)

66 Beaumont 4 door hardtop

69 Chevy CST pickup

1976 GMC 23'  motorhome



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Good on you!



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1959 Pontiac Laurentian - 1962 Hillman Minx - 1972 Lincoln Continental - 1982 Lincoln Mark VI - 1977 Ford LTD Landau - 2017 Ford Fusion Platinum

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There's those blue floors underneath (blue or is it turquoise?). I wonder why Fisher Body did that regardless of exterior colour? I am especially interested in that because this July Feature Car & my '67 Chevelle had bodies that came out of the same batch from the body bank (December 13th, 1966), but mine rolled off the line December 15th while this SD rolled off the line December 16th.

 

BTW those modern Hurst wheels alongside the black SD stripes looks fantastic together.



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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.



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Great story/history of the car...she looks beauty! Congrats on top of the page.

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MC


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Congrats!  Great car, great story!

Also curious on the underfloor colour.  Was that the colour of all the primer coat (i.e. was the rest of the body - interior, trunk, etc. coated), or did they just coat the bottom side of the floors with this.  Also, in the pic it almost appears to be metallic turquoise/aqua, but I imagine it wouldn't be.

Did GM e-coat their cars back then (dunk the bodies in a vat of electrically charged coating)?  Was this just a Canada thing (perhaps for extra rust protection for the Canadian climate)?  So many questions...



-- Edited by MC on Tuesday 2nd of July 2019 08:45:01 AM

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Great story and car.
Obviously all the work and sweat has been worth it.

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Thanks guys for the kind words. Thank you Todd for featuring my car this month. It is quite an honour for this old Beaumont to make it here. It is far from "finished" but will it ever be finished? Still looking for a 67 dash pad and a few other things. It is a work in progress and a driver. I drive it quite a bit and I'm pretty rough with it. Blew the transmission on fathers day disbelief. I think that was at 1300 miles . I put a used transmission in for now and I'm at about 1500 miles. It has been so long since this car was enjoyed properly. I'm trying to make up for lost time.



-- Edited by 67SD396 on Wednesday 3rd of July 2019 06:53:51 AM



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A Poncho Legend!

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67SD396 wrote:

 I drive it quite a bit and I'm pretty rough with it. Blew the transmission on fathers day disbelief

 


 I think you are just continuing the tradition that goes along with the car... It's likely one of the hardest driven/provided-the-most-smiles-per-gallon 67 SD396's ever made!



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 43,000 original miles


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Wonderful story and a rare car and colour. Thanks for sharing. 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



A Poncho Legend!

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I'm actually surprised that there has been no discussion on the original owners claim of this car being built with a 427. I would be interested to hear if anyone thinks it was possible that that happened. 



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 43,000 original miles


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Very nice 67.

The 67 SD is my favorite Beaumont. Congratulations on being a great feature car and a beauty to boot!

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Now appearing as "68 Grande" 



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wow what a history on a car that is 52 years old should paint it red and call it christine no wait i did that to my car sorry to have that much information on a car is unheard of but thanks for your story it was well worth the read good luck that car needs it

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