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Highway 61s 1963 Pontiac Tempest


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#1 Guest_Stoneage_Caddy_*

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:10 PM

So , go down to your local GM dealer today and ask for a car with a v8 up front, independent rear suspension , and a transmission in the rear ...Theyll show you a C5 or C6 vette or a Cadillac XLR. Go to BMW and theyll show you a couple cars too.

But in this rare group is a car that predates all of them. The 1961-1963 Pontiac Tempest. It came from a family of cars called "A body". A truely revoultionary Group of cars , Oldsmobile had a version with the First Production Turbocharged V8 (Jet Fire) , Chevrolet had the Corvair with a rear mounted engine, Buick would release a Alumium V8 that lived on in production long after the car in Brittian (the 3.5 litre or 215cid to us yanks) they also introduced the great buick tradition of the V6 engine. Pontiac, Had the Tempest , with a rear mounted tranny Independent rear suspension and a rope like driveshaft connected to the engine (think weed whacker).

Through these 3 years you had a few powertrain options , from a 4 cyl carved from a pontiac V8 to buicks great little Alumium V8 engine to the 326 V8. Which was acutally a 336 Cube Truck engine.

With the Alumium V8 the tempest was almost a 50/50 weight distribution car , making for in 1960s standards great handleing.

With the History lesson over , ill put on the gloves , grab the pick the model came with and guide you thruough this little Gem.

Paint: Ive bought mine in a stunning Black , Ive found 2 small Imperfections perhaps dust or poor mixing. otherwise there are no runs and no errors , the emblems are wonderful , i found myself picking at the "tempest" script , its a sort of decal , but fools you into thinking its an acutal emblem. 9 out of 10 here.


Body: The doors open on realisitc Hinges , and open and close just as a good diecast should , no dog legs here. Pop the hood witht he pick , and there before your eyes appear to be factory correct Pontiac Hinges to open and close the hood , with springs and all. The headlamps are OK , not great , a hint of a peg in there but not bad at all. Very nice grillework with the correct emblems. The trunk also has correct hinges and just below is the gas fill door , which flips open , but is a bit loose. My car is missing its right rear lower tailight. I will be contacting Highway 61 About this , hopefuly they will be like GMP , when my 93 Cobra Arrived missing its driveshaft and was promtly replaced. 8 of 10 due to the loose gas filler door and missing tailight.



Interior: This is really something , grab the pick and open the glovebox.  Feeling a bit tall? Slide the seat back. Feet a little dirty? There 4 floor mats to proect that nice carpeting. Little warm ? Open the vent windows a little. Got some freinds? Fold the seats forward and get em in there. Damn , a flat tire. Open the trunk , there is your spare , but be careful , dont smuge the accurate vynal mat. No seatbelts here , they werent mandatory till 1964. The Vynal seats are so real you can almost get flashback of sticking to them on a hot summer day. Look on the Door Silll and there is the "Body by Fisher" Logo , a staple of GM cars for many many years. 10/10

Mechanicals: The engine is fully wired , even a "Delco" battery hideing in there but the engine itself leave a little to be desired. Flip the car over , theres your Transaxel , cables and all. Spin the rear wheels and watch the u joints and shafts spin. But remeber , its plastic and they make nasty noises but its very cool. Suspension at all four corners works and is independent just like the real thing. The steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps with red line tires look great. 8/10 due to the engine block and loose Delco battery.

Overall for the money its a 9.5 ....A interesting Piece of GM history for any collection.

Pictures (Click Link Below Thumbnial for full size pics)

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Edited by Stoneage_Caddy, 11 December 2006 - 10:12 PM.


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#2 OFFLINE   mox

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:42 PM

Great review! I have a dark blue one and while it's not a muscle car, it's one of my favorite models from that era.

John
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#3 OFFLINE   ibj40

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:44 PM

Stoneage_Caddy, on Dec 12 2006, 04:10 AM, said:

Buick would release a Alumium V8 that lived on in production long after the car in Brittian (the 3.5 litre or 215cid to us yanks) they also introduced the great buick tradition of the V6 engine. Pontiac, Had the Tempest , with a rear mounted tranny Independent rear suspension and a rope like driveshaft connected to the engine (think weed whacker).

Through these 3 years you had a few powertrain options , from a 4 cyl carved from a pontiac V8 to buicks great little Alumium V8 engine to the 326 V8. Which was acutally a 336 Cube Truck engine.

With the Alumium V8 the tempest was almost a 50/50 weight distribution car , making for in 1960s standards great handleing.

If memory serves me right, the BOP (Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac) aluminum block V-8 went on to at least requit itself as the basis for a Formula 1 (okay, I didn't follow them that closely back then) engine, as well as a motor for some early Can Am cars.  I once bid on an auction for a Brabham Formula ? car, back in the late 60's, that had a BOP in it, lost it by a couple hundred bucks.  Losing that bid, and subsequently buying my 1969 Trans-Am/Endurance-spec Camaro sealed my fate as a closed-wheel ground-pounder for life (okay, there I go, hijacking someone else's post - d**n those flashbacks!).

:cheers
Jim

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#4 OFFLINE   Ducati-900SS

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 11:46 PM

Hey Stone!
Great write-up!!!  Very interesting!  Looks like you have a winner on your hands!

:cheers
Sean


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