MAY 2024: A 1962 PONTIAC PARISIENNE RESTO MOD CONVERTIBLE IS A CANUCK CLASSIC

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Regular MyStarCollectorCar readers will already know that we explain the differences between Canadian and American vehicles built before the 1965 Auto Pact agreement.

Prior to the Auto Pact, Canada and the United States imposed major trade barriers in the form of large tariffs that prevented vehicles from one country from entering the other country without a major financial penalty.

Jim Sutherland

The net result was some Canadian models were only sold in Canada and built strictly for the Canadian car and truck market. A good example is the Pontiac Parisienne, a Canadian car that was essentially a Chevy in Poncho sheet metal.

The engineering overlap between General Motors of Canada’s Pontiac and Chevy divisions gave the Canadian car maker an opportunity to shave costs and provide their frugal Canadian customers with a better price tag on GM cars.

The short automotive history lesson leads directly to a very cool 1962 Pontiac Parisienne resto mod convertible that took advantage of the engineering similarities between Canadian Chevy and Pontiac models that year.

Roger and Jeanette Dezall are the proud owners of the ’62 Poncho drop top and explained its history to MyStarCollectorCar.

The car’s former owner was the talented builder who took the Parisienne to a very high level when he tackled the resto mod challenges presented by the convertible. As mentioned, there is plenty of overlap between a Canadian Pontiac and a Chevy built in 62, including the X-frame under the car.

Additionally, the Pontiac Parisienne’s connection with Chevy meant better powertrain interchangeability that allowed the former owner to transplant a 350 Chevy small block into the car, along with a 350 Turbo Chevy 3-speed automatic transmission.

The engine was bored 30-over and given an aftermarket EFI system to make it perform better on the road, a factor that allows Roger to more than keep up with traffic on the road. It also has friendly highway gears (3:23) that allow Roger to choose “whatever speed I want”, in his words.

The Pontiac’s striking paint job is Atomic Orange borrowed from the 2008 Corvette paint codes so the former owner could stick with his GM game plan.

There were a series of events that preceded the sale of the 1962 Poncho resto mod convertible to Roger and Jeanette. The first one was the former owner’s wife hated the wind noise in the car when it was rolling down the road, so the former owner decided to sell it.

The second event was Roger and Jeanette owned show vehicles they did not want to drive on a regular basis, so they decided to buy a vehicle for cruising purposes-but one that was done to a high level.

The third event was the Poncho “caught my eye when I saw it”, Roger’s words. It was the exact moment when he knew he had found the right set of wheels.

Roger and Jeanette redid the exterior brightwork on the ’62 Parisienne and added a black paint insert to the side trim that made it even cooler in our opinion here at MyStarCollectorCar .

But most importantly, Roger and Jeanette now have a driver that has been done to show-level qualities and is a real treat on the open road.                           

Jim Sutherland

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. 

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