1960 Pontiac Parisienne Hidden for 50 Years Is a Stunning Canadian Survivor

Produced from 1958 to 1987, the Parisienne is one of Pontiac's longest-running nameplates. Yet it's anonymous compared to the GTO, Catalina, and Bonneville. And that's mainly because it wasn't sold in the United States until 1983.
1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find 9 photos
Photo: Classic Car Rescue/YouTube
1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find1960 Pontiac Parisienne barn find
Introduced for the 1959 model year as a replacement for the Pathfinder, the Parisienne was marketed alongside the Laurentian and the Strato-Chief. All three vehicles were full-size rigs and shared design cues with the US-made Catalina. However, they were shorter and used Chevrolet underpinnings.

The Parisienne arrived in showrooms as a sub-series within the Laurentian line but became a separate model the following year. It was Pontiac's top-of-the-line full-size car in Canada, sporting premium equipment similar to the Chevrolet Impala.

The Parisienne was sold in the United States starting in 1983, three years before it was discontinued. The nameplate was imported from Canada right after Pontiac discontinued the full-size Catalina and downsized the Bonneville. However, the Parisienne went into the history books without leaving a significant mark on the US car market.

Come 2023, the Parisienne doesn't get the love it deserves. Many examples are still rotting away in junkyards and barns and usually get parted out when they find new owners. The same applies to Laurentian and Pathfinder models, too.

Fortunately, though, not all Ponchos assembled north of the border had a rough life. The 1960 Parisienne you see here emerged after several decades in storage in surprisingly good condition. If the story is accurate, this four-door sedan last saw daylight in 1970, meaning it spent 53 years off the road.

But even though it's covered in a thick layer of dust, this Parisienne appears to be rust-free and showcases a solid paint job and shiny chrome trim. It's also surprisingly complete and looks like it will clean up nicely. Our host doesn't give us a look inside the cabin, but if the exterior is any indication, the interior should also be in good condition (though rat infestation is a possibility here).

The engine is also a mystery. However, we do know that the first-generation Parisienne was available with an inline-six and a pair of V8 powerplants, both shared with the Impala. The full-size came with a 261-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) six-cylinder as standard, while the options list included 283- and 348-cubic-inch (4.6- and 5.7-liter) V8 units. The latter delivered up to 335 horsepower.

But regardless of what's under the hood, the Parisienne is notably rarer than any US-made Pontiac of the era. Accurate production numbers are not available, but yearly output rarely exceeded 60,000 units throughout the 1960s. And these totals include five different body styles.

It may not be super rare, but this four-door is arguably one of the finest unrestored survivors out there. And that's precisely why it deserves a complete restoration. Check it out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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