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A Celebration of Classic American Cars Since 2007

1964 Pontiac Parisienne

1964 Pontiac Parisienne

Vehicle Make
Vehicle Model
Year Built
350 Crate
Tracy Hazelwood

There’s a bit of mystery surrounding Dion and Tracy Hazelwood’s 1964 Pontiac Parisienne.

The Upper Hutt enthusiasts know that the Parisienne model was built in Ontario, Canada between 1958 and 1986, and that right-hand drive versions were exported in CKD packs for assembly in South Africa, Australia, and at Petone in New Zealand up until 1969.

But nobody seems to know why or how the car owned by the Hazelwoods got to New Zealand in the first place. Their research indicates that pillarless four-door versions of the Parisienne were not built at Petone, so their one must have been imported as a new car from Australia.

And it’s a mystery when that happened, because registration papers show that the 1964 model was first registered in New Zealand in 1967. “We wonder if General Motors New Zealand imported the car for some reason, and then put it up for sale when the Petone factory was being closed,” says Tracy Hazelwood.

1964 Pontiac Parisienne Tracy Hazelwood’s “What we do know is that it was first purchased from a Christchurch dealership for $2580, and that it remained with that owner until 2017 when it was purchased by another man. “And we also know that the day the sale went through, the original owner died.”

The Hazelwoods had never owned any sort of muscle car before, but in early 2018 when they spotted the Parisienne for sale on TradeMe they were interested. “Dion liked the look of the car, and I liked its up-and-down headlights,” says Tracy. So they flew to Christchurch for a viewing – and drove it home.

The Pontiac had already undergone quite an amount of restoration prior to them buying it, including replacement of the original 283 V8 with a 350 crate engine.

The Hazelwoods paid $44,000 for the Parisienne, and since then they’ve spent at least a further $60,000 getting it to its current mint condition. Work has included a transmission rebuild, a new diff, improved brakes, new power steer system, new wheels, and a lowering of the suspension.

Now, they’ve been thoroughly enjoying themselves attending car events throughout the lower North Island and upper South Island in their Pontiac with its distinctive blue paintwork – which is a Toyota blue, by the way.

Over the past year the Hazelwoods have had their Pontiac re-upholstered by Dion Hunter of Cover Me Upholstery. And they’ve also fitted the car with a new personalised plate MISS64 – with the words “foot to the floor” adorning the top of the plate.

“My foot gets a little heavy when I’m driving her,” explains Tracy. “Our Parisienne is a lovely drive though. It’s a very good cruiser, turns on a dime, and overall is just a pleasure.”

The couple also get a lot of pleasure from dressing up for car events – her in rock ‘n roll clothes, and he more like a cowboy. They’ll almost certainly be like that during Americarna, doing their bit in adding colour to an already colourful Taranaki occasion.