Many of these builders focus on creating pro-touring cars – that is, a classic 1960s muscle car updated with a modern powerplant, independent rear suspension, and disc brakes to name a few. These and other modifications vastly improve the safety and handling of these old rides and in many cases, exceed their original levels of performance.
One custom car that caught my eye at SEMA 2015 was this beautifully restored and upgraded 1963 Pontiac Acadian, which was the Canadian version of the Chevy II / Nova. This car was built by JF Kustoms in Osoyoos, British Columbia – the same shop that built the “Rivision” Riviera that captured a Ridler Award in 2014.
The car has been upgraded with a GM LS3 engine making 550 horsepower, coupled to a Tremec T-56 six-speed manual transmission. The firewall has been smoothed and the engine bay seems to have no wires or hoses visible anywhere. A set of billet hood hinges complements the polished chrome engine.
On the exterior, the car has a bright red-orange color with a single wide, grey stripe running down the driver’s side. The bumpers have been pulled in closer to the body, and the car is clearly lowered, though I couldn’t find any details about its chassis or suspension modifications. The car rides on a set of one-off wheels designed by J.F. Launier and built by Curtis Speed Wheels. They measure 18×8 in the front and 19×12 in the rear. The interior has been completely refurbished with Katzkin leather seats, a custom center console, and a billet steering wheel.
From nose to tail, I think this Acadian is a clever twist on the Nova that is both unique and original. I like that the car retains its muscle car heritage, without any carbon fiber valences or LED lights.