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Post Info TOPIC: March 2022 Feature Car


A Poncho Legend!

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March 2022 Feature Car


Folks, you are in for a great Poncho story! Brian and Freida Bergen are the proud owners of this 1966 Beaumont Sport Deluxe convertible. I'm not going to provide any spoilers about this car.

Instead, I'm going to hand it over to Brian:

"My story begins in the spring of 1980. I was one year out of high school working my first full time job with the goal of getting my hands on a late sixties or early seventies muscle car. Coming out of high school I had my basic transportation needs filled with a mundane 1964 Mercury Comet, but like many 18-year-olds at the time had my sights on a first generation Camaro, Nova, or  my favourite at the time - a 67 Chevelle. Several of my friends had recently picked up Mustangs but I was more interested in a GM product. With a $2000 budget, local Winnipeg classified ads found me looking at cars either plagued with rust or smoking engines showing the signs of abuse they had suffered at the hands of other teenaged owners. After some urging by my father to spend a little more money and find one that had been shown a little more love I located a 1966 Beaumont Sport Deluxe Convertible for sale which was in good restored condition and needed nothing. After 14 years on the road the car had recently undergone some minor rust repairs and been repainted, new custom interior, and the original 327 was swapped out with a healthy 350 crate engine coupled to the original M20 wide ratio 4 speed, and clone Cragar SS wheels.  After a test drive and a bit of haggling the Beaumont was mine. 

18 year old me and my newly purchased 1966 Beaumont:

5.jpg

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The Beaumont turned out to be a great summer daily driver as well as weekend cruiser. In the years that followed I drove it out west at least 3 times (as far as Vancouver Island) and it was as reliable as it was fun to drive. 

 Warming up the tires:

15 burnout.jpg

In 1981 I straight swapped the manual steering box for a power steering set up. By 1983 I had graduated college and started my career and it was time for the Beaumont to undergo some bodywork to deal with some rust issues that had surfaced. Fortunately my friends James, Brian, and Peter who ran Whiteline Body Works at the time agreed to undertake a body restoration of the Beaumont during the winter of 83/84. The car was stripped to bare metal and new rear quarters were installed along with a few metal patches where rust had worked through the metal. It was also an opportunity to locate and install several pieces of trim which were missing and/or damaged. 

1984 body restoration performed by Whiteline Body Works:

20 1984 restoration (2).jpg

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The car was finished in late June 1984, just 2 weeks before my fiancé Frieda and I were to be married. The Beaumont looked great and of course it was our wedding car. 

Wedding Day 1984:

 

35 off with the wedding party.jpg

40 first ride as mr and mrs.jpg

45 parade pose.jpg

 

Frieda and I continued to drive the Beaumont for several summers to follow. Our first son was born in 1987 and I reluctantly decided that between work, family, and a newly acquired house that I couldn’t continue to devote the time, energy, and money needed towards the Beaumont. In September of 1987 it was sold.

My 3 month old son and I saying goodbye to the Beaumont (sorry about those shorts – it was the 80s!)

50 1987 saying goodbye (3).jpg

55 1987 saying goodbye (2).jpg

 

 

Chapter 2

28 years has passed. Many times I had wondered where my Beaumont had ended up. I had spotted it twice in the first 2 years after I sold it, but not since. In July of 2015 my phone rings and I hear “Is this the Brian Bergen that used to own a 66 Beaumont?” I said “Yes, how did you know”. “Well, I recently picked the car up and found a receipt in it with your name. I was wondering if you might be interested in owning it again?” The current/new owner of the Beaumont who called me up was Brian Klassen of Morris Manitoba. We quickly made arrangements for me to see the car. When I got there there was no question. Yes, it was certainly my former Beaumont. Surprisingly the Beaumont was completely the same as I had sold it 28 years earlier – no changes to it at all…except the condition of the car. The old convertible looked like it had been sitting neglected for years. And it turned out that it had. Brian told me how the car came into his possession. Several weeks earlier he was showing several of his prized Beaumonts (Brian is an accomplished car builder and collector) at a rural Manitoba car show when a spectator points to Brian’s 66 Beaumont Custom convertible in the show and says “I’ve got one like this at home in the yard, but it doesn’t say “Custom” on the rear quarters. It says something else.” Not really believing that this individual might actually have an abandoned Beaumont convertible Sport Deluxe sitting in his yard, Brian asked if he could see his car after the show. When Brian arrived at the given address the car was sitting in tall grass under tarps where it was obvious it had been for quite some time. The owner said he bought the car 28 years earlier (from me!), drove it for 10 years, and then after the steering damper tore it sat parked under these tarps for the following 18 years. Brian couldn’t stand the thought of it rotting away there indefinitely and offered to buy it and, after putting in fresh gas, battery, steering damper, and a few other minor tweaks started it and drove it home! Shortly after getting it home he found a Whiteline Body Works receipt in the glove box with my name at the top. Curious, he tried calling every “B Bergen” he could locate on 411 until he found me. 

The 1984 Whiteline Body Works Receipt:

60 1984 whiteline bill.jpg

Brian let me take the Beaumont for a ride. Memories of my younger years flooded back. Although still drivable, there was no denying that after many years of neglect, this car really needed a full restoration. I wasn’t sure that I was up to the task, and the car deserved to be done fully and properly. I thanked Brian, but said I would need to think about it. Of course the thought of the Beaumont slipping through my hands tore at me. I made arrangements to meet with Brian again. I told him I would buy the Beaumont on one condition – if he would consider doing the restoration – or at least doing the metal work – when I was ready, perhaps in a few years. I wanted to own it and drive it as it was for a while before making the commitment to a full resto. The deal was made, and I drove it home. 

The Beaumont after purchasing in 2015:

65 2017 intact but....JPG

Over the next 3 summers, we enjoyed short cruises close to home and with an assortment of tools in the trunk and a cell phone in my pocket just in case. Necessary improvements included a tranny rebuild, universal joints, power steering hose, fuel pump rebuild, and some general tinkering to get reacquainted with the old girl. Brian and I kept in touch and in January 2019 I gave Brian the go ahead to dissemble the car and begin the restoration. A week later he had the interior removed and the body off the frame and we then began to formulate a plan of action. 

 Floor Rot:

70 2019 floor rot.jpg

The frame was sandblasted, minor rust hole repairs, primed, and painted. The suspension and steering components were removed and replaced/rebuilt. 

Caption: Chassis – ready to go:

75 IMG_8348.JPG

 

Rusted out body mounts were repaired. The floor from the toeboard to trunk was replaced. Rust holes in the cowl at the base of the windshield needed repairing. Inner and outer wheelhousings, quarterpanels, rocker panels, and rear panel were replaced. Both fenders and drivers door were replaced. 

Getting the metal right:

80 IMG_8335.JPG85 IMG_8344.JPG

Decoding the VIN determined that the car originally was finished in Tropic Turquoise exterior, Ivory and Black interior, and white convertible top. I decided to return the Beaumont to that combination. 

Paint finished, trims coming along:

95 20200313_160825.jpg

I did swap out the front drums for power disc brakes and switched the clear glass to tinted. The power top motor was replaced along with the lift cylinders. Wheels are 15 x 8 Pontiac Rally I (66 GTO). After passing a compression test, the 350 was pressure washed, painted, and reinstalled and the 4 BBL Quadrajet carburetor rebuilt. On April 26, 2021 the build was completed and the car returned to its happy owner. 

April 26, 2021 - Handing over the keys from Brian K to Brian B

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There was lots of top down cruising this past summer. Highlights included celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary by going out for supper, cruising and pictures in the Beaumont – reminiscent of the day 37 years earlier. The car was also the wedding car for my niece’s wedding this past summer – chauffeured by my brother-in-law. 

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Brian and Frieda Bergen

 

 



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Todd
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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Beautiful car, great story love the rebuild. Congrats



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A Poncho Legend!

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I am so happy to see this car at the top of the page! I have followed the restoration at Brian Klassen's place (about 5 minutes from our house) as it was being done and will agree with the owner that it was a serious restoration project but was very well done. This has to be one of the most beautiful Beaumonts ever..

It seems to me I can even make the claim to fame that there's a couple of pieces on the car that I supplied to Brian!

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



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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70 SS ACADIAN wrote:

Beautiful car, great story love the rebuild. Congrats


 x2

Love the prices on the 1984 receipt.



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A Poncho Legend!

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Super nice colours ... love it!



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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.



Guru

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Brian Klassen is absolutely amazing in his skill, and work ethic.Beautiful work.He puts people half his age to shame.I saw this car before it was restored. Georgeous car through and through.Great story. STUNNING!

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Uber Guru

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What an amazing car story.

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Remember Fun,

 Remember Laughter ?



Veteran Member

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that is an awesome car and an awesome story. Happy trails

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Addicted!

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Great Story! Love the color combo. One fine ride!

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No Bike Mike

1968 Parisienne 2+2 Convertible

1984 Correct Craft Southwind

1994 Cruisers Aria

2005 GMC K1500 



Guru

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Beautiful 66, congrats ! Really glad you got your Beaumont back!



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Poncho Master!

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fantastic... absolutely love it


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A Poncho Legend!

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Posts: 45886
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68sd396rag wrote:

Brian Klassen is absolutely amazing in his skill, and work ethic.Beautiful work.He puts people half his age to shame.I saw this car before it was restored. Georgeous car through and through.Great story. STUNNING!


 It's unfortunate he's dealing with health struggles. As you say, his work , attention to detail and his desire to make a perfect is very unusual. 



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



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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A wonderful car with an even better story. Congratulations.



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62 Catalina 2 dr post project

69 Parisienne 2 dr ht 427

55 Bel Air 2 dr post 265PP/PG

66 Caprice 2 dr ht 396

68 Impala SS427 convt project

68 Caprice 2 dr ht 396

68 Bel Air 2 dr post BB project

69 Kingswood Wagon 396

11 C63 AMG Mercedes sedan

22 Ram 1500 Sport



Addicted!

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Not sure which is more impressive, the car or the story! Love them both. Beautiful car!

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Beautiful car! Cool story! Congrats on getting her back !

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Poncho Master!

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Great car and story. Lots of long winters in Manitoba sure turn out some awesome cars.



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

 



Addicted!

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Great story, great car ,the Beaumont world is a wonderful thing isnt it! How good of Brian , to track you down

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Veteran Member

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Like the others have said great car and a great story.

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Poncho Master!

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Gasonmiles wrote:

Great Story! Love the color combo. One fine ride!


 What he said...biggrin...beautiful 66 and bonus when you go topless......enjoy this cool ride....smile



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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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Great story and you made a good choice in the colour and the car.

A beauty.

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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.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

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

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