Automotive manufacturing is a global business. Chevrolet alone has plants in seventeen different countries, and in order to sell their cars in certain countries, automotive manufacturers have to adhere to certain laws and guidelines. One of those is the Auto Pact (APTA). This trade agreement between Canada and the United States was signed in January 1965, by Canada’s Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and President Lyndon B. Johnson. This agreement removed tariffs on vehicles and auto parts travelling between the two countries. In exchange, American car makers agreed that automobile production in Canada would not fall below the levels that were delivered in 1964, and that they would ensure the same production-to-sales ratio in Canada, as delivered in the U.S.
To uphold their end of the deal, General Motors responded by manufacturing cars in Canada, for the sole purpose of selling to the Canadian market. Hence the Nova- and Chevelle-esque Acadian and Beaumont.
The Beaumont began life as a trim level of the Chevrolet Acadian from 1962 to 1965. During this time frame, the Acadian was based on Chevrolet’s Chevy II (Nova), and was sold primarily through Pontiac and Buick dealers throughout Canada. This is why many incorrectly think that the Beaumont and Acadian are Pontiac derived. The 1962 Acadian was available as either the base-model Invader, or the deluxe Beaumont model. The Beaumont gave buyers a higher level of trim options, and upgraded luxury items like foam-cushioned rear seats, a horn ring on the steering wheel, rear passenger armrests, and dome light switches for the front doors. A six-cylinder engine was the only option.
For 1963, the Acadian was limited to four sub-models; the base Invader, mid-level Canso, Deluxe Beaumont, and finally, Beaumont Sport Deluxe. The Beaumont Sport Deluxe was equivalent to what Americans know as the Chevy II Nova Super Sport. This year was the first time a V8 was available, and the option was the small-block 283ci V8 with 220 horsepower. Behind that would be either a Powerglide transmission, or a four speed. If the Beaumont Sport Deluxe was ordered, the buyer got a console and floor-mounted shifter.
When 1964 and 1965 rolled around, an Acadian Beaumont that was based on the American-made Chevelle platform was released to compliment the Chevy II-based Acadian. These cars are true Chevrolet cars, with only minor trim differences. The Chevelle-based Beaumont did utilize a Pontiac Tempest/LeMans-based instrument panel. By this time, the Beaumont was continuing to gain popularity, and was available in four sub-models of the Acadian; the Beaumont Standard, Beaumont Deluxe Standard, Beaumont Custom, and Beaumont Sport Deluxe.
After 1965, the Acadian name was only used on the Nova-based car, and Beaumont became a standalone marque. The Beaumont’s exterior sheetmetal was shared with the American-built Chevelle. They also utilized the same engines as the Chevelle, including the inline six-cylinder, and V8 engine choices that included the 283ci, 307ci, 327ci, and later 350ci small-block V8s. The 396ci big-block was an optional engine, available from 1965 through 1969. Three and four-speed manual transmissions were available for those wanting to select their own gears, as was the Powerglide and Turbo automatics.
The SD (Sport Deluxe) models were counterparts to the Chevelle Super Sport. And as such, featured bucket seats and a center console, as well as special SD body striping and trim. The SD was available as either a two-door hardtop, or a convertible, but other non-SD body styles were comparable to the American-built Chevelle for each given year, including a four-door hardtop that was offered between 1966 and 1969.
The Beaumont and Acadian was available through the 1969 model year, but in 1970, GM Canada offered both the Chevelle and LeMans that were identical to U.S. models, thus ending the need for a Canadian-specific automobile.
Article courtesy of Street Muscle Magazine, written by Randy Bolig.