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AJ's Car of the Day ( 1963 Pontiac Tempest Convertible )

Car: Pontiac Tempest Convertible


What makes it special: The first generation Pontiac Tempest featured an innovative drivetrain of a rear-mounted transaxle coupled to a torque shaft arcing in a downward bow connecting the forward engine and rear transmission into one unit to eliminating vibration. It was known as "rope drive."

What made it famous: The 1963 version was given a redesigned transaxle that improved handling, and now offered a high-performance option much more powerful than the prior year's 215 V8, which was now replaced by Pontiac's new 326 cu in V8. The 326 V8 had the same external dimensions of the larger 389 V8, but different internals, designed to produce more torque.

Why I would want one: You just don't see these around anymore. Period. It's a sharp looking model that has plenty of go when equipped with the 326 V8. Add the ragtop for extra points in my book.

Fun fact: The 326 V8's actual displacement was 336 in, but rumor has it that since no GM division compact was allowed to have a motor larger than Chevrolet Corvette's 327, the advertised number was 326.

( 1963 Pontiac Tempest Convertible photo from Mecum.com )

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