Photobucket
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: November 2021 Feature Car


A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 24589
Date:
November 2021 Feature Car


I'm a big fan of 2 door post cars. These cars were designed for frugal folks who just wanted basic transportation. Most 2 door sedans never lasted longer than a few years. Luckily for folks like me there are still a few old sedans still around. Mark Craig's 1965 Pontiac Laurentian is one such car. Originally owned by a no nonsense fella who likely thought of a car as a necessary appliance to get him to the church and back. Mark rescued the car after sitting for decades and transformed the Pontiac into his dream ride. Mark used this opportunity to teach himself some new skills and the results are excellent. Here's Mark with all the details:

I first discovered this 65 Laurentian posted on CP by Todd in the first week of November 2018 , it was listed on Kijiji London. Six cylinder/PG/10 bolt 3 leg post. Curious, as post cars of this vintage are pretty rare, and now being newly retired and needing a project to focus on, I sent a text contacting the owner. Replying, it turns out he'd not be at his business that day where the car was stored, and I'd have to wait. Now I knew this car would elicit a flood of interest when it became fully discovered, so I pushed a little harder, asking to come up and see it even if he wasn't around. He agreed to this, and put me in touch with his secretary who said to come right up. I was at the business within a hour of discovering the add. The place was a new and modern automation company in Cambridge. The secretary was very nice and took me in to see the car. It was tucked away forlorn and dirty inside a corner of the building, looking completely out of place. Someone had written in the dust on it "wash me, sell me, love me, restore me". Perfect!

 

1 in shop rear re.JPG

 

2 in shop front.JPG

 

2a tag.JPG

A late build?

 

One look and I knew I'd just have to have it, in my mind it had the look of potential V8 4 speed car, had a nice patina, and one look underneath with a flashlight sealed it. The underside was in very good condition. Sure, it had been a mouse house, had some rust on the passenger front floorpan, and the trunk pan was iffy, the paint was shot, but it had ZERO rust on the chassis and lines. I'll admit, If it were scabby I'd have passed on it right away. I popped back up, said I'll take it, and left a small deposit before heading home.

 

 

That evening I contacted the owner and contracted a flatbed to retrieve the car two days later. Arriving that morning of pickup I met the owner who stated to me he had gotten 18 calls on the car the day before! I knew I was right in acting on it right away. The owner gave me a little history on it: It was originally owned by a pastor in Galt. He'd kept it until his death, in what I'm assuming was in or around 1977, when the car became registered in his wife's name (the car first shows up in his name in 73). The car apparently sat out never covered on a paved driveway for at least 30 years or up until 2007, probably under a pine tree. The car then was picked up somehow by an auction house in Aberfoyle in July 07, where the current owner bid and won it in Oct. 2007. So now, as far as I know, I'm the 4th owner. I obtained a Vintage Vehicle document for it. But she's certainly a stripper, it was even a radio delete car, it came with the delete plate in a parts box, and no U63 on the document.

 

doc1.jpg

Another couple of interesting things about the car, were the discovery of fender skirts with matching paint in the trunk along with the original 14" wheels and full wheelcovers. The brackets and hoses for an aftermarket air conditioning system still were still visible (installed in 66 according to the auction doc.). Certainly unusual to see the remnants of air on a basic six car (how could it even move on a hot day?). 

Asking him why he was selling, he said he'd recently hired a new shop manager who as his action item to do was to ask the workers what they'd like to see changed in the shop. They all said..."Get that old junker out of here!". Imagine that, The fools!

 So we exchanged all we needed and the car was pushed and winched up (has not ran for 4 years) and was on it's way. Up high on the deck I could see why this bodystyle is desirable, The proportions imop look just right.

 

3 on flatbed re.JPG

 

Getting it home of course I immediately set about getting it running just to try. A fresh battery, some gas down the carb, and she fired right up... sputtering, popping through the manifold doughnut, and pissing transmission fluid from a broken line.

 

3a home.JPG

 

 

More photos:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/7822276@N03/44100911690/in/album-72157697612055160/

 

I then decided to give her a DA polish, ditch the Cragars, and get some steelies on to simulate the look I was going for. At a distance polished up I'll admit she actually looked sharp with those Cragars.

 

5 polished body re.JPG

6 steelies no caps re.JPG

 

Turns out it wasn't the original motor. It was a '69 250 so any slight hope of keeping it original evaporated instantly (poof!). Some suggested keeping it original but how fun would that be?

 

7 250 six re.JPG

 

So now it began. The long road to making it into a respectable post car (and a V8 4 speed as well as per the vision).

 

The heaterbox; Stuffed full of seat stuffing and mouse crap. All toxic and reaking. It was rusted out as well both halves from a rotten windshield channel. I found a new inner and outer box (67 inner). Moved with some welding the 65 levers over onto it and put it all back together with a new spectra core. Not a simple job these boxes but I managed to do it all without removing the passenger fender.

 

8 heater core.JPG

8a core restored.JPG

 

I pulled and sold the 6/PG for one dollar per cube. Probably gave away that early PG.

 

9 pulling the 6 re.JPG

 

I stripped the engine compartment, repaired the firewall seam, and painted the firewall. I painted the front frame, tubs and rad support, added some new decals, a crappy repair on the rusted fenders (yes, from pine needles sitting in the gap).

 

 

10 engine comp raw re.JPG

I added a Z Bar bracket to the frame during the unpainted phase, and fabbed up a shifter hump.

 

10f Z bar bracket.JPG

10 shifter hump with stick.JPG

10a painted.JPG

 

I rebuilt the entire front end OEM bushings and ball joints. I used good 1970 Parisienne springs and installed new KYB shocks. Next,I added a standard stabilizer bar with poly links and a new 14:1 box. I also did the Ackermann fix using all new 1967 B components. I added a 1970 single piston disc brake setup and rebuilt the rear brakes and installed new flexlines. Next were new Wheel Vintiques 62 series rims 15x7 and 15x8 and Staggered width Cooper Cobra rubber.

 

11 akermann.JPG

11a front end underside.JPG

11b underfront with rubber.JPG

 

I repaired the rusted out windshield channel. It was probably the most difficult job I faced and a must do if I was to go forward. It's a common issues on any 65-70 Pontiac left outside. It caused pinhole rust on the passenger floor and helped take out the inner heater box and all the interior die cast. The Windshield glass is datecoded as being 1966. An early replacement?

 

12 front channel.JPG

12a underway.JPG

12b done.JPG

 

The next course of business was to rebuild the 327/275 from my 67 Grande and a M20 I'd picked up. All of that was a super epic winter build and I really enjoyed it all. I went with a 10.5 clutch. Dropping it in when complete into a nicely detailed engine compartment made it all the nicer.

 

13 engine trans.JPG

13f engine in.JPG

 

Next, I fitted the Z Bar assembly.

 

13a z bar.JPG

 

I installed and plumbed in a new disc/drum master and 11" booster along with OEM power steering lines. Remarkably the brake lines on this car came apart with no fuss. I rebuilt the wiper motor and the rods and installed an improved stock engine harness wired for a 12SI internally regulated alternator. I added relays to the headlamps and made the grounds more robust. Finally I added a $30 Amazon horn.

 

13b booster master.JPG

13c engine complete.JPG

 

I picked up a used but complete 2" bent to spec dual exhaust. It's mid fender rear exit and close to factory, I figure. No mods were required at all. It just needed a cleaning and a slight tip extension, some high temp paint,some new clamps, studs, and doughnut gaskets.

 

14 pipes.JPG

14a exhaust.JPG

 

I installed a new fuel tank, cleaned up and painted the original driveshaft (which was in great shape), installed new universals, and fitted a factory F41 bar on the leaky pinion seal 10 bolt 3 arm rear end (I did take the cover off, cleaned it up, and added new lube). The diff will be changed to a 12 bolt 4 arm next year with a 3.31 gear.

 

14b fuel tank.JPG

14c rear bar rear view.JPG

 

Moving to the interior I added sound deadener and insulation on the firewall, floor, and roof. Next, I painted the dash body, installed a better dash bezel along with a detailed heater control, better knobs, detailed the AM radio with a nice NOS dash speaker, and added a factory antenna (the car was originally radio delete). I painted and fitted a nice dash pad. Next, I added a clock and vac. gauge. I gutted the dash wiring and cleaned and repaired the corroded fuse panel. I repaired and improved the harness and added LED dash lights and underdash courtesy lights. I added the correct 4 speed pedals with the correct budget pads. I rebuilt and installed the steering column (floor shift), restored a better steering wheel, and added a nicer horn rim and center cap. I had the seats recovered and installed a headliner along with repainted interior reveal moldings. I also rebuilt the kick panel vents.

15 seats redone.JPG

 

15a finished dash with tach.JPG

15b pedals in.JPG

 

Now for the body.  I dug in and repaired the rotted trunk channel and fitted a new weatherstrip. Next, I removed the back glass, cleaned up the channel, and added new clips. I added much better headlight and taillamp bezels, better grilles, and a better center rear trim panel. I restored the front signal lamps and licence lamp with LED's, and the rear tailights with NOS lenses. I installed the front and rear glass along with a better cowl panel, replacing the rusted one (it was rusted under the hood seal). I fitted all the missing beltline trim with NOS clips.

 

16 channel bad.JPG

16a channel good.JPG

16b glass in.JPG

17b rear lamps and center trim.JPG

 

17a front markers.JPG

 

17b rear lamps and center trim.JPG

17c on the rack.JPG

She's now on the road after 3 years. It is certified, but still needing some interior work. The car drives beautifully! It's nice and comfy, not harsh, shifts perfectly, stops great, purrs like a kitten with a wee rumble,  and pulls decent enough. What's not to like? This little project has been so satisfying, and I'll likely never see one quite like it on the road. The fact it wasn't kept 100% true to originality doesn't bother me. I just created it so an untrained eye would never notice or care anyway. The project also gave me much more insight and knowledge into building a M20 and working with a Muncie shifter which I had never done. It's so satisfying feeling the nice click into gear, knowing you built it yourself!

 

In closing a huge thanks must go out to all the great CP members who without their support the project would have never been near so far along. It could not have been done without you all.

And thanks for putting up with the long winded story!

 

 

18 as it sits today.JPG

 

 



Attachments
__________________

Todd
Site Founder

Like us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/CanadianPoncho

Canadian Poncho World Headquarters - Prince Edward Island

 



A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 44495
Date:

Finally! Good stuff, I love this car....

__________________

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



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 51
Date:

I love long winded stories as it gives one more appreciation of what it takes to get these old cars back on the road. I really love your vision for the car and sticking with the tough parts of rust repair, wiring, and the dreaded heater core replacement.

Car looks awesome, congrats.

__________________


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 19756
Date:

Congratulations Mark, has to be the best story ever, neat build, neat car, great guy!



__________________

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 






Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 519
Date:

Congratulations, Mark, on all of your dedicated work on your '65. The results speak for themselves. You said, "The car drives beautifully!" And, obviously, you have achieved the look you desired. It is now a Mark original, far superior to what the factory did.  Enjoysmile



__________________

--Pritch--

'76 Cougar XR7 (original owner); '52 Mercury Monterey 2 dr HT (Future Project)

2013 Mustang

2010 Ford Ranger

'93 MX5

'64 Custom Sport Ragtop (Factory M20)



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4588
Date:

For me this was one of the best rebuilds on this site. Not only is the car an excellent example

of what can be achieved with hard work,it was great that you took us along for the ride

of this rebuild project during those three years. You took pictures and gave us information

of your problems and your solutions through the whole journey. Thanks for that Mark.

End result says it all. Great job Mark.

-G



-- Edited by Greaser on Sunday 31st of October 2021 11:53:21 AM

__________________


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 6421
Date:

Excellent choice for feature car. Mark did an amazing job on the car, and I was glad to help with a selection of parts from Calgary.

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

 

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 7585
Date:

He had it at Ancaster Swap Meet today. The real cool thing about this build is he did it in his open carport. Good job Mark!



__________________


Uber Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3613
Date:

Id like to repeat what everyone above said Mark. Your car is perfect, I love a post car and your work is how I would have done it, if I was as smart as you.

__________________

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.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

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

MC


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 6948
Date:

Congrats on the monthly feature!  Great story, have been following along the whole way.



__________________


Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1432
Date:

What a great build and wonderful top of the page car.

__________________

Eric - Regina, SK

The Projects:

1935 Chev 3 Window Std Coupe

1957 Chev 2dr 

1967 Mustang Convertible

1969 Firebird 350HO Convertible

1969 Camaro X11-V8

1969 2+2 was a 396

1969 2+2 427

1980 Harley FXWG

1986 CJ7 Jeep

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 4270
Date:

I love the fact that it used to belong to a pastor. I had a 53 Chevy 150 two door years ago that belonged to a priest and I also made sure its second life was a lot more exciting than its first. I also love the matter of fact details of all the work that went into it. I notice that it was built in late July so must have ben been one the last 65's built.

This is the kind of car I love to see at a show and shine as opposed to the boring shiny musclecar lineup you see everywhere,

Nice choices on powertrain! 

If you need a 331 4 link 12 bolt open rear I actually have one that I probably won't use. It came out of a 66 Grande 327 with a 4 speed so would be pretty much a correct choice.

 



__________________

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



A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 44495
Date:

66 Grande guy wrote:

 I notice that it was built in late July so must have ben been one the last 65's built.

 


 I had never thought to check but now when I did I see we have only 2 cars in the registry later than this one. One on July 29th, one on July 30th.



__________________

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



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1484
Date:

Mark

We've spent a few breakfast and lunches during your build processes and I was happy to offer you some parts for the build.

My last visit we snuck out for a test drive as it wasn't plated then and you wiggled that white ball a lot.

Always a pleasure to see what you are working.

Cliff

 

 



__________________

Cliff

Done Hurryin

Like the larger type for my eyes. 

 

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 6713
Date:

Greaser wrote:

For me this was one of the best rebuilds on this site. Not only is the car an excellent example

of what can be achieved with hard work,it was great that you took us along for the ride

of this rebuild project during those three years. You took pictures and gave us information

of your problems and your solutions through the whole journey. Thanks for that Mark.

End result says it all. Great job Mark.

-G



-- Edited by Greaser on Sunday 31st of October 2021 11:53:21 AM


 Totally agree here with what George has said.  It was fun to see this car around mid build.  Great job Mark.



__________________
Jerel


Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 292
Date:

Nice looking car Mark good work

I have a question regarding the trim that runs down the side of your car. I picked up a pile of trim at an estate sale and have a few pieces left that I have not found the car they belong to and they look very close to whats on your car. Can you tell me if these two pieces match yours. Thanks Lawrence



Attachments
__________________

65 SD Convertible



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 8439
Date:

Hey, first off, thanks for all the great and encouraging comments guys. It's really appreciated and feels really good to hear them.

And to be honest, having a place here to post about the progress actually was one thing that kept me going. 

 

Lawrence, if your trim looks anything like these from behind, then they could be 65 Parisienne. 2 door (all models), door trim at the top, behind the door drivers quarter trim Btm left, and the front drivers fender trim right. I can measure if you need it.

50994348626_2b7944e0cb_b.jpg

 



__________________
65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


Addicted!

Status: Offline
Posts: 292
Date:

I have two different pieces one piece is 32.5 inch it tapers from about 3 inch to about 2 inch. The long piece is about 49.5 inch and its 2 inch wide and does look like the back of yours I think I finally found what they belong to
Thanks



Attachments
__________________

65 SD Convertible



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

Status: Offline
Posts: 8439
Date:

The 65 has a rear quarter piece 32 x 3 down to 2.5". The door is 49.5 x 2.5.

So yes, I'd say they are 65 Parisienne.



__________________
65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 44495
Date:

I should add to my initial statement about loving the car. That is true, but even more fun is what has been stated here, reading your technical articles. I doubt I've ever seen more comprehensive well-written tech articles online.

__________________

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



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 2403
Date:

Very nice Mark, I like it! A great reward for all your hard work!

__________________


Uber Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 3793
Date:

Very cool Mark,   glad to hear the whole story start to finish all in one place.   I have caught snipets of it over the past few years.   Really great story!  We have alot of similarities in the builds we did.



__________________

Beaumontguru

MY BEAUMONT HAS 4 STUDDED TIRES AND 2 BLOCKHEATERS......AND LOTS OF OIL UNDERNEATH.  The other one has a longer roof.



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 1484
Date:

Next years calendar will be out soon.   Cant wait till NOV.  2022



__________________

Cliff

Done Hurryin

Like the larger type for my eyes. 

 

 



Poncho Master!

Status: Offline
Posts: 2087
Date:

The documentation of the work is priceless Mark.

All your posts are very informative and entertaining !

Please don't get a part time job, you will get sucked in to a full time one and we will miss you.


__________________

https://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t63333628/click-here-to-support-canadian-poncho/

Randy(Muttwood)



A Poncho Legend!

Status: Offline
Posts: 24589
Date:

Mark did you get the GM docs for this car? If so how many were built?


__________________

Todd
Site Founder

Like us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/CanadianPoncho

Canadian Poncho World Headquarters - Prince Edward Island

 

1 2  >  Last»  | Page of 2  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us
.
Support Canadian Poncho!
Select Amount:
<
.
.
.