The Pontiac Tempest wasn’t available in Canada, but the compact Acadian is the model GM Canada created to fill the gap in the lineup beginning in the 1962 model year. The Oshawa, Ontario, plant manufactured the Acadian for not only the domestic market, but GMC also exported them to divisions in Chile and South Africa. Canadian laws at the time dictated that Canada must manufacture a percentage of automobile components in Canada, which is why the Acadian is a mixture of GM components. The gas tank in an Acadian held 13.5 imperial gallons, which are about 10 percent larger than the American gallon.
1966 Acadian Canso
Acadian Canso 1966- modified front clip
The new model was essentially a Chevy II with eight body styles to choose from. The ’62 trim levels are the base model Acadian, the Invader, and the Beaumont as the most luxurious option. The power ranges from the four-cylinder, six-cylinder to the V8s, which bolted to a two-speed PowerGlide automatic or the three-speed standard transmission. There’s also a four-speed standard transmission that could be chosen for the appropriate engines. Pontiac-Buick dealerships had the Acadian in their showrooms, but the model is primarily a Chevy II, including the frame, body sheet metal, and complete drive chain, all sourced from Chevy Division. There was no badging on the Acadian from Pontiac or Chevrolet, although the dash is the same as a Tempest or LeMans (64/66). The Pontiac Division distanced itself from the Acadian with its Chevy powertrain, and the model wasn’t sold as one of Chevy’s but as a separate GM product, even though the split grill also takes its styling from Pontiac. For its entire production run, the Acadian could have any engine or drive chain option that’s available for the Chevy II and the Nova.
A Chevy big-block is under the chrome
In 1963, the Invader was entry level, one step up was the Canso, then the deluxe Beaumont, while the top trim option is the luxurious Acadian Beaumont Sport Deluxe (SD). Each was available with six colors to choose from. The top of the line Beaumont SD had all the badging with exterior trim features to announce its status, including upscale entry handles. The interior sports heavily padded bucket seats in front, padded rear seats (hmm), rear seat armrests, premium upholstery, horn-blowing ring for the steering wheel, added chromed dash components, glove box light, and the automatic interior light with switches are all part of the SD Beaumont package, which was comparable to the Nova SS.
This dash is beautiful but 100 percent custom
In the 1964 and 1965 model year, the Acadian Beaumont was now on the Chevelle “A” body and became its own model from ’66 onward. For the two years before the separation, the Acadian Beaumont became a popular vehicle, and during these last years, four trim levels of the Beaumont were available. These premium Acadian vehicles are the Beaumont Standard, Beaumont Deluxe Standard, Beaumont Custom, and the Beaumont Sport Deluxe. At this time, for the compact Acadian, the Invader became the base model with the Canso taking the Beaumont’s place as the premium model. The Pontiac Ventura II superseded the Acadian midway through the year in 1971, and Canada would not have another exclusive GM nameplate until the Passport rolled off the assembly line in 1989.