1963 Pontiac Tempest Convertible project with parts car

Price: US $5,000.00 Item location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Tempest
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: Convertible
  • Year: 1963
  • Mileage: 88,387
  • VIN: P0000000000
  • Color: Blue
  • Engine size: 326 2-barrel
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: 3-speed manual transaxle
  • Drive type: 3-speed manual transaxle
  • Interior color: Blue
  • Options: Convertible
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1963 Pontiac Tempest

Up for auction is a 1963 Pontiac Tempest Convertible project with parts car. For those not familiar with the first generation Tempest, it is another of John DeLorean's innovations, and was named Motor Trend Car of the Year. The 1961-1963 Tempests (and LeMans upgrade) have a front-mounted engine but a rear transaxle, connected by a flexible solid driveshaft. Because of the motor and axle angles, the driveshaft actually curves about 3". The driveshaftis encased in a "torque tube" frame, so it is not visible nor can it be impacted by anything from the roadway. The transaxle was borrowed from the Corvair, and rotated 180 degrees. This vehicle is a 3-speed manual, but on an automatic transaxle the torque converter actually hangs in the open out the back. Because of the front engine/rear transaxle configuration, the car had a nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution, and has four-wheel independent suspension.
1963 was the first and only year of this configuration Tempest to have a 326 V8, and the motor actually had a 336-inch displacement. According to legend at GM, Pontiac was not allowed to advertise it larger than the 327 that had just first appeared in the 1962 Corvette. Starting in 1964 Tempests the motor was reduced to an actual 326 displacement. The 1963 was also used by DeLorean to prototype the GTO.
Now for the specifics on the current offering. I have PHS documentation on the convertible; it was originally Nightwatch Blue. I purchased the car from the father of a professional mechanic who had died prior to completing restoration. The original 326 had been rebuilt, and the bodywork started. While the body appears completely solid, my understanding is that he had sprayed various colors of primer and spread a thin coat of filler on it and was sanding it down to find any high/low spots. I have not found any rust or rot on the body itself. I do have the hood and headlight and taillight bezels that don't appear in the pictures, plus a nice new set of taillight lenses. The floor pan has one spot that has sheet metal on it (see the last pic before the parts car pictures) and about a dime-size hole by the gas pedal. The convertible top itself appears ok, but the window is fogged and the long-pads need replaced, as they and the front seat were severely damaged by mice.
The car did not run when I bought it because of wiring issues. As a result the engine harness has been unwrapped and the dash cluster removed to track down the problem. I patched out some bad sections enough to be able to get the car started, and intended to exchange the wiring harness from the parts car. It seemed to run fine, but will need timing and carb adjusted, etc.; I didn't want to run it long on the make-shift wiring.
At some point after the owner died, some of the parts were separated and couldn't be found when I bought it, like the interior panels, so I obtained a parts car (not convertible) that has most of the necessary remaining parts. The parts car has been converted to a conventional driveline with a supposedly rebuilt 400, TH350, and a rear axle from an S-10, which is apparently a common bolt-in replacement. However there is severe frame rot, so it is being included as parts/bill of sale only. The parts car ran when it was parked, but it has an electric fuel pump that I don't think is feeding properly because it will not stay running. I haven't located the engine casting, but it has 4X heads which would have come from a 73 or 74. There's also an extra hood
Because neither vehicle is reliably running, both will have to be trailered. There would be no hurry to get them removed if you need time to make a couple trips.
If you have any questions, you can message me or email me at leeda2@sbcglobal.net at any time, or call 517-667-0914 evenings only please.