Car Show Classic: 1985 Pontiac Parisienne Chieftain By Eureka – Good Night Hearse

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Come on, it’s Halloween, and time for something a bit different! When other than today is it more appropriate to show a classic hearse on CC? Besides, you all know my jones for B-body Pontiacs, and this one might well be the rarest Pontiac B I’ve ever stumbled across.

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A Pontiac hearse? Yes. They’re not seen nearly as frequently as the ubiquitous black Cadillac hearse, but like Cadillac, Pontiac did indeed offer a commercial chassis, as Jason wrote about not too long ago. I really am unsure as to when Pontiac last offered an “official” commercial chassis, but companies like Superior, Sayers and Scovill (S&S), Eureka and Cotner-Bevington had enough experience with what was essentially custom coach building that they could probably fabricate what GM didn’t offer.

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We have seen a B-body Buick hearse on CC (here), and hearses built on the Electra/LeSabre chassis are far more common than the Parisienne-based variety. What I really like is how the sedan’s rocker trim, fender skirts, and even the rear bumper and taillights have all been neatly integrated into the coachwork. It would have been so easy to use the wagon bits, given its parts commonality across all GM lines (save taillight lenses and badging), instead.

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Rather than rehash the helpful info on the sign that accompanied the Pontiac, I am reproducing it here; do click on it for easier reading. As you can see, there’s a reason this is the first Parisienne hearse I’ve seen in the metal: only 38 were built for 1985! I imagine a similar number were ordered in ’86, the Parisienne’s last year.

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Inside was a nice maroon interior, which went well with the white paint and black top. Judging from the seats, it started as a standard Parisienne sedan, as the Brougham model had much plusher, button-tufted seating.

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You can also see how much of the Caprice was used for these final body-on-frame Pontiacs; the only things different on the dash are the instrument cluster, steering wheel, the badge over the glove box and (I think) the style of fake wood. But the seats were all Pontiac.

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Someone in the Iowa City area has a real fondness for old hearses–a month earlier he had a whale Caprice hearse, in silver. That was pretty interesting, but I liked the Pontiac ever so much better.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

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