Beaumont (automobile)

Beaumont was a make of mid-sized automobiles produced by General Motors of Canada from 1966 to 1969. These cars were based on the Chevrolet Chevelle, but the line had its own logo and nameplate, and was neither marketed nor actively sold in the United States. Its logo consisted of an arrow, similar to that of Pontiac, but with a maple leaf to signify its dual heritage from both sides of Lake Ontario.[1]

Beaumont
1968 Beaumont Coupe (Orange Julep).jpg
1968 Beaumont Sport Coupe (with after-market wheels)
Overview
ManufacturerGeneral Motors
Production1966–1969
AssemblyOshawa, Ontario, Canada
Arica, Chile
Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, Canada
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size car
Body style4-door sedan
2-door sedan
2-door hardtop
4-door hardtop
2-door convertible
4-door station wagon
LayoutFR layout
PlatformGM A platform
RelatedChevrolet Chevelle
Pontiac Tempest
Powertrain
Engine194 in³ Inline-Six I6
230 in³ Inline-Six I6
250 in³ Inline-Six I6
283 in³ Small-Block V8
307 in³ Small-Block V8
327 in³ Small-Block V8
350 in³ Small-Block V8
396 in³ Big-Block
Transmission2-speed automatic
3-speed automatic
3-speed manual
4-speed manual
Dimensions
WheelbaseSedan: 2,946 mm (116.0 in)
Coupe/Convertible: 2,845 mm (112.0 in)

1962-1965: As an AcadianEdit

To promote automobile manufacturing in Canada, the Auto Pact (APTA) in the 1960s had provisions prohibiting sales of certain American-made cars. General Motors responded by offering certain makes of cars manufactured in Canada primarily for the Canadian market such as Acadian and Beaumont.[1]

Beaumont started out as a trim level of the Acadian line from 1962 to 1965. The Acadian from 1962 to 1969 was based on the contemporary Chevrolet Chevy II (Nova). Beaumonts were sold at Pontiac-Buick Dealers primarily for the Canadian market, but were also made and sold in some countries outside of North America.

In 1962, the Acadian was offered in eight models with either base Invader or deluxe Beaumont series. The Beaumont provided extra quality trim, identifications, and luxury. Items such as foam-cushioned rear seats, horn ring on steering wheel, rear armrests, and automatic front door dome light switches were standard Beaumont features.

In 1963, the Acadian was offered in four series: base Invader, midlevel Canso, deluxe Beaumont, or Beaumont Sport Deluxe. The Beaumont again offered similar trim, identification, and luxury as the 1962 model did. The Beaumont Sport Deluxe was equivalent to the Chevy II Nova Super Sport, added deluxe identification and a substantial number of luxury items - upgraded upholstery and trim in six possible colours, extra cushion padding in bucket seats and rear seats, deluxe door handles, glove box light, and chrome-plated heat control and instrument panel knobs. With a Powerglide automatic transmission or three speed manual, a console and floor-mounted shift lever were standard on the Beaumont Sport Deluxe with the Powerglide only. Only a 6 cylinder was available.

In 1964 and 1965, GM of Canada sold an "Acadian Beaumont" based on the Chevelle A-body platform, and continued to sell the Chevy II-based Acadian.[2] By 1966, the Acadian was clearly Chevy II-based, and the Beaumont was Chevelle-based. Many people considered the cars to be Pontiacs, but GM marketed them as a separate marque. All model years are primarily Chevrolet, with only minor trim differences and (for Chevelle-based cars) Pontiac Tempest/LeMans-based instrument panels. This is because Canada required GM to have a certain percentage of Canadian content in the vehicles sold there.[2] The popular Beaumont became available in three series on the Acadian - Beaumont Standard, Beaumont Custom, and Beaumont Sport Deluxe. A base-trimmed Beaumont Standard convertible was also offered, a model also produced in the base Chevelle line in Canada, but not in the United States.

1966-1969: As a standalone marqueEdit

From 1966, the Acadian name was only used for the Nova-based car and Beaumont became a standalone marque, still sold by Pontiac-Buick dealers. The interiors used the dash panel from the (U.S.) Pontiac Tempest/LeMans/GTO series. Exterior sheetmetal is shared with the Chevelle (the rear taillight housings are Beaumont-exclusive - taillight lenses have wraparound corners with the exception of the 1967 model, where its trapezoidal shape is similar in appearance to the one used on the later 1969 Plymouth Belvedere/Satellite). While full wheel covers came from the Pontiac LeMans, small hubcaps and rally wheels were similarly trimmed but not the same as on the Chevelle.

The cars sported an emblem based on Pontiac's arrowhead motif with two red maple leaves or fleur-de-lis added. They featured the same powerplants as the Chevrolet Chevelle, including the OHV inline six-cylinder engine, and a variety of small- and big-block V8s. The V8 engine choices included small-block 283, 307, 327, and later 350 cubic-inch versions, while the Mark IV big-block could be ordered in its 396 cubic inch displacement from 1966-69. 3- and 4-speed manual transmissions were available, as were the 2-speed Powerglide and 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic starting in 1967. A popular configuration for the both the Beaumont and its sister, the Chevrolet Chevelle, were the six cylinder engines or the small block 283 V8, and to a lesser extent, the 327 V8 with the Powerglide transmission, allowing for fuel economy and reasonable performance at higher RPM. Models equipped with the 2 speed Powerglide were low on performance at the line and at low RPMs, but capable of exacting more torque and performance at higher speeds and RPM, simply due to the configuration of the transmission, and the fact there were only 2 forward gears.

The Sport Deluxe (SD) models were equivalent to the Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport trim level, and featured optional bucket seats and center console, as well as SD body striping and trim. The SD396 models are the most desirable Beaumonts today. Only 451 were built in 1967, but most succumbed to the harsh Canadian winter climate, which makes them significantly more rare than equivalent Chevelles and desirable to some collectors. The SD was actually the "Sports Option" package that was available on the Beaumont Custom Sport Coupe and convertible, rather than its own series early in 1967. Starting in December the model 738 Sport Deluxe model was separate, no longer the A51 Sport Option. In addition to the SD series, the Beaumont line included base, custom and deluxe lines. A convertible was available. Other body styles were identical to those offered on the Chevelle for the given year, including a very rare four-door hardtop offered from 1966 to 1969.

Starting in 1970, GM Canada discontinued the Beaumont in favor of both Chevrolet Chevelle and Pontiac LeMans midsized cars, which were identical to U.S. models.

Production and sales out of CanadaEdit

Beaumonts were also made in a GM Overseas Operation factory in Arica, Chile, for the local market (the TECNA assembly plant assembled Beaumonts from CKD kits until 1971 using the 1968 bodystyle introduced during 1969), and the Canadian-made cars were sold in Puerto Rico for a time. Beaumonts were also locally assembled in South Africa at the GM Port Elizabeth assembly plant using CKD kits with a mirror-flipped 1968 Chevelle instrument cluster and dash (South African market cars are right-hand drive). Both Chile and South Africa commenced local assembly with CKD kits and local content components to avoid import tariffs.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "1966–1969 GM Beaumont: When A Chevy is Not Really One". Autopolis. Autopolis. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Hunting, Benjamin. "The Beaumont SD Is the Chevelle SS Americans Never Got to Drive". Driving Line. Nitto Tire. Retrieved 19 December 2019.

External linksEdit