When I tell folks details about the Acadian car brand, they often mistakingly associate it with the GM Pontiac brand, and they also mispronounce the name as,"Arcadians". I usually tease by saying that the Acadian car is not included in all-Pontiac car shows, and that the Arcadians were the farmers and craftmen who helped the Spartans in the movie,"300". However, I recognize that the name ,"Acadian", can be difficult to pronounce, whether jostling loose generalized automotive knowledge, visions of peoples in 500 B.C. fighting for freedom, or folks in 17th century Canada fighting expulsion from the eastern maritime regions by the English.
When I think of the car brand,"Acadian", I often travel back in time. I often recall going to the dealership (Vieques Auto Sales) with my dad in Carolina, Puerto Rico back in 1970. Back then, dealerships were,"mom & pop's", businesses like most everything else. Vieques Auto Sales also sold American Motor vehicles and GMC trucks.
Being a family of 8 kids, meant getting value and no frills vehicles. My dad's 1961 Impala was generating too many repair bills, and so my parents decided to buy a new car.
He had already stopped-by the dealership with my older brother Jorge a day earlier, and then being Sunday, he took me along to see the car. I was excited about any car that was new. I recall the joy I felt looking at the showroom cars, and all their beautiful colors.
My dad asked me which car I liked, and I pointed to a 71 AMX Javelin. The front well humps, deep grill, and sporty wheels, did it for me. So I asked my dad, "Which car are you buying, dad?", and he said,"We're buying the Acadian.". It was a nice car, in midnight blue, with a front bench seat in a matching blue, automatic transmission, rubber carpet matting, and for bling, it only sported a black and centered trim along each side of the car, and baby moon hub caps with a red letter,"A", as centers.
I was the typical kid, and so I asked,"But why dad?. This Javelin is so sporty and looks so fast", and then with a smile, my dad showed me how the AMX was,"missing", a rear bench seat, and how the car would not serve the family well. I understood, and then I started ogling over the 71 Acadian. At almost 10 years of age, I knew that fast cars had V8's, but his had an inline 6 cylinder engine. I thought and I asked, so is the 6 cylinder better than the V8?" And my dad said, well, we have to obey speed limits, so all drivers need to go no faster than the limit, but the V8 uses more gasoline (at $0.45 cents per gallon, the gasoline price was expected to jump to a $1.00/gallon), but I understood again, and I got the sense that the new car was what the family needed, and thus all must be taken into consideration.
Fast-forward 38 years, and dad's Acadian was nothing but a memory of trips to the center of the island, dates in the weekends while attending High School, and reluctantly leaving it behind, to serve in the U.S Marine Corps because someone convinced a mob to take Americans hostage in Iran.
I had mentioned to my younger brother Tony, how I would love to find a 71 Acadian, and two weeks later, he called me back, and he said he had found one for sale. It is one built in the fifth week of December, 1970, and so I suspect that it was one of the last Acadians built in the 9 year production run. The asking price was $7,500, but purchasing it at $6,500 was still a bit pricey. Then, I realized that this may be the only chance I would have for quite sometime in purchasing an original Acadian, so I bought it.
I had it shipped to the main land through TrailerBridge.com, and as soon as it hit USA soil, I insured it through Hagerty. So while being transported to New Mexico, it was insured at an agreed value of $10K dollars (the cost of the car and boat/trailer ride to NM).
As soon as the car arrived to my home, I felt as if I was being tele-transported to a time when my dad was still around and things were simpler. Since 2008, I have invested nearly $14K dollars into the car. It is now looking its best, but it's value can only be defined by the memories and visions of a special time in my life.