Many MyStarCollectorCar readers may ask this important question: What is a Beaumont?
The simple answer is a Beaumont was a Canadian-only Pontiac version of the Chevelle. Complicated Canadian/American trade barriers included international segregation of the automotive industry until 1965 when the Canada-US Auto Pact cut through the red tape and untangled the mess for both countries.
The brief 4-year production run of the Beaumont as a standalone model meant the Canuck car is a rare curiosity piece in the car hobby-with the possible exception of older Canadian car guys who are likely aware of the car brand.
Darrin Karst has been the proud custodian of a 1967 Beaumont for over 30 years. The car has deep roots in his wife Cindy’s family because her brother and father were the previous owners of the ’67 Beaumont.
Cindy’s brother bought the Beaumont in 1988, but was unable to work on it, so the car was given to Cindy by her father in 1991. Bear in mind Cindy became the car’s owner before she was even married to Darrin, but the Beaumont became a part of their family in 1992 when Darrin began an extensive eight-year resto mod project with the car.
Darren told MyStarCollectorCar the Beaumont was a frame-off restoration that included numerous powertrain swaps that turned the mild-mannered car into a cold-blooded street monster.
The first swap removed the factory 283 small block with its 2-speed automatic transmission and replaced it with a beefier 327 armed with an EFI fuel delivery system. The immediate result was a blown-up differential because the Beaumont’s original rear end was not built to handle the 327’s extra ponies.
The horsepower game got even higher when Darren replaced the 327 with a 1995 Chevy LT1 small block that was balanced and blueprinted before installation.
However, Darren was not quite done with the Beaumont’s performance enhancement because he transplanted a 2013 LSA with an aftermarket horsepower enhancement kit that guarantees 750 horsepower at the crank.
The massive power upgrade from the Beaumont’s factory 283 meant Darren needed to ensure the car could stop and steer better than the stock version, so he added a tubular A-arm front suspension and a large four-wheel disc brake system to the car. Darren told MyStarCollectorCar the Beaumont “doesn’t ride like it used to-but I’d love to autocross it”.
The car has also undergone a massive cosmetic change that includes a fiery red paint job, along with bucket seats and hood from an SS 396 donor Chevelle. Darrin noted muscle car versions of the 1967 Beaumont had an SD 396 designation.
One could understand why a car done to this high level would not see much time on the road, given the build quality in the Beaumont, but Darren has logged over 46,000 miles behind the wheel of his car since 1999.
Darren and his family have taken many summer vacations to many distant locations over the past 24 years in the ’67 Beaumont, but somehow the fit and finish on the car stayed in excellent condition over that time frame.
BY: Jim Sutherland
Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.