1967 Pontiac Acadian

In 1990 I started to back off from racing, I had bought a house and other things where changing too. I guess I burnt myself chasing the points system April to October running every weekend with almost half of the weekends running both Saturday nights and Sundays, and sometimes Friday nights too. I liked fast cars, but just couldn’t get excited about racing that much anymore, so I tried to sell the car. Eventually I traded the Chevy II for a 1967 Pontiac Acadian that was owned by Peter Whittaker in 1993. The Canadian version of the Chevy II. The 1967 Pontiac Acadian has the same body style but uses the head light bezels from the 1966 Chevy II and its own unique grill, including 3 maple leafs (Canadian flag). The Pontiac looks rather stock, but had a 350 with angles plug heads (Chevy 492 castings), Victor Jr. Intake, 292 Competition Cam, roller rockers, flat top pistons (10 to 1) and a Powerglide with a 4800 stall converter. The rear end had 4.88. The car had run a best of 12.30 at 108 according to Peter. The body is totally original (uncut) and restored. With only G60-15 on the rearend the car has a hard time hooking up and is way over geared to actually make it to the end of the 1/4 miles. Really makes cruising on the highway kind of slow too. I think that if everything was sorted out on the car it could easily run a high 11 in the quarter. Although I sometimes miss racing the Chevy II, I could always take the Pontiac out for a little spin to get my rocks off!

1997: The rearend was changed to 3.73 (much more reasonable on the street), the convertor was changed to a 4000 stall, the engine was cleaned up and BF Goodrich T/A were put on. The gear and convertor change slowed the car a little bit, but still managed a 12.79 @ 106.5 mph. with open headers and 13.23 @ 103 with mufflers on (time to get less restrictive mufflers).

1998 - I changed the exhaust to 21/2 all the way with Dynomax Super Turbos and Flowmaster Tail pipes. Chucked the bench seat and put in RCI bucket seat and 5 point racing harnesses. I moved the Battery to the Trunk and mounted the Alternator low down on the driver side of the block. I also added some Traction bars to help plant the tires. Topped everything off with a set of Centerline wheels. Paid a visit to the local drag strip, just to see how the new exhaust worked. Bolted the McCreary's on the back and ran a best of 12.78 and a top speed of 105.01 mph. The 60ft. times also improved by 0.1 seconds (best before these mods. was 1.89. Now its 1.78). Seems the new exhaust and the weight savings helped quite a bit. Plus traction was improved with the Bars and moving the battery to the trunk.

1999 - I decided to build my own Instrument Console and incorporated 4 Autometer gauges and a 3 3/4 Tachometer.  I kept the original bezel (frame) and made an Aluminum plate to fit for mounting of the gauges.  The Tachometer was the most difficult to fit as it is mounted into the bezel with the bracket upside down.  The whole thing was then re-wired with quick disconnects.  

2001 - I had the heads ported and changed the 292 Hydraulic Competition Cam to the 294S Solid Lifter.  On the chassis dyno the engine showed more than 60 Hp lost as the valves floated at 6500 rpm.  Now the dyno showed less than 20 Hp lost at 7000 rpm. Bad porting on the exhaust side was also corrected. The engine lost a little power below 4000 grand, but really woke above 4500.  The Acadian ran a 12.65 at 109 mph, but was a little lazy off the line because of the low first gear with the Powerglide and 3.73 in the back.  I updated the electronic module in the HEI and the Acadian eventually ran 12.44 at 112 mph.  I guess the spark was falling off at High rev's but it still didn't miss fire, but power was being lost.  

2002 - I purchased a Turbo 350 with a 3800 stall convertor.  A 2.52 first gear really woke every thing up and the Acadian ran steady 12.05 at 113 mph.  Later that summer in the cool September air I ran what I was looking for 11.95 at 114 mph.  Drove it to the track and then drove it home.  Never took the exhaust or Air Filter off.  Actually in testing removing them seem to slow the Acadian down.  So now I had an 11 second Street Car.   Yahooooooo!!!!

2005 - I began the largest, most expensive upgrade on the Acadian.  I replaced the complete Front Clip with a Heidt's Superide II unit.  Along with the Clip were several other upgrades, which included the steering column, wiring harness, radiator, oil pan, billet master cylinder, etc.  The firewall was smoothed and all the holes filled before painting.  Now the Acadian drove nice and straight and had no bump steer.  Disc brakes were included with the Heidt's front clip.  Drums were left on the rear for now. This was a time consuming upgrade and I moved from Quebec to Ontario at the end of 2005, which slowed the progress down a little bit.  By mid 2006 everything was finally back together and running.

2007 - After the Front Clip upgrade, I realized the engine was getting a little tired.  I had never touched the short block and Peter had the engine in the car for a few years so it was at least 16-17 years it had been together.  So it was time.  Being new to Toronto, I had a friend at work recommend I talk to Ralph at Rapid Enterprises. He has a reputation for making nasty go fast engines for Drag Racing and street cars.  After a few discussions we more or less had a plan, which changed a few times during the build.  I probably went a little overboard, but what the hell, it was what I really wanted.  Only the block and the crank, and Intake were kept, everything else was brand new. It's now a .040 over small block, with 11:1 compression and aluminum heads that were worked on by Ralph to get the flow numbers up there.  The cam is now a solid roller.  It revs like crazy, but still has more torque than the old engine down low.  Another gain is that the fuel mileage has almost doubled.  What was taking me a full tank to travel, now only takes 1/2 tank.  Next summer I plan on putting it on a chassis dyno and also taking it to the track.


Acadian Heidt's Front Rebuild Photos:  

Group 1    Group 2    Group 3    Group 4    Group 5(Painting)