Top 10 Canadian Market Cars title

The Top 10 Canadian Market Cars of All Time

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Acadian Canso

Acadian Canso

When Pontiac introduced its Tempest compact as a 1961 model, it chose not to offer it in the Great White North; at the time, tariffs on cars containing a large percentage of foreign parts – yes, even parts from the U.S. – would have made the petite Pontiac cost about as much as the Canada-made full-size models. But the country’s small-car-starved Pontiac dealers (which usually sold Buicks and GMC trucks, too) received salvation the following year in the form of Chevrolet’s Chevy II…except it wasn’t called a Chevy II. Nor was it a Pontiac (though it did feature a new grille, taillights and other trim items that lent it Pontiac-ish appearance). General Motors Canada actually gave the model its own brand: Acadian. That first year, there were two series of Acadian, the basic-transportation Invader (similar to the regular Chevy II) and the noticeably-glitzier Beaumont (similar to the Nova).

For 1964, the Beaumont name moved to a variant of the mid-size Chevrolet Chevelle, and the upmarket small Acadian was renamed the Canso. In 1966 the second generation Invader/Canso arrived (concurrently with the new Chevy II, of course), along with a new top engine option for the Canso Sport Deluxe (analogous to the Nova SS): The 350 horsepower L79 version of the 327 cubic-inch (5.4L) Chevrolet Small Block V8. Unsurprisingly, these hot little numbers were even rarer than their Bowtie-badged USDM cousins, and they are highly prized today.

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