Her64 Pontiac

1964 Pontiac Parisienne

Archive for August, 2005

Vancouver Sun – Feb 11/05

VANCOUVER SUN DRIVING  SECTION E – DATED FEBRUARY 11, 2005
WELL – TRAVELED 1964 PARISIENNE CONVERTIBLE BUILT TO CRUISE

BY WOLF OBIEGLOCopy of 1046431-R1-005-1.

Special to the Sun over the years I have read with both interest and pleasure all of the submissions to Auto Biography from the Vancouver Sun readers.  I would like to surprise Carolyn, my very special friend and love of my life for the past 26 years by sharing with your readers the other love of her life.

Carolyn graduated from Magee High School in 1974, and with father’s help and advice became the proud second owner of a two-door 1964 Pontiac Parisienne convertible for the royal sum of $1,000.00.  This vehicle was very unusual as it is not the customary Sport model.  This vehicle does not have bucket seats with a floor console but has a split front bench seat and a two-speed automatic with the shift on the column.  The car came stock with a General Motors 283 V-8. The 283 might be considered small for a vehicle of this size, but it provides enough horsepower to put the “cruise” into “cruising”.  Carolyn researched her vehicle’s ancestry and found that only 2,500 were manufactured and sold in 1964 in Canada.

For the romantics among you, Carolyn and I met and had our first date (with many other dates to follow) in the Pontiac, and we wed in 1979.  Children soon turned two into four and the two door Pontiac just wasn’t practical for loading children in and out of the child seats in the back, so we were forced to purchase more standard family vehicles.  As a young family we could not afford to insure the Pontiac full time, so we stored the car under plastic tarps in the barn.

As my career took us to many different communities in British Columbia, every time we moved there was a discussion of what to do with the car, but the Pontiac had become part of the family and no one wanted to part with her, so she always came along.  Over the years, storage had not been kind and we didn’t have money for keeping up with repairs, so the car was in very sad condition. The last move from Prince George to Kamloops in 1997 was the most memorable. On a very chilly minus 20 degree Celsius December morning my wife and youngest son climbed into the Pontiac bundled up with as many clothes and scarves as possible for the drive down.

The car’s convertible top had by this time many gaping holes and, with the heater on full, off they drove.  Unfortunately, with all of the holes in the roof the heater was of little value, and we had to stop numerous times to thaw the two of them at rest stops along the way.  Carolyn insisted on driving her car, for those of you who thought that I should have done the gentlemanly thing and offered to drive the Pontiac.  The car made the trip to Kamloops and, with a puff of black smoke from the tail pipe, died upon arrival at our new home.

With our children now grown and out of the house, it is only in the past year that we have begun to invest money into the Pontiac and have spent over $5,000.00 on rebuilding the engine.  This allowed us to show the car this year in the Kamloops Hot Nite in City show, in the unfinished category.  So for 2005 the family budget has been tightened and we look forward to restoring the body and the convertible top.  Carolyn’s dream is that when she and I retire the Pontiac will be fully restored and we will cruise across Canada in the car.  Seeing the Canadian landscape flow by in the convertible with the top down is the only way to go.

Update:

The car is currently at Full Monty Restorations in Kamloops and we are anticipating that it will be painted sometime this summer and I hope that the interior will be done for the 2005 Hot Nite in City Car Show in early August and then we are off to Los Vegas in early September for the first road trip in the fully restored Pontiac.   Further updates and photos to follow.

Paint Shop

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