LITCHFIELD, CT – From a distance, it looks like a classic Chevrolet Chevelle. But it’s not a Chevy.
Get a bit closer and its split grill suggests maybe a vintage Pontiac muscle car. But it’s not a Pontiac, either, despite what its registration states, although badging on the car does combine the brand’s spear emblem with maple leaves.
Registering it was “a little tricky” because the state Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t have its actual make in its computer, “so we had to put Pontiac, which kind of hurt us because it’s not a Pontiac. It is a Beaumont Custom,” according to Ed Fischer of Litchfield.
Beaumont was a General Motors brand once sold in Canada. Fischer and his wife Kimberly own and drive a stunning 1969 Beaumont Custom convertible with a blue exterior and white interior and top that Ed spent two years restoring.
“It’s nice. It’s very tight. When my husband restores a car it’s very tight and precise. It’s not all over the road,” said Kim earlier this week. “It’s a little stiff compared to my car, which is an old restoration, so I’m looking forward to it getting a little more worked in.”
Kim’s classic car is a 1972 Chevelle convertible. Ed also has a Chevelle drag car, and there’s an old Chevelle station wagon in their garage, too. At the rear of their property, lined up in a row, are the husks of other Chevelles as well as a Beaumont parts car.
Kim and Ed have been together since 1984 and have been Chevelle lovers the entire time. “When I met Ed, he had been kind of born and raised primarily on Fords. I was a Chevy girl myself from my father,” Kim said.
“I rode in a convertible in 1985 with Ed. We were dating at the time. A friend took us for a ride and I said, ‘That’s it. We need a convertible. I need a convertible,’ so we found my convertible. I was 19 and Ed did all the restoration on it.”
Yes, before they got married, Ed showed his devotion by restoring a Chevelle for her, and he’s continued restoring cars over the years as a hobby. “I’m the one who eggs him on. ‘Let’s buy this. Let’s do this.’ And then he does all the work,” Kim said.
They didn’t discover the Beaumont brand until more than two decades later at a gathering in Buffalo, N.Y. of Chevelle enthusiasts from the U.S. and Canada.
“We were in Walmart parking lot and I pulled up next to this thing and I said to my husband, ‘What is that thing?’ and that started it,” said Kim. “We were like ‘What’s a Beaumont?’”
They eventually found one, and eventually sold it. They found their current Beaumont Custom convertible on Kajiji in Canada. It was a rolling chassis.
“It was really bad. Every panel had to be replaced and it was tough to find some of the Beaumont sheet metal,” said Ed, reporting that he spent five or six years stockpiling parts before starting work in 2017.
The 307-cubic-inch V8 engine with automatic transmission that originally came with the Beaumont Custom were long gone, so Ed dropped in a 396-cubic-inch V8 and four-speed manual transmission. He spent two years restoring it, getting good use out of his rotisserie and paint booth.
“The Beaumont parts on this car were in really good shape. The headlight bezels are unrestored, the grill surrounds unrestored. It is a new bumper but all of the grill sections are original,” he said.
While the body is only slightly changed from a Chevelle of the same year, the front and rear of the Beaumont Custom are different. The dashboard is comes from the Pontiac GTO.
The Beaumont name existed in Canada during the 1960s. It was initially a model employed by General Motors’ Acadian brand, but became a stand-alone brand in 1966 that lasted until 1966.
The Beaumont Custom always prompts questions. “I think to be a Beaumont owner you have to be willing to engage with people and talk to people. We love teaching. We’re like natural born teachers. We want to teach everybody about the car, so we want people to come up to us and engage and say, ‘What is a Beaumont?’ like we did,” said Kim.
While Ed said they might someday sell the Beaumont, Kim hasn’t ruled out tracking down another one. “My husband’s always saying, ‘I’m never doing another car again” and I give him a look like, ‘Yeah, right.’ I would love a Beaumont station wagon, but that’s like finding a needle in a haystack; very, very rare.”
See the 1969 Beaumont Custom in action in this YouTube video…
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