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A Poncho Legend!

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July 2020 Feature Car


Our July feature car is one that could be filed to the "What if?" department. What if Pontiac Canada had a Super Duty program like it's American counterpart did in the 1960's and early 1970's? Peter Cole decided to build his 1964 Pontiac Parisienne as a tribute to what might have been available if Pontiac Canada had a Super Duty program. The results make you wish there was such a program! Peter Cole (the owner of this great Pontiac) takes it from here:

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"I’ve owned my Canadian Pontiac for 38 years.

It is my first car, so I have lot to tell you about it. First I would like to give a brief personal history.

I was born in Winnipeg MB in 1964.

I think I grew up in about the greatest time as a spectator to the classic and musclecar era.

I remember a few cars down the lane from home One was a red 62 Impala SS with Cragars and wide rear tires. Just down from that was a 57 Chevy. These were the cars that teenagers owned and could afford.

As I grew older and showed interest in automobiles my dad would allow me to “hold the light” as he performed maintenance to his daily drivers. On occasion he would allow me to tag along on visits to his friends shop and go out on tours, as his friend who owned an auto salvage business would scour the countryside for unwanted vehicles.

During one of these visits, we came across an older gentleman who had large acreage of old cars from the 1900’s to 1960’s, all in rows sorted by manufacturers and years. What a sight to see!

The particular vehicle we went to pick up was a 1956 Buick Special convertible. It was mint but no one wanted an 18 year old car! I remember this car very well as my dad had a 1952 Buick four door with a straight eight which he owned until 1970. I recall watching them trying to lift this convertible with a hydraulic clam, which was not able to open wide enough to grab the body. Normally they would lift the car from its roof. The site of them mangling such a beautiful car bothers me to this day. Why wouldn’t someone want such a beautiful car? This one event may have changed my perspective of automobiles for life. I guess every car enthusiast has that day. At this point I decided that I wanted learn the art of maintaining and restoring antique and classic automobiles.

I read all that I could find; I practically lived at the library resource department. I read everything including Chilton, Motor and Mitchell manuals.

The knowledge I gained was immense. At twelve years old, my younger brother Greg and myself changed the lifters on my dad’s Chevy C30 with a 283. We did this while my dad visited with his friend.  When we were done he fired it up and drove us home.

In high school I took woodworking, metalworking/welding, auto shop and drafting which were skills I would need to restore older cars from the 20’s and 30’s as newer cars were not being restored yet.

As the age of electronics began in the automotive industry, I switched my learning curve to electrical/electronics. Enough about me it’s time to tell you about the star of the month.

Two weeks before I graduated from high school and my eighteenth birthday my brother Greg approached me and told me of a neighbour who had a car for sale. (Greg who had owned cars since he was 13 was always scouting the neighbours for car deals.) The car was a 1964 Pontiac Parisienne 2 door hardtop. It had no motor or transmission. The paint was good but faded, (lacquer). The car looked complete and the asking price was $100. I had to make up my mind on the spot as a tow truck had been called to haul it away. A $10 deposit sealed the deal and a week later on payday, I was the owner of a non-driveable car.

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We pushed the car to my parent’s house 2 doors away. This was the early eighties when houses weren’t selling and my parents bought a newer home across the city. This left me with a place to hide my new purchase. A week later my dad cornered me and told me to bring the car home and put it into the garage. The garage is 14x28 which was huge to me. Thus started the process of me assembling my first car. My brother and his friends found me a 283 engine and power glide transmission as well as other donations of parts such as a 4 bbl carburetor and intake, headers and solid engine mounts.

We were contemplating on how to install the engine and trans. A come-a-long with 2x6 across the rafters was the best solution we could come up with. “NOT GOOD ENOUGH” was my dad’s reaction! His solution was to rent a Blue Bird Cherry Picker, but before it could go back I was to draw it out with the entire dimensions. My drafting classes sure came in handy!

Some time later my dad bought a Lincoln 225 Amp stick welder and had an outlet installed in the garage. I was unsure of his plan until one day he sent me out with my mother to a metal salvage dealer, She had my material list in her hand. Well, we loaded up the trunk of her car with a few hundred pounds of steel and headed back home to find dad waiting in the garage. He had scrap steel on the floor and said, “Now it’s time that you learn how to weld”. My first project was a welding table. Next was time to prep the steel and weld a new cherry picker-which we still use today.

By this time, I had a running car; I was able to cruise Portage Ave. with the cool kids.

 

That worked out well for a while, until the power glide pooped out. A friend of mine had a turbo 350 that he pulled out of a car he was wrecking; another friend donated a 4200-stall torque converter. I bought a 3 speed auto floor shift.  Now I needed to get a tach.  Change one thing and it snowballs so that the speed shop soon knows you by name.

By the time I turned 19 I had worked several jobs and was looking for something more stable. I was able to get a job at a welding shop fabricating material handling equipment.

Well, one day a guy in a black 1966 Pontiac Grande Parisienne drove into our shop yard. I thought he was looking at my Parisienne but he was looking at the racks of steel next door. I went out and we got talking. He wanted to put a 6 pt. roll bar in his car and was looking for pipe. I gave him the name of our supplier and told him if he needed someone to weld it to come see me. A week later he was back with a trunk full of pre-bent tubing that his friend bent at a muffler shop. I notched the tubing with a drill press and hole saw. I then set the tubing in place and covered the headliner and interior with a large canvas tarp. It turned out fantastic and I decided that I would have to put an 8 pt. roll cage in my Pontiac.  I drove my Pontiac for many years with this configuration.

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As I was able to get out and about and the car got known, friends started selling and bartering parts such as a set of 13x30 Goodyear Blue streak slicks mounted on 15x10 chrome reverse wheels. I was amazed they fit. I had put the exhaust under the axles giving me an extra 4” of width in the wheel wells.

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Next I have to tell you about my intake, A friend of mine had bought a motor that came with a tunnel ram for a small block Chevy. He didn’t need the tunnel ram for his truck but he wanted the turbo 400 I had gotten in a trade for some labour stripping a car. Now I had a Weiand Hi-Pro single intake setup for a Holley 4 bbl. carb. My brother found me a 600 cfm vac sec. carb.

After some careful measurement, I came to the conclusion that I would have to mill the choke horn off to allow the carb to fit under the hood. I ran this setup on my 283 with a 350hp 327 cam.

About 2 years later I purchased a 350 SBC which needed a larger carb. My brother had a new 750 vacuum secondary Holley with a new fuel line. Not wanting to destroy a new carb, I decided to put a hood scoop on the Pontiac. I thought about a Trans am scoop  but decided against that so I dug out my older brother’s car magazine collection from the early 60’s and came across the Royal Pontiac Super Duty cars. They were using Ford Truck scoops. I went to the local Truck wrecking yard in search of a scoop. The yard manager had no idea what I was talking about so he sent me out with the yard jockey. We drove around until we found a 1965 ford fire truck. We pulled the Super Duty script off the hood. But the nuts for the scoop were seized.

I lived down the street from a Ford truck dealer, so I went in and asked a salesman if the scoop was still available from Ford.  It was, $142.00 with the chrome grille. 2 weeks later I had a scoop in hand. Now to install it.  With the 600 cfm carb in place, I put in a small carb stud and closed the hood. This put a dent in the hood exactly where I needed the scoop to be centered. With the scoop installed and the script on the rear deck, I now had a vision of what I wanted.

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I decided that I would need lower gears to make this work better. I found an article in Super Chevy that Greg Reimer wrote. It was called “How to install a 10 or 12 bolt Chevelle differential in an X frame car”. I found a 10 bolt posi with 4:10 gears in the Buy and Sell for $150.00 I convinced my mom to drive 30 miles out of town to pick up the diff and load it in the trunk of her car. I sure had fun with this setup, but gas bills were killing me as I drove to work 20 miles each way, plus cruising. I had accumulated 6000 miles up to this time.

I purchased a 1974 Monte Carlo and drove that to work and cruising. The Pontiac would sit in my parent’s driveway until they got tired of looking at it and my brother’s 63 Acadian Beaumont sport deluxe on the front lawn. Soon after my girlfriend (now wife) suggested that I might be able to park the car at her sisters farm. When her brother-in law saw the car, he suggested we park the car in the Quonset shed. It would remain there for 10 years,

In 1994 we bought a house with room for a double car garage. Two years later I would build my dream garage, 22 wide and 24 feet deep. It was as big as I could go without blocking the view of the kitchen window. I installed Wirsbo Pex 5/8” tubing in the floor for future heating. It was time to bring the car home and put it into the corner and dream about restoring it one day to its former glory.

I wrote down my plans for the Pontiac.

1) Super Duty tribute

2) Tunnel rammed SBC

3) Auto trans with overdrive.

4) Change out diff

5)Cloth insert seats

6)Original paint color

7) Front disc brakes

From here the plan went wild! Wife, 3 kids, house and career meant no time to play with cars. But, in 2008 my electrical apprentice told me his dad builds hot rods. Kowalski Kustoms was located an hour and a half west of Winnipeg. I invited his dad to come to see the car in person and give me a quote. We came to an agreeable price and his Dad came with a truck and trailer and my car disappeared for a year. All the rust was cut out and new lower quarter panels were installed. He put the car on a rotisserie and sand blasted the body and frame. The body and frame were put in epoxy primer to preserve them. In 2010, I had saved enough money to get the car painted and I sought out Auto Resurrection to paint my car. I had seen his work daily as I worked for the electrician next door to him. The Pontiac was there for about five months as they work on multiple cars at the same time. In the next few years I would accumulate the necessary parts to start the restoration.

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In Feb 2013 a set back hit me, literally. I was in a motor vehicle accident on my way home from work. I was rear ended which left me with 4 herniated discs and one with a lateral tear. This slowed me down for some time. But the free time gave me the opportunity to surf the web for engine deals. With our dollar at 93 cents, I could afford a crate engine from the U.S. I found a web site for Skip White Performance in Kingsport Tennessee. They build a Dart Machinery special high performance small block based on the Chevrolet block. It is a 421 cubic inch stroker with all the right internals, 10.7 to 1 pistons, Dart 72 cc chambered heads with 215 cc ports and a Scat crank. Their Stage 4 421 put out 605 horse power but with running an o.d. transmission I would have to change cams. So with all the specs of my car, transmission and rear end gears a Howards roller cam was selected. This choice would bring down the power and torque to a streetable level. With the tunnel ram, power output should be about 550 hp.

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In 2016 with a solid plan, I enlisted Dan Jefkins and Greg Cole to help me install the power train. In 2017 exhaust, disc brakes and Moser 9” locker with 3.70 gears were installed. 2018, rad, glass, brake and fuel lines were installed. 2019 drove to first car show. 2020 interior done by Precision Upholstery and Glass. I believe I’m 95% or better done, but when are we ever done?

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These are the specs on my car:

Dart shp block  4.155x3.875 4 bolt mains with splayed bolts

Dart pro 1 aluminium heads 215 cc, with 72 cc chambers, 10.7 to 1 pistons

Howards hydraulic roller cam

Scorpion 1.5 roller rockers and stud girdle

Champ 7qt. Oil pan

Hooker 1 ¾” ceramic coated headers, 3 inch Pypes electric cutouts with 2 ½” mandrel bent exhaust

700 R4 O.D. transmission with 2400 stall lockup torque converter, 4th gear lockup over ride switch.

Moser Ford 9” locker with 31 spline axles 3.70 to 1 gears

10” disc brakes in front and 11x2 ½” drums in rear. GM hydro boost brakes with split Corvette master cyl

605 power steering box

UMI adjustable 4 link in rear with 1 ¼” added to lower arms and uppers shimmed with laser cut ¼” shims. This brought the wheel base to 120 inches, the same as the Catalina. I was then able to install 275-60 r15 tires in rear on 15x8 steel wheels with 3 ½” back space. Fronts are 15x7 steel wheels with 225-70-r15

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Autometer gauges, water temp, Oil press. and wide band O2

Winters Sidewinder 4 speed shifter

Bucket seats with NOS cloth inserts to match rear seats

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Radio and clock delete plate

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 Thanks.

   Peter Cole"

 



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Todd
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A Poncho Legend!

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Yeeeeee-hawwwwwww!

Congratulations Pete! It's great to see your car on the road and on the top of the page!

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 44,000 original miles "FAKE_66"



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Oh Man !!  I love this car.

 

Scott (LandShark)



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Yes congrats Pete. It truly is a Super car and so is the story that goes with it. Great persistence in hanging onto the car.

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Jerel


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Congrats Pete. This is a great story about a great car by a guy who had a great Dad to help him get started. Love it. 



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62 Catalina 2 dr post project

69 Parisienne 2 dr ht 427

68 Impala SS427 convt project

 

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Great to see it at the top of the page. I've been admiring this car for years!



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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.



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Beautiful Pontiac built by an ultimate car lovin' guy.

Great job Pete.



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Addicted!

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That is one "super" car! I just love it! Great story and my hat is off to you for keeping your "baby" all these years. Cheers .

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Guru

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Beautiful car .... Love the stance... Congrats !

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 68 / 69  4 spd B bodies

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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what can u say that thing rocks and everyone digs a long time owner story love it thx for showing best colors!

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



Poncho Master!

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Best looking 64 I have seen and the best story yet for top of the page on CP, IMHO. That super duty tag on the back is great, a not subtle sign on an otherwise very subtle car. 

Don 



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63 Parisienne 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. 

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

MC


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Great story!  Thanks for taking the time to detail it out for us.  It's amazing that you were able to keep your first car all these years and eventually do it up in the same way you had dreamed about it years ago.

I would say the number of people who have had the foresight, and the ability to see the project through, are very few.  

Congrats, and Happy Canada Day!



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Poncho Master!

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Peter,

  Great story and perseverance pays off, congrats on your dream car ... What an achievement and I got to meet Peter in person, awesome guy !



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Member

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Great story and a truly beautiful ride!

I spent my first 11 years of my existence in Winnipeg!  1959 to 1970.  Grew up in River Heights.

I'm a few years older but maybe we crossed paths at a Hot Wheels event lol.



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Scott MacKenzie

Retired Asst Fire Chief

Guardian of the Grey Ghost



Poncho Master!

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Grey Ghost wrote:

Great story and a truly beautiful ride!

I spent my first 11 years of my existence in Winnipeg!  1959 to 1970.  Grew up in River Heights.

I'm a few years older but maybe we crossed paths at a Hot Wheels event lol.


 I grew up on the other side of the tracks (Fort Rouge) but spent lots of time at GrantPark mall and Pan-Am pool.



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

 



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Congrats Pete. Great story and a great looking Pontiac. Will have to get a ride in it one day.

 

Ian



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Love it! Love the colour, drivetrain, wheels, stance etc.

Must sound incredible with the cutouts open.

Ever had it to the track?

 



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Poncho Master!

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Beaumont67 wrote:

Love it! Love the colour, drivetrain, wheels, stance etc.

Must sound incredible with the cutouts open.

Ever had it to the track?

 


 I have just 200 miles on the drivetrain, i have to behave myself for a while. I just had it dynotuned, so i now have an idea of its potential.



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

 



Addicted!

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Just awesome Pete.
Welcome to the "Top Of The Page" class.
Can't wait to see this in the calendar.


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Kp

 

NO ONE EVER GOT SICK SMOKING TIRES!!



Poncho Master!

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Great to see at the top of the page, Congrats Pete! And as they say now we have the rest of the story, quite the journey.

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Stony Mountain, MB

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

 

 

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Nice to see that bad ass 64 finally on the top! Congrats to you!



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67' Grande Parisienne. Ex Ottawa USSR Embassy car, 67- 68.
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This project and car are top shelf all the way, I know its a small thing but I love the "Fly eye".



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






Addicted!

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Amazing car! Fantastic story and powerful display of dedication to the art of classic cars.

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Canadian Poncho wrote:
..."I found a 10 bolt posi with 4:10 gears in the Buy and Sell for $150.00... I had accumulated 6000 miles up to this time."...

   Peter Cole

 


 Are you sure it was 6000 miles? After a 4.10:1 gear swap it may have read a little fast. I don't know, did your speedo ever see 100 mph through town? wink

 

This car has been under the radar for a long time. What a truly cool custom. Very potent as well. I get it! Sourcing Super Duty stuff from FoMoCo, just like Pontiac did 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.



Poncho Master!

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Note the scoop and Super Duty script on hood.EEB8E8B5-B9A5-4B56-846D-A27A66374033.pngCdnGMfan wrote:
Canadian Poncho wrote:
..."I found a 10 bolt posi with 4:10 gears in the Buy and Sell for $150.00... I had accumulated 6000 miles up to this time."...

   Peter Cole

 


 Are you sure it was 6000 miles? After a 4.10:1 gear swap it may have read a little fast. I don't know, did your speedo ever see 100 mph through town? wink

 

This car has been under the radar for a long time. What a truly cool custom. Very potent as well. I get it! Sourcing Super Duty stuff from FoMoCo, just like Pontiac did biggrin

scoop60.jpgscoop61-69.jpg

 


 



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

 

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