Affordable Classic: 1961 Pontiac Laurentian – Last Minute Fixes

Despite a short and successful test drive there was still plenty to do. But not much time to do it.

First up was the cracked and now non-functional headlight.

Luckily my friend Rod has a stash of new old stock parts including a few that would fit the Pontiac including a few headlights. Other parts that I will toss in the trunk as spares are some fuel filters and a radiator cap.

You can tell these headlights are old. They are made in Canada.

The bezel comes off. Looks a bit iffy to get the headlight out intact.

Predictably it did shatter and I cut myself a little.

The replacement slotted in and still works.

I bought and installed a new set of spark plugs. I also purchased rap, rotor, condenser, and new points. The existing ones looked pretty decent so those moved lower on the priority list.

Totally unnecessary but a bit of fun I roughly put in a shower curtain as head liner. I certainly improve on the mounting if time allows (it did not).

I am not keen on asphyxiation from exhaust fumes so the Pontiac went in for a full exhaust system. The drive there was thankfully uneventful as it is only around 8kms but has a large hill in the middle. I was a little later than I expected with some battery trouble in the morning.

I asked for a super basic, no fills exhaust system. I suspect that shop only does top notch work as I got a beautiful exhaust. Too beautiful for the car really. Rod greased the underside of the car for me.

I had an appointment to get an alignment done the day before the challenge. Unfortunately once there the shop declined to do the alignment unless I bought all new parts. Friends to the rescue again as one has a well equipped garage including an alignment machine. We (well almost all he not me) got the Laurentian aligned. A bigger issue was discovered … the steady bearing was bad. Really bad. A know weak point on these cars so I should have checked it earlier. Amazingly a local shop had the parts required.

So on the very last afternoon we (again mostly he) got the driveshaft out and the steady bearing replaced as well as a u-joint. Not many photos here as it was a big time crunch.

On the way back the Pontiac got caught in a little bit of rain. I still need to buy some window wiper blades. Maybe tomorrow at the Great Beater Challenge judging and start line. Wish me luck.



The whole Affordable Classic series thus far:

  1. The Search Is On
  2. Landed One – 1961 Pontiac Laurentian
  3. Dragging It Home
  4. Assessment and Planning
  5. Little Fixes
  6. Shocks and Brake Removal
  7. Disc Brake Mounting
  8. Cooling and Fueling
  9. Back into the Brakes and Other Odds and Ends
  10. First Drive!
  11. Last Minute Fixes