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Pontiac Tempest

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Tempest
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Wikipedia: Pontiac Tempest

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A car produced by Pontiac from 1961-1970. The Canadian version of the Chevrolet Corsica was also badged Pontiac Tempest for 1987-1991.  The Tempest was the basis for the original GTO.

Mentioned in the 1992 Trisha Yearwood song, "Wrong Side of Memphis" in the line, "full tank of gas and a sixty-nine Tempest, takin' me to that Nashville sign."

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Pontiac Tempest page on 26 April 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Pontiac Tempest is an automobile that was produced by Pontiac from 1961 to 1970 and again from 1987 to 1991.

The Tempest was introduced as an entry-level compact in September 1960 for the 1961 model year. Sharing the new monocoque (unibody) Y platform with the Buick Special and Skylark, and Oldsmobile F-85 and Cutlass, the model also appeared under the LeMans nameplate (largely beginning with the 1962 model year, though Pontiac also manufactured a few 1961 Le Mans coupes).

For 1964, the platform was redesigned with a mid-size frame, and renamed A-body. The Tempest name was discontinued after the 1970 model year in favor of Le Mans, a nameplate previously used for upmarket versions of that series.

Pontiac also marketed a rebadged version of the compact L-body Chevrolet Corsica as Tempest, for Canada only, from 1987 to 1991.

First generation 1961–1963

Despite sharing some of the Oldsmobile's sheet metal, the original Tempest featured an innovative drivetrain — a rear-mounted transaxle coupled to a torque shaft arcing in a 3 in (76 mm) downward bow within a longitudinal tunnel — coupling the forward engine and rear transmission into one unit and eliminating vibration. The arrangement, known as "rope drive", had been previously used in the 1951 Le Sabre concept car.

The combination of the rear-mounted transaxle and the front-mounted engine gave the car very nearly an ideal 50/50 front/rear weight distribution, enabled four-wheel independent suspension, and eliminated the transmission floor hump in the front and lowered it in the rear as compared to a conventional layout, such as the front engine/front transmission used in the Tempest's Buick and Oldsmobile sister cars.

John Z. DeLorean, designer of the Tempest, was the division's chief engineer and a Packard veteran who would later become the division's head and later still would become widely known for founding the DeLorean Motor Company. DeLorean wanted the car to be more than just a compact. The Tempest was Motor Trend magazine's 1961 Car of the Year. Road & Track praised the Tempest as "exceptionally roomy" and "one of the very best utility cars since the Ford Model A."

Power came from a 195 in³ (3.2 L) straight-4, marketed as the "Trophy 4", derived from the right cylinder bank of Pontiac's 389 in³ V8, the standard powerplant Pontiac used in its larger cars, such as the Bonneville and Catalina. The engine was advertised as a gas-saving economy motor for thrifty consumers, but Pontiac also saved money because it could run the engine down the same assembly line as the 389.

Second generation 1964–1970

In 1964, the Tempest was redesigned as a more-conventional vehicle and enlarged from a compact to an intermediate-sized car with a 115 in (2,900 mm) wheelbase and an overall length of 203 in (5,200 mm). The unibody, curved driveshaft and transaxle were gone; they were replaced by a traditional front engine, front transmission, frame and solid rear axle design used by all of GM's other cars, with the exception of the Corvette and Corvair. Together with its sister cars (the Oldsmobile F-85/Cutlass and Buick Special/Skylark), the Tempest/Le Mans moved to the new A body platform shared with the new Chevrolet Chevelle, and all three cars received updates and modifications standardizing them throughout — including the wheels — by GM edict. The Le Mans name was discontinued as a separate series, so now the cars were, in ascending order, base Tempest, Tempest Custom, and Tempest Le Mans.

The popularity of the high-performance 326/336 V8 package the year before prompted Pontiac to make it available again on the Tempest Le Mans and give it a name: GTO, using 4bbl. and 3 x 2bbl. carburetor larger 389 ("6.4L") V8s of 325HP and 348HP, producing the watershed car of the 1960s and 1970s.

Interestingly, the success of the GTO prompted Oldsmobile to rush out its own high-performance option package for the F-85/Cutlass called the 442 that year, and the next year, for Buick to release a high-performance version of the Skylark called the Skylark Gran Sport, or GS. Both cars would enjoy success and contribute to what in retrospect has become the "muscle car" era.

Third generation 1987–1991

Pontiac marketed a rebadged version of the compact L-body Chevrolet Corsica as Tempest, for Canada only, beginning in model year 1987. Discontinued in 1991, the Tempest was replaced with the Grand Am sedan. The 1987-1991 Pontiac Tempest came in two trim levels, base (equivalent to the U.S. Corsica LT) and LE (equivalent to the U.S. Corsica LTZ) The main differences that separates the Tempest from its L-Body twin are different grille, emblems and taillights (the taillights were later adopted as the U.S. Corsica's taillights). The only other differences were wheel options, DRLs and a metric instrument cluster. This model was also sold briefly in Israel, as there are brochures showing Canadian-spec models from 1990/1991.


Photographs

1962 Pontiac Tempest 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
2011 Indian Uprising
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1962 Pontiac Tempest 192 cu. in. 4-cylinder 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
2011 Indian Uprising
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1962 Pontiac Tempest 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
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1962 Pontiac Tempest 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
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1962 Pontiac Tempest 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
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1962 Pontiac Tempest 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
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1962 Pontiac Tempest 1962
Photo ©2011 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint 1966 Sprint
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Engine 1966 Sprint
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Engine 1966 Sprint
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Valve Cover 1966 Sprint
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Badge 1966 Sprint
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Interior 1966 Sprint
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Dashboard 1966 Sprint
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Interior 1966 Sprint
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Custom Badge 1966 Sprint
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint 1966 Sprint
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint 1966 Sprint
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Radio 1966 Sprint
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Wheel 1966 Sprint
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Engine 1966 Sprint
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
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1966 Pontiac Tempest Sprint Bottom of Engine 1966 Sprint
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1966 Specifications

Sprint
ChassisWelded perimeter frame
Engine TypeI6
Engine Displacement230 cu. in.
Engine Bore & Stroke3.875" x 3.25"
ValvetrainOHC
Compression Ratio10.5:1
Horsepower (manufacturer specification)207 @ 5200RPM
Torque (manufacturer specification)228 lb.-ft. @ 3800RPM
Recommended Engine Red Line6500 RPM
Driveshaft1 piece open tube
Fuel DeliverySingle 4-barrel carburetor
Ignition12-volt coil
Transmission4-speed manual, all-synchro, floor-mounted shifter
DifferentialHypoid semi-floating, ratios include 3.90:1
Length206.4"
Width74.4"
Height54"
Wheelbase115"
Front Track58"
Rear Track59"
Front SuspensionIndependent ball joint with upper and lower control arms, tubular shocks, anti-roll bar, coil springs
Rear SuspensionSolid axle, 4-link pivoted control arms, coil springs, tubular shocks
SteeringRecirculating ball bearing
Steering Wheel Turns Lock-to-Lock4.1
Turning Diameter40.9'
Brake SystemHydraulic duo-servo
Front Brakes9.5" x 2.5" cast iron drums w/metallic lining
Rear Brakes9.5" x 2.0" cast iron drums w/metallic lining
Brake Effective Lining Area124.8 sq. in.
Brake Swept Drum Area269.2 sq. in.
Stopping Distance from 30mph32 feet*
Stopping Distance from 60mph151 feet*
Wheels14x5J 5-bolt perforated steel disc
Tires7.75x14
Curb Weight3336 lbs.
Acceleration 0-30mph3.1 seconds*
Acceleration 0-45mph5.7 seconds*
Acceleration 0-60mph9.2 seconds*
Passing 40-60mph4.6 seconds, 336 feet*
Passing 50-70mph5.5 seconds, 482 feet*
Quarter Mile16.7 seconds @ 82 mph*
Speed in 1st Gear at Shift Point38.5 @ 5800RPM*
Speed in 2nd Gear at Shift Point53.5 @ 5800RPM*
Speed in 3rd Gear at Shift Point81.5 @ 5800RPM*
Speed in 4th Gear at Shift Point118 @ 5500RPM*
MPH per 1000 RPM in 4th Gear21.2 mph*
Base Price$2507
*=Motor Trend, January 1966.  Acceleration tested with 2 persons aboard.  Test Car:  Hardtop w/Sprint Package, ride and handling package, 4-speed gearbox, rally wheels, 7.75x14 tires, AM-FM radio, metallic brakes, miscellaneous accessories, $3,139.19 (plus tax/license) price as tested, 1198 miles on odometer at beginning of test.

Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
16 September 1960Pontiac Tempest Loaded With Auto InnovationsPittsburgh Post-Gazette
19 January 2014Dream Cars: 2014 Pontiac TempestBill Crittenden


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
13 October 1966NHTSA Recall 66V011003
1967 Pontiac, 1967 Pontiac Tempest
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING:FRONT UNDERHOOD
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
19 December 1966NHTSA Recall 66V032002
1967 Pontiac GTO, 1967 Pontiac Le Mans, 1967 Pontiac Tempest
STEERING:WHEEL AND HANDLE BAR
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
9 September 1968NHTSA Recall 68V085000
1968 Buick Skylark, 1968 Buick Special, 1968 Chevrolet, 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle, 1968 Chevrolet Chevy II, 1968 Chevrolet El Camino, 1968 Oldsmobile F-85, 1968 Pontiac Firebird, 1968 Pontiac Tempest
Vehicle Speed Control
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page


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