Family Muscle: Jeff Friesen’s 1967 Beaumont

Family Muscle: Jeff Friesen’s 1967 Beaumont

Story by Jordan Allan, photos by Barry Kluczyk

There is something to be said for being able to trace your car all the way back to its original owner, especially when it comes to classic muscle cars. Car guys typically put a lot of stock into the phrases “one- or two-owner car” as it provides some insight into the vehicle’s past and provides you with some idea of the life it lived before it came to you.

Although not technically a one- or two-owner car, Jeff Friesen is able to trace his 1967 Beaumont all the way back to the beginning. The car was purchased brand new by a friend of Jeff’s father, who promptly let him know that if he ever wanted to sell he would be very interested. One day a call came in from the local Chevy dealer who let Jeff’s father know that the car had been traded in and to see if he was interested. Jeff’s Dad immediately went straight to the dealership, bought the car and used it as the family car.

In the late 1970’s, Jeff’s brother bought the car from their Dad and began to modify it. The car was originally a 283, 2-bbl carb, powerglide car with a black painted top, but Jeff’s brother thought it was time to change some things up and asked their other brother to help him install a 4-bbl carb and an intake to get some more power. Soon after, the car was painted a different blue colour and had a velour interior which left Jeff’s Dad less than pleased, but alas, it was no longer his car. A few years later, in the mid-1980s, Jeff’s brother sold the car to their cousin who owned it until 2010.

After Jeff’s Dad passed away that same year, he decided to ask his Uncle if his cousin still had the car and was told it had been sitting in his driveway for the last two years. Jeff inquired with the cousin asking if he would sell it, as it had some sentimental meaning, and a couple of phone calls later, the car was his. Jeff lived in Michigan at the time where he ran a custom car restoration business with famed NHL goalie Ed Belfour. Jeff and Ed had grown up together in Carman, Manitoba, and after Ed had made the NHL, the pair decided to open the shop in 1992 with Jeff running the business with a full crew building hot rods and muscle cars for all sorts of customers.

Late in the fall of 2010, Jeff and good friend Rich Koffel headed back to Manitoba to pick the Beaumont up and bring it out to Michigan to begin another restoration. Once they returned, Jeff immediately got to work restoring the car, with Ed’s shop handling the paint and body while making regular trips to Koffel’s shop to build the engine with Rich and his father Dave. The Koffels were well-known for their engine building expertise and together with Jeff built a 454 big-block Chevrolet V8 motor that pushes out an impressive 550 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque. Jeff then spent the next year-and-a-half working on a complete, frame-off, nut and bolt restoration, going to a Marina blue exterior colour and a black vinyl top.

Following the years of recession down in the United States, Jeff and Ed decided it was time to make the difficult business decision and shut the shop down. Jeff moved back to Manitoba and took a position with Piston Ring Service where he still works today and continues to enjoy his car, taking it to local car shows and out for regular cruises. Jeff says the car will stay in the family, perhaps even one day going to his own kids, but until then, he will continue taking it to work when weather permits, just as his father did all those years ago.


Beaumont History:

The Beaumont actually has quite an interesting original story dating back to the 1960s, where, to promote automobile manufacturing in Canada, the Auto Pact (APTA) created provisions which prohibited sales of certain American-made cars north of the border. General Motors’ response was to start offering certain makes of cars manufactured in Canada primarily for the Canadian market such as the Beaumont and Acadian. The Beaumont began as a trim level of the Acadian line from 1962 to 1965, which was based on the Chevrolet Chevy II (Nova). Acadian Beaumonts were sold at Pontiac-Buick dealers, were not available in the U.S., and beginning in 1964, were based on the Chevelle A-Body platform. By 1966, GM decided to use the Acadian name strictly for the Nova-based car, with the Beaumont becoming a standalone name based on the Chevelle. The cars boast a logo that is based on the classic Pontiac arrowhead logo but with two red maple leaves or fleur-de-lis added, to ensure their Canadian heritage. By 1970, GM Canada decided to discontinue the Beaumont and Acadian and began selling the Chevrolet Chevelle and Pontiac LeMans.


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