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Post Info TOPIC: October 2023 Feature Car


A Poncho Legend!

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October 2023 Feature Car


Our October feature car is one that had been featured before (July 2017), prior to a restoration. While the car looked very good in it's previous form, it now looks outstanding! Mark Craig is the current owner. Randy Bilton owned the car when it was last featured and he performed the transformation. Follow along as both Randy and Mark discuss this 1969 Pontiac Parisienne convertible:

As Randy tells it;

A Lions Club in East York Toronto decided to do a fund raiser in 1969. My guess is that they ordered something that would to appeal to almost everyone. A 1969 Red Parisienne Convertible! They must have worked with the dealer to keep the costs down and for all we know, Old Mill may have donated the car completely. Unusually, it was ordered with what we figure must have been a lower cost Powerglide. You could do that? Strange in that the TH350 was now a no cost feature in 69. The result was a convertible with only two options, B37 floor mats, P77 white walls. Had it saved money I'm sure the radio would have been deleted. The car also strangely features the base car "stripper" pedal pads lacking trim, unusual as the trimmed pedals were standard. Have we ever seen these on any Pariseinne? Was it a manual brakes thing?

But all told, low option or not, it turns out the Parisienne convertible was a pretty low production car, with only 1033 made. I wonder how many people opted down with the Powerglide transmission?

As bought,

org.JPG

 

 vvs16.JPG

Forward to the summer of 69.

Without thinking much about it, a lucky lady buys a 50-cent raffle ticket on the car...and sure enough wins! When Randy bought the car, the family told him she was a real fireball and would surprise people as she was not 5 feet tall. This might explain why this car may have had been upgraded to power steering and brakes right from new. I could see her marching the car back to the dealer and demanding her free car be drive-able for her.

She had a cottage in Port Colborne Ontario where in the basement was the garage (not so good), and that is where the car lived most of its life. Spared the ravages of the Ontario winter, the car luckily made it out as a pretty much rust free survivor. 

 

 Forward to 2012.

Randy's brothers neighbour told of local estate sale to clear a family cottage of all items, as such, he went down to get two lamps he was interested in. When he found out about the car located there for sale, he called Randy immediately! At the same time, Canadian Poncho Members were already pondering that upcoming auction, http://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/mobile.spark?p=topic&topic=51324663

 

 As it stood, a decent 2006 body and paint job had taken place, the negatives being the incorrect fusion of the drivers fender to the rocker panel and a serious paint/primer fault on the drivers door. The car looked great in pictures, the paint shone, and at 20 feet you don't see bubbles or the scratches. The frame, floors and trunk pan however were in incredible condition. It's rare to find a clean trunk with the original 69 spatter intact isn't it...

pan1.JPG

 

Randy ended up purchasing the car, enjoying and improving it through the years. He often visited me, and as I had some 69 parts leftover from my failed 69 rag resto, I handed them all over with pleasure knowing they were headed to a good home.

 image

Back then I always said to Randy that I would be interested in the car should he decide to sell. Half dreaming at the time no doubt.

As previously seen as a banner car in 2017, this fine example of a 69 Parisienne convertible

 

The Dogdish phase,

34viewnew.JPG 

Rally wheel phase:

oldr.JPG

The plan was to slowly disassemble the car starting in the fall of 17, to be sent to a great local body shop to correct some of the issues sometime in 2018. As things turn out, it was considerably later, as the car arrived at the shop late 2019, and the minor issues became a complete body restore. The car was in paint by April 2020. Pretty good by todays shop standards, I'd say worthy of a gold medal.

 

The Paint Prison sentence is documented here, sentence was commuted early and the car went free...

https://canadianponcho.activeboard.com/t66049027/the-paint-prison-sentence-begins/

stripped.jpgprime1.jpg

Quote Randy;

"As much as I love the colour, I feel it should be put back to the original red". Turns out he got enamoured with Black lol!

A good choice as he had a person skilled enough to take the entire body to the level needed for black. Everything was painted, underhood, under the decklid, jambs and cowl/firewall.

paint1.jpg

"I have decided to leave the engine bay and the trunk original, imperfections included". Nope, when you are in this far, why not tidy it up Randy. Well ok then!

 bay2.JPG

 

enginetody.JPG

 

The car will hopefully debut on its 50th birthday in March of 2019 said Randy back then, well not quite...

And then it showed up at my place and I was treated to a drive. FWIW, look at my comment after the video. An omen?

[video=https://youtu.be/wijpf1TQJ3o?si=eWLOjdv06uU7pBPz]

 

The addition of the Grande die cast grilles is a nice touch,

grandegrille.jpeg

 

So in July, I see a post where Randy had decided sadly to part with the 69. I'm up at the cottage, and begin to get pretty excited. Could I actually obtain this car? Well, I have two already.... Sure, maybe one could be sold to get me closer? The biggest obstacle to clear was sitting beside me... expecting a flameout, I showed my wife the images of the car. Remarkably she said "Go ahead".. but you need one gone. I PM'd Randy urgently at that point, and at what was probably the quickest SOLD! ever on the site took place.

As seen on the Kijiji add,

kjj1.JPG

kjj2.JPG

 

 

I went out to Randy's home and made the deal. It was a long and grueling wait as I was down east, but it eventually happened.

atrandy.jpg

Home...some tweaking begins, fender cover now mandatory,

IMG_7426.jpeg

 

One can see just how straight the car looks here. You rarely ever see them as nice as this, the enhanced stance with the Americans and rightsized tires to me gets it. I like em' sitting tall.

IMG_7424.jpeg

 

Ahh yes, the 119" wheelbase on the 121' body is apparent in this shot. CP guys seem never the least bit concerned... because say what you will, they get the better motors.

newsideon.jpeg

First real upgrade, added a F41 rear bar,

IMG_7557 (1).jpeg

 

If you want to go unnoticed, this car isn't for you. You'll rarely see one as nice, a straight black rag on a warm summers evening at sunset is just stunning. The car looks and drives just wonderful. A normal car really, easy to drive and one that can roll down the highway effortlessly at 80 (2.73"s). The Powerglide is no hinderance either and the duals sound nice. The 250 HP 350 is happy doing its thing. Everything works as it should. My daughter loves it, and seems is into it as much as me...

IMG_7429 (1).jpeg

https://youtu.be/FwrqNTMThrE?si=QZAhASoLtT8zhlLm

 

The plan over time is to leave the engine and driveline as is but for maybe an aluminum rad. Add 69/70 Front discs, F41 front bar, a power seat assembly, power windows and headlight relays. Needs nothing else but to drive it.

 

I've come full circle now, my old 69 rag project started up in 2004 and was sold off reluctantly in 2010. But somehow, for some reason I finally get back to the car I dreamt of owning, and it makes me happy, cheers!

org9.jpgatrandy.jpeg

 

Oh, and old guys should always wear a hat...

roasting.jpeg

 

 

IMG_7561.jpeg

https://oldcarbrochures.org/Canada/GM-Canada/Pontiac/1969-Pontiac-Full-Size-Prestige-Brochure/index.html

Capture.JPG

 



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Todd
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Congratulations Mark she sure is a beauty



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Mark provided so many parts for this car over the years that it should be no surprise that he got them all back !

NOS marker lights, all the way around and not to mention the NOS grill that once hung at Todd's place.

I am still gathering a care package to send back to Mark.

This car could not had gone to a better owner.

For all you big block/4 gear guys,

You have to drive this car to appreciate how well this set up actually works for daily cruising and especially long drives !





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A Poncho Legend!

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This car just looks like a ton (or maybe 2 tons) of fun! The whole story about it is great, so unique.

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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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We all remember 1969 Big Pontiacs but not many convertibles in the mix. The fact that this one survived with the frame, floor and other hidden areas intact & without festering makes it exceptional. The sparse original equipment seems almost shocking today but we forget, back when these cars were made it wasn't so unusual.

A set of 69/70 front disks would be great if you can even find a donor, but those factory 11" drums were actually considered quite adequate, and nearly all 69's were equipped with them, even those rare 427 cars. If it were me I would not be in a big rush to change, as this car serves as a testament to when drum brakes ruled the earth and did fine in most cases. Now if they were only 9.5" drums as on the intermediates...

I did see that car in passing a few year's back in Niagara On The Lake when it was still red. Still cruising around the Welland Canal as it had all it's life up to then.

Congrats to Mark on having it grace the top of the page. Encore!



-- Edited by CdnGMfan on Sunday 1st of October 2023 09:16:07 AM

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

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

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65 SD L79 wrote:

Congratulations Mark she sure is a beauty


 What he said.......smile......love those 69 drop-tops......enjoy the ride.......biggrin



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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Congrats Mark! Great story/history and she's a beaut!

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Very nice story and a remarkable survivor. Many southern convertibles were rusty as they all leaked, this one was never driven or sat outside in rain. Congratulations on the car.

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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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Thanks for all the nice comments guys.

 

 

The car is a joy to run around in, just a smooth and quiet cruise. The car handles very well too.

I think the defining feature of the car is that the body is just so straight in black. I think when people look at it they are really looking at that stunning black body. You rarely see it in a 69 Parisienne ragtop in the rust belt.

Cheers.

 



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65 Laurentian post, 67 Grande Parisienne 4 door HT. 
 


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Nice car! reminds me of my second Pontiac way back in 83, it was a GTO convertible that like yours was originally red (Matador) but had been painted black by the time I bought it, it also had parchment guts.  It wasn't as solid as yours having rotten quarters and sketchy floor pans etc but was a great car for my 19 year old self!

April 8 2014 266.JPG

 



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John

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26 1969 American Pontiacs

and a 1969 Canadian 2+2 Hardtop



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Btw, the powerglide was $208.25 when ordered with a V8 and the turbo 350 trans was $235.65. Some people may have ordered the glide to save the $25 or so bucks but I suspect that most people who opted for the glide did so because it was a long proven transmission and the th350 was brand new in 69. Anyone who had bought new cars in the 50's and 60's knew the hard way to steer totally clear of any new automatic transmissions because most were disasters. Ironically the th350 turned out to be a great transmission out of the box (like the th400) but no one knew that then.

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26 1969 American Pontiacs

and a 1969 Canadian 2+2 Hardtop



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As the story goes, that choice for increased reliability over the new TH350 makes sense. Thanks.



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A Poncho Legend!

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Wasn't this car originally ordered for a contest? If so, perhaps frugality was the reason after all.

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There is no doubt that frugality was the top priority of this car.

Originally, No power steering or power brakes.

Mark was the first one to point out the manual brake pedal 10 years ago.

When I asked the original family about the car, they said that hen she won the car, she made them upgrade it at no cost to her.

The Lion's Club only paid for white wall tires and floor mats as options on the car.

If the 69s could have come with a 6, it would have been in there wink

 

34viewnew.JPG



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The colour change made a huge impact on the appearance. Love it!!

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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

1982 Chevy Silverado

1986 CJ7 Jeep

 



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such a nice car fits in the collection well

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