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Post Info TOPIC: April 2023 Feature Car


A Poncho Legend!

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April 2023 Feature Car


Our April feature car is this sharp 1965 Pontiac Parisienne Custom Sport belonging to Ken Odenbach. Ken and his son Brent bought this Pontiac as a non runner and it wasn't long before they had the wonderful cruiser you see here. Brent tells us how they became the stewards of this fine Poncho:

A Penny from Heaven...  

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Dad has always been a car freak. Ever since I can remember he would point out cars when we drove anywhere. "That's a 65 Chevelle." he would say. "I had one of those when I met your mother". It amazed me as a kid how he would see a set of tail lights and instantly know the year make and model. I am sure it's where I developed my love of cars.

I remember he always seemed to have something in the garage to tinker on. He has never been the mechanical type. More about the spit and polish. There was always an old toothbrush, Q-tip, and some kind or wax or buffing compound in use. As I grew older I took up the mantle but in a slightly different way. I am the greasy, busted knuckles type. It's why we make such a great team.

 

In all the years we had only ever worked on one vehicle together. It was about 5 yrs ago. An old 57 Chev pickup. We worked all winter one year in his garage pulling, rebuilding, and reinstalling the motor. We finally were able to get it running for the first time in who knows how many years.

It was an old farm truck and not built for what dad wanted to be able to do with it, so we sold it.

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A few years later we picked up a 1962 Parisienne Convertible. It was an older frame off restoration and to my eye was a pretty nice car. A few things needed attention but mechanically it appeared sound. Dad barely drove it, and every time he did something else would go wrong. Transmission, carburetor, valvetrain, window regulators etc. It all started to add up and he didn't have the time or money to deal with all the issues.

I could tell dads enjoyment of the car was waning but at 73 years old, I didn't see him taking on something new.

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This past summer that all changed.

Dad comes by my shop almost every Saturday. It's become a ritual. He will sit and drink coffee and tell tall tales while I pull wrenches. Sometimes I need someone to help bleed the brakes or crank the ignition but mostly he's just there to visit.

One afternoon he dropped by and seemed a little excited. "Hey guess what I found?" he said. "What's that Putz?" I replied (that's his nickname and another story entirely). "A 65 Parisienne only a few minutes away". "You already have a car" I responded. "I know." he replied "but I just thought we could go take a look". I told him that perhaps next weekend we could go have a peek but reminded him we didn't have the room, the time, or the money to be taking on a new project.

A week or so passed and over that time he mentioned the car regularly. Finally I told him we would go on Saturday. After all it wasn't far away. Saturday arrived and we hopped in the truck. Within minutes we were there. Sitting in a yard was a 1965 Parisienne Custom Sport. Copper in color with 4 flat tires. Dad had called ahead and let the owners know we were coming. Turns out he had already been chatting with them.

 

My dad and stepmother had stopped in at a flea market one afternoon and while wandering around noticed a couple had a piece of paper on their table advertising the car. As he struck up a conversation he quickly determined how close they were to home and made arrangements to go have a look. We learned the car was her dad's and had spent most of its life in the Northwest Territories. Her dad had had some issues with the motor so had parked it a number of years ago and started a restoration. He painted the car, re-upholstered the interior and rebuilt the engine. Then for some reason, never having been started after the motor went back in, the car sat. The owners believed the car had been sitting for almost 15 years.

The car looked fairly complete. No trunk lock or ignition switch and no keys for the doors. Red flag? No, just lost the keys. I couldn't get under it because the tires were flat to look for rust and I didn't bring a jack. No rust in the trunk and none that I could see in the body other than a few small bubbles on the roof. You could tell the car was born with a vinyl top which was long gone. The rodents had invaded the interior but fortunately the seats and headliner were in excellent condition. In fact, other than the carpet, the interior was in very good shape. I honestly think the interior is what sold dad on the car.

 

I was concerned, we didn't know why it had never run after the rebuild. Would it even run? All of the usual questions regarding a 50 plus year old car were running through my mind. Again, dad already had a car and I had no room for another.

We left that day and dad and I started to chat about options. Dad was visibly excited. "So, what's the plan?" I asked. "I don't know." he said. "I think its a neat car." He was right. it was. Over the next week we chatted back and forth and came to an agreement. We would buy the car provided we could get it for the right price. We would invest the bare minimum in the car to get it running and driving safely. We knew it would need an out of province inspection so that meant going through everything front to back. The deal was if we could bring it back to life dad would have a choice to make. Flip it and split any profit, or if he fell in love with it (he already had) he would buy me out and sell his 62. We made a deal and the car was purchased.

 

 

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 The following weekend we picked up the car and brought it home. The first few weeks dad was at the house almost daily. I was away at work and he was in the shop polishing. We didn't know if it would run, if it had brakes, or if the transmission worked,  but dad was already detailing. It reminded me of that line from the movie Christine. Something about putting new wipers on a car with a busted windshield... I was finally able to find some time to start working on the mechanical. I pulled the sparkplugs; they had never been fired. Brand new. The engine turned by hand. Good signs so far. I dropped the oil. It looked like it just came out of the bottle. I probably could have put it right back in but didn't. I did decide to upgrade to an HEI distributor and wires. Might as well while I am in there. I poured some water in the radiator and it went straight on the floor. The rad leaked everywhere. Maybe thats why it was parked? Starting the car would need to wait.

 

 

The cost of a re-core was out of the question and aftermarket Pontiac parts are hard to come by (especially for Canadian Pontiacs). There was nothing online that I could find so the hunt was on. Dad heard about a guy northeast of us about an hour that had a number of old Pontiacs in a field. We made a list of parts and off we went.

After finding a couple of radiators, an ignition switch, and a few other missing parts we were back in the shop focused on getting the car running. I filled the cooling system, cranked the engine, added a little fuel down the carb,  and the little 327 fired off and stalled. Several tries yielded the same result. I couldn't keep it running long enough to do a proper break in. That original carburetor seemed to be an issue. I had an older Edelbrock kicking around so we swapped it out. It started right up and again stalled.

I noticed the butterfly in the exhaust was seized shut and dad noticed something interesting all over my floor at the back of the car. Peanuts! I crawled underneath and tapped on the exhaust at various locations.

Plugged solid!

 

 I had a set of SBC headers kicking around so I cut the pipes off and removed the stock cast manifolds. The exhaust was completely full of peanut shells and other squirrel treasures. With the headers installed the engine fired right up. A few adjustments to the timing and carb and the break in period was underway. I pity the neighbors for the 20 minutes the car ran with open headers! Another box checked and a major concern alleviated.

 

 engine1.jpg

 

 

In the background I had filed the application to Vintage Vehicle Services for any documentation available from GM Canada on the birth of the car.

 

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Born May 26, 1965 in Evening Orchid Metallic with a Black vinyl top and Plum vinyl interior. The car was delivered to a dealership in Abbotsford, British Columbia with a 250 hp 327 Astro Flame V8 and a 2 speed Powerglide. Optioned with power door locks, tilt column, power steering and power brakes.

There is no evidence currently of power door locks, the vinyl top is long gone, and it has received a colour change by the previous owner prompting us to name the car "Penny".

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Over the next few weeks we installed an exhaust system, fixed a few electrical issues, and had the car out of province inspected. With the car roadworthy the time had come to make a decision on keeping vs selling the car. I already knew which way dad was going and needless to say we no longer have the 62 Parisienne convertible.

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Dad loves the car and he actually drives this one. I think part of the obsession with the car is that we worked on it together. It has dings and scratches. 

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 .....The paint is fading and peeling in spots. The car shows its age. Then again so does dad.



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Todd
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A Poncho Legend!

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I love your car! It's great reading the story too especially the part about your dad.

I'm not sure what GM's doing telling you it came with power locks. Canadian Pontiacs definitely did not have power locks as an option in 1965. They've made a mistake on the documentation. And for that matter the American Pontiacs I believe had them but they were vacuum operated, not electric. I'd be curious to see if you can find a build tag somewhere in your car. It's likely up under the dash or inside one of the seats. If you ever have the seats out look for a tank with all the option codes on it.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars (now converted to a "factory" 4 speed)



A Poncho Legend!

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Just a fantastic Car!! Love the colour too. 

65 is iconic imo and a fav of mine. I actually built a 65 AMT  1/25 Kit in the 70s and painted it that colour, which was my dad's touch up can for his 73 Pontiac!

Of course the kit was a Bonneville but I made sure to paint the engine orange to appear like a Canadian car.

Congrats on being the first thing we'll see all month!



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Built January 10, 1993 - Bowling Green Kentucky 

 




Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Absolutely loving your car and your story. My avatar picture will give you a clue as to why.

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I love this car, although Evening Orchid is one of my favorites, something about gold does it for me on this body.

congrats, great story, glad it's found a good home.



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


Guru

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1965 Parisienne Custom Sport is my FAVORITE Canadian Poncho.

The original color too, is a favorite, although your color is great too.

 

Regards, Scott (LandShark ...)



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Very cool. Nice story. Awesome car. Carl I would agree. The power locks is s typo from Agucci. What is A32 usually? Tint maybe?



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Beaumontguru

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



Poncho Master!

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Thats gorgeous! I love the colour!

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Guru

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Great story and a very cool car. Glad your Dad treasures it, and you both treasure each other.

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Beatiful Car, Enjoy

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robert currie


A Poncho Legend!

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beaumontguru wrote:

Very cool. Nice story. Awesome car. Carl I would agree. The power locks is s typo from Agucci. What is A32 usually? Tint maybe?


 The only thing I can find for A32 is it's an obscure option, power window for the driver's window only vs A31 which would be all power windows. 

I wonder if maybe its supposed to be B32, front mats? Just a wild guess.



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars (now converted to a "factory" 4 speed)



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I see reveal trim missing. I'm guessing you had the glass out for a re seal? Looks like fresh butyl.

Dad is putting the rear inner trim back on now?

 

/download.spark?ID=2534910&aBID=118110



-- Edited by cdnpont on Saturday 1st of April 2023 12:07:48 PM

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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


A Poncho Legend!

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cdnpont wrote:

 

It never had the Vinyl roof I see, at least in your GM option list, but I actually don't mind the trim. Was this trim an option in some way, or was this a leftover from a dealer added roof cover at one time? 

 


 Mark, it's showing C08 Exterior Soft Trim Roof Cover in the option list which should be the vinyl top. Did the full size ever have the option of two tone trim like the Beaumonts and Acadians? I don't know that they did?



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars (now converted to a "factory" 4 speed)



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Luv the car..luv the story.....and always have to luv the dads! A great read and congrats on top of the page. My dad had a 65 CS and I used to sleep on the rear package shelf heading to my Aunts in Campbell River in the earl 70's. Always a good thing when a father/son have an excuse to hang with each other.

".....The paint is fading and peeling in spots. The car shows its age. Then again so does dad." Like cars...that's what gives them character...sounds like dad has a lot of it....




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Poncho Master!

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Magnificent story.

Love the chocolate colour.

Im addicted to Rowntree chocolates.



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Cliff

Done Hurryin

Like the larger type for my eyes. 

 

 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I've always loved the '65 Parisienne Custom Sport. To see one preserved is a good thing. The story behind it is even better. Congrats!

That RPO A32 has me wondering though... A31 is power windows, A33 is power tailgate window. vacuum locks didn't come along until later. A91 was remote trunk release. ???

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67 Chevelle Malibu Sport Coupe, Oshawa-built 250 PG never disturbed.

In garage, 296 cid inline six & TH350...

Cam, Toronto.


I don't judge a man by how far he's fallen, but by how far back he bounces - Patton



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66 327 sd wrote:

Great story and a very cool car. Glad your Dad treasures it, and you both treasure each other.


 What he said...smile...always loved the 65's as we had a 65 Custom Sport circa 1980.

Congrats and enjoy the ride.......biggrin



-- Edited by bjburnout on Saturday 1st of April 2023 11:00:22 AM

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

 happy motoring :burnout



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Ni e car



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Love the plum coloured buckets......

Never seen that colour of buckets before...has to be rare.

Great cruiser......enjoy it.

-G

 

 



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Gold on this car looks wonderful, 62 and 63 Chevies and all the 70s had gold cars, but this is the best looking gold of all them. A 327-250 is a very nice motor too. Great story amd congratulations on the car.

One of my 62s had the exhaust full of grain, dog biscuits, you name it. It was also under the intake and inside the exhaust ports in the heads. Engine was a 283, totally seized. I have pictures. You lucked out on that engine and getting a very solid 65.

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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



Addicted!

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What a beautiful ride, that is one of my favourite front ends for sure.

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Beauty 65!

Cool interior colour!

Could A32 be power vent window?



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A Poncho Legend!

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graham wrote:

Beauty 65!

Cool interior colour!

Could A32 be power vent window?


 Not on Canadian Pontiacs I'm afraid. The US models had them but we never got them on our Pontiacs for any year.



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars (now converted to a "factory" 4 speed)



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Beautiful car and story. Love the part about dad being the polish and spit type that recognizes a model & year based on the tail lights. I can relate, that's me!

 

I hope he gets to enjoy it for a long time!



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"Dad, which car are we taking?"                      "The Pontiac!"

"Which one?"                                                    "The red one!"

'67 Parisienne 2+2 - red

'01 Montana            - red

'06 Buick Allure

'12    Japanese minivan



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Gorgeous car Brent and Ken! Hats off to dad and son shared interests and time well spent!!
Looks like you added the passenger mirror.....I'm doing the same with my 66.
Your pic made up my mind!
Thanks for this awesome example of fine Motor City craftsmanship!
I like the rally rim look too!


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