You see one 1969 Chevelle, you’ve seen them all. You’ve seen a similar vintage Pontiac, it’s the same. But if you see a 1969 Beaumont, your brain immediately sends the ultimate trigger for a gearhead: “WTF is that car?” I’ve seen two Beaumonts in the flesh ever, and each time I find more and more details that I missed. It’s really easy to just note a Beaumont as a Canadian Chevelle, but there’s a bit more to it than that.
Beaumonts and the very similar Acadians exist because Canada had a deal called the Auto Pact that banned certain American nameplates from entering the country, which was supposed to stimulate Canadian auto manufacturing. This is why brands such as Beaumont, Acadian, Fargo and Meteor existed up North, but never really made it across the border to the United States. In the case of the Beaumont, it started out as a trim package on the Acadian, a Chevy II-based machine but when the A-body was introduced for 1964, the Beaumont (as a model) appeared. Beaumonts were primarily Chevrolet Chevelle-based, with some Pontiac touches, like the dashboard, and some Beaumont-specific pieces, like the taillight design and the grilles. And, of course, the red maple leaf to signify that this was a Canadian car.
Driving this Chevrolet 350-powered droptop around should echo the sensation any A-body will give you, but even those who know will want to get closer looks at the machine that was supposed to stay in the provinces. They are often dismissed as a Canadian Pontiac, which is inaccurate. It’s neither Pontiac nor Chevrolet. It’s a Beaumont: the Canadian cruiser.